Good Gardening Videos is pleased to present Gardening on YouTube – the Best of the Brits, all chosen by our new London editor Jane Perrone.
The American editors at GGVideos love her choices, but we recommend turning on YouTube’s closed captions so you don’t miss a word.
About Jane Perrone
Jane writes for a range of publications, including the Guardian, the Financial Times, Gardens Illustrated, Grow Your Own magazine and The English Garden. She is industry zone editor for the Society of Garden Designers’ magazine, Garden Design Journal.
Jane’s background is in news journalism, having spent more than 20 years working in local newspapers, then the Guardian as a reporter and news desk editor. In 2008 she become gardening editor at the Guardian, where she worked until 2017.
Best of the Gardening Brits on YouTube: Individuals
Charles Dowding was recently crowned social media influencer of the year by the UK Garden Media Guild, an organisation representing journalists in horticulture. With 107,000 subscribers and rising, Dowding has established himself as a guru in the field of no-dig horticulture. With decades of experience as a market gardener, Dowding has the knowledge to back it up, filming from his plot of land in Somerset he uses to grow £21,000-worth of produce a year for his local vegetable box scheme, as well as supplying produce for his family and the gardening and cookery courses he runs. He covers the whole gamut of veg gardening, from how to grow peas for pods to saving vegetable seed. ht
GGVideos editor’s note – we noticed Charles’s channel and previously recommended his video about the pros of no-dig gardening.
If you’ve ever visited the UK, you will come across chaps like the Castle Hill gardener behind picket fences and privet hedges in every town and village; what you might call an “old school” English gardener. His videos showcase his tidy, highly productive fruit and veg garden, and give viewers an insight into some serious skills, from plaiting garlic to tomato grafting. Daughter Gemma, a florist, also makes an appearance demonstrating craft projects using homegrown produce, like this wonderful Halloween hair comb.
The Garden Ninja aka Lee Burkhill stands out in the UK garden blogger scene. He’s an award-winning garden designer based in the north west of England, and his videos include a Garden Design Diary playlist that offers an insight into his approach and methods, as well as a whole host of practical videos on everything from how to fit a green roof to a garden shed to a succulent container planting guide. He is also doing important work educating gardeners about how to move away from the use of plastic in the garden. Burkhill was a finalist in the UK-based Garden Media Guild’s Social Media Influencer of the Year Award in 2018, illustrating his impact on the garden vlogging scene.
If you want to get a look at a classic British allotment in all its glory, from homemade sheds to abundant veg, check UK Here We Grow with Tony O’Neill. This channel covers grow your own, poultry keeping and beekeeping, all presented by the affable Welshman O’Neill. There are more than 300 videos on everything from growing giant potatoes to building a wildlife pond on your plot . (Don’t miss the eye-popping footage of Tony removing a honeybee colony from a chimney.)
Alexandra Campbell got frustrated by the lack of advice for people with middle-sized gardens like hers: not big enough for a ride-on mower, but big enough to make planning a new border very daunting. Alexandra’s channel covers the bases of garden care, seasonal tips and in an engaging way, including how to choose the perfect garden tree and 20+ ideas for garden seating. She also shares a powerful account of her personal experiences of PTSD and how gardening has helped her recovery.
GGVideos editor’s note: we discovered Alexandra and have recommended three of her videos, so far. She was also profiled by GGVideos editor Susan Harris on the blog GardenRant.
London-based gardener Sean James Cameron has a wealth of professional experience working in TV; that means his YouTube channel always looks slick. Many of Sean’s videos are short, practical and educational, covering how to chit potatoes or how to take rosemary cuttings, but he also uploads raw footage of him at work on the allotment which is a mesmerising watch – perfect for days when you can’t get outside yourself. Watch out for another popular character on Sean’s channel, Rusty the Allotment Cat.
Huw Richards is only in his early twenties, but he has pretty much grown up on YouTube, putting out videos on veg growing since 2011. Despite his youth, his advice on organic and sustainable growing is exemplary: we really should be taking seriously Huw’s ambition to emulate British TV gardening royalty Alan Titchmarsh. And he’s on the way – Huw has been hailed in the British press as a “horticultural sensation” and his first gardening book, on raised-bed vegetable gardening, will be published by DK this March. A spinoff channel, Huw’s 60 Second Gardening, offers bite-sized videos showing the basics of sowing, pest control and preparing the soil.
GGVideo editor’s note: we’ve admired Huw’s work and have recommended these three videos of his, so far.
Organic gardener Tanya Anderson has created an engaging channel that’s full of practical projects that are easy to follow; her most popular video shows how to make a strawberry planter from a wooden pallet, for instance. There’s a playlist for beekeeping and another for creative craft ideas but my favourite thing is the atmospheric footage from Tanya’s allotment, which is one of the prettiest in the country.
GGVideos editor’s note: we recently shared Tanya’s video about making natural Christmas wreaths.
Daniel Carruthers owns a small cottage garden in Chester, northwest England, and his slick YouTube channel is a great resource for anyone wanting to master basic gardening tasks, with short practical videos that are easy to follow. For instance, check out his guide to pruning Wisteria and planting spring bulbs in pots. The garden started as a blank canvas a few years back, but Daniel has quickly established a delightful space that you’ll get to explore through his seasonal video tours. Daniel’s a natural behind the camera, so I have a feeling this channel will grow and grow.
St Ann’s Allotments in Nottingham is one of the largest and oldest allotment sites in Europe. Plot holder Katrina has been tending some ground here since 2015, and for the last year she’s been documenting her progress on YouTube. Her videos mainly consist of monthly tours of her crops, polytunnel, wildlife area and cutting garden, and updates from her charming potting shed. If you need inspiration for your 2019 gardening plans, check out her reflections on 2018 video.
Best of the Gardening Brits on YouTube:
Companies & Organizations
The National Trust is the custodian of many historic and famous gardens around Britain; their Gardens and Gardening Playlist gives an insight into their work, from extreme weeding on the cliff face garden at St Michael’s Mount to the story of landscaper Capability Brown.
More U.K. Gardening Channels to Check Out
- National Garden Scheme coordinates charity openings for 3,500 private gardens in England and Wales.
- GrowVeg is a vegetable garden planning app with a very useful set of practical videos on YouTube.
- Quickcrop is a seller of supplies for veg gardeners with a specialism in wooden raised beds and square foot gardening.
- Suttons is a seed company that offers a range of exotic vegetables selected by popular gardener James Wong. Among the content on this channel are Wong’s videos about growing dahlia yams, cucamelons, and more.