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 Nathan James Dodd on Friday, 10th of July, 2015.
Updated on Wednesday, 15th of February, 2017.


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

Television Gardening Programmes Planned For 2017

Television Gardening Programmes Planned For 2017

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.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Tuesday, 8th of November, 2016.

Charlie Dimmock Returns With Garden Rescue

Charlie Dimmock Returns With Garden Rescue

Charlie Dimmock returned to our screens last week with Garden Rescue and Nathan James Dodd has been catching up on what has been happening in this latest garden transformation programme.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Monday, 5th of September, 2016.

Shed Of The Year 2016

Shed Of The Year 2016

Sheds of all shapes, sizes and styles are once again featured in this year's Channel 4 Shed Of The Year competition, Nathan James Dodd reviews the categories and finalists.

Author: Nathan James Dodd

Written by Nathan James Dodd.
Published on Wednesday, 27th of July, 2016.

Love Your Garden Features Rowlinson Connor Summerhouse

Love Your Garden Features Rowlinson Connor Summerhouse

Love Your Garden last night featured another Rowlinson product, this time David Hall saw Alan Titchmarsh replace a tired old garden shed with an attractive and multi-functional Connor Summerhouse which offers opportunities for both storage and leisure.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Wednesday, 27th of July, 2016.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

Nathan James Dodd Nathan James Dodd

Garden Designer

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Choosing Timber and Wooden Planters

Choosing Timber and Wooden Planters

Looking to buy a timber planter but not sure what to purchase? David Coton provides some helpful advice on the many different designs that are available and how they can transform your patio and garden.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 21st of March, 2017.

Why A Log Store Is Essential If You Have A Wood Burner

Why A Log Store Is Essential If You Have A Wood Burner

Log burners and open fires have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Andy Taylor explains how you can have a continuous supply of dry, well seasoned, wood by investing in a log store.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Tuesday, 21st of March, 2017.

How To Successfully Grow Greenhouse Plants

How To Successfully Grow Greenhouse Plants

With spring well under way, you may be considering buying a greenhouse, Andy Taylor tells you how this will increase your chances of successfully growing a wider variety of plants over a longer period of time.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Friday, 17th of March, 2017.

March Gardening Jobs

March Gardening Jobs

March is the time when spring arrives and you can enjoy getting back into your garden. Andy Taylor looks at what gardening jobs can be done now the days are getting warmer and lighter outside.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Tuesday, 28th of February, 2017.