For a certain amount of this week, when not sitting in front of the TV coughing, or lying in bed coughing, or lying in bed thinking about coughing, I have been sat in front of the TV thinking about coughing.

I have also been sat in front of the TV thinking about how little horticulture there is on it these days. I understand they have even cancelled Landscape Man which was the best programme for a long, long time.

About six years ago when we first got a freeview box there was a channel called UKTV Style which used to have quite a lot of gardening programmes, including one hilarious one where this little bandy-legged fella and his unshaven mate used to noddle round making gardens on a budget of about 15 quid. It was often unintentionally hilarious, usually started with the pair driving round in their van, lost and always ended with them producing some booze (for which they must’ve kept back half of the budget) to ply the garden owners with and get them a bit tiddly so that they would say what a great job they’d done.

Eventually they got rid of UKTV Style, but there was another channel UKTV Gardens, although that required a subscription.

As I mentioned in the previous post, a while back the OH acquired a huge TV and a satellite package. It must have been rather predictable that I’d be a bit sniffy about this as an attempt was made to buy me off by sugaring the pill with a package that included UKTV Gardens

It was great, but alas short lived (lasting about 2 weeks after we got the TV). I was just getting into watching a wide variety of stuff from recent years and also from way back including Gardeners’ Worlds from the golden Geoff Hamilton era and the marvellous Victorian Kitchen Garden, when the channel was pulled and in it’s place a thing called Home erected.

If your “home” is some vacuous hole that is easily filled with crap like Escape to the Country, Bargain Hunt, Car Booty, Flog It, or Cash in the Attic, then I pity you. And the gardening content? Ground Force – I need say no more.

So what are we left with? Well having a lot of sofa-time on my hands I have done a bit of research into what there is on TV this weekend with horticultural content.

First off Gardeners’ World on BBC2 – newly retrovitalised for the pensioners. This is the only programme I found on terrestrial TV.

Then there are a couple of old Gardeners’ World repeats on Blighty on Sunday and a programme called The Nation’s Finest Gardens, which I think I’ve seen and if so is rubbish, but I may be wrong.

On Travel & Living can be found loads of episodes of Country Lives presented by Chris Beardshaw, which I think was originally on ITV, and as you’d expect has lots of rural fare, but on Saturday one programme features a botanic artist and another includes two Norfolk gardens. Sunday’s programmes include one on herbalism and another on a tropical jungle garden in Norwich. One programme even has a feature on people who dislike flowers so much they grind them up.

At the crack of dawn Sunday on the same channel is a programme, Sun, Sea, & Scaffolding, which is about a couple from Notts relocating to France where they are renovating a house and garden. The latter is usually amusing for the wrong reasons – last week we were shown what they said was a herb bed. It was a circle of earth, empty except for a stunted, wind-blasted bay tree and I’d have more readily believed they had just buried a large dog or something.

On both days the Community Channel is showing Blue Poppy, undoubtedly the best programme with horti-content on this weekend, and is about Tibetan women training in Scotland, to help save vital medicinal plants from dying out in their homeland.

And lastly, only the second programme that is not a repeat, The Horticultural Channel on at 8.30 a.m. on Information TV (Sky 166), about which I blogged earlier in the week.

It’s not exactly rich pickings.

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