Love Your Garden, ITV - TV review: 'Titchmarsh's garden-makeover show is something we can really dig'
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.
Wednesday 25 June 2014
He's been "squeezed out" of the Chelsea Flower Show and the next series of The Alan Titchmarsh Show will be his last, but the 65-year-old gardening expert does still have a home on British television, in ITV's garden makeover show, Love Your Garden.
Series four began in Manchester at the home of the Chan family – stay-at-home dad Darren, midwife Lesley and their four daughters. Just as a house is never just a house in DIY SOS: The Big Build, so a garden is never just a garden here. It's a sanctuary, an ingenious storage solution, an education for the children and ultimately the saviour of 21st-century family life. The Chans were once enthusiastic gardeners, but since their youngest daughter Amelie was diagnosed with a rare, debilitating, disorder, the garden had slipped down their priorities – so it's Titchmarsh to the rescue.
The show began with a Surprise Surprise-style camera crew ambush of Lesley Chan, in the hospital staff-room. You'd have been forgiven for assuming a shirtless Ryan Gosling had just walked in from her reaction, but it was only Alan Titchmarsh in a fleece. Lesley just really wanted that new garden.
As Alan joined Lesley for a deep'n'meaningful regarding what a new garden would actually mean (clue: it's not just a garden) his team of sidekicks had practical advice for the viewers at home. David Domoney showed us how to prevent your decking from turning into "a moss ridden slippery ice rink", Frances Tophill gave advice on choosing plants to match your soil type and Katie Rushworth got to work camouflaging the shed with shade-friendly shrubs. Personally, I would have gone for garden furniture in a different shade (strip-club purple is an acquired taste) but the Chans seemed delighted. "I can feel a glass of wine coming on," said Lesley as she settled herself onto one of the new sun-loungers. "Just pass it me now."
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