2018 has been a year of Garden Rescue, we made 60 of these shows for BBC1, I seem to have edited 20 of them.
The Telegraph had this to say on the 27th April 2019
Ground rules: Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers return
BBC One, 3.45pm & 7.30pm
Part of the joy of this gardening show, which returns for a fourth series, lies in the huge difference in attitudes between former Ground Force presenter Charlie Dimmock and Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winners, Harry and David Rich. Where the former admits that she is a gardener with some design experience, the latter are design experts. This essentially means that Dimmock’s gardens tend to be as much led by the ideas of the homeowners as by her own, while the Rich Brothers come in with a clear idea and expect everyone to get on board. Both attitudes have their pluses and minuses – as with Grand Designs, the show this most clearly resembles (despite the obvious undertones of Ground Force), some people are more willing to listen than others.
For this series there is a weekly afternoon episode and a Monday evening outing. The opening double bill sees the team in Southampton, where Welshman Morgan has £5,000 and hopes to create a garden that’s as much party space as gardening haven. The evening episode focuses on newly married St Albans couple Bernard and Cecilia who want to use their £4,000 budget to turn their first garden into their dream space
And 3 days later the Daily Mail was very complimentary:
Curtail Question Time, cancel Newsnight or chop 20 minutes off The Andrew Marr Show, and the majority of viewers in the real world, beyond the Westminster Bubble, would hardly notice the difference.
But start messing about with gardening programmes and people would rise up in revolt, brandishing their spades like pitchforks.
BBC bosses know this all too well. They found out the hard way, a few years ago, when they tried to ‘update’ Gardeners’ World to make it ‘trendy’. It was a disaster: everyone likes Monty Don just the way he is, thank you very much.
But not all gardening telly has to be traditional and respectful. Given the popularity of all kinds of home improvement shows and makeover formats, there’s plainly an appetite for programmes packed with ideas for making our backyards better. Alan Titchmarsh has been doing it on ITV for ages with Love Your Garden, and the Beeb’s belated answer is Garden Rescue (BBC1).
When the series launched on daytime TV last year, it was notable for the return of Charlie Dimmock. Once famous for bringing a bit of bounce to the nation’s flowerbeds, she almost disappeared from our screens for more than a decade, following the end of the instant landscaping show, Ground Force. She’s a natural broadcaster, and a talented garden designer, so her reappearance is welcome.
Her co-stars are Chelsea Flower Show veterans Harry and David Rich, brothers with an arty approach to gardening: they are constantly thinking about how the light falls, which might sound pretentious but turns out to be highly practical.
In contrast to Charlie’s ad-libbing and impromptu style, Harry has an earnest tendency to turn and do little pieces to camera, like a Blue Peter presenter. His brother doesn’t say much, though he has impressive Renaissance hair — give him a cape and he could be the keyboard player in a prog rock band.
Between them, they came up with a barrow load of interesting suggestions for transforming your patio and lawn. Instead of putting gravel down, try crushed cockle shells: a bag costs about the same, and apparently it feels like ‘walking on fresh snow, or bubble wrap’.
Charlie recommended planting soft, pale, cool colours such as lilac around areas where you will sit, to make the space feel relaxing. I’m less sure about spending £250 on a full-grown amelanchier ‘June berry’ tree to attract the birds, when you could pick up a sapling in a pot for a fiver at a garden centre.
Nurture it for a few years, and you get the same tree for next to nothing.
But that’s the chief problem with any makeover format — it demands instant results.