• Eleanor Owens

Why TV shows like 'Garden Rescue' are detrimental to the horticultural industry

Horticulture on TV is always presented as 'gardening'; aimed at an audience that garden as a hobby, rather than professionals who work in the horticulture industry.

These shows provide unrealistic expectations to the general public; the client base that horticultural professionals provide a service for. Whilst watching, I saw many incorrect procedures, poor design choices, worrying construction techniques and a disregard of health & safety throughout the build.

I also noticed the total cost of the garden was a fraction of what it would normally total for a garden design. They don't appear to include an expectation of budget, the design costs, labour costs (of presenters) nor a breakdown of any costings regarding plants, hard landscaping or furniture .

When I create a design plan for a customer they are often unaware that the plants will often come out being more expensive that the hard landscaping.

Aspiring professionals may also watch these shows and try to replicate design ideas that are poorly constructed using bad techniques; unknowingly copying methods that are dangerous and incorrect.

With all this, it's no surprise that horticultural professionals are highly underpaid and their knowledge is undervalued when it is represented in this way on television.

'Garden rescue' and others need to set a precedent for gardening and make their audience aware that it isn't reality to have these "garden makeovers". Expectations need to be clear so that professional horticulturists can provide the desired service realistically.


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