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The Gardening Show as Cozily Addictive as “The Great British Bake Off”

In “Big Dreams, Small Spaces,” modest, unwealthy humans try to improve their yards under the guidance of the charismatic master gardener Monty Don.Illustration by Cari Vander Yacht

Monty Don combines reassuring poshness, accessibility, and, to be frank, good looks.

By Charlotte Mendelson
New Yorker
May 2, 2018


Even better, “Big Dreams, Small Spaces” combines this glamour with that essential of modern television: soi-disant relatability. The Ordinary People in these shows aren’t wealthy silver surfers who have downsized to just one acre, or hipster chef-gardeners rearing crops for micro-breweries. They are modest, unwealthy humans, with budgets in the hundreds, not hundreds of thousands, trying to improve their concreted front gardens, their hummocky suburban yards.

Unlike the “small gardens” of other shows and magazines, which mysteriously have room for pergolas and duck ponds, these gardens are tiny. Better still, their owners are revolutionaries. It’s not decking they want but beehives, communal vegetables, urban jungles, and scented idylls for toddlers with special needs, and, because Monty will be coming round to check on them with his shepherd’s crook and clogs, they’d better rise to the challenge.

Read the complete article here.


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