The Beechgrove Garden

The Beechgrove Garden is a television programme broadcast since 1978 on BBC Scotland. Over the years it has been broadcast on both BBC One Scotland and BBC Two Scotland.

The Beechgrove Garden
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Producer(s)BBC Scotland
Running time29 minutes
Original networkBBC Two Scotland
BBC One Scotland
Original release14 April 1978 (1978-04-14) 


The Beechgrove Garden is a gardening programme, which started on 14 April 1978. It was inspired by the garden behind the home of WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts, named the Victory Garden.[1] The original plot of land used was the small area of garden attached to the BBC studios in Beechgrove Terrace, Aberdeen. Due to its small size, the programme's popularity and the fact the garden had been transformed several times over, a new area of ground to the west of Aberdeen was acquired for the programme by Tern Television who have produced the series since 1992. The new site covers 2.5 acres and is located at Grampian Regional Council Brotherfield Nursery,[2][3] in Westhill, Aberdeenshire.[4] Episodes were broadcast from the site in 1996.[3]

The show was once parodied in the BBC Scotland comedy sketch show Scotch and Wry, with Rikki Fulton as George Barron and Gregor Fisher as Jim McColl (dubbed the sunshine boyos) "growing" whisky.[5]

Since the 1980s, The Beechgrove Garden has been shown intermittently on the BBC in England usually in non-prime time slots during the day. Since 2013 The Beechgrove Garden has been broadcast in the rest of the UK,[6] usually early on a Sunday morning slot.

On 17 June 1983, the 100th show was broadcast.[2]

In 1990, the decision was made to redevelop the garden, which meant literally uprooting everything and starting again. It caused an outcry from the press and public, but it went ahead and led to a public auction for keepsake plants from The Beechgrove.[1]

There was even bigger change six years later, when the garden moved from its original home to an exposed, rural hillside on the outskirts of Aberdeen.[1]

In 1992, The Hit Squad with Jim McKirdy and Walter Gilmour was launched. They revamped gardens in need, according to presenter Jim McColl, they started all today's make-over shows.[2]

Episodes of the show have been transmitted across the world, from Canada, the Netherlands, Madeira, Italy and Jersey.[2]

The 1,000th episode was filmed in May 2016.[7]


The theme tune for the show is the jig "Miss Tara MacAdam", written by Johnny Cunningham.[5][1] This replaced the show's original theme tune, "Sponge".[1]


The presenters on the programme included:

  • Jim McColl (1978–1988, 1993–2019)[8][9][10]
  • George Barron (1978–1984)
  • Bob Weir
  • Dick Gardiner (1984–1990)
  • Carole Baxter (1986–current)[2][11][12]
  • Sid Robertson (1990–1994)
  • Bill Torrance (1990–1999)
  • Walter Gilmour (1984–)[2][13][14]
  • Jim McKirdy. (1984–)[13]
  • Carolyn Spray (1995–2014)
  • Lesley Watson (1995–2013)[15]
  • Chris Beardshaw (2013–)[15][16]
  • George Anderson[17]

Other regular contributors include the BBC Scotland weather presenters Heather Reid, Gail McGrane and Peter Sloss, who present forecasts on the show.

The Beechgrove Potting Shed

A sister programme, The Beechgrove Potting Shed, was broadcast weekly on BBC Radio Scotland between 1978 and 2012. Presented in its latter years by Theresa Talbot, it was axed as part of a cost-cutting measure by the station.[18]


  1. "Garden parties as Beechgrove hits 40: Birthday bash for a show that’s still bursting with life" - The Sunday Post, 12 August 2018
  2. English, Paul (2 April 2008). "GROWING PAINS; TV legend Jim McColl takes a swipe at new-fangled shows as Beechgrove Garden celebrates 30 years". The Daily Record. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  3. "Beechgrove Garden digs in to its new plot". The Herald. 12 March 1996. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  4. "Down to earth evergreens". The Scotsman. 22 March 2003. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. Docherty, Gavin (6 February 2013). "Beechgrove Garden's Jim is a TV perennial". Daily Express. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  6. "Beechgrove and Beardshaw - a winning combination for gardening TV?". The Guardian. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  7. "Blooming Beechgrove". 3 May 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  8. "First episode of The Beechgrove Garden - Sunday Post 100". Sunday Post 100 - Scotland's Iconic Moments. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  9. "The Beechgrove Garden: Jim McColl". Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  10. "Beechgrove Garden presenter Jim McColl retires after 40 years". Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  11. Stewart, Helen (22 June 2008). "The two of us: Jim McColl and Carole Baxter". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  12. "The Beechgrove Garden: Carole Baxter". Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  13. Swarbrick, Susan (30 March 2011). "After 33 years the Beechcroft Garden's success still bloom". The Herald. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  14. Walls, Sandra (5 June 2008). "Former Beechgrove man Walter opens new walled garden in Strathaven". The Daily Record. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  15. Appleby, Matthew (4 February 2013). "Chris Beardshaw joins BBC Beechgrove Garden". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  16. "The Beechgrove Garden: Chris Beardshaw". Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  17. "The Beechgrove Garden: George Anderson". Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  18. "Beechgrove's McColl angry as radio show axed", The Herald, 4 October 2012
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.