With the worst of this year’s harsh winter season (hopefully) behind us, there’s finally light at the end of the dark, snowy tunnel. As the weather slowly begins to improve, we move closer to the golden months of soaking up the sun and enjoying the outdoors once more. But until then, VisionTV has the perfect escape with two British gardening series airing Monday nights to give you that much-needed taste of spring.
Hosted by award-winning celebrity gardener Carol Klein, Life in a Cottage Garden follows one year in Carol’s garden and the unique challenges that each season brings. Starting with winter, Carol begins the gritty prep work to clear the dying plants and make way for regrowth. Spanning several months, each episode shows the gradual change in the plants’ life cycle through spring, summer, autumn, and into winter once more. As a recipient of the Victoria Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society, Carol shares her extensive knowledge of gardening techniques while thoroughly enjoying the beauty that surrounds her.
Similar to the VisionTV premiere series Ageless Gardens, Life in a Cottage Garden highlights the health and wellness benefits of gardening and invites the audience take notice of the simple pleasures of being in nature. Carol has a contagious enthusiasm for every aspect of gardening, happily working late at night in her potting shed once the sun has gone down. “The idea of a finished garden is the opposite of what is meant to be,” says Klein. “Gardening isn’t like papering a room and sticking the furniture in and it’s done. But even though it’s never finished, it’s so restful. Focusing on each plant is great therapy. It’s like yoga – you just find yourself breathing out and feeling well.”
Following Life in a Cottage Garden Mondays at 8pm ET, The Edible Garden follows Alys Fowler’s journey to turn her urban backyard garden into a fully sustainable source for vegetables, legumes, and edible flowers. With a much smaller plot of land, Alys maps out every inch of space for beans, leafy greens, juicy fruits, flowers, herbs, and two lovely chickens. The garden’s aesthetic beauty is just as important to Alys as its efficiency, so she’ll take the time to weave natural-looking plant supports from tree branches or build a small greenhouse with old stained glass windows. As a student of the Royal Horticultural Society and the Royal Botanical Gardens in the UK, Alys uses her knowledge and experience to teach others how to grow the very best vegetables under the restrictive conditions of city living.
Like Carol, it’s obvious that Alys finds tremendous joy working in her garden and being in touch with nature. She samples her yield while picking from various plants and gushes about how much more delicious vegetables can be when they’re homegrown. “When you show that there can be lots of different gardens, then you really open up the space,” says Alys about the impact of her series. “Everybody came out of the woodwork saying, ‘Oh yeah, I never really called myself a gardener, because my space doesn’t look like what they show on ‘Gardening Today’ or whatever they’d seen. I’m very interested in celebrating the humble and ordinary. For me, that’s the real joy of it.”
– Tessa Giftopoulos