Leading article: Field of dreams

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The Independent Online

Today the garden feels a little less colourful. The droll banter and sage advice of John Cushnie were one of the elements that have made BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time such a pleasure for so many years.

Despite his sad death, however, Gardeners' Question Time will undoubtedly continue to speak to something deep within the British character. Few subjects melt the lingering class divisions of our society like a discussion on the eradication of greenfly, or the best fertiliser for roses. Everyone's experience is valued. All are equal among the flower beds. And Gardeners' Question Time manages to reflect the spirit of camaraderie that exists among the green-fingered quite brilliantly.

Napoleon described Britain as a nation of shopkeepers. Today, a nation of gardeners would be nearer the mark. And, for hundreds of thousands, Gardeners' Question Time remains the oracle.