As a nation, we’ve been busy cooking, crafting and converting thanks to inspirational TV series such as The Great British Bake Off, The Sewing Bee and The Great Interior Design Challenge. This evening sees the launch of the next traditional skill to be celebrated: the art of growing your own.
In The Big Allotment Challenge, hosted by Fern Britton, nine pairs of amateur gardeners will be putting their green fingers to the test in a number of challenges, which include growing unblemished fruit and vegetables, cultivating displays of beautiful blooms and, finally, using their produce to make preserves, condiments and floral arrangements. Each task will then be judged by a panel of experts – the RHS-judge Jim Buttress, floral designer Jonathan Moseley, and cookery writer Thane Prince – and, over the course of six hour-long episodes, the 18 hopefuls will be narrowed down and a winning two named cream of the crop.
Taking place in the pretty walled garden surroundings of Mapledurham House in Oxfordshire, The Big Allotment Challenge is not only a programme for keen gardeners, interested in picking up practical tips and ideas from the professionals, but is also aimed at novices who just want to have a go. So, whether you’ve got a window box, a garden border or an allotment, tune into BBC2 tonight at 8pm and find out how you can create your own green oasis at home.