The Landscape Man: Matthew Wilson on Channel 4

The Landscape Man launched on Channel 4 today with Matthew Wilson as host and Keith and Ros Wiley as his subjects. Matthew has a pleasant manner but, judged only from this episode, lacks a feeling for design. His talk was all about operations and quantities (of land, soil, money, water, plants etc). One feature was described as a ‘sort of canyon’ and another as a ‘sort of Mexican parterre with a wooden cloister and hot plants’. They call it the Wildside Garden. I would call it a display garden for a plant centre. Before that Keith was the manager for the Garden House, which is admired. The style of the Wildside planting was described ‘naturalistic’. But why make a Mexican parterre in Devon? – and when were parterres a characteristic garden form in Mexico? And what is ‘wild’ about pond liners? Matthew did not ask. Keith did not say. His main aim is to make money, since losing his previous job. Matthew has adopted many of Kevin McLeod‘s speech mannerisms and it would not be surprising to learn that the same production team is involved. But to catch-up with Kevin he must sharpen up his design judgement. The programme was sponsored by B&Q and I wondered if they had helped with the garden design.

4 thoughts on “The Landscape Man: Matthew Wilson on Channel 4

  1. Marian

    This made me chuckle, but didn’t inspire me to buy a telly. It sounds as though the garden was being designed by a television production team. Which reminds me of a quotation from the Scarlet Pimpernel: “If all your tailors become politicians, who will make your clothes?”. Wouldn’t it be great if ‘Observer interference’ were penalised.

  2. Tom Turner Post author

    Looking back, I classify the objectives of garden makers as domestic, productive and religious (equivalent to Vitruvius’ Commodity, Firmness and Delight). Looking forward, we should perhaps add ‘artistic’, ‘financial’ and ‘TV-istic’. With the return of spring, I wonder how the National Trust’s objectives should be classified?
    PS Broadband is rapidly making a TV an unnecessary encumbrance.

  3. carole cox

    Interesting but a bit overdramatised by the presenter and why does he speak to someone at the side of the camerea and not straight to it. Its the same in The Restoration Man. It makes the viewer feel like an intruder and I dont like it

  4. Clark

    not addressing the camera is indeed the most amateur aspect of the production of this programme. I am surprised the commissioning editior allowed such a production to go to air. Then again having worked with M.W. his inflated head most likely over ruled the producer – a friend of the family who happened to be in television.


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