From 1997 through 2005, the BBC aired the best DIY garden design show ever (as far as I’m concerned). Ground Force starred Alan Titchmarsh, Charlie Dimmoc, and Tommy Walsh, three very talented, naturally charming people who clearly (if somewhat grudgingly) loved each other and loved their work. In 1998, I really needed a new TV crush, and when I found this show, it was love at first sight. Happily, my discovery of the show coincided with an especially stressful time in my life, and I found myself profoundly comforted by it.
In Tom Walsh’s words, “Hello, and I’ve just trodden in some dog poo. Nevermind. I’m sure you’ll remember the TV show, Ground Force. The idea was that some people with regional accents would come around to your house while you were out and redo your garden. Then you’d come home, cry with unbridled joy, and then everyone would have some warm ‘pamagne.” (That’s champagne to you and me.)
-Tommy Walsh on Top Gear
I haven’t thought about the show in years, but I’ve been hitting the DIY channels hard lately, and so I went hunting for it. Unfortunately, Ground Force isn’t available on Hulu or Netflix or Amazon Prime or even iTunes. I did find a “Best of” DVD on Amazon, but it didn’t include full episodes, so I went looking on YouTube. I found a scant handful of episodes, and watching them again, I realized the search was well worth the effort. With the opening strains of their theme song, I could feel my (currently extreme) tension draining away.
Hope you are as entertained and soothed by the gang as I still am. Here’s one of my more favorite episodes:
The video below is their millenium show, and it was pretty great, though quite a departure from their usual formula.
If any of my readers have episodes on DVD (or even VHS) you’d like to sell, please message me. I miss my gardeners!