As the backyard gardening season starts wrapping up in many areas across the country, now is the perfect time to reflect on how well your garden actually served your needs. Were your tomatoes as fruitful as they could have been or do they need more sunlight? Did you end up with a bumper crop of zucchini and want to cut down for next year? Or maybe you’re interested in getting more color into your space and want to figure out which flowers to plant and where. (Pro tip: Nasturtiums will draw pests away from your vegetables, and they’re edible as well, if you fancy a beautiful salad.)
But if you’re not sure where to start on your garden redesign, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best shows out there to get you started with a little garden inspiration. Before you get planting, start streaming.
If you’re looking to take your backyard from frumpy to full-on farming, this is your show. Host Jamila Norman is a backyard farming expert, turning rundown patches of grass into urban oases. Norman’s calming voice and bright smile help showcase just how much is possible, even in small areas.
Norman’s own stomping grounds are a 1.2-acre farm in the middle of Atlanta, where she cultivates crops for her family and the local community. Now, with Homegrown, she’s spreading the garden love to an even wider audience. If you’re looking to get more out of your vegetable garden next year, you’ll pick up tons of tips here.
Big Dreams, Small Spaces
This is the show that will remind you to slow down, take your time and dream big! Do you want to turn your yard into a miniature village, complete with a winding train rambling through the brush? That’s just another day for host Monty Don. The families that he visits across England aren’t star gardeners, just regular folks looking to make a transformation. With his can-do attitude, Don is the perfect person to jump right in and make their dreams come true.
What’s great about Big Dreams, Small Spaces is the timeline. Each episode spans a full year, and viewers get to see the work that’s required to create a dream space. It will give you a realistic starting point, while also encouraging you to see what you can create with a little time and creativity.
Grow, Cook, Eat
Maybe transforming your whole garden all at once is too big of an undertaking. Instead, you might want to take it one step, or one veggie, at a time. Enter hosts Karen O’Donohoe and Michael Kelly, who break down how to grow one plant per episode. You can hone in on getting juicer tomatoes, spicier chilis or more bountiful potatoes, dealing with one section of the garden at a time.
And the best part: At the end of each episode, O’Donohoe and Kelly head into the kitchen for a taste test, sharing some of the best ways to cook the vegetables to bring out their natural flavors. You don’t need a huge plot of land with this approach. Heck, you don’t even need a full yard. With a few planters on a stoop, balcony or windowsill, you can still be a gardener.
Who better than Martha Stewart to help calm your gardening woes? Not only does Stewart help out people who come to her with problems, you’ll also learn her tips and tricks—like how to get the pomegranate seeds out of the pith without mashing the whole thing to bits—alongside celebrity guests. And yes, her pal Snoop Dogg does show up in an episode. And yes, they do talk about planting “herbs.”
It’s not just that Stewart has the answers to all of your gardening questions. It’s that this show highlights Stewart at her finest: funny, real and off-the-cuff. She’s not stuck behind an island in a fake kitchen. Here, she’s outside and doing the work alongside you, making you laugh the whole way.
Maybe you had big dreams for your garden once upon a time. You optimistically bought a few plants, some gloves and made plans to get down to work. But then…life happened. And before you knew it, your garden was overgrown, and the longer you left it, the harder it became to tackle.
That’s where Jamie Durie comes in. He specializes in transforming out-of-control gardens into something not just manageable but beautiful. Durie isn’t afraid to take on the big challenges. He’ll fell trees, whack through weeds and brambles and get down in the muck as he makes over a whole backyard. If you need an extra push to take on a big project, Durie is your source for a big boost.
Sometimes, you just need to sit back and marvel. If a trip to the English countryside isn’t feasible for you right now, this is the next best thing. Host Carol Klein is an enthusiastic and helpful guide, showcasing jaw-dropping gardens across Britain. From pastoral villas to an actual castle, Klein is your tour guide on these sensational properties, happy to share not just the spaces but the personalities of the gardens themselves.
And while most of us don’t have the space that, say, a castle might have, this show is great to get inspiration for your flower gardens. The tight shots of brilliant buds and perfect petals are gorgeous enough on their own. But if they can help you plan out your own backyard eden? Brilliant, as Klein might say.