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Over lunch I was pondering why I tune into Countryfile and not GW. Broadcast timing is partly to blame, but I do wish we had a gardening programme like Countryfile (though of course some items on there would be perfectly happy on any gardening programme). I like its focus on one particular area of the country per week and not being afraid to tackle thorny issues for discussion on a regular basis. I feel intelligent when I watch it and I learn something. Those are 2 things which haven't happened with GW for me in ages. I'm not sure Beechgrove would do it for me either in that respect, though I do applaud its wider breadth based on your above analysis, so I'll give it a go.


I have never seen Beechgrove so I can’t comment on your analysis, I do however watch Gardeners’ World every week and have done so for the last 15 years – and miss it when it’s not on. I have learned so much from this program over the years and I really like their style. I have just programmed my recorder for tomorrow’s Beechgrove, we shall see if I become addicted to that too :-)


I must admit that I've never watched Countryfile, but I think that's exactly what you do want - to feel you've learned something (feeling more intelligent would be a bonus for me :) ) . Let us know what you think of Beechgrove!

Helene, I'm glad to hear that you like GW (I've got a soft spot for Monty, personally) but you've got such a lovely garden and seem so experienced that I wonder how much you learn from it nowadays? I'd love to hear what you think of Beechgrove. Of course, this would be a week when they do their own version of flowers and music in the garden visit!


Sorry I missed your reply to me here, I don’t know how to keep track on your replies as there is no box to tick to follow by email or just follow. I don’t use ‘Feed’ so I am not sure what to do – how do your visitors keep track of your replies? Without having to go back and look if you have written anything yet.

As for Gardeners’ World, there is always something to learn, I learn new things about gardening every week – online or via TV or by trial and error in my own garden :-)
Beechgrove is a bit different and seems to be targeting allotment owners and vegetable growers heavily at the moment, I am neither, I hope this is just the season we are in, but I have set my recorder on ‘series setting’ so I will get it every Sunday from now on. Another program to look forward to when I have 30 minutes available :-)

Patricia Scott

I am becoming a big fan of the Beechbrove Garden and less and less of Gardeners World which I record and usually fast forward over large sections of the programme. I totally agree with your views on the two shows.


Hi, Patricia. Thank you for commenting. I couldn't agree more. I also tend to record GW and fast forward through much of it.


Hi Helen
If it is relevant I find Countryfile even more irritating than GW.. Blue Peter in adult time...and the same semi-didactic tone overlain with smugness.
Beechgrove is nearly always interesting and informative without being preachy or condescending. All the presenters know their stuff and respect each other. I would say that they are professional and Monty is essentially amateur and a lot like the boring old uncle pottering in his garden.
I also find that if you watch a Beechgrove episode twice you get quite lot out of it the second time too

Anyway there is plenty of room for both.

PS I found your site today and it looks v interesting...


Thank you, Tom. Actually, I rather agree on Countryfile. I heard one person say she couldn't stand watching it because the farmers were all portrayed as saints and doing nothing like the sort of farming that was carried out in her area. There's never been any proper debate or confrontation of the issues at the heart of farming in the couple of programmes I've watched. It's pretty much confined to smallholding, it seems to me. And you're right - semi-didactic - drives me potty. Monty is dangerously similar, now you've come to point it out.


Have almost never watched GW since Alan Titchmarsh left it.
Toby Whatsisname was OK, but I find Monty irritating and smug.
If Carol Klein was in charge, I would watch it again.

Beechgrove is more relevant to the ordinary gardener like me, who doesn't have acres in a mild southern climate. It manages to be simultaneously interesting and educational.


Thank you for commenting, Connie. Carol generally smiles too much for me, and keeps saying how everything's fabulous - although I think she has toned down the excess smiling recently. It's been a thoroughly interesting Beechgrove series again this summer - only two more to go, sadly.

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