Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Predictability brings forth Lovely Gifts!

Every year I find it increasingly difficult to tell others what gifts I would like for Christmas. I guess by being an adult with an income, if there's something that I want I just end up buying them for myself at any point, so I end up running out of ideas for myself come the festive season.

It's well known amongst our friends and colleagues that gardening is our main hobby. And here's where the predictability steps in, whenever I ran out of ideas I just say to them to give me something that's gardening related, easy peasy!

Nursery vouchers are always welcome, as well as garden tools and books. But when it comes to actual plants and accessories it's not so easy as this is quite an individual affair. After all we're focused on a particular style and genre of gardening which limits our choices.

Last year I found myself gravitating towards gardening DVD's, especially about ones featuring exotic plants and gardens. There used to be a gardening channel called UKTV Gardens and we always used to have it on especially if there's nothing else interesting to watch on TV. Having it on nearly constantly you eventually go through all of their programme line ups and watching most shows over and over again. But it's not just about actually watching them, most of time it's just nice to have them as a 'background noise' while you do something else, and it's nice to see some greenery on the screen when I sneak a peak in between activities. Watching a programme the second (or more) time around often brings to your attention details that you easily have missed before.

Plus it's very handy during the winter period, helping you remain inspired during the cold and dark months, in a period where you spend more time indoors than normal. Come summer I rarely get the chance to watch any TV at all!  Unfortunately, due to decreasing sponsorship and perhaps bought on by recession, the channel was axed, leaving a void for a horticultural channel on British TV.

So with not having that many gardening programmes to watch on TV anymore, I found myself looking at gardening DVD's that are available to buy in the UK, which eventually led me to start having a collection of them. And a perfect solution too for that 'What can I buy you for Christmas?' question. So I listed them on an online wishlist post and Santa delivered them.

Predictability brings forth lovely gifts indeed, and with everything I've said, it's just a long introduction to my Gardening DVD collection! Maybe some of them will interest you and find yourself buying (or asking for) a copy too :)

Around the World in 80 Gardens
One of my favourites in my collection, follow Monty Don as he explores 80 beautiful gardens from all over the world. My favourite regions are South America, China and Japan, and South East Asia.

Brilliant Gardens
Featuring the UK's best botanical gardens including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kew, RHS Wisley, and so much more.

Treasure Gardens
Exploring some of the best gardens of stately homes in the UK, including the likes of Chatsworth House, Blenheim Palace, Leeds Castle, and so much more.

Secret Gardens
Featuring several beautiful gardens in the UK that are not so well known and off the beaten track. Including the likes of Kensington Roof Garden, Shennington, Brantwood, and so much more.

A Year At Kew
I watched all three series as it was shown on the BBC a few years back, so it's nice to have a copy of all episodes and revisit them again. A must for admirers of Kew Gardens, it gives a good insight about this magnificent botanical garden.

Ok, not exactly a garden as such but a very exotic group of islands. Tilda Swinton is a perfect narrator for this series.

Secret Gardens/More Secret Gardens
Presented by Alan Titchmarsh, it features sixteen beautiful and rather secluded gardens.

The Geoff Hamilton BBC Collection
I regard the late Geoff Hamilton as still one of the best gardener/gardening presenter to have ever graced British TV. And there's something warming watching him present a show.

Gardens of the National Trust
A series featuring numerous gardens belonging to the National Trust. Presented by Alan Titchmarsh, some of the gardens featured are simply spectacular.

The Private Life of Plants
By David Attenborough. A fantastic series that I love watching over and over again. The series was made in the 90's but it doesn't look dated at all, rather timeless and thoroughly fascinating.

Wild China
As a fan of exotic plants, the feature on the Yunnan province where several new exotic plants have come from is fascinating to watch. Hopefully we'll get to explore that region ourselves soon!

Gardens of the World Boxset
Not as extensive as Monty Don's offering but features famous gardens from Cornwall, South Africa, and Ireland.

The Eden Project - The Gardeners of Eden
A two part series profiling 60 strong team of gardeners responsible for maintaining the Tropical and Temperate Biomes of the Eden Project

I'll put this list on it's own section on the blog in the next few weeks. I'm sure we'll be getting more gardening DVD's in the future so I'll just update the list as they come along.


  1. Can I suggest another one for you list(if you can get hold of it) - "Burke's Backyard: The World's Greatest Gardens". It's by Don Burke who used to have a gardening show here and now publishes a garden magazine and a few books. You would love it.

  2. I am still addicted to garden books. I love dipping into them. I love all of David Attenborough's nature you say, timeless.

  3. Thanks for these recommendations, there are a few I didn't know about and I'll get onto Amazon straight away!

  4. I am positively green with envy. So many of these titles are not available in the U.S.!

  5. Wow! Its a great selection, I hope I can get one, especially A year at Kew. The most I want from this list. Thanks so much for sharing this info.

  6. What a great list of DVDs! Thank you for posting it. I've got to see which of these are available in the U.S. Otherwise I will order some from Amazon U.K.

  7. I wonder why, you have the most number of visits in Blotanical statistics, but there's no one here yet in the comment section. Looks like they are not leaving their footprints! I love to have some of those books, esp the numer 1.

  8. Great list, I've looked on the net for some good garden videos to watch with little success.I'll check these out, thanks a ton. The private life of plants is by far my favorite!

  9. A wonderful list of of DVD's. I too miss UKTV Gardens as there was always something you could use in your own garden. Or a bit of advice that was useful.

    I have also added your blog to my tumblr account so that more people can gain inspiration from you.

  10. I know what you mean about gardening fills me with dread when someone buys me something plant related. I have perfected my 'thank you for that beautiful lavender, it will go right next to the bananas' face

  11. Funny I have never thought of gardening dvds but having looked through your list there are some on there which might just find their way to my birthday list. I spend the winter normally catching up on gardening mag reading!

  12. Missy, I'll definitely check that out as I do love those sort of programmes, in fact I like the way it sounds already! I just hope there won't be issues with DVD regions.

    I really must get a multi-region DVD player...

    Hazel, my sentiments the same, hats off to David Attenborough! I have copies of most of his shows too, just focused my list on plant subjects.

    Martin, I'm sure you'd love them! You ought to put in a portable TV/DVD combo in your lovely and cosy 'shed' so can watch it there too :)

    Dangergarden and Gerhard, vice versa, I need to explore what's available in the US too. A few of the DVD's I listed are multi-region which helps. There are several gardening programmes produced there that I would to love get hold of too 9if available that is), like Matt James 'Urban Outsiders', etc

    Gerhard, you'd have to do some shopping here when you go for your holiday :)

    Orchid de Dangau, you'd love A Year at Kew, there are 32 episodes on that compilation!

    Andrea, I don't always get the chance to publish comments quickly, usually in the mornings and evenings here only. Pleased about Blotanical, there must be something about having a green blog background :)

  13. You're welcome Nat! You won't be dissapointed with Private Life of Plants.

    Thank you for the add Growing Vegetables! UKTV Gardens is sorely missed indeed. I know there is a new gardening channel in the offing via Sky called Horticultural Channel. We'll just have to wait and see what it will be like.

    Clive, it's tricky indeed as it's such an individual thing. You must give a pre warning to your friends not to give you a plant unless it's something you particularly asked for :)

    Helen, I hope you get them for your birthday indeed!

  14. What a brilliant list, like Patient Gardener, I'd never considered gardening DVDs - but it makes complete sense, particularly in the winter. Thanks so much. I can see an expensive visit to Amazon on the horizon!

  15. Wow! I had no idea there were so many options for gardening TV. I wonder how many of them I can find on Netflix.

  16. enjoyed your post...have to confess that the ideal present for me is red, comes in bottles and is made in France...hope to visit you again soon..mike

  17. Guys, I don't think "Urban Outsiders" is available on DVD :-(.

    I ended up buying "Around the World in 80 Gardens" from Amazon UK. We have a multi-region DVD player because we often watch non-US DVDs. Our current favorite is Kevin McCloud's "Grand Designs". Awesome show! Our Australian friends have us Series 5 and I ended up buying the remaining six seasons for myself for Christmas from Amazon UK.

  18. Charlotte and Eliza, you can always add them to your Birthday wishlist too!

    Mike, do visit again!

    Gerhard, I had a search and looks like Urban Outsiders doesn't exist in DVD yet, probably it never will :( Grand Designs is fantastic! I watch it regularly, even the theme tune plays in my head at times :)

  19. You own all of these! Wow! I am not a TV watcher, just a few shows here and there, but I could become stuck in front of the tube for hours with programs like these. I will have to put some of them on a wish list of my own.

  20. Hi Debs, most of these were Christmas presents so collecting them wasn't much of an effort. I'm just glad they are readily available here :)

    Books are still the best resource for plant information and gardening inspiration but DVD's are very easy and entertaining :)


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