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Critical eye.

"If you didn't watch The Edible Garden (8pm, BBC2, 7 April) because it clashed with the Man U vs Bayern game, don't worry, you didn't miss anything. It was dire. Ever since I found myself surrounded by posh inbreds at university I've had a violent aversion to such types. So my hackles rose as soon as Alys (note the special spelling) Fowler opened her mouth. So posh she can't pronounce her 'r's properly, she perversely insisted on over-using the consonant. At one point she hilariously listed the "fwench beans, wunner beans and bwoad beans" she planned to grow in her mission to avoid shop-bought fruit and veg and live off her own, home-grown produce. She also leaned on her 'e's, the cumulative effect of the two pronunciation foibles making her sound like a cross between Barbara Cortland and Keira Knightley. Iwwitating to say the least.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I wouldn't have been so irked if she'd had anything useful to say. But she didn't. The premise is supposedly to illustrate "how anyone can grow and eat from their own garden even if they live in the city". Yet when Fowler wasn't toddling around in some hideous 70s-style sack dress, musing moronically about what she was going to plant next in her "small" 20ft by 60ft Victorian garden, she was showing us around a garden so ample that the advice of the permaculture enthusiasts who owned it was to put plants needing the most attention close to the house, and put fruit trees, nut trees and hedges further away. Mmm. I'm sure viewers living in tower blocks will be rushing out to their balconies right now, hedges in hand.

What's frustrating is that grow-your-own is possible even in the smallest of spaces, yet when Fowler insists anyone can do it, she seems to mean those with money, time or a sizeable garden. She's totally out of touch with the reality of urban living for most people. And she's weirdly out of touch with popular culture for someone so young (she named her chickens Gertrude and Alice after Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas, for Chrissakes).

As for the 'party' she signed off with, let's just say the peatinis, falafel and salad looked about as indigestible as the rest of The Edible Garden. Suffice to say, I won't be subjecting myself to episode two.
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Author:Hamson, Liz
Publication:Grocer
Date:Apr 10, 2010
Words:391
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