It it still light when one puts the rubbish bags out at 6 in the evening and the cars are coated with pollen from the great pine forests of the northwest.

So it is effectively spring.

And spring is the time to plant things in the garden.

I have prepared my plot and as it always does at this time of year when weed growth is sluggish it looks fine and dandy.


As always, I anticipate only modest results. But, hey, a result is a result.

It's like the old saying about not judging a book by its cover.

The cover of my weeded, well dug, compost-infused and finely raked garden is that of a classic novel ... yet I know the contents within are the equivalent of a cheap dime-store paperback.

It's the soil around our area you see. It is the stuff of old earthquake fill and mushed sediment from the days it formed the base of swampy marshes.

But one thing I've noticed is the quality of the lettuces I plant.

They never fail to sprout and bloom beautifully.

Hardy types, unlike the broccoli which ends up becoming nothing more than a stand-up comedy act.

And so, gardening is in the air and that's a good thing because being able to grow your own vegetables is extremely rewarding for three reasons.


You can save some money.

You get what is effectively an organically pure product which always seems to taste better because you grew it.

You get to grab some regular exercise with the weeding and the watering.

So where are the gardening shows on television?

There are endless shows about what people do with the products from a garden (cooking) and there are shows which challenge the fitness of the participants ... but nothing to promote gardening.

It clearly has no value with television management who probably perceive it as being too genteel.

No arguments, no tears, no confrontation, no risk, no edginess, no thinly veiled voyeurism.

Sad really, because gardening is a pursuit that ticks life's positive boxes.

All it would require to create a fine show (they could call it Green Fingers) would be to have an effervescent host who would have a youngster as a co-host.

They help the youngster create a garden, and they call on other kids across the land to make a garden and send in a pic of it.

They could visit the vege gardens of neighbourhoods all over the land ... the modest and the majestic.

Have competitions, have fun and call in well-known faces from entertainment, sport and even politics to get involved.

Have a fun extract called Show us Your Veg where remarkable examples of stuff grown at home is rolled out.

And for a comic diversion come and see my garden.

It's outdoors, it's healthy, it's fun, it's rewarding ... but it appears to be effectively barred from locally produced television.

So anyway, on the subject of spring, the domestic and test rugby season is now set to get under way.

The winter game is no longer confined to the times of southerly chills, firewood and rugs.

It now runs into the seasons where willow and leather begins to appear, along with longer days and warmer airs.

Expect more than warm air over in Sydney on Saturday night though. It will be red hot.

The Aussies are fizzing after their Waratahs sent the Crusaders home on a flight which had one spare seat ... where the Super Rugby trophy had been booked to sit.

This opening stoush for the Bledisloe Cup has all the hallmarks of being an uncompromising, razor-sharp competitive battle. It will not be a six-all draw, no siree.

And here's an idea ... during the off-season (if indeed there ever is one) they could get Richie McCaw to front the gardening show as he is not afraid of getting the old hands and knees grubby.

But if he visits a referee's garden he must remember to enter the property from the back ... don't come in from the side mate.

All Blacks vs Australia, Sky Sport 1 from 9pm Saturday:

I think it would be fair to say the gap between the ABs and the Wallabies has closed up, well on paper at least. It is the actual 15 against 15 for 80 minutes that will tell us where we, and our chums across the Tasman, stand. This has the potential to be a classic. The match will be screened in the delayed sense over on Prime from 11pm.