5 TV gardening-landscape shows that we really dig

Natasia Demetriou and Vic Reeves are co-hosts of “The Big Flower Fight.”

Looking for a great garden/landscape show on TV? Good luck.

They’re about as rare as a lawn without gophers.

Even the “G” in HGTV has become largely a misnomer in recent years. And that bums out many horticulture enthusiasts, including Bay Area resident Gary Gragg, who used to host a series called “Superscapes” on the cable channel.

“Those shows have become an endangered species,” he says. “Now it’s mostly all about home-renovation programs.”

Indeed, somewhere along the way, a network suit clearly decided that a wall being smashed to smithereens makes for flashier, more dramatic television than watching tulip bulbs being planted in nice, neat rows. Go figure.

Gragg suggests that viewers head to YouTube instead, where many green-thumbed experts offer how-to videos. Gragg, in fact, oversees a series called “True Plant Stories.”

“You get a better depth of content,” he says. “And you can search out specifically what you want — instead of watching a 30-minute show and hoping that they might talk about a topic you’re interested in.”

He makes an excellent point, but we still wanted to explore television and streaming options to discover what exactly constitutes a gardening and/or landscaping show these days. Here are five that caught our eye:

“The Big Flower Fight”

If you’re someone who believes any activity connected with flowers and plants should be blissfully Zen-like, avoid this offbeat British reality series. But if you’re keen on watching a group of eccentric floral sculptors enter a massive thunder dome and throw down in a stressful, cutthroat, totally bonkers competition, then by all means, have at it.

In each episode, teams of two are challenged to create eye-popping artworks — including colossal bugs and sea creatures — from flowers, shrubs, grasses and other material.

It makes for plenty of whimsy and visual dazzle, but it’s not all flowery fun. While challenge winners are declared the “best in bloom,” eliminated losers, alas, are relegated to the “compost pile.”

Where to watch: The eight-episode first season is currently streaming on Netflix; www.netflix.com/title/81046153.

Chris Lambton and Sara Bendrick of “Lawn & Order.” (DIY) 

“Lawn & Order”

This series, which wins our trophy for best title ever, features landscape contractors Sara Bendrick and Chris Lambton giving some love to neglected front yards in hopes of raising property values.

“Sometimes when a house won’t sell, the reason is right in front of you,” goes the series mantra.

And so cue the tractors, chain saws and other noisy contraptions as driveways are enhanced, trees are shorn and overgrown lawns are ripped out. Then bring on the enhancements — like garage doors, flagstone walkways and “calming” water features. And, oh yeah, some lovely flowers and trees.

The result? Homeowners are stoked. Curb appeal is boosted. And Lambton tries his best to resist the urge to remind us that he was the runner-up on Season 6 of “The Bachelorette.”

Where to watch: HGTV, DIY and Hulu; www.hgtv.com/shows/lawn-and-order

Jamie Durie, host of “Backyard Takeover.” (HGTV) 

“Backyard Takeover”

Affable Aussie Jamie Durie hosts this series, which basically takes the “Lawn & Order” concept and shifts it to the hideous areas behind homes.

Sure, things get a little hokey when Durie makes like Crocodile Dundee and, with a completely straight face, slashes his way through overgrown weeds and bushes with a huge machete, as if he were penetrating the Outback. (C’mon, mate!).

On the other hand, we admire how he does his own stunt work. To wit: In one episode, Durie plunges from a tree while using a chain saw. In another, he deals with an intrusive alligator — yikes! — in a Florida yard.

We also admire how he gets the homeowners and their children deeply involved with the four-day facelift projects. For example, they are required to camp overnight in their yards to “reconnect” with the environment. But not the alligators.

Where to watch: HGTV, Discovery+ and Hulu; www.hgtv.com/shows/backyard-takeover

The landscaping hosts of “Backyard Envy.” (Bravo) 

“Backyard Envy”

Leave it to Bravo, the cable network that subjected America to the “Real Housewives” franchise, to find a way to inject some soapy drama and conflict into a gardening show.

The series follows longtime pals James DeSantis, Garrett Magee and Melissa Brasier, the founders of a New York exterior design and landscaping firm called Manscapers (No kidding. That’s the actual name).

They turn “backyards from hell” into wondrous spaces. But they also invite us into their personal lives (Melissa has a cancer scare), the tensions over the company’s future (with lots of bleep-laced bickering) and even some romantic issues.

Our take? We appreciate how the show educated us about arborvitae trees, but it also had us on pins and needles waiting to see if Garrett’s long-time partner would accept his marriage proposal.

Where to watch it: Bravo and Hulu; www.bravotv.com/backyard-envy

“Love Your Garden”

By now, you have surely figured out that most TV gardening shows don’t delve all that deeply into actual gardening.

When this iconic British series launched in 2011, it did just that. Scotsman Alan Titchmarsh visited lovely spaces all over Britain and passed on tips about planting, watering, fertilizing and pruning while teaching viewers how to “put some real flower power into your garden.”

The show eventually succumbed to the makeover craze and began reimagining not only gardens, but structural landscape features.

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