In Shallowness!

It’s the Chelsea Flower Show time of year again. As we are not attending we will watch the many (at least three) daily television programmes covering the event and I realise already, on day one, that I am in for another week of frustration and of directing foul language at the innocent television set – simply the messenger!

I know that again this year I will be confounded by the fact that the programme producers will present less in a week of programmes that one could see in a day at the event. It will also bugger me to screaming level that visits and reports on even the major gardens presume that the viewers have the attention span of a greenfly. Each segment will rarely stretch beyond a minute but is destined to be repeated as nauseam throughout the week for there seems to be a presumption that gardeners are unable to concentrate any longer than the snapshot/soundbite that is the style of presentation for such events.

Paeonia 'Copper Kettle'
Just a random shot of a flower – on the assumption that you couldn’t possibly read the 250 words here without a rest! This is the same attitude displayed by the BBC programme producers. 

Wait, as I write, the Cambridges – British Royals – have been featured for what seems like a full two minutes. Obviously, they are the kind of eye-candy the programme producers consider most suitable for us – not the gardens, not the plant, not the garden designers!

The coverage has moved to BBC2 and, the main man, Monty Don has appeared and someone has found a necktie for him and buttons for his Chinese labourer’s jacket.

Things are looking up! At least, it is someone who has been at the show on previous years – a presenter began her report today by telling us it was her first time at the show!

There, I am the eternal optimist!  Always setting myself up for disappointment – well, it is the BBC! Pfffffffffffffffffff!

9 thoughts on “In Shallowness!

  1. Britbox is streaming live for those of us in the US. Sadly, we see 1 hour with just a few details on anything. I liked the burned oak but too much on that & nada on the flowers or shrubs. I wanted to see flowers & gardens up close with someone describing them in deep detail. Also, no streaming to tv via Android. Why is that I wonder? Sigh!!!

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    1. I find the coverage infuriating. It is a brilliant show but the coverage is dreadful. Today, Tuesday, is awards day so we had a demonstration of how to make a hanging basket and a question time for two personality gardeners! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Twits!

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  2. I agree with the criticism … there is much that does not interest me. Maybe we should be grateful that they do not cover the tasteless merchandise that has to be suffered at Chelsea. The coverage tries to appeal to a broad audience and patently pleases no one. They never do justice to the Floral Pavilion but some of the best views of the gardens are from ones armchair!! No coverage can replace the atmosphere at Chelsea on a sunny day. We had a power cut this afternoon so I am awaiting BBC2 coverage in a little while. I love medals day and from what I know they went to the right Gardens but from a garden designers viewpoint it must be hard to accept the same few winning year after year.

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  3. There is too much focus on the big show gardens, which are rarely the stars of the show for me. I started counting how many times I saw that metal silo. The allure of Chelsea is part of the problem – it’s such a busy show and it must be tricky to get enough film to make the daily programme viewers want to see. I am always surprised how long it takes to film even a brief segment – to move that massive equipment about, get everybody ready, clear bystanders, get a couple of angles on the presenter, shots of plants, reposition for overall views etc. I also get the feeling that the BBC worry about being seen to promote one supplier over another, but don’t see the garden designers as suppliers, for some reason. A nimble, roaming crew with a plant enthusiast could film enough plants for a daily top twelve plants section if left to their own devices – it could be a top twenty for me!

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