Sunday, March 22, 2020


I am a certified HGTV addict.  I’ve been watching the channel since the network launched in the mid-1990s.  I even changed cable providers when your channel didn't come in clear enough.  Your shows made me a better homemaker, gardener, and even a better quilter.

This past weekend, your network sent me an email saying that you were offering a “binge-worthy marathon” this weekend.  But here’s the thing, the shows you are playing, you’ve been playing almost non-stop for months.  

Why not try something different?

I suggest you air “retro gardening” shows.  There’s a famous quote (I think by Alfred Austin):

“To nurture a garden is to feed not just the 

body, but the soul.”  

Your viewers could use some comfort and distraction.  Maybe some of them have never gardened but now have time.  I recommend Gardening By the Yard with Paul James.  Years before Alton Brown made cooking fun, Paul James taught gardening in a most entertaining and enlightening way.  

My gardens before watching HGTV gardening shows

New gardeners can benefit from Paul James' show and learn to amend their soil, make compost, etc.  Many of us may not be able to buy plants this year at our local nurseries--but we can set our beds up and prepare for when we can plant.

The garden is now 23 years old and the lawn is long gone.  Everywhere in our garden is something interesting and inspiring.

Many of your viewers are seniors and many of them are truly isolated right now.  This population often doesn’t watch videos on computers (if they even have access to them).  You have shows in your archives that are perfect for these folks.  Why not air some of your garden tour shows to inspire them like The Gardener’s Journal and A Gardener’s Diary ?  

These shows will benefit not only seniors but your viewers who are experiencing a deep and valid anxiety right now.

There’s a place and a time for shows that illustrate redoing one’s backyard with a complete make-over but that time is not now.  Putting one or two of the true gardening shows on your channel per day (perhaps in the early evening when many are still awake) could provide your viewers with much needed relaxation and comfort.    As May Sarton wrote, “gardening is an instrument of grace.”  You have the tools to help heal many people right now.  I just hope you use them.

1 comment:

Libby in TN said...

Very well said! I, too, have been a loyal viewer of both HGTV and DIY, but am getting tired of the reruns. And every time I flip to PBS they are fundraising! That's when I turn to the music channels and chill ... and sew.