The Autistic Gardener Debuts On Channel 4

Sutton Coldfield resident Alan Gardner has the perfect job to fit his name, he's a gardener. Alan is also autistic and this has a telling effect on how he imagines the gardens that he designs, here Nathan James Dodd reviews his series garden makeover shows.

Created by David Coton on Friday, 10th of July, 2015.
Updated on Wednesday, 4th of April, 2018.


Adopting a rather different image to most gardeners we see on TV, Alan Gardner has pink hair, tattoos and paints his fingernails. But he also has medals from the Chelsea Flower Show including a silver to vouch for his horticultural skills.

Helping him to makeover the gardens in the series of four programmes are five other autists who have problems with communication and social interaction. Autism will affect all of them throughout their lives with the result that they hear, feel and perceive the world in a much different way to other people.

They are all keen gardeners, in the group are Philip who is particularly interested in exotic plants, Charles grows vegetables, Victoria loves colour, Thomas craves precision, while James is a walking plant encyclopaedia.  

Alan sees mathematical formulae everywhere in the garden, visualises everything in great detail and uses patterns to create outstanding gardens. He galvanises the team, organising them to make the most of their potential. 

In the first episode an unloved garden in Derbyshire is transformed to the delight of initially sceptical owners. Lilac railway sleepers are draped in netting, an insect hotel and turf giant installed, not forgetting a vibrant planting scheme.

The next three programmes focus on London gardens which need to be transformed on schedule and to budget, making a small garden appear much larger, tackling a 95ft jungle and then, battling against adverse weather conditions. 

1.3m viewers tuned into to the first of the Channel 4 series and saw that autism which, due to flawed interaction skills makes teamwork difficult, can be channelled into gardening to create some wonderful results.

For more information on autism go to www.autism.org.uk

Related Articles

GardenSite Products Featured On ITV's Love Your Garden

GardenSite Products Featured On ITV's Love Your Garden

Over several series, Alan Titchmarsh's team from the popular ITV programme 'Love Your Garden' has transformed gardens throughout the country using a varied range of traditional and new products, some donated from GardenSite and all available online.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Thursday, 16th of August, 2018.

GardenSite Again Nominated For Glee Award

GardenSite Again Nominated For Glee Award

GardenSite has once again been nominated for the award of 'Best Online Garden Retail Buying Team' at this year's Glee, the UK's most important Garden & Leisure Industry show.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Thursday, 9th of August, 2018.

GardenSite Donates Picnic Table To Love Your Garden

GardenSite Donates Picnic Table To Love Your Garden

Over the years GardenSite has regularly provided support and donated items to television programmes including Love Your Garden. A few months ago we were again contacted by the production company concerning a garden Alan Titchmarsh were planning to celebrate 70 years of the NHS.

Author: Lauren Bilboe

Written by Lauren Bilboe.
Published on Wednesday, 23rd of May, 2018.

Planned TV Gardening Programmes 2018

Planned TV Gardening Programmes 2018

There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, tips and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2018.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 13th of February, 2018.

comments powered by Disqus

Author

David Coton

Partner at GardenSite

View Profile

RSS

View RSS Feed

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

How Easy Is It To Keep Chickens?

How Easy Is It To Keep Chickens?

Chickens aren't difficult to look after, all they require is a constant supply of water and regular food. As Martyn Loach explains, you should keep an eye open for any ailments, and they'll need to be cleaned out once a week.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Monday, 15th of October, 2018.

How Do I Construct And Maintain Timber Garden Decking?

How Do I Construct And Maintain Timber Garden Decking?

Timber garden decking never seems to lose its popularity, and why should it, when it's such a useful way of extending your living and entertaining space. Andy Taylor explains why decking is so easy to install and how best to look after it.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Thursday, 11th of October, 2018.

What Do I Need For A Great Halloween Garden Party?

What Do I Need For A Great Halloween Garden Party?

You can create the spookiest Halloween Party in town with a spine chilling cast of para-normal misfits including ghosts, ghouls, zombies, vampires and many other sinister characters who inhabit the dark side. David Coton tells you how to transform your home and garden into a thoroughly scary experience.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Wednesday, 10th of October, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden In October

What To Do In The Garden In October

In October, David Coton is getting the garden prepared for the onset of colder weather but, at the same time, the arrival of spring bulbs in the garden centre is a reminder that you should also now be planning ahead for next year.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Monday, 2nd of October, 2017.