Swift vows to put fun back into gardening

BBC TV Gardeners' World presenter Joe Swift says he wants to bring back the fun to gardening and rid it of its "evangelical" image in a thinly disguised dig at former colleague Monty Don.

Swift, who will be broadcasting from his allotment on BBC2's Gardeners' World from 3 April, believes that preachy gardeners who say growing your own can save the world are full of hot air. He said: "You can be evangelical but that's not what it's about. If you have time and space, that's great. But I'm not trying to force everyone to do it.

"I don't think we're all going to become urban farmers and produce our own food. Fashions come and go."

In a recent interview, Don said of the grow-your-own phenomenon: "The financial crisis has put us onto a war footing. I believe this is the greatest opportunity in my lifetime. We can make things better."

Swift added: "The food thing and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and eating locally produced produce - people feel better for it and we all understand the world we live in is unsustainable. But you can't stop that by growing some tomatoes in your garden."

Swift said: "I want gardening to be about entertainment and breaking down all the 'how to do it' and make it more about enjoying what we do as a project and then getting something out of it."

- See feature, p18

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