Behind the scenes at the gardening radio programme

Posted By: Alexandra Campbell On: June 28th, 2015 In: Garden style & living

It’s 6.30am on Sunday morning. Andy Garland of BBC Radio Kent is at the front door, with producer Caroline Wordsworth and an outside broadcast van to broadcast the popular Sunday Gardening programme from Faversham Open Gardens & Market Day. The programme starts at 8am, but he has to get the OB van lined up and talking to the satellite, and the cables into the house.

BBC outside broadcast van for BBC Radio GardeningKent

The van is now talking to the satellite – phew…

Middlesized Garden on Radio Kent

The Middlesized Garden waiting to star in Radio Kent’s Sunday Gardening – still only 7.50am…

BBC Radio Knet Sunday Gardening outside broadcast

Andy and Caroline setting up the ‘studio’ on the terrace

The all-important clock, placed where everyone can see it - timing is everything

The all-important clock, placed where everyone can see it – timing is everything. Caroline is posting pictures from the programme on Facebook and Twitter.

Spend your time, money and effort on the planting you can see from the house...

Andy interviews me on my middle-sized gardening philosophy, which is to concentrate my time, effort and money on the beds that can be seen from the windows, while the beds at the back of the garden sort of look after themselves with lots of self-seeding.

Co-presenter Steve Bradley

Co-presenter Steve Bradley answers a listener’s question about patches on a pear leaf.

BBC Radio Kent outisde gardening broadcast

After a mad dash across town to get the OB van set up in Chambers Wharf Lane, Andy, Steve and Caroline set up another studio in Aileen Smith’s garden.

Faversham Open Gardens & Market Day on BBC Radio Kent

As well as broadcasting details of other garden events around Kent over the next week, Andy and Steve interview Aileen and her neighbour Jill de Warenne on making a garden behind a new-build house when you’re left with nothing but thinly disguised builders’ rubble

Small town garden

Aileen and her neighbour Jill show that a small garden can look delightful. ‘Focus on where you’re going to sit and what you’re going to look at’, says Jill.

Aileen Smith garden

Aileen’s garden has lots of lovely touches like these squirrels hanging from a tree,

BBC radio Kent broadcasting

Another dash across town at 10am to broadcast from Posy Gentles’ garden – the clock set up in its third place of the morning. Meanwhile Matt Jackson is reporting from the last set-up day of the RHS Hampton Court show.

Behind the scenes at the gardening radio programme

Because Posy’s house is a terrac e, the buildings block the OB van’s sight-line with the satellite. So Posy’s partner, Rutledge, had to run a cable from Posy’s internet connection in her study through her daughter, Minna’s bedroom and drop it out into the garden over the roof.

Posy Gentles garden

Andy and Steve interview Posy on her philosophy for long, thin town gardens. She likes having some bigger plants and breaking up the view by planting across the garden

Frieda Ford

Posy’s daughter Frieda wears a floral hat for the occasion…

Posy Gentles roses and clematis

And Posy’s roses and clematis have come out at exactly the right time

Abbey Physic garden scarecrow

To cover the time when we’re moving from garden to garden, Matt Jackson and Andy pre-recorded several interviews with Faversham Open Garden owners earlier in the week. This was from the Abbey Physic Garden, a beautiful community garden for those needing physical or mental healing.

Abbey Physic garden

Planting in the Abbey Physic garden – an old boot and a china tortoise make plant pots.

Andy Garland

Andy pre-recording the sounds of footsteps on gravel – by holding the microphone close to the ground as he crunches along the path – in Frances Beaumont’s wildlife garden

Behind the scenes - pre-recording a radio interview

Matt Jackson and Hazel from Abels Acre community garden rockery climb up the steep slope for a pre-recorded interview on how the Abels Acre volunteers managed to get a year-round blaze of colour in such poor soil.

A new garden needs frequent watering in the first few months.

The final pre-recorded interview of the day was Sarah Langton-Lockton’s very new garden – three months ago, it was just a mud puddle. Now it’s so pretty, although she has to keep watering it in the heat.

Andy Garland and Steve Bradbury

It’s 11am and goodbye from Andy and Steve…and the Open Gardens is in full swing…

You can listen to the programme here: Thank you, everyone who made the Faversham Open Gardens & Market Day a great success. And do please share this using the buttons below – thank you!

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Just to prove you're a real person, please complete this simple sum *