UK-based Tern Television has been producing gardening programming for the past 17 years, starting with gardening magazine, Beechgrove Garden, which has been running for 32 years on BBC1, and then adding on sister series Greenmount Garden.
Last year, Tern produced a series for the BBC’s Gaelic channel BBC Alba, Anns a’ Ghàrradh (In The Garden). Now, Gwyneth Hardy (pictured), cofounder and joint managing director of Tern, is busy with her team making more 30-minute episodes of its popular Get Up and Grow for transmission in Spring 2011 on BBC1 Northern Ireland.
Hosted by landscape architect Chris Beardshaw and property developer and landscape gardener Colin Donaldson, the duo sets out to transform six properties around Northern Ireland.
‘What’s different about Get Up and Grow is that all the other [gardening programs] hope to hit the heartland of the gardening audience – people who are gardeners and predominantly over 50 and a 60-40 female split. Get Up and Grow tries to appeal to a new set of gardeners,’ says Hardy.
These new gardeners have been hard hit by the economy and want to improve their homes, making their gardens part of the house. ‘We’re looking at a much younger audience who wants a bit of curb appeal. They want to increase their assets in terms of salability as well as having [the house] as a nicer place to be,’ she says.
The biggest growth industry in the horticulture area comes from people who need the kick start to get into gardening, or the ‘grow your own, stay at home generation.’ They know they need to get into gardening, but don’t know how.
To appeal to these rookie gardeners and broaden the program’s audience, Tern is aiming to make the series as entertaining as possible.
‘I think that gardening’s always been the new rock and roll,’ sums up Hardy. ‘Simply because of [the] economic situation, people can’t afford to go on holiday so let’s make our own places nice enough to sit outside and enjoy.’