Channel 5 is to put Britain’s professional gardeners to the test in a Bake Off-style competition format from Crackit Productions.
The Great Garden Challenge (working title) will challenge eight pairs of professional garden designers to transform under-used, under-loved spaces into gardens that will enhance the lives of those around it.
The garden spaces used in all the challenges have been selected for deserving causes, across hospitals, care homes, disability centres and war veteran homes across the country.
The pairs will compete in heats over the first four episodes, in which they will be asked to transform identical sized spaces in 48 hours, having been briefed two weeks in advance.
The four winning pairs will go through to the semi-finals, where they must create garden designs in one location.
The winning couples from each semi-final will then go head-to-head in the grand final, in which they will be challenged to create the ultimate show garden at the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship site, Wisley Garden in Surrey.
The competition will be judged by garden designer Diarmuid Gavin, broadcaster Nicki Chapman, gardening expert Carol Klein and landscaper and designer Mark Gregory, with Wisley curator Matthew Pottage joining as guest judge for the finale.
The victors will have the chance to exhibit their garden at the prestigious RHS Garden Wisley.
The format was commissioned Channel 5’s factual entertainment commissioner Greg Barnett, who said it combines the nation’s great love of gardening with the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy.
It will be executive produced by Crackit creative director Elaine Hackett and executive producer Jason Wells and will transmit in 2019.
Hackett said gardening is “without doubt, the new baking”.
She added: “The average Brit will spend £30,000 and eight months of their lives on their garden over the course of a lifetime. This format plays to that British love of gardens, creating lasting green legacies, leaving beautifully designed gardens across the country.”