How green is my telly?

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The Independent Culture
Here's a clever thought for cash-strapped councils faced with regeneration programmes: get value from your pre-school budget by putting the tots to work growing things: a whole new meaning to the word kindergarten.

This week's Garden Club (8pm C4) sends Rebecca Pow to visit the Crieff Road pre-school centre in Perth to see just that: they are in the third year of a four-year programme designed "to increase the children's confidence and make them care for the environment". And, of course, to grow vegetables for their own lunches and herbs for the kitchen. Okay, okay: I'm not really that cynical. Compared with a mess of spiky berberis, the place looks a dream.

But still, gardening programmes: why watch them when there's all that fresh air outside? The thing is that, when something actually gives pleasure to all the senses - digging your hands into a patch of compost, giving it a good sniff, smearing it over your boyfriend and so forth - something that only uses the visual inevitably leaves you wanting more. That, combined with the inevitable blandness of the conversation involved ("Now, what do you think of that, Roy?" "It's very special, isn't it?"; "On any wall you'll have a sunny side and a shady side") induces levels of ennui in me only equalled by that I get from Watchdog. I'd far rather take a nice gin and tonic into the rain and consider my own arucaria.

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