Celebrity gardeners criticized

Popular television gardening programmes and green-fingered media pundits came under fire yesterday from a leading authority on horticulture. Stefan Buczacld, horticulturist, broadcaster and writer, has attacked populist shows which rely a basic knowledge of die subject and are presented by celebrities rather than experts.

Writing in the Royal Horticultural Society’s joumal, The Garden, he stated: “On gardening pages, in gardening magazines and on television gardening programmes, I am frequendy confronted by folk who are hill of enthusiasm and good teeth, but remarkably deficient in experience and horticulture.”

He also said that the work of experienced gardening journalists was undermined by those “for whom an ability to use e-mail and glance at a shelf of reference books seems to be all that is needed.” He did, however, give some credit to the successful BBC show Ground Force, writing: “At least Ground Force is presented by professionally qualified horticulturists.”

Mr Buczacld was on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time but defected to Classic FM in 1994 because it was becoming “too showbizzy”. Another new gardening show from Granada TV, Better Gardens, is due to hit die screens later this year or early next year. Its presenter, former pop star Kim Wilde, is said to be a “natural-born gardener”.