Beechgrove Garden

BBC Two (26 x 30 mins, annually)

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www.beechgrove.co.uk

Garden Media Guild Special Commemorative Award 2008 to mark the 30th anniversary

BAFTA Scotland nominee for Audience Award 2008 for Most Popular Scottish Presenter for Jim McColl.

RTS award winner for Best Nations and Regions Presenter 2007 for Jim McColl


The Beechgrove Garden has been on air since 1978 and remains a firm favourite with audiences in Scotland. It consistently outperforms what is being screened by BBC Network in the same slot.

At the heart of the series is a 2.5 acre home garden, situated on a cold, inhospitable slope west of Aberdeen, deliberately chosen to reflect Scotland's harsher climate. Horticultural advice in gardening magazines and on UK network gardening programmes is rarely suitable for most of the UK outside the South East of England. Beechgrove shares with its viewers the weekly challenge to work with the Scottish conditions to produce maximum yield of as many varieties as possible of fruit, flowers and vegetables.

Each week the programme gathers inspiration by visiting gardens around the country, and the team tackles individual gardener viewers problems. Sustaining an audience over so many years requires skills quite different from those required on other productions. The programme has to be subtly refreshed for new and existing audiences while retaining elements which are treasured and are key parts of BBC Scotland's brand.

Having invented garden makeover, Beechgrove moved on when Ground Force brought the concept to network screens, and in recent years has pioneered community gardening. Over 130 common spaces, and with them the communities which created them, have been transformed with assistance of Beechgrove in the last decade.

The Beechgrove Garden has been deeply involved in supporting the development of Gardening Scotland, an annual gardening show, known as "The Chelsea of the North" attracting huge visitor numbers from Scotland and the North of England. Its presenters, Jim McColl, Carole Baxter, George Anderson and Chris Beardshaw speak with the authority of their individual expertise and are household names in Scotland.

"I may be a gardening nerd but I actually like watching a competent gardener digging, sowing, planting, taking cuttings and doing all of those things that people who enjoy gardening do on a daily basis. We seldom see these things done on TV garden series nowadays - viewers in Scotland are much luckier with The Beechgrove Garden."

Tim Rumball, Amateur Gardening