Monday, July 20, 2009


With all the hoo-haa over a certain cooking show on the telly last night; I had the bright idea of pitching a much better show to the TV execs. How about MasterGardener! Ta da! Thousands of contestants from all over the country would line up in their droves and present their idea to a panel of judges and hope against hope that they are chosen to be one of the twenty contestants on MasterGardener!
Now who would be the judges? This could be a talking point around the office cooler/garden tap for a few weeks at least. Don Burke, Jamie Durie and Graham Ross all spring to mind; and of course the newest of the new Stephen Ryan! I guess the equivalent of a food critic is a garden writer - what about Cheryl Maddocks or Mary Moody for Sydneysiders and Tony Fawcett or Christine Reid for Melburnians?

What would the contestants actually do?
  • Well they could be presented with some obscure plant to identify in 30 minutes using only a botanical key.
  • They could be shown a photo of a dilapidated backyard and have 2 hours to produce a plan for a makeover including a plant list and 3D sketch of the final outcome.
  • They could also be shown a bare frontyard in a new subdivision and have just 10 minutes to convince a couple of newlyweds (face to face) of their idea for a garden.
  • They could be presented with a barrowload of blunt, rusty and dirt encrusted tools with broken handles and have an hour in which to restore them to full use.
  • They could be given one hour to prune an old apple tree
  • They could be given 30 minutes to service a mower including changing the blades and air filter
  • They could be shown a tray of tubes and see how fast it takes to pot them all up
  • And for a grand finale they could be given a REALLY overgrown backyard that they had 3 hours to weed, prune, mow and mulch in time for a wedding.

See there are lots of ideas when you think about it! So how about it TV execs?


  1. Hi, Melanie -- Your garden is so interesting and your passion for gardening simply shines. How wonderful to find you, and to discover that you've linked to my website! Debra Lee Baldwin ("Designing with Succulents)

  2. I would go for Melanie and Stephen as the judges and maybe for the isn't this pretty but I don't actually know what it is Don

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  4. Might I suggest Peter Costello and Paul Keating ..the garden world needs some hard nosed critics and number crunchers.
    The last thing it needs is more of the same old tired faces giving forth pearls of......