How a British Gardening Show Got People Through a Pandemic

From the New York Times, March 12, 2021 By Steven Kurutz, Contributed by Kristy Lund

Irises, hyacinths and muscari in pots.Credit…Francesca Jones for The New York Times

The television show “Gardeners’ World” is an institution in Britain, where it has aired for coming up on 54 seasons, having premiered way back in 1968. It broadcasts on Friday nights, welcomed by viewers as a gentle usher into the weekend.

Monty Don, a British garden writer and author of some 21 books on the subject, has been the host since 2003. If Mr. Don’s sturdy appearance and deep, reassuring voice don’t comfort audiences, there’s the constant presence of his dogs napping at his feet.

Last year, over the course of the 33-episode season, which follows the growing season from March through late October, something remarkable happened: “Gardeners’ World” went from being comfort TV to indispensable viewing.

With restaurants, bars and theaters shut down and socializing at home (or anywhere else) risky, gardening was one of the few leisure activities the pandemic didn’t take away. Both the U.K. and the United States experienced a gardening boom last year, with sales of seeds way up and nurseries overrun on weekends. Judging by the 30 percent sales increase of Scotts Miracle-Gro, this spring promises another bumper crop.

The entire article can be found here.

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