YouTube gardening – discover a new world of garden gurus…
YouTube gardening videos are a very useful resource. If you want to know how to prune roses, make a raised bed or plant potatoes, seeing it on video is fast, easy and free.
‘Let’s YouTube It’ is almost as popular as ‘Let’s Google It’ amongst my daughter’s generation. And even I now turn to YouTube before Google to solve any practical problem. YouTube often has better ‘how to’ videos done by individuals than the ones put out by companies.
So if you’re trying to work out how your camera works or what to do with a tin of chickpeas, ‘YouTubing it’ can save you so much time and trouble.
Of course, YouTube videos are rather variable. A friend of mine spent several minutes watching one which purported to help her mend her washing machine. It consisted of the YouTuber pressing every button and dial. This was accompanied by a disconsolate voice: ‘yeah, it’s broken… sure is broken.’ Not entirely helpful.
On the other hand, my brother-in-law has learned how to build corrugated iron sheds entirely from YouTube videos. He built a corrugated iron pergola for us, too, with his YouTube-found skills.
The world of YouTube gardening
The YouTube gardening scene currently seems dominated by the US, Australia, Canada and India/Pakistan. They’re interesting and often useful channels, except when the weather is too different. But for a sense of community (and tips that work in your climate), nothing beats homegrown YouTube gardening.
And the allotment and veg growing community on YouTube in Britain is vibrant. Plus it’s clearly growing fast. There are lots of channels to follow and excellent videos with great tips.
However, I have had huge difficulty in finding a ‘domestic’ YouTube gardening channel which reflects us ‘ordinary’ gardeners. That’s partly why I’ve started the Middlesized Garden YouTube channel, but I would like to know if there’s anyone else like me out there! Do let me know if I’ve missed someone…
There are lots of videos which are essentially slide shows with music, often called something like ’20 Small Backyard Garden Ideas.’ There are also channels where people peer fuzzily at the lens and lose track of what they’re saying. They wave the camera about so much that it’s like viewing a garden from a small boat being tossed in a storm. All very like some of my own videos admittedly…
Allotment YouTube channels to follow
There are some excellent YouTubers amongst the allotmenteers. Charles Dowding, champion of ‘No Dig’ gardening, has a really helpful channel. His videos get straight into the topic. They’re clearly shot and the sound is good. They offer straightforward good advice, and I’ve found them very useful. Start by viewing his introductory video:
Grow Veg is another good veg growing advice channel, and I found his video on getting High Yields – 6 Proven Strategies very informative.
Broadcasting from the Isle of Man, you will find the lovely Tanya on Lovely Greens TV – Gardening, Beauty and Bee-keeping. Her channel is picking up new subscribers by the thousands. Last year, she won a week’s training from YouTube as part of their ‘Next Up’ programme of encouraging successful new YouTubers. As a result, her videos are professional, well filmed, and generally delightful.
Here in the UK, Sean James Cameron is a top ‘YouTube gardening influencer’. He has a distinctive style and legions of fans. They really love his work. When he posted a video which started ‘I’ve just woken up, and it’s dark outside so there’s nothing I can show you’ (roughly paraphrased by me, not exact words), he got lots of appreciative comments. This year he is moving his beds from one part of the allotment to another, which is high drama in the allotment world. It is fascinating and I can see that his subscriber counts continue to rise fast.
New on the YouTube allotment
Amongst the newcomers are Life at No 27 and Agents of Field. Agents of Field produce stylish, witty videos that make allotmenteering look very hip (which it is, of course). Life at No 27 has a young, energetic feel and is also well produced with good photography and sound. (These things matter!)
But where are the domestic YouTube gardening channels?
Container gardening and indoor plants are now so fashionable so there are lots of individual videos, often done by fashion, homes and beauty bloggers. The award-winning gardening journalist Jane Perrone has recently started an indoor plant YouTube channel.
Mr Plant Geek Michael Perry charts his some of his garden travels on his YouTube channel. The food bloggers stray into gardening from time to time, almost as an afterthought. And the big brands, such as Waitrose and B&Q, have ‘TV’ channels. Gardening features as a secondary stream to food or DIY, using top gardening TV names, such as Alan Titchmarsh.
The RHS, of course, has a YouTube channel – definitely worth subscribing to for more about the RHS shows and gardens.
You can also ‘YouTube it’ for individual tasks, such as this excellent ‘how to prune roses’ video from the English Garden magazine’s YouTube channel. In fact, my How to Prune English Lavender video is one of the most popular on my channel. ‘YouTube gardening’ and ‘How to’ go together like strawberries and cream.
But there isn’t the same casual, energetic community feel amongst the ‘garden’ channels that I’ve found in the allotment and veg growing ones. Or have I just not looked hard enough?
On the Middlesized Garden, I hope to create that sense of a gardening conversation, based on real gardens. There are regular features – the Middlesized Garden of the Month, which will be a middle-sized garden you probably wouldn’t otherwise see, because they’re too far away and/or not open to the public. There are garden tips on Wednesdays, and a Garden Tour of my garden once a month. Here’s February:
So do drop in and tell me what you think. And if you have a YouTube channel, tell me what you think.