UPDATE!! Paul James finally has his own website for us loyal fans! You can visit it here:
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:
- Gardening by the Yard
- Ground Breakers
- Landscape Smart
- 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!