A few posts ago, I made a brief comment that the G in HGTV is noticeably lacking. Personally, I long for the old days when the G, with shows like “A Gardener’s Diary” and “Gardening By The Yard,” far surpassed the number of H shows.
That comment, though, resulted in my fellow garden bloggers agreeing that there is a serious sink hole in the HGTV programming schedule. One commenter, Erin from Urban Organic Farming In Sidney, wrote, “I’d love if you could write a blog about it, get the readers and writers to write to them and ask that that be rectified.” So, Erin, I accept the challenge.
My first step was to visit the HGTV website. Clearly, the opening page is the home page – because it’s all home, all the time. Surely there must be a G somewhere. Shouldn’t there?
The truth is that the G has been reduced to a single on-line tab that says “Outdoors.” The editor is Marie Hofer, and I’m worried about her – especially if her office is proportionately equal to the amount of space HGTV has given to G. It’s probably too small to fit a desk.
So what’s a gardener to do? Plant seeds, of course. I thought I would contact HGTV with my gardening show ideas – until I read the FAQ section. HGTV appreciates my interest, “but for legal reasons, we only accept show/series and specials proposals from television production companies with national or major market productions credentials.” What the G? Did HGTV just pluck my bud before it even had a chance to bloom?
I can no longer be placated with shows like “Yard Crashers,” which, let’s be honest, is no different than any other garden/home makeover show: A goofy, overly adolescent host, plenty of banter, and the big reveal. Very rarely is there any real content that treats the viewer as a person with brains.
Now the gardening gloves are off, and I am here to tell HGTV that gardeners are a “major market.” We are creative. We have ideas. If you need proof, just take a look at some of the “Garden Blogs I Like” listed on the right. Lee May‘s effort to create a moss garden is fantastic. Mario, of Hortus 5, battling clay soil is monumental. And I cannot say enough about the information and serenity found in Jean’s Garden, or the inspiration found in Patrick’s Garden. And that’s just scratching the surface. Each of the bloggers whom I like– and so many more — can teach HGTV a few things about G.
If only a programming executive would take the time to look through the thousands and thousands of gardening blogs and see the amazing gardens taking root around the world, not to mention the number of people who are turning to a greener way of life for either environmental or financial reasons. That executive would also notice that gardeners are hungry for knowledge so that they can continue to hone their skills and make their green thumbs even greener.
So far, I have sent an email to HGTV’s corporate office asking to whose attention I can address this issue. Also, I have sent a letter to Scripps Networks Interactive, which is HGTV’s parent company. It touts itself as the “leader in lifestyle media.” I have not yet received a response from either organization – but as a gardener, I know it takes patience for a seed to sprout. I know that these things, like a giant Sequoia, take time. And now that the weather has turned colder, and the garden is lying dormant, time is what I have plenty of.