Favorite gardening shows?

Robin - 6 BostonMarch 3, 2001

What's your favorite? Just watched another episode on HGTV of: Gardening by the Yard with Paul James. I can see why he won the Cable Ace Award, because his show is not only intelligent and informative NO MATTER WHAT YOUR SKILL LEVEL, but it isnt boring! His enthusiasm and creativity is inspiring, not obnoxious. Most shows seem geared towards beginners, or just show the same old concepts and plants over and over, delivered in a dry, no-personality format. Case in point: The Winter Gardener. Anyone else's favorites and least favorites?

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Newbie - 4

I like Mark Cullen's show on HGTV. Others who've posted in the "least favorite gardening show" thread don't seem to like Paul James much. My verdict on him is still not out yet.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2001 at 2:36PM
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jo shields - 8a GA

Erica Glasener has a show on A&E called A Gardener's Diary which is great as she visits various nurseries as well as private gardeners. Allows her guests to do most of the talking. I enjoy the wide variety of gardens she features; I might not care for the design or their selection of plants, but I love to "visit" the gardens and always enjoy the show.

My favorite is Kathy Renwald, also on A&E, called "Gardener's Journal". Mostly centered in Pacific Northwest and features lots of shady foliage gardens with small pools with unusual shrubs & trees ( my pet loves!). She also lets her guests explain their garden philosophy, and name the featured plants, while on a leisurely & informative stroll. She usually asks about age of garden and upkeep required, which is info I wish more books & magazines offered. Kathy Renwald also visits botanic gardens and talks with knowledgeable curators there about particular plants in depth (for instance recently about the many varities of smaller Willows or another time Japanese Maples.

Victry Gardens' Lucinda Mays is quite helpful & gives good advice for the southeast.

Jeff Cox is good, too, at giving straightforward gardening advice..I don't remember the name of his show but I have a couple of his books & he's a fine hands-on gardener. (As are the others mentioned above).

    Bookmark   March 4, 2001 at 7:24AM
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Mike in Georgia - 7B

no doubt mine are "Gardening buy the yard", and "A gardeners journal".
Paul james gives very useful and useable info, and while he is basically an organic gardener he does not preach this method.
Erica Glasner, well what can you say about this perky Georgia girl, her main points to me other than a great format that lets the featured garden and gardener be the star is that she does move around the country and shows different areas of the U.S.
Kathy Reinwald is just to cold based for the southern gardener, and the Winter Gardener is about as intersting as watching drying paint, and i love to plant for winter interest, but the host is just plain dull!
as For the Victory garden, i believe that they are getting to far away from MR. Crocketts roots, quit touring Europe and get home and cover some of th fantastic gardens that are put together by home grown gardeners from around this country.
we have a gardening program that is by the University of Georgia and it is designed for the Georgia gardener that is quite good, interstingly it name is "The Georgia Gardener" and is hosted by a Extension service Agent,radio talk show host,book writer all rolled into one.
this is also a very good program that is really full of great info for just our area.
we need more shows like this across the country.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2001 at 3:00PM
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Robin - 6 Boston

Who is Mark Cullen and what show is he on? Emails to Newbie4 are returned undeliverable. I really love Erica Glasner's show, too. It's on each Sat 3?4?PM HGTV. Almost time!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2001 at 3:00PM
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Monique - 6a CT

My favorites are Gardener's Journal and Gardener's Diary, which I watch on HGTV.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2001 at 11:26PM
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Debbie - 5

I love Gardening by the Yard. It's one of the garden shows that my kids ( hubby too!) will sit still for. I watch it for the info and they watch it for the humor. I like the fact that Paul James includes his kids and pets in a lot of segments. When I just want to watch a gardening show by myself, it's The Gardener's Journal and The Gardener's Diary. I get lots of ideas about my own garden as well as good plant info. These shows really keep me sane in the winter when I can't get in the dirt. My least favorite is Rebecca's garden. It's way to generic and basically just boring at least to me. Thanks for a great question! Debbie

    Bookmark   March 10, 2001 at 10:52AM
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Karen, Edmond, OK (7a)

I love the Gardener's Journal with Kathy Renwald, but what is the deal that we can't see anything newer than her shows filmed in '97? Honestly, I've seen some of her shows 5 times! Is she not still filming, or why do you think HGTV can't seem to get anything more recent out to us? I also really enjoy Erica Glasner and Paul James, the latter being a fellow "Okie", so I'm probably a bit partial. HGTV really needs to do a better job with their gardening shows. The decorating shows are getting to be a bit much.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2001 at 9:26AM
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Buds 4

I think Kathy Renwald has NO on air presence and I don't like Mrs. Greenthumb; who thinks she's funny? - and I agree that the decorating shows on HGTV are starting to suck

    Bookmark   March 18, 2001 at 9:21PM
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Dtkaty z8b Katy,TX

Unfortunately, I'm out in the garden when these TV shows are on! I'd like to see them rescheduled to the evening. Just a thought, HGTV!

I did enjoy Paul James & A Gardener's Diary the few times I caught the shows - proably when it was raining outside.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2001 at 9:57PM
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kim lawrence 9/east bay

My favorite is "Grow It" with Jeff Cox on HGTV. It airs real early-4 a.m. I think, but I record it and cut out the commercials (how many times do you need to see Blousant-the breast enhancer!) The show offers great photography, useful information and thought-provoking ideas about gardening. I saw Jeff speak at the SF garden show. He is very natural and a very likable guy. Too bad they are no longer making new episodes of Grow It.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2001 at 11:38AM
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Sara 7

I like 'Gardener's Diary' and 'Grow It' a lot. Most of the other shows are just the same thing over and over - how to pot up, how to water..really basic stuff. The last segment of 'Grow It' where questions from viewers are answered by various gardening experts - I always enjoy that part. I've gained tons of good information from there.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2001 at 3:07PM
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Bill 7

I don't have HG on my local cable network, but does anyone out there remember Thalassa Cruso's Making Things Grow? It ran in the late 60s, and was a hoot and a half. That show coincided with my interest in plants as a lad, and I wish I could get videos of episodes for entertainment alone!

I agree that The Victory Garden has lost sight of Jim Crockett's common sense, and has become little more than a travel/cooking show with too little gardening.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2001 at 11:33AM
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John (Zone 5)

I've always enjoyed P. Allen Smith from the weather channel. He is very enthusiastic about gardening and has been the source of many great ideas for me. I've attached a link to his site if you are interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: P. Allen Smith

    Bookmark   May 7, 2001 at 3:31PM
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Bonnyleigh z7 NC

My favorite is definetly Gardening by the Yard.. I LOVE Paul James.. and the fact that his dog is so cute just adds to the fun.. I also like the fact that it is one of the few shows I can tape for my high school horticulture students that is at their level yet still interesting and educational for me.. and not boring.. I also like Grow It.. Jeff Cox has a good format.. and I learn a lot from him.. even though he is a little dry.. and not very charismatic.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2001 at 6:41PM
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LisaZone6 MA

I watch pretty much all of the HGTV shows. They all have their good and bad points. I figure if I get one good tip or info on a new plant per show, it was worth watching it. I really do like Paul James, but the yuck level gets to be a bit much sometimes (that's yuck as in humor!) I have given up on the Victory Garden completely. They need to get rid of that obnoxious Marion Morash - if I want to cook, I'll watch someone who knows how. I guess it pays to be married to the producer of the show! All of PBS's do-it-yourself shows have completely lost sight of what they were originally intended for. They should just re-name them "how to hire a contractor/landscaper if you're looking to spend $100,000 and up". There is one show on HGTV that grates on me - I forget the name - it's based in Florida. The guy's name is Gary Allen I think. If I see him spray paint one more curved bed into a lawn and stick in one more lantana/Juniper combo, I'm going to explode!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2001 at 10:03AM
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Gilbert Lehigh Valley Pa.

I agree with you and that lantana, don't forget his curve making shovel, I don't care for his show much any more,hope I don't blow before you do!!
I like the old winter gardener show better
GBTY gets a yes from me

    Bookmark   May 11, 2001 at 11:33PM
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Andy 9 Japan

Well. just about anything is better than Japanese gardening shows where they spend an entire show putting together a hanging basket, filled with shade and sun lovers, acid and alkaline lovers...well, you get the picture. They never say what is annual and what is perennial, and never ever show what the basket looks like 2 weeks later, much less 2 months later, in the heat of the summer.

They've always got a "sensei" and a beautiful young hostess saying, "Hai, hai" or "I see" or something equally banal. Fact is experts in Japan can't do a show without having some kind of sidekick.

We get Paul James and Erica Glasener on HGTV via cable or satellite. I noticed that James' series starts out with much information and a dash of humor, which for me was the right mix. Then over time, the humor degenerated into a dumb brand of slapstick.

But I find he has personality and intelligence.

Can't say the same about Erica Glasener. She exudes no charm for me, and sometimes comes across as arrogant and condescending. The show features too much interviewing about the gardeners' lives, and too little gardening stuff. How about featuring two gardens, and less chit-chat about the gardeners' histories.

Also. the camera often zooms in on individual flowers and you can't see the whole border, which I find frustrating.

And Erica cannot read from a script or a teleprompter. She reads as if she's in third grade giving a speech in front of her classmates. I guess a drama coach is not in the budget.

I know you all love her, but I think HGTV could do better...........

    Bookmark   June 1, 2001 at 7:26AM
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Sharon 5-wis

HGTV should just drop the G from the name, as there is little or no gardening going on. They used to air alot of
new episodes during the March-Aug time slot and all the
crafty sewing stuff during the winter. Now you have to get
up at dawn to catch a few old re-runs, or wait until Sat.

As for favs, well, I find something to like about all of
them. Best info comes from Paul James tho, by far. He is
a bit 'out there' sometimes, which pleases me to no end.
Geeze, I hate perfection!

A really fine show used to be on PBS. Called the Perennial
Gardener with Karen Stringbeen or something..'bean'. It
came out of Iowa & featured a gray-haired gal who dug and
sweated and showed her failures and success equally.

Too bad HGTV doesnt employ some ordinary gardeners as content advisers. I personally would love to see them
develop some new shows along the lines of 'Organic Gardening' magazine, with regional areas featured. Variety
with veggie, fruit, flowers, landscape. And variety with
contributing real gardeners.

It will never be, of course. *SIGH*

    Bookmark   June 14, 2001 at 2:42PM
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Susan_Ford(7a-Norman, OK)

Hmm my reply vanished...

I like Paul James and Gardening by the Yard. I also still love Victory Garden. I'd love it even more if Marion Morash retired. Her cooking section is taking up serious gardening space.

No one has mentioned another favorite of mine, Ground Force, on BBC America. I LOVE this show. They re-do a garden in two days. I've gotten a lot of cool ideas from this show. I have to giggle when they plant something that I can grow like a weed and it struggles up in England.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2001 at 1:19PM
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d kelly mi

Love Paul James on Gardening by the yard.
How about nominating this forum? Best thing on the web! Don't know how many questions I've had answered without asking.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2001 at 3:37PM
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roxanna(z5b MA)

hurrah, Susan! i am another one who love "Ground Force" on BBC America. just wish there were more episodes i haven't seen yet!! never mind, i don't care. and there's always SOMEthing i missed the first time around. they're a great bunch, and so funny.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2001 at 5:25PM
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Meadowlark 7

I love "A Gardener's Diary" with Erica Glasener. She has a way of saying something "nice" about every garden she visits. She lets the "host gardener" do the talking. She highlights great plants, and at the end of the show, we see a "review" of the featured varities. (A lifesaver for people like me who are too busy looking at the plant, to catch the name.) It's absolutely my FAVE! Happy Gardening everyone...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2001 at 1:35PM
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What was my favorite was Gardening Naturally with Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch. Now that was one great GARDENING TEAM! There show is no longer on T.V. But you still can buy the complete tapes of the shows I think for $35.00. They were excellent. Now I do not watch any gardening shows anymore. Just can't find any like they had. If you put Gardening Naturally in a search engine or Barbara Damrosch or Eliot Coleman...you should be able to find where you can get the tapes. They were the best of the best in my humble opinion.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2001 at 8:07AM
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Bill_zone6(W. Pa)

Yes Barbara and Ellliot are hard to top. Kathy and Erica at 4 on Saturday is always interesting as they go into ordinary people gardens. People that for the most part have done the majority themselves. I have to wonder sometimes where Erica finds these people. Yes HGTV is becoming somewhat boring and needs to start up new shows. And it is not for the lack of possibilities. There are many out there ready to do their own program. I guess we at Garden Web will have to put together a demo and send it in.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2001 at 10:58PM
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hamza 6b

opinions aside, victory garden used to be it. but they seem to have forgotten that whole cable stations have grown up around them doing what they originally set out to do. now, by comparison, it sucks. marion sucks. too much time teaching people how to cook snow peas with no flavor. and this guy running around the globe looking at other peoples gardens is nice, but what happened to the VICTORY in the victory garden. there are absolutley no wide release shows which deal specifically with food production and vegetables. thats what i hope to see every time i watch it, but lately i have been more and more disapointed.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2001 at 11:49AM
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Another Ground Force addict here! It makes the outrageous price of cable worth it. I keep dreaming that someday I'll come home and find Alan Titchmarsh in my garden!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2003 at 8:11PM
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Bill_zone6(W. Pa)

"Ground Force" without a doubt is the best. With Alan, Charlie, and Tommy to amuse, and teach landscaping. All the while under pressure of a time deadline. I have been fortunate enough to have received a tape with 12 episodes on it. And have passed it around for others to see. Lots of laughs! BBC America carries it, if anyone is so fortunate.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2003 at 10:01PM
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Bill_zone6(W. Pa)

Does he look familiar!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2003 at 11:10PM
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Another vote for Ground Force! I like Paul James and Erica Glasner. I truly can't stand the Surprise Gardener. I wouldn't let those people within a mile of my property!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2003 at 1:33PM
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perennial_woman(z8 AZ)

Were "Gardener's Journal" and "Gardener's Diary" (Kathy Renwald & Erica Glasener) taken off HGTV? I loved those shows, but it seems the past few weeks they were not on, at least not at their usual times.

Gardening shows on HGTV are the only reason I have a sattellite dish! If they don't come back, I think I'll cancel and use the dish for a planter.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2003 at 3:01PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I like Paul James the best and the back to back shows, Gardener's Journal and Gardener's Diary. No wonder I'm missing shows if they are on at 4 in the morning. What day is it that Jeff Cox is on? I will look for the Ground Force show also. I would like to know the time and day if anyone knows. I haven't watched Victory Garden in a long time. The way that man breathes makes me think he is about to die. Also I wonder why HGTV doesn't repeat the shows more late at night. I often miss Paul James and wish I had more chances to catch him.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2003 at 9:14PM
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xanadu(8/9 N.CA)

Helenh, Ground Force is on several times a day on BBC. It is the best, often showing fine garden design as well as entertaining hosts. Much better than the uninspired Surprise Gardener, which uses many more people to achieve relentlessly dull results.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2003 at 4:24PM
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My favorite show is The Victory Garden. I really like the host Michael Weishan. I've also seen another show called The Landscape Garden or something. I don't like it at all. They use hardly any flowers, mainly shrubs. It's not very informational.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2003 at 7:23PM
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Hi Everyone!!
I just have to put in my 2cents on my favorite shows.I must say that the Gardner's Journal and Gardener's Diary are two great gardening shows.You have to give them credit for the soothing music, because I've found myself sleeping on both programs and thought I was watching them.Paul James has a wonderful show as well.I make sure I'm home and watching these shows on the weekend.What would I do without these shows, I don't want to know because they're knowledgeable and entertaining, and helpful in all area's of gardening.My wonderful garden thrive's because of the important information I have received from each of them.We need more of these gardening programs in the future.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2003 at 1:03PM
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culturalenigma(z7 MD)

oh, by far it's Ground Force America on BBCAmerica. I also wish we could have gotten Gardeners World. all because of Alan Titchmarsh. I really like his garden designs and his knowledge of plants. GFA doesn't have Alan anymore, but I do love it and still watch it religiously.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alan Titchmarsh Fan Site

    Bookmark   September 7, 2003 at 12:01AM
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lobotome(Calgary 3b ?)

I've written a post similar to this one in another thread somewhere but I surely don't mind repeating myself.
My favorite or ONE of my favorite shows is called "The Secret World of Gardens" on HGTV. No, it doesn't tell you how to grow this or that but it does tell you what goes on in that garden of ours. Each week it's something different. I'd call it a "nature" show really but then I come out respecting all the little critters and the processes that go on in my "tangled, weedy mess". It tells me about the good and bad bugs, the birds, reptiles, soil and funguses. When I'm through watching this show, I always feel like getting down on my belly next to my borders and just watching. Gotta love that show!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2003 at 9:52AM
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karenmarie(z7 Memphis)

Another vote for Ground Force! I think one of the things that makes Ground Force so great is it is so real. They are dirty, sweaty and tired when it is finished. They do the work.

I like to watch the landscape makeover shows (don't know the names,) but they are not a part of my reality. The one I watched last night, I think it was Designers Landscape, the budget for the landscape was $80,000. For that much money it had better be drop dead, stop in your tracks, "oh, my god- would you look at that" beautiful!! That's another reason I like Ground Force. They create these beautiful landscapes that are show stopping and for only about $2,000. (not sure about the pounds to dollars conversion.)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2003 at 3:19PM
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bhnash(z16(9) CA)

My favorites are Ground Force, Gardener's Diary and Gardener's Journal. I just love seeing the gardens on the latter two, and the former is just so much fun to watch. I also can't stand Gary Allen's show, it has got to be the worst I have ever seen. Every 'design' he does is exactly the same, with boring rows of the same plants, yawn. His 'designs' are exactly the type of garden I would rip out in a heartbeat!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2003 at 12:33PM
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What about Ground Rules and Landscape Design? I prefer Ground Rules because you see regular people sweating to get their gardens in shape. They do pretty good for eight hours of work. Landscape Design is nice also but it can be somewhat boring. I also like Landscape Solutions. I get a lot of practical information from this show. These are on HGTV also.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2003 at 10:14AM
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beigestonehill(z 6 /7VA)

I dont have a T.V. and have never seen any of these shows except the Elliot Coleman one which I really liked especially his wife Barbara. We have lived without T.V. for 8 years and have never missed it. It gives you more time in the garden and more time with your family. I do love public radio and always wanted to create a garden show like Car Talk. What do you think?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2003 at 9:34AM
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My favorite is "Ground Force" on BBCA. I absolutely love it - it is so much fun to watch! On HGTV, I like "Gardener's Diary," which comes on now on Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm central time. I don't think "Gardener's Journal" comes on anymore or at least I haven't seen it lately. I also like the new "Landscaper's Challenge" although I do wish they would get that host away from that tacky background. "Surprise Gardnerer" is god-awful in my opinion. I hope that it has been cancelled.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2003 at 5:19PM
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Just a quick update: Many of the gardening programs which aired regularly on HGTV were moved to their newer DIY network. We get this on satellite, but you may not find it on cable. Some of the newer makeover gardening shows are fun. I especially like Outer Spaces on HGTV. Susie Cuello (sp?) the host is good about checking with the homeowner concerning their preferences. They reuse plants when it is practical and the work is done by mostly "real people" rather than landscape workers. My 9 year old daughter enjoys this show also. Jan

    Bookmark   May 13, 2004 at 1:59PM
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mesquiteent(z6b WestTX)

I'm with the person who said that Home and Garden TV should drop the Garden...I rarely ever see gardening shows on there. As big as gardening is getting, I would think that everyone could do a better job of providing shows for us plant geeks. I guess everyones' time slots are too full of reality tv, decorating shows, OR reality decorating shows!LOL

    Bookmark   May 14, 2004 at 12:47PM
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Gardener's Journal is now on weekday mornings, 7:00 am pacific daylight time (adjust for your own time zone). If HGTV has moved many of its gardening shows to DIY that explains why I haven't seen them lately. My cable co. refuses to add DIY - that sucks!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2004 at 3:59PM
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boomchuckchuck(southern CA)

The host of "Gardening by the Yard" irritates me with
his insipid humor. The information is good, but I have not learned anything new....just to skip the show and get out there and weed! My garden is benefitting due to the fact that I can never seem to find out when PBS is going to air "California Heartland" followed usually by "Victory
Garden". I agree, too much cooking....and with Broccoli (Yuck! it's against my religion to eat the slimy green stuff). I do prefer the new host to the former old Billy Goat and his plant of the week. Nevertheless, on Saturday morning,I check the T.V. at ten a.m. when I go inside for another cup of tea, and P.B.S. is having a fund drive again and showing "How to play Piano like a virtuoso in only one day!" At 10:05 a.m., I'm back to pulling purslane and oxalis (and transplanting the mirablis jalapa to a better, naked spot.)

I confess that I did enjoy Martha Stewart, as she usually had interesting gardening segments, albeit focused on East Coast climates....well we know what is the fate of poor Martha and her show. I also enjoy P.Allen Smith, but
again, very general information, although a knowlegeable and
congenieal host.

The shows I do enjoy are on HGTV, deal with landscape
design, namely Curb Appeal, Outer Spaces, and Landscapers' Challenge(?),where a client with a budget (usually larger than anythingI could ever afford) is presented with three optionsfrom different landscapers. I did catch Ground Force on BBC, but it wasn't exactly my cup of tea, although the brass band music accompaning it did bring a smile.

Really, I'm glad that the T.V. is getting so bad with the
Reality T.V., and general poor quality and ugly pop culture,
I spend less time in front of the tube and more time in
my garden.

The best source for gardening information is right here,


    Bookmark   June 5, 2004 at 4:44AM
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Pandamama02(z7 Ok)

My favorite is Paul James Gardening by the yard... did you know he has another show?
Paul James Home grown cooking

Here is a link that might be useful: Paul Jame's cooking show

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 10:42PM
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Really like Gradening By the Yard. Paul can be corny yet he makes garening fun and he is full of information.
I also like A Gardeners Journal. I haven't seen that program in quite sometime. Not sure if and when it's on.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 6:36PM
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I agree with boomchuckchuck about Paul James and that "old billy goat". Give me something of substance that either teaches me something or inspires me. Most of the really good shows on both television and radio seem to have disappeared. Like the man said, more time to spend outside.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 12:34PM
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'A Gardener's Diary' with Erica Glasener, on HGTV, has been cancelled after many years. Although they have filmed many new episodes in the last year, HGTV has not yet announced when they will air.

Here is a link that might be useful: Erica Glasener

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 11:44AM
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over 20 new episodes of Erica Glasener's show will start to air, on HGTV, in April '06

Here is a link that might be useful: Erica Glasener

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 11:38AM
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bghank(z5 IL)

My favorite gardening show? Gardening by the Yard with (goofy) Paul James. Other shows are just as informative but I believe that gardening, like life, SHOULD BE FUN.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 10:32PM
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angelfairy(Z-8 S.AL)

Erica Glasener (Gardeners Diary) I have quite a few taped of the old shows but would love to see more, more, more! That's the kind of gardening show I really enjoy...just walking slowly around someone's beautiful garden, big or small and discussing this and that...not that is entertainment to me.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 7:43PM
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HGTV has cancelled Rebccas Garden and Gardeners Journal. The only hsow in the lineup is Gardening by The Yard. If you want to see more garden shows, call them at 865-694-7879! Please don't let them put more idiotic decorating shows on!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:54AM
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tastefullyjulie(Lewiston, NY 6)

I agree. Email them. The contact info is in the thread linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thanks for nothing HGTV

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 12:21PM
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