Zone Three and English Gardening TV

Redeploy!Carol Klein.  Alan Titchmarsh.  Monty Don.  Joe Swift.  James Wong.

These are some of the English gardening greats, and Youtube is filled with videos of their gardens, gardening escapades.  The last few nights I’ve been watching Carol’s BBC series “Life in a Cottage Garden with Carol Klein” via the magical world of Youtube and have been both inspired and desperate for her climate, and her potting shed.  Alan Titchmarsh marched me through 400 years of English gardens, Joe Swift ignited the possibilities of front yard gardens in the “Great British Garden Revival” series (also BBC).

Which leaves us with two presenters…James Wong who is just…ok he’s just hot.  I have no idea what he’s presented, I haven’t watched anything he’s done (YET)…but he’s hot.

And Monty Don.

Don’s series’ have been picked out of my Youtube searches and are not only inspiring, but dangerous for a zone 3 gardener.  I’ve recently ordered one of his books from Amazon to see what kind of trouble I can get up in my own garden.  Look for “Around the World in 80 Gardens”, “Great British Garden Revival”, and his series on French Gardens (which is just a pleasure to watch and as close to delicious for your eyes as one can get).

I’d give my eye teeth for a day with this guy in his garden.

Granted, I’d do the same for a day with James Wong in his yard, but for slightly different reasons….

If I had to write a letter collectively to these people it would be to say that watching you garden in the English climate gives me, someone up to his ankles in snow, hope.  I grant you we are about to experience a very unusual warming trend.  Next week it’s supposed to break zero celsius which means the snow that is here will probably melt.  False spring.

So this morning I’m watching Carol in January as her snowdrops are popping out of the ground and she’s potting up and trimming up and it suddenly occurs to me that what she’s doing in a three or four month period I–that is we who garden in zone 3a–is something I maybe have to start indoors in April under grow lights, and can’t really muck around in until maybe the first week of May, depending if the snow is still on the ground and the dirt has thawed out.  Which isn’t to say I’m not pleased as punch to have the opportunity.  We as gardeners are drawn to the cycles of the places we live, and in a way those cycles are part of that spiritual connection that gardening has.  It draws you closer to the place, to the ground, to the wonderful thing that happens when a seed germinates, or a christmas cactus begins to point out little pink blossoms at the tips of its leaves, or an amaryllis begins to show signs that a flower spike, maybe two, are popping out with new leaves which gives you hope that as the days get longer,  pussy willows will be shortly following, then the little clumps of blossoms on the hills from the wild crocuses.  Our climate gives us certain challenges that, as gardeners in this part of the world, allow us to enjoy a unique beauty.

They’re great gardeners, and their experiences and programs help get through the long winter months.  It’s crack of the soul.  Healthy crack.  But nothing beats walking out into the hills on that first warm day that jackets get put over your arm, the smell of the ground beginning to return to life, and those little purple blossoms.  That’s the real thing.


I can’t wait to spend my days away from the computer. James…call me. ;o)

Zone Three and English Gardening TV

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