Friday, December 17, 2010

Gardening 101: The Series Begins

When I moved from my subtropical paradise garden in Sydney, Australia to Kansas in 1978 at age 13, I was devestated. We had moved with my father's job and the only saving grace was it was a two year assignment. That was 30 years ago. Long story.

Then that's when my garden saviour Jim Crockett came into my life. Jim had started Crockett's Victory Garden, a new gardening show, on PBS which became today's Victory Garden after his passing. The show and accompanying books were so successful because it very simply taught people how to garden. Today's show has lost its soul because each week it serves up magnificant gardens barely ever discussing the basic tools to create something beautiful in your backyard.

Yeh, yeh, yeh I know its defenders would say the producers use the over the top stuff to inspire and teach a lesson each week. But I'm sorry, on the water gardening show, they used examples including the Dupont's Longwood Gardens fountains. This travelog stuff takes up too much airtime. I didn't make up the travelog stuff. I found an interview with Michael Weishan, the preceeding host, where his spin on his departure was they wanted the show to go in different directions. He said the show was starting to look like any other garden-oriented cable show. This struggle is even documented in Wikipedia.

Then there's revelance. If I see one more rerun showing how to grow five varieties of moss in my backyard, I'll scream. And I know I'm an aussie, but if you take me out to another California story, I'll scream louder. Somewhere I read in the blogosphere, he's based in CA to be able to run his worldwide design business and host the show. Surely they could have found a new host who's dedicated solely to the show. See what I mean about losing its soul.

Fast forward to tonight. My blogging coach, a good unpaid friend, told me I should watch Julie & Julia for blog inspiration. Don't tell anyone I was netflixing with my headphones on. But the lead character in a true story commits herself to cooking every recipe of Child's megabible cookbook in one year. Since Crockett and Childs were contempories on PBS at the same time, I think its only appropriate for me to follow up with the Crockett book and others, guest bloggers and my own experience to show you how to garden in the midwest for a complete year.

If you believe you are beyond the basics, just ignore the Gardening 101 postings and hopefully you'll be inspired by the other more relevant to you subjects. Just like Julie , I'll have no idea how many will be reading but the 101 pieces will always be ready if somebody finds the blog and wants to know how to grow a beautiful garden in the midwest.

I'll start the postings in Faebruary. Subscribe today and I can assure you this is going to a fun ride


Debbie said...

Patrick, I totally agree with you about the Victory Garden losing it's soul. And somehow it bothers me that it is an Aussie big wheel who hosts it! Why not an American gardener?
I rarely watch it any more!
Looking forward to your posts in 2011!

garden wheeling said...

Debbie -
I agree with your scentiments regarding Durie as well and I'm even an expat of Australia. Can you imagine what they are paying him? I'll stick with P. Allen Smith. I just wish just once he wear somrething different.

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