Great British Garden Revival, BBC2 -TV review
A revolution in the flowerbed as Monty plots to make Britain bloom again
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Tuesday 10 December 2013
Welcome to Great British Garden Revival, a new BBC2 series that aims to do for gardens what The Great British Bake-Off did for cakes. Is there any domestic activity that can't be improved be the addition of the magic words "Great" and "British"? "The Great British Take the Bins Out?" "The Great British Pull the Hair Out of the Plughole?" "The Great British Cat Turd Clean-up?" I like the sound of them all, but perhaps I've been brainwashed by the super-human enthusiasm of GBGR's presenting team.
Fourteen gardening experts will contribute to the show over the course of its 10-episode run, but Monty Don kicked things off with an impassioned plea to save our wildflower meadows. If you're a regular reader of Michael McCarthy's Nature Studies column in this paper, you'll already be aware of the threat facing this country's meadowland. Much of it was given over to farming during the Second World War and it's now estimated that only two per cent survives. That's a shame. Not only insofar as it limits opportunities for whimsical skipping, but because meadows are a unique habitat for thousands of wildlife species.
Monty Don might know all the names of the flowers, but if you think this marks him out as a "hullo clouds, hullo trees" sort of weed, you're wrong. In fact, his revolutionary fervour re meadowland threatened to turn violent at any moment. "Grass is a thug," he announced during last night's demonstration on how to turn a lawn into a wildflower meadow. "Cut it till it's suffering and then when it's on its knees, that's the time to give it a good kicking."
In the show's second half, Joe Swift had a mission of his own. He wanted everyone to stop converting their front gardens into soulless parking spaces. Some sad piano music played and a heavy-hearted Joe detailed the misery of a paved-over gardens: not only do they offer no protection from flash floods or road pollution, they will also make all your neighbours hate you. Joe perked up when he saw the lovely gardening efforts of the residents of Rockcliffe Avenue in North Tyneside, however. It all starts with a few bulbs and, before you know it, everybody loves each other and world peace has been achieved. Such is the power of community gardening.
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Doctor Who Christmas special, review: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
The Interview film review: Controversial gross-out satire is broad, bawdy and bad - but undeniably entertaining
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever