Learn more about your favourite gardening presenters who appear on BBC radio and television programmes.
Learn more about your favourite gardening presenters who appear on BBC radio and television programmes.
During his youth Chris spent his school holidays and weekends working for the local nurseryman, doing everything from collecting trolleys, restocking the beds and helping out the local farmers at harvest time.
He studied Horticulture at Pershore College and then trained further at Cheltenham University where he studied Landscape Architecture. Chris later lectured horticulture and design at Pershore College and it was here that he was asked to contribute to a number of television programmes including House Call, Gardening Neighbours and Weekend Gardener. Chris left full time lecturing to concentrate on TV work and has since featured in The Flying Gardener, Hidden Gardens, Gardeners' World, Great Garden Detectives and Country Lives.
Chris has exhibited three show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, winning two gold medals and two People's Choice awards. In 2010 he presented red button coverage, and horticultural reports about the show gardens and Great Pavilion. His books include The Natural Gardener and The Secret Life of the Garden published in 2009.
A professional gardener for more than 20 years, Matthew Biggs is a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time.
When Matthew was young, his father used to take him and his sister for walks in the countryside and was always pointing out things of interest among the local flora and fauna. Matthew assumes that this cultivated his interest in gardening, but guesses that there must be some genetics involved, too. His mother was a country girl who was brought up in a Warwickshire village, and his granddad always kept a vegetable garden.
He studied at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and started in broadcasting with radio phone-ins and Channel 4's Garden Club. He's been a guest on TV quizzes and makeover programmes and has directed the long-running Grass Roots programme for ITV. As well as appearing on Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time, he also contributes to several magazines, including Gardeners' World, and has written books on houseplants and vegetables.
Toby was the lead presenter of Gardeners' World from September 2008 to November 2010. Toby's known for his creative but practical approach to gardening. A hands-on gardener with a passion for fruit and vegetable growing he's equally at home in the flower borders and has a reputation for building artistic garden features made from plants and recycled materials.
He trained and worked as a rose and pinks nurseryman and gardener before studying at Hadlow College, Kent and later worked at The University of Cambridge Botanic Garden. Toby has written for many newspapers and gardening magazines and his book, How to Make Your Garden Grow, was reprinted early in 2009.
Monty Don was born in Berlin, son to a career soldier posted in Germany. He was educated at three independent schools: at Quidhampton School in Basingstoke, Hampshire, Bigshotte School in Wokingham, Berkshire, and at Malvern College in Malvern, Worcestershire. He then attended a state comprehensive school, The Vyne School, in Hampshire.
In the 1980s, Don and his wife formed a successful company that made and sold costume jewellery under the name Monty Don Jewellery. The collapse of the company in the early 1990s, prompted him to embark on a career in writing and broadcasting. He has written about the rise and collapse of their business in The Jewel Garden, an autobiographical book written with his wife.
Monty's first TV work came as the presenter of a gardening segment on breakfast show This Morning and has featured as a guest presenter for the BBC's Holiday programme. He went on to present several Channel 4 land and gardening series: Don Roaming, Fork to Fork, Real Gardens and Lost Gardens, and wrote a regular weekly gardening column for The Observer between February 1994 and May 2006.
Monty was the main presenter on Gardeners' World from 2003, succeeding Alan Titchmarsh. He was the first self-taught horticulturist presenter in the show's 36-year history, stepping down only after suffering a minor stroke in 2008 and then later rejoining the team in 2011. He also presented Around the World in 80 Gardens, My Dream Farm, and Mastercrafts; a six part series for BBC Two.
He's Britain's leading organic gardener, but Bob Flowerdew also runs a consultancy landscape service, teaches at agricultural college and can be heard on Gardeners' Question Time.
Bob was born into a family that's tilled the land in Norfolk and Suffolk since pre-Elizabethan times. A member of Garden Organic and the Soil Association, he practises what he preaches with his own organic garden in Norfolk.
The son of a farmer, he studied financial management. After graduating, he worked his way around Europe and North America, and became fascinated by the different gardening and farming methods, returning to pick grapes with one French family for 12 successive years.
He's been gardening on his current plot for more than 16 years and grows organic fruit and vegetables of almost every variety, including bananas, pineapples and guavas. He also keeps chickens, ducks, geese and bees.
Books he's written include Bob Flowerdew's Complete Book of Companion Gardening, Bob Flowerdew's Complete Fruit Book and Bob Flowerdew's Organic Bible.
Alys was born in Silchester, and had a rural childhood. Her father was a doctor, and her mother ran various cottage industry businesses - she had 200 chickens and sold their eggs, trained gun dogs, and would dog-sit for wealthy Londoners.
After completing her education in 2002, Alys began working as a journalist for Horticulture Week, and Landscape Review. In 2005, she worked for Gardeners' World and Parks as a horticultural researcher. In 2006, she became Head Gardener of the BBC garden at Berryfields in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and created features at the Gardeners' World Live shows. Alys was also a regular presenter on Gardeners' World from March 2009 to Novemeber 2010.
Alys published her first book in 2007: The Thrifty Gardener: How to Create a Stylish Garden for Next to Nothing. She continues to publish in newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, Gardeners' World Magazine, Gardens Illustrated, Amateur Gardening, Country Living, and The Daily Mail. Alys featured in her own six part series; The Edible Garden , which first aired on BBC2 in April 2010.
Pippa Greenwood trained as a botanist at Durham University (BSc hons) and then gained an MSc in Crop Protection at Reading University. In 1985 she joined the staff of the Royal Horticultural Society at their garden in Wisley, Surrey, where she ran their garden advice desk - answering several thousand written/telephone queries from gardeners.
Pippa started working at the BBC in 1988. Initially she appeared on Reflections of Gold, transmitted during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show week. She has also presented items on plant pests and disease problems on Gardeners' World.
Pippa is a regular panellist on Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time and in 2000 presented a series called Growing Science along with her own series of radio programmes called Pippa's Pests and later embarked on Top Soil With Pippa Greenwood, a live weekend programme for BBC Radio Solent .
Bunny trained as a horticulturalist and a landscape architect. She's well known for her achievements as a designer. She's won six gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show and in 2004 her 'Boat Race Garden' celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Oxford and Cambridge University boat race.
Bunny has appeared on several television programmes, including Gardener's Gardens and in her own series, Guinness in the Garden. She's also a regular panellist on Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time
It's been said that her enthusiasm for plants would make even the least green-fingered person sit up and take notice! Carol Klein is the owner of a thriving nursery, and she also writes regularly for the gardening press.
A lifelong plant lover and gardener, Carol originally trained as a fine artist and worked as a teacher before setting up her own nursery, Glebe Cottage Plants, 25 years ago. She began exhibiting at Royal Horticultural Society shows in 1990, and has won gold medals at RHS Hampton Court Palace Show, Westminster and Malvern, and six medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. She joined the Gardeners' World team in 2005, although her very first appearance in the show was in 1989 when Geoff Hamilton visited Glebe Cottage. Carol also featured in her own six part series Life in a Cottage Garden, which first aired on BB2 Two in January 2011.
Carol has also presented Open Gardens for the BBC and Grow your Own Veg which has inspired a series of related books and in 2010, Grow Your Own Garden, was published. She has also contributed to The Guardian and The Lady.
Roy's career in horticulture began at Bolton parks department, followed by two years as a student gardener at the University Botanic Garden, Cambridge. In 1962 he joined Messrs Hillier and Sons of Winchester and rose from catalogue compiler and horticultural botanist to become the first curator of The Hillier Arboretum. In his 18 years with Hilliers, he was involved in many exciting projects and played a major role in the preparation of Hillers Manual of Trees and Shrubs, first published in 1971.
Roy's interest in plant exploration has taken him round the world to countries such as Georgia, Chile, Iran, Turkey, New Zealand, Brazil, Ecuador, Japan, North America, South Africa, Malaya and China. He's been a member of expeditions to Nepal and Yunnan, China, and has published accounts of both in his books A Plantsman in Nepal and Travels in China.
A member of the Royal Horticultural Society for almost 40 years, Roy is vice-chairman of the society's Floral Committee B and a member of several other committees. In the 1999 New Year's Honours List he was awarded an OBE for services to horticulture. Roy's published a number of books, while contributing to a range of gardening periodicals, including BBC Gardeners' World Magazine. He's lectured around the world and has taken part in a number of TV programmes, including Gardeners' World and is a regular panellist on Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time.
Jim McColl is one of the original and longest serving presenters of the Aberdeen based television programme, The Beechgrove Garden. He first presented the programme in 1978 with George Barron. Since 1995 Jim McColl has also presented BBC Radio Scotland's, Beechgrove Potting Shed - a sister programme to the television show.
Jim's interests in horticulture stem from his father's passion for gardening and when he was younger, and during his summer holidays he worked at either his Aunt's market garden or on a rose production nursery run by a friend of his dads.
In May 2000 Jim joined the board of Gardening Scotland; the 3-day horticultural event held at the end of May each year at the Royal Highland Showground near Edinburgh and is the Chairman of the Board.
Columnist and writer Sarah Raven is well known for her love of growing flowers that can be cut and made into colourful indoor arrangements. As well as her home-run courses and seed catalogue she lectures all around Britain.
A columnist for the Daily Telegraph, Sarah has also writes for Sainsbury's Magazine. Her first book, The Cutting Garden, won The Specialist Gardening Book of the Year. The Bold and Brilliant Garden, was published in 2006 and won the runners-up prize for Gardening Book of the Year.
Sarah has appeared on Gardeners' World, featured in her own Gardeners' World special: Cutting It, and has written two books to accompany the series: Grow Your Own Cut Flowers and Grow, Cook, Eat.
Eric has been presenting gardening programmes for over 20 years. A broadcaster and television documentary maker, Eric is also well known as a regular commentator on state occasions such as the Act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, Trooping The Colour and several royal weddings.
Continuing the tradition of Gardeners' Question Time chairmen over the last 54 years, Eric is employed as a broadcaster and is the only one of the team who is not a trained horticulturist.
James's passion for gardening began about 20 years ago, as a landscape contractor in London. He moved to Northamptonshire in 1992 with his family, where he started to concentrate on garden design. He has designed show gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Westonbirt Festival.
James presented BBC Two's Small Town Garden series, and also writes articles for a number of newspapers and magazines, including Gardeners' World Magazine and Gardens Illustrated. During Chelsea, he reported from the show gardens and Great Pavilion and was the host of the red button coverage for 2010. He also presented coverage of the Queen's visit to the show.
A professional garden designer who runs his own company alongside his television work, Joe has been a regular presenter on Gardeners' World for over 10 year. He has also presented Open Gardens, Small Town Gardens and coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, RHS Hampton Court Palace Show and RHS Tatton Park.
Joe has written for The Times weekend gardening section and has published two books on getting the most out of gardening in cities. A convert to vegetable growing, Joe's 2009 book: Joe's Allotment: Planning and Planting a Productive Plot, tackles the subject of getting to grips with cultivating your own food. Plus he has a famous dad - Clive Swift of Keeping up Appearances!
After school, most of her friends disappeared to university and college, but Anne went to work at the nursery of her local parks department, which she says was considered very odd at the time. She loved it and only left because a place was waiting for her at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Anne met her husband, John, while studying. They went to RHS Garden Wisley together, where they lived in a flat in the roof of the laboratory building at Wisley. While she was at Wisley, Anne got her first chance to appear on TV in Gardeners' Calendar and has appeared on countless programmes since then.
Anne's been a regular panellist on Gardeners' Question Time since 1994 and has also presented The Gardens of the Carribean and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. She's written several books including The Greenhouse Gardener, The Conservatory Gardener and No Time to Garden: The Half Hour Gardener.
Ex-model Rachel de Thame decided a career in modelling was not her ideal long-term choice, so in 1998 she enrolled at the English Gardening School where she earned a certificate in practical horticulture and plants and plantsmanship. Graduating with a distinction, she immediately auditioned for Gardeners' World. Initially a weekly presenter, following the birth of her second child she went on to make occasional appearances on the programme.
Rachel filmed her own series for the BBC: Small Town Gardens and Gardening with the Experts and has written two gardening books: Small Town Gardens and Rachel de Thame's Top 100 Star Plants. Rachel has also contributed to the Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, Gardeners' World Magazine, Woman's Own Magazine and Eden Magazine. In 2008 she designed her first garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which won a silver award.
Perhaps the best-known gardener in the UK, Alan Titchmarsh was the lead presenter of Gardeners' World from 1996 to 2002 and Ground Force from 1997 to 2002, as well as presenting three series of How to be a Gardener. Alan also continues to present the BBC's coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which he has done since 1983.
He was brought up on the edge of Ilkley Moor, Yorkshire, and left school at 15 to become an apprentice gardener in his local nursery. He then continued his training at agricultural college and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Alan writes regularly for BBC Gardeners' World magazine and in addition, has written more than 40 gardening books, including How to be a Gardener, parts one and two, The Gardener's Year and four novels.
Born in London to a Malaysian father and British mother, James was raised in Singapore and Malaysia. He trained at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and the University of Kent, gaining a Master of Science degree in Ethnobotany.
James has been a contributor on the BBC One rural affairs series Countryfile since April 2009. In 2008, he was one of the regular presenters on the show Fossil Detectives. He has also appeared on Gardeners' World, Channel 4's Richard and Judy, The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV, and on BBC Breakfast. In 2009 James became the presenter of his own six part series: Grow Your Own Drugs.
James is a triple RHS medal winner for gardens he has designed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Show. In 2010 James designed a Malaysian themed show garden with his design partner David Cubero, which received a Gold medal.
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