I have spent a lot of time this past week sitting in front of the television set, and squinting at the small print in the TV section of the paper, looking for garden programs.
Thank goodness for DVR!
The programmers who decide when a show should be aired have a rather interesting view of gardeners. Most of the programs are aired in the wee hours, hidden away where it is a real challenge to find them.
This listing is for the channels covered in the TV section of the Saturday Advertiser-Tribune, and channel numbers may be different for those living outside of Tiffin. It also probably is incomplete; my bifocals gave out after a while.
One old faithful program is "Victory Garden," which airs Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. on public television, WBGU, on Channel 2. I have written before about my disappointment with this program as it is now, compared to the glory days when Jim Crockett was alive and chronicling the events of the year in the garden as they happened.
Jamie Durie hosts the program today, and it is a miscellany of visits to gardens all over the country. Interesting, but you never know what to expect, and there is no attempt to keep topics connected to the season of the year. It is, however, interesting to watch and a source of landscaping ideas.
My current favorite garden program is P. Allen Smith's "Garden Home." This is on WGTE Channel 3 on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. and Saturdays at noon, and probably at other times. Smith covers several topics in his half-hour programs, most of them concerning his garden home retreat, which was built over the past couple of years, and incorporates home decorating and cooking along with his gardening techniques.
He has a fabulous garden there, and another at his town house, and his books also lead you through many of the same subjects he covers on TV. He also has another series, "Garden to Table," which is informative for vegetable growers and cooks, and airs Mondays at 2:30 p.m.
Only repeats are being shown now. It would be nice to have new programs.
"Curb Appeal" and its off-shoot, "Curb Appeal on the Block," appear on HGTV Channel 39 quite frequently, including Tuesdays at 11 a.m. The hosts select a home where the facade and front garden are in need of renovation, and in a couple of days, they re-do the entire property.
Actually, I sometimes think the place looked better before, and wonder how the homeowners will keep up with maintenance on some of the elaborate makeovers.
"Gardening By the Yard" once was offered at a popular day and time, but now is relegated to repeats on HGTV at 6:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Host Paul James has a large garden, and regular viewers get quite familiar with his property and the way it has developed over the years.
He records setbacks such as storms, and extreme cold and heat, and gives good advice and demonstrations on dealing with all conditions. His humor can get irritating, but I have watched his program for many years and still enjoy seeing the repeats.
Some other programs on the HGTV are "Outdoor Rooms" on Monday, "Ground Breakers" on Wednesday, "Landscape Smart" on Thursday and "Superscapes" on Friday, all at 6:30 a.m., and most of them repeated at other times.
There also are repeated showings of "Landscape Crashers," a garden makeover including carpentry and masonry techniques.
"Garden Smart" is another PBS offering that airs frequently. It is a miscellany of visits to gardens around the world. It is entertaining, but not of much practical value.
Apparently, television programmers do not have a high regard for gardeners, unless they are plugging products in commercials.
It would be nice to have a program that follows a garden through the year, instructing and educating us as well as entertaining us. There were such programs in years past, and one can only hope for the future.
Janet Del Turco is a local gardener and a graduate of the Ohio State University Master Gardener program. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org