What happened to the “G” in HGTV?


UPDATE!!  Paul James finally has his own website for us loyal fans!  You can visit it here:

Gardener Guy.com

I’m very happy about this very recent development.  Although HGTV is still painfullly devoid of REAL garden shows, I will just forego their channel and their sponsors for now and spend my time watching GGTV.  Gardener Guy TV that is, on Paul’s website.  :)

I found out back in 2004 that Paul James from HGTV’s Gardening By the Yard was going to be at the annual flower show at Hofstra University in NY.  Although I found some other nice things at the show, he was the main reason for me to attend.
I had to see the man that had me laughing and learning about gardening for 30 minutes at a time, every week.  When I spotted him outside the building before the seminar, he was his usual enthusiastic self, throwing his arm around me for the picture you see here.  I was thrilled to see that he is the same goofy and friendly man I see on tv every week.  Thrilled enough to be proud of this terrible picture of me.

Gardeners like me have been enjoying Paul’s show for years.  However, as of late I’ve noticed a dwindling of garden related shows on HGTV.  And I mean REAL garden related shows.  Not the ones that demolish a backyard and put it back together with the dreaded “low maintenance” plants, a whole lot of hardscape, and the ever-present water feature.

We are in the process of buying our first home and I have been having daydreams of the things I can do with my own landscape.  I turned to my garden magazines and to the tv also, to see what I had been missing on HGTV while we had been house-hunting all summer.  But where were all those great gardening shows I anticipated?  When I couldn’t find them, I went to their website to get more information.

What I’m missing is a whole heck of a lot.  Out of all 78 of their current shows, do you know how many of those are garden related?  FOUR. Four!  I thought I was wrong, so I counted and recounted.  This is the entire list:

  1. Gardening by the Yard
  2. Ground Breakers
  3. Landscape Smart
  4. Landscapers Challenge

Three of those shows are the previously mentioned yard makeover shows disguising as garden shows but which really only feature plants as functional objects instead of living things to cultivate.

Out of curiosity, I went to the “Shows not airing” section.  And found twenty shows that fit into the gardening criteria that have been cancelled.

One last try to get my HGTV gardening fix had me searching for a DVD of all the Gardening by the Yard shows.  And I found out that they don’t exist.  They forward you instead to the HGTV on Demand page.  Which has zero gardening shows.

Now, I’m not stupid or naive, I know HGTV will air the shows that resonate most with their viewers.  Is there really that little interest in gardening anymore?  Because there tens of thousands of gardeners on websites like GardenWeb. Not to mention the magazines I read like Fine Gardening and Horticulture would be out of business!

Case in point, a 76 reply thread on GardenWeb that spans a whole year, asking the same questions I am. So many of these gardeners contacted HGTV also, to no avail.

So what the heck happened?  Why is there so little “G” in HGTV?  Is it because our society is becoming less patient for hobbies that take time to cultivate?  Is instant gratification killing the art of gardening?

I sent a message to HGTV using their online form.  Surprise, surprise, no reply.  One voice doesn’t make a bit of difference.  But if you’re reading this and you agree with me, do us both a favor and tell them you want your G back. If you do, come on back here and tell me so.  Better yet, copy your comments right here.  I’d love to hear them and know that I’m not alone in this!



posted under Gardening, General
17 Comments to

“What happened to the “G” in HGTV?”

  1. Avatar February 11th, 2008 at 4:10 pm Ashley UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Trish,

    I just wanted to let you know I emailed HGTV to find out where the “G” went, also.

    I had been wondering the same thing for some time after never being able to find any gardening shows on their TV listings.

    Let’s hope we get a response!


  2. Avatar May 21st, 2008 at 4:30 pm Wedding Scout UNITED STATES Says:

    I really miss all of the old gardening shows too, let’s boycott the channel!! I have honestly considered writing a letter though.

  3. Avatar June 16th, 2008 at 8:39 pm Genesis Bible UNITED STATES Says:


  4. Avatar July 1st, 2008 at 10:11 am Homebase Garden Furniture UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    We are currently getting a lot of the old garden shows in the UK

  5. Avatar July 6th, 2008 at 10:11 am Used Cars UNITED STATES Says:

    You’ve reminded me that we all need to slow down and appreciate
    nature. Life being so fast, hardly anybody does anymore.

  6. Avatar July 17th, 2008 at 7:42 pm msantique UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Trish, I agree they are all gone and I\’m livid! I use to love HGTV but now don\’t care if I ever watch it again because the variety is gone. The other day I saw a show on the best back yards in the US or something like that so thought I\’d watch and see some beautiful gardening! Right! There were water slides and places that looked like miniature waterparks – places we will never afford in our lifetime! So when I wrote to them I mentioned this. But would you believe I keep getting an error and my comments won\’t even go through! I\’ll keep trying. Oh and I did find quite by accident when I couldn\’t sleep that on some days at 4 AM there is a gardening show like Gardeners Diary which I love but who is up at that horrible hour to watch a little G?

  7. Avatar August 8th, 2008 at 3:42 pm Wrinkle Cream UNITED STATES Says:

    There’s a pretty big amount of garden shows already, I think they
    are trying to go after a different demographic!

  8. Avatar August 20th, 2008 at 1:13 pm save and go green Says:

    I love HGTV’s Gardening By the Yard. I watch that show every
    Sunday morning. I wish it was on more often. HGTV does only have
    shows that are just like TLC and don’t have anything to do with
    the garden.

  9. Avatar December 7th, 2008 at 7:58 pm barb CANADA Says:

    There used to be a great gardening show on HGTV in Canada with 2 quirky gardeners (male and female) driving around in a Jag and doing over “abandonned” or neglected gardents. What happened to that?

  10. Avatar April 4th, 2009 at 10:41 pm artcgal UNITED STATES Says:

    A lot of the shows the network has now are just copies of other

    Designed to Sell
    Get it Sold

    Design on a Dime
    Decorating Cents

    House Hunters
    My First Place

    HGTV Has lost its originality. They think they’re being all clever
    by showing programs that are similar; thinking we, the viewers won’t
    know the difference – but we do. And they all stink. The very few
    shows they do have that don’t seem to be copies of other shows they
    already broadcast are the good ones (like Divine Design,
    Property Virgins, My Parent’s House) – you notice how all of these
    are Canadian shows? They aren’t obnoxious (or at least a lot less
    obnoxious), and don’t rely on pizzaz to impress viewers.

    And why must every designer tell us that mud puddle brown colored
    walls are the way to go if you want to “sell your house”? I don’t
    mind the color – it’s not bad, I just get sick of seeing designers
    use it in almost every one of those “Design to Sell”-esqe shows.

    I could be wrong, but didn’t they end up canceling “Ground Breakers”
    sometime in 2008? It was being shown on Saturday mornings.

  11. Avatar April 9th, 2009 at 6:22 am Tina Says:

    I realize this is an older post, but you’re right, HGTV sucks big time. No G.
    I found out they’d cancelled Paul and I’m trying to help. Gardeners are upset and we’re going to let the advertisers know it on April 13th, here: http://hgtvprotestcampaign.blogspot.com/
    I’d appreciate it if you’d come join us.

  12. Avatar July 14th, 2009 at 11:01 am Daryl Warner UNITED STATES Says:

    You have got to be kidding me! I wondered why Paul went from being on 3 times a weekend to just once. I’m glad I taped alot of his shows so I can look back on them. Because of Pauls advise my beefsteak tomatos are 8ft. tall this year and still green. I’m the envoy of my street with those babies. More people are starting backyard gardens than ever before by a long shot so why take Paul away from that and us!

  13. Avatar August 30th, 2009 at 6:04 pm Laura Mamer Says:

    I just found your site. Thank you.
    It seems that HGTV is not interested in being diverse. They are
    catering to advertisers who benefit from real estate related
    shows. I have e-mailed Scripps and HGTV many times over the last
    several years. Why can’t they take a hint from HGTV Canada or
    from the UK. They at least know how to provide a balanced
    format (decorating, gardening & property related). Hopefully with
    the internet and satellite, viewers can get the gardening shows
    they crave WITHOUT HGTV! Thanks again for your site. Best of
    luck, Laura

  14. Avatar June 25th, 2010 at 2:41 pm Beverly Hvidding BELGIUM Says:

    so it’s June 2010 and nothing at HGTV has changed. I have sent 4 emails from their website tool and no reply to any of them. In these tough economic times, wouldn’t you think that people growing their own vegetables would be a cost saver and appeal to their audience? And it’s so GREEN, which is truly the most politically correct thing anybody can do. I read on another blog that they did respond to someone with a lame “we can’t get advertisers to support garden shows.” Really – like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ortho, (I could go on forever……..) don’t advertise?? Please, try again HGTV. I personally am boycotting the channel entirely.

  15. Avatar January 1st, 2011 at 10:09 pm Jenniffer White UNITED STATES Says:

    Today I watched the Rose Bowl Parade on HGTV and all the commentators were so boring and flat. I missed my Paul James SO badly. I hardly watch HGTV anymore, but I still tune in for the parade. Paul helped my lawn and garden so much, I wished I could see him on TV again.

  16. Avatar January 30th, 2011 at 12:13 pm Diane Says:

    I just found your site after I did a general search of “what happened to all the garden shows on HGTV”. I hardly watch that channel anymore. Today I did a search on my guide and could not find one garden show listed. I then realized that the last real garden show by Paul James is gone. I remember ten or so years ago when they had great shows like A Gardener’s Diary, Gardener’s Journal etc. They got rid of all the crafting shows too. I will send them an email. I used to watch HGTV all the time, their shows have really gotten terrible.

  17. Avatar March 9th, 2011 at 1:14 pm Ruth UNITED STATES Says:

    Oh, and just for fun, I googled the phrase, “What happened to the G in HGTV” and I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one who thought that.

    I love HGTV. I really do. But I’ve missed Gardening by the Yard and the rest of the garden shows that were on HGTV. It’s all real estate and make-overs! I don’t mind those, and I love design shows, but I am a HUGE gardener and that’s one of the things that anyone can do themselves!

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