Gardening of the Year










This photograph is from Gardener of the Year; I think the location is the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Included left to right are: Joe Swift, Rachel de Thame, Adam Pasco and Diarmuid Gavin.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Kate Hillman: ‘Yes, I was on this one! The contestants did their show gardens around a central decking. I think there was an art theme for the inspiration of the garden designs.’

Adam Pasco: ‘Yes, that’s me. I helped develop the concept for BBC Gardener of the Year, and judged it for a few years. Great fun, and worked with some wonderful people.’

Adam Trotman: ‘Yep I edited 2 of the years one directed by Dennis Javis and the other Patty Kraus.’

Patty Kraus: ‘I remember it well! Yes it was the Botanical gardens in Brum.’

Steve Bricknell: ‘This was the first show i ever worked on!! Not sure if this was my year though!’






Home Front in the Garden

Home Front in the Garden










Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Pebble Mill was asked to produce a series of 8 episodes of the garden design programme, ‘Home Front in the Garden’, presented by enigmatic designer Diarmuid Gavin.  They went out weekly from October 2002.  The still shows Diarmuid relaxing in the company of project manager Sean Cunningham.

The series was producer by Patrick Flavelle, with David Symonds directing the first transmitted show, a garden in Chingford.

It was a challenging series to work on, with Diarmuid sometimes not turning up on location when he was supposed to, and getting fed up with most members of the production team at one time or another.  By the end of the series almost no one who was working on the show originally was still there!

The following information was added by assistant producer, Julie Richards:

“I was one of two AP’s on the series. We had an incredibly hard-working team but, one-by-one, they were deemed “unsuitable” by Mr Gavin which left us scrabbling around, working ridiculous hours, with some being on-site for weeks at a time. Memorable gardens were built, including one in Birmingham which involved installing a garage car-ramp which could raise the garden up over 10ft, a giant disco-ball shed, 100 white rabbits, a copper garden retreat and one “jungle” with a building clad entirely in cedar (I was banned from that garden so never saw how it turned out!!). The series ran over budget by an eye-watering amount as Diarmuid spent without our being able to control him. I was invited to a lunch with the then head of BBC2 who, once I’d recounted the goings-on, merely replied with a smile, “oooo he’s a one that Diarmuid, isn’t he”. However, I have a couple of lasting friendships from that series – it truly was one that, once you’d gone through it, you really felt like you’d been through a war, rather than merely making a television programme. David did a fabulous job in the face of some very trying circumstances and, due to all the overtime, I managed four days in Hoar Cross Hall. Not all bad then…”


Gardening Neighbours – Becky Land

Ali Ward pictured with Adam Pascoe, from ‘Gardener of the Year’

‘Gardening Neighbours’ was the first of a series of shows where a street got together to redesign their gardens and a common piece of land. Presented by the wonderful Ali Ward and Diarmuid Gavin the idea was that they would work on their gardens from designs by the experts. Even today I have used some of their tips in my own garden, so they were really useful. It was set in a leafy part of Sheffield, the exact part I cannot remember but it was lovely and on one of the city’s many hills. It was an small cul-de-sac of late Victorian/ Edwardian villas populated by a range of people from large mature families to retired couples and young marrieds. There were lots of very small babies and toddlers about through the months we were there, which was useful for me as I was heavily pregnant at the time ( I am sure the digging helped for a smooth birth ). As for the placenta incident…. The couple had decided to ‘plant’ the placenta under a special tree, despite warnings by Ali and Diarmuid that the intense nutrients would fry the poor plant. I was on sound and as the couple asked for some privacy we filmed from afar. Which was a good job as I was still suffering for severe ‘morning sickness’.. yes even at seven and eight months… My one overriding memory is the quelch and flopping sound it made as it was poured into the hole from the plastic bowl it had defrosted in…

Becky Land

The following comments were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group:

Nicola Silk: ‘I was the director, Rachel Innes-Lumsden (Rachel Adamson now) produced, Nigel Walk and Ann Banks were APs, Becky (what was your surname back then – I’m sure it wasn’t Land!) researched, Chris Hardman was the PA, Ian Churchill (cam) and Ross Neasham (sound) were the crew across the whole series, Roger Casstles was the exec and James Hey cut it. I might have left out a few people…but it was 14 years ago! It was my first series director gig and I’ve got very happy memories of weekends spent in Kenbourne Grove, Netheredge over the summer of ’98.  The sound of the placenta sloshing out of its tupperware into the ground will stay with me too!’

Becky Land: ‘Wow Nicola my memory is not that good, Kenbourne Grove, Netheredge….. I do remember trying to find metal planters that were “three foot by three foot by three foot”. I was Lloyd back then, even though I was married and was close to having first baby. Hubby finally flipped when we watched an episode go out in the maternity ward the day before I gave birth. My name came up as in the credit as Becky Lloyd and he demanded I changed it!! He’s never insisted on much, poor dab. Do you have photos?’