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OUT IN THE GARDEN: time to prune your autumn-fruiting raspberry canes

With the growing popularity of gardening makeover television programmes I thought I’d have a go a pitching my own gardening show.

Picture the scene, a maverick gardener is trapped in a garden which has been overrun by highly trained terrorists.

Our hero Mark McBane, wearing only a pair of trousers and a white vest as that’s what he likes to garden in, is the only one who can save the day.

Raspberry pruning (44329481)
Raspberry pruning (44329481)

During the course of the show we discover that the terrorists are in fact autumn-fruiting raspberry canes and we watch Mark armed only with a sharp pair of secateurs tackle the brutal canes and attempt to restore order to the garden...

The working title for the show is ‘Prune Hard’. Each episode could be set in another part of the world so I could have Prune Hard 2, Prune Hard 3 and the season finale Prune Hard 4 with a Vengeance which would be a double parter.

Just by pure coincidence now is the perfect time to prune your autumn fruiting raspberry canes. So to really impress the commissioning editor of the BBC I decided that I would shoot a pilot episode and send in with my idea. Double whammy!

One of the things I learnt straight away is that trying to prune raspberry canes whilst wearing a vest can be painful but the cuts and grazes sustained to my arms, face and torso only made me look tougher, also as a bonus it didn’t take long for my white vest to get dirty.

Pruning your autumn fruiting raspberries now allows fresh growth to emerge in the spring and for the fruit to form on this new growth which is different to summer fruiting canes which fruit from last year’s growth.I insisted that my wife film a close up as I pruned the raspberry canes. I wanted it to look like I was cutting the wire to a bomb, so for added jeopardy I kept changing my mind as to which cane to prune first. It worked really well.

When all of the canes were pruned to just above ground level I walked away in super slow motion. I wanted to add explosions behind me but I had to settle with a couple of sparklers left over from Bonfire Night.

The camera then pans away to reveal me disguised in one of those paper decorating suits that you can get from B&Q – other paper suits are available from other retailers.

In my mind I was a scenes of crime officer, my wife just thought I looked like a wally. Anyway, dressed as a top forensic scenes of crime officer, I drove a couple of wooden stakes into the ground at either end of the fruit canes and stretched some wire across the gap.

Roll credits.Everyone now expects there to be some kind of bonus scene in the credits so as to not disappoint... e cut forward to six months later where we see gardener Mark McBane, whilst enjoying a cup of tea. harvesting his raspberries which have been secured to the stretched wire as they grew, whilst enjoying a cup of tea.

Well I’ve emailed this idea to the commissioning editor at the BBC; it’s surely only a matter of days now before I’ll be in high level meetings.

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