TV gardening has “gone full circle” with makeovers giving way to practical gardening and allotment tips, according to celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin.


Diarmuid, who found fame with BBC design show Home Front after the Millennium, told Amateur Gardening there was a huge appetite for practical advice.

“At one point, TV was all design and makeovers; now it’s The Big Allotment Challenge and  Gardeners’ World,” he said.

“It’s gone full circle. Where once there was an obsession for garden design, now we’re going back to basics. We’ve seen the popularity of allotments rise. It’s a healthy re-balancing.”

Diarmuid spoke after DIY chain Wickes revealed the results of a study which claimed that over half (52 per cent) of UK residents do not consider themselves knowledgeable enough to tackle garden projects.

Researchers found that three in five Brits (58 per cent) had a passion for gardening – but the majority (59 per cent) said they would enjoy it more if they “had an understanding of how to do it right”.

Diarmuid went on: “Wherever you go, people ask gardening questions such as how do I tackle the lawn. Gardening worries people.

“In the past, most of us took advice from our parents and grandparents. Forty years ago, we didn’t have big supermarkets so it was normal for people to grow their own veg.

“Back then, people trained in horticulture at their local parks department, or took apprenticeships like Alan Titchmarsh did. Now, gardens are getting smaller, but small plots do not put people off entertaining outdoors. They want small outdoor kitchens that can supply fruit and veg.”

Despite the trend for practical gardening, Diarmuid’s design business is booming. He’s recently designed gardens in Monaco and Prague, as well as a seafront park in Brighton.

Diarmuid will not stage gardens at Chelsea or Hampton Court Flower Shows this year – but hinted he may be back in future.

He said: “I won’t rule it out. Chelsea becomes a bit obsessive. You have to dedicate at least six months of your life. But Chelsea is at the very heart of me.”