To my considerable surprise, one of the most enjoyable Spotify playlists I have listened to in the past few months is a selection of music from the soundtrack of Swedish gardening programme, Trädgårds tider (Gardening Times). Unexpected pearls of jazz , Americana, classical and ambient, compiled in a way that Gillett or Peel would have been envious of!
I’ll confess that my impression of gardening TV shows is violently out of date. It is either Percy Thrower puffing away on his pipe and giving charmingly low-key advice on how to win the top gardening prizes in the village fete. Or Bob Fleming spluttering energetically in his garden shed on the Fast Show.
Instead of that, this Swedish TV show provides a wonderful dollop of comfort TV. Exquisitely photographed, it has four very charming, rather good-looking presenters, (two man and two women), who get up to all kinds of inspiring horticultural and culinary activities in the heart of the magnificent Skåne countryside.
It is a great art to be the presenter on such a show. You should be knowledgeable but not an irritating know-it-all. They get it just right. ( If I say, not like Ernst, the Swedish contingent will know what I mean.)
A playlist like this, makes me wonder: is gardening the new rock and roll?
I know little of modern British gardening shows. I do know that my late father, a keen gardener, could not abide Charlie Dimmock. Braless in the allotment patch! What would Capability Brown have to say about that??
Gather round, ye hoary-handed tillers of the soil! Come hither, green-fingered brothers and sisters!
I want to hear about your favourite pieces of music inspired by the glories of gardens. And indeed those tunes that will inspire more vigorous exertions in the potting shed and nimbler spadework in the vegetable patch.
Come into the garden, Maude! Come in the garden, Claude!
Songs with a floral or vegetable theme are also most welcome: roses, lilies, triffids, giant hogweed etc.
I’ll kick things off with Virginia Astley’s magnificent instrumental album: From gardens where we feel secure. Give it a listen on Yer Tube.
I don’t think she is any relation to Rick, but I am ever gonna give her up!