Anyone been following this on BBC2? 9 couples are given an allotment, and then are set various tasks each week, with one couple eliminated until we find the series champion. Any similarity to The Great British Bake Off, Great British Sewing Bee etc is, I am sure, purely intentional.
The usual mix of couples is present, some serious gardeners, some more quirky ones, all battling for one of the three weekly "best in show" prizes, as well as trying to avoid elimination.
The first challenge each week is the "grow" challenge - basically a standard vegetable growing contest, each couple trying to provide the perfect specimen of a certain vegetable each week. We've had carrots, aubergines and runner beans amongst others. All very interesting, but not what I grow vegetables for - as long as they are edible, I don't really care what they look like!!
We then move onto the "make" challenge - every week, our intrepid couples are given a design or item to make with flowers from their allotment - last week's topiary tree made from sunflowers was fascinating to watch, some really artistic designs, and showcasing how flowers can be displayed in different, unusual ways.
My favourite challenge is the last one - "eat". The gardeners are challenged to make a certain food from their vegetables - we've had chutneys, relishes, cordials, piccalilli, and pickles. I love making my own chutneys, jams etc, so I watch this section with keen interest - I've picked up a few ideas as well.
It's all very interesting to watch, but there is something missing - growing.
The contestants were given their allotments some time before filming, and we join them with fully grown fruit, vegetables and flowers all ready to take on the challenges. I understand the reasons for this, but I'd have liked to have seen more of the couples working on their allotments over the weeks and months, seeing their successes and failures along the way, before going into the challenges.
It's still a good programme though.