They'll be no shortage of gardening programmes on TV next year with several old favourites returning and also some new series. Andy Taylor has been finding out what's planned for 2017.
The Big Allotment Challenge returns to our TV screens on 2 January. The first series featured a series of challenges themed around growing vegetables, flower arranging and making preserves. Nathan James Dodd discovered what makes this programme such a ratings success.
A beautiful location is certainly one selling point, with the competition being held in the walled garden of a Oxfordshire manor house. You couldn't really have a more attractive backdrop.
Competing in pairs, the eighteen contestants were a diverse bunch including bearded beer drinkers from Brighton to mother and daughter teams, they all brought different techniques and eccentricities to the show.
Each had a long list of plants and vegetables to grow and they all adopted different methods to guarantee success, from organic manure spreading to relying on the phases of the moon. One couple even brought their own worms.
A fifteen week growing season is handily condensed into six episodes, so everyday tasks that might not be too interesting are edited out in favour of the high excitement challenges when the fruits of their labours are judged by three experts under the guidance of presenter Fern Britton.
The show's success clearly depends on many interesting elements that are thrown into the mix. A superb location, eclectic participants, varied growing methods, unpredicatable results and the judging process when the hard work and passion of the competitors are commended or castigated.
They all combine to create an agreeable and entertaining hour long weekly watch.
The new series of the Big Allotment Challenge starts on BBC2 at 9.00 on 2 January 2015.
Nathan James Dodd
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