Beechgrove | The Beechgrove Garden

Beechgrove and The Beechgrove Garden titles

Beechgrove or as it was previously known by The Beechgrove Garden is BBC Scotland Flagship gardening programme that has been shown since 14 April 1978.

The original location of Beechgrove Garden was at the BBC Studios in Beechgrove Terrace in Aberdeen Scotland.

The idea for the programme came from an Executive visiting a TV garden in Boston and thought that because Scotland had its own unique weather issues it needed its own gardening show.

Jim McColl and George Barron

The first Presenters were Jim McColl and George Barron, who started designing and building the garden from a derelict plot next to the Studios.

The programme had viewing figures of over a million people, which was a quarter of the population of Scotland at that time!

Jim and George relationship is immortalised by the comedy duo of Scotch and Wry and their Beechgrove parody.

in 1983 the programme went mobile, with their Roadshow that travelled to different parts of Scotland to visit local gardens and to answer viewers garden problems as a panel in a local hall.

They have also been strongly involved with Community Gardens, making gardens where there was not any and improving areas for the local residents to enjoy.

In 1986 The Beechgrove Gardens made newspaper headlines by having the UK first woman gardening Presenter Carole Baxter join Jim McColl on the programme.

During the 1990 'The Hit Squad' made up of Walter Gilmour and Jim McKirby started with these previous guest presenters of The Beechgrove Garden.

The shed on wheels travelled around the country helping to fix garden problems and help with garden makeovers all completed in just one day.

Beechgrove Gardens
Beechgrove Gardens

The original garden proved to be too small and in 1996 they moved to a new 2.5 Acre location in Brotherfield Nursery, Westhill, near Aberdeen.

Beechgrove Garden has been shown regularly all over the UK since 2013 usually on BBC2 on a Sunday morning although BBC Scotland is now available digitally.

Chris Beardshaw joined the team to bring another 'Southerner' into the programme for the revamp.

Beechgrove Gardens at 40

In 2018 it celebrated its 40th year on BBC Scotland.

In 2019 Jim McColl at the age of 83 retired after being BBCs longest serving gardening presenter after more than 40 years on screen.

Jim decided he was getting too old to carry on and that he might not get back up from kneeling down on TV.

His catchphrase 'every days a school day' 'I'm just away to do a wee jobby in the potting shed' and his weekly 'welcome to Beechgrove Garden' will always be missed.

In 2020 after the retirement of Jim McColl the previous year the programme changed its name to Beechgrove.
Beechgrove Gardens 2020

The current presenters on Beechgrove in 2020 are Carole Baxter, George Anderson, Chris Beardshaw, Brian CunninghamKirsty Wilson and Sophie McKilligan.

During the Covid-19 Lockdown the presenters have filmed the programme in their own homes and gardens as well as from the workplaces of Brian, Scone Palace and Kirsty the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh.

Sophie McKilligan first made a guest appearance in 2019 from her allotment and appeared throughout the 2020 series and her and her plot soon became a popular addition to the programme.

For the new season of Beechgrove 2021 the programme has 2 new Presenters Mairi Rattray who just happens to be the Head Gardener at Beechgrove and Calum Clunie as well as exciting changes to the Beechgrove Gardens.

The introduction of The Beechgrowers 2021 was not a popular choice for some viewers as we followed the progress of 6 Beechgrowers from their own gardens throughout the year but this helped fill the programme during the Covid Lockdowns and restrictions when the presenters were restricted for travel etc.

The 2022 line up of presenters include the longest serving presenter Carole Baxter as well as George AndersonBrian CunninghamKirsty Wilson and last years new comer Calum Clunie

Not returning this year as Presenters are Mairi Rattray who is taking a more behind the scenes part in her role as Head Gardener at Beechgrove and Sophie McKilligan who last year started a new role as a Gardener at Culzean Castle said her goodbyes at the end of the last series.

For 2022 there is not going to be 6 new presenters all presenting from their own gardens / houses as well as the return of The Beechgrowers 2022.

Beechgrove is now as popular South of the border as in Scotland and in 2022 it is now being shown twice a week on BBC2 and in the Friday night slot before its main rival Gardeners World 2022

Although the programme first started to show, how it is possible to garden, even in the Scottish extremes of weather. 

Beechgrove, no nonsense approach, good advice and plant trials have made it a popular weekly 'must watch' for Gardeners all over the UK.

The programme has gone back to being called Beechgrove Garden 2023 it is the programmes 45th year anniversary.

The 2023 line up of presenters returning include the longest serving presenter Carole Baxter who is celebrating her 40th year in the Garden as well as George AndersonBrian CunninghamKirsty Wilson and Calum Clunie

The new presenter  Diana Yates who started on the programme as a Beechgrower in 2021, 
Diana returned in Beechgrove 2022 as a guest presenter, then in Beechgrove Gardens in Winter as a presenter before joining the main show in 2023.

Another familiar face joining the Presenting team is Lizzie Schofield who has featured on previous episodes as a Remote mini Presenter on Beechgrove 2022 .

Not returning this year as Head Gardener is Mairi Rattray who has left and been replaced by New Head Gardener and new Beechgrove Presenter Scott Smith.

Beechgrove Garden 2024 returns with most of the previous years Presenters so far, Carole Baxter  as well as George AndersonBrian CunninghamKirsty Wilson, Calum Clunie and Lizzie Schofield

What we do not know until the programme progresses if all of the other presenters from last year, or if 'The Beechgrowers' and Remote mini presenters are returning.
Scott Smith   did not appear as a presenter on Beechgrove Gardens 2024 and left his Head Gardener role in May 2024 to become Head Gardener on The Mayan Estate in Banffshire, Scotland.

Allotmenteer Efi Papagianni  from her allotment in  Dundee does make a return.  Instagram as well as Erin and Joe Armstrong from their garden in East Lothian 

A new Garden Expert for Beechgrove Garden Ruth Vichos, Horticultural Lecturer Scotland's Rural College Edinburgh will also feature this series.

2020 Presenters

George Anderson

Carole Baxter

Chris Beardshaw

Brian Cunningham

Kirsty Wilson

2021 Presenters

Beechgrove 2021


Beechgrove List of Presenters

1978 -1988 1993 - 2019
Jim McColl

1978 - 1984
George Barron 

1984 -1986
Dick Gardiner

1986 - Present
Carole Baxter

1987 - 1999
Walter Gilmour

1990 - 1999
Bill Torrance

1990 - 1994
Sid Robertson

1994 - 1998
Jim McKirby 

1995 - 2012
Lesley Watson

1995 - 2012

Carolyn Spray

2005 - Present
George Anderson

2013 - 2021
Chris Beardshaw

2015 - Present
Brian Cunningham

2019 - Present 
Kirsty Wilson

2020 - 2021
Sophie McKilligan

2021-2021 & Head Gardener 2023
Mairi Rattray

2021 - Present

2022 - 2023

2023 - Present

2023 - 2023 & Head Gardener 2024

All Photographs are copyright of

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