Love Your Garden Review: Fridays I’m In Love (With Gardening)

LOVE YOUR GARDEN: Friday 23rd September, ITV1, 8pm

No longer subjected to screeching popstars becoming ‘operastars’, Alan Titchmarsh is back where he belongs setting housewives’ hearts racing in ITV’s Love Your Garden. Encouraging viewers to “wake up and taste the rosesâ€?, the show offers tips on cooking as well as landscaping that gives the host a chance to get his pitchfork dirty.

Unlike green-fingered shows that take you into the countryside, bombard you with latin names for flowers you’ve never even heard of, or offer unrealistic tips for the average terraced garden, this programme offers real tips that cost little, look easy and might even tempt you to tame the lawn you haven’t cut for months.

Lovely Alan takes us inside the home of a garden obsessed man with a haircut straight from A Clockwork Orange, or a faded VHS from you Dad’s secret stash. Though, despite his 1970s facade, the keen gardener impresses Alan with his contemporary rose garden, leading to Titchmarsh getting a little thorny with the housewives as he meanders through the numerous types of rose.

For the less green-fingered, Love Your Garden can make eyelids heavy with it’s soft elevator music. Countless shots of varied flowers mean you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching someone’s screen saver, or The Scenery Channel from Back to the Future II. Even the confusing narrator, who refers to everyone else’s activities in first person, could sooth you to sleep with a voice straight from CBBC that gives the programme a childish feel.

However, just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in. Unlike most gardening shows, this one offers something a little different in that it’s not solely about digging and planting. Additional presenters Matt Young and Laetitia Maklouf give the show respite and take us into the kitchen, albeit to cook with flowers. Rose petals are turned into posh crisps, decadent ice and even a spicy sauce, though housewife collars are cooled with tips on how bottle the scent of a flower.

Placed in the traditional gardening slot of Friday evening (while everyone else is heading out for a night of debauched drinking?) Titchmarsh’s latest offering should be a hit with keen gardeners up and down the land. For others Titchmarsh strips the thorns from this rose, leaving something pleasing on the eye, but with little excitement.