Toby Neale Buckland (born October 1969) is an English gardener, TV presenter and author, best known for being the main presenter from 2008-10 of BBC’s long running flagship gardening programme Gardeners’ World.
In 2008 Toby won RHS Gold and Best in show for his Ethical Garden at Gardeners’ World Live. In 2009 he won the Environmental Award from the Garden Media Guild for a Gardeners’ World Special on peat in gardening.
In October 2011, Toby launched an online plant nursery, Toby Buckland Nurseries, based at Powderham Castle in Devon. He is a brand ambassador for ‘RatedPeople.com.
Biography and education
Born in Exeter, Devon, Toby was brought up in the coastal towns of Dawlish and Kingswear. He trained as a nurseryman at Blyth’s Devon Nursery and later Whetman’s in Devon before studying horticulture, first at Bicton College, Budleigh Salterton, Devon and later Hadlow College of Horticulture and Agriculture, Hadlow, Kent where he trained in Landscape and Amenity management. During that time he spent a year as a horticultural trainee at the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden as a woodland supervisor.
He also worked as a gardener for the author Tom Sharpe and built a garden for the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion.
Toby is married to Lisa, a gardening writer, and has three children, Henry, Eddie and Emma. They live in Dawlish where he gardens on a sloping site the size of two tennis courts and has an allotment nearby.
Toby is now working on opening a nursery in Devon.
Toby’s first job in TV was in 1996 as a horticultural researcher for Brian Lapping Associates working on Channel 4’s Garden Party. In 1998 he then joined the Granada Breeze channel as a gardening presenter which led to TV roles designing and building gardens on shows including Home Front in the Garden, Real Wrecks, Carol Vorderman’s Better Homes and BBC One’s Garden Magic.
He took over from Monty Don as the main presenter on the BBC flagship gardening programme Gardeners’ World in August 2008. The format of the programme changed in various respects and was criticised by some viewers for what they regarded as “dumbing down”. In December 2010, the BBC announced that they would not be renewing Toby’s contract. Three years after recovering from a stroke, Monty Don returned as lead presenter of the show in March 2011.
On 31 December 2010 he appeared on BBC1’s Celebrity Mastermind answering questions on Father Ted (scoring 12 with 1 Pass) and 22 overall with 2 more Passes, coming fourth. He donated his fee to the memorial garden which he designed for 45 Commando Royal Marines.
In May 2011 he appeared as a presenter of the BBC’s coverage of the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show. In 2013, he presented two episodes of Great British Garden Revival.
Toby has supported a variety of charities including Perennial, Greenfingers, Thrive and Hospiscare. He has recently designed a memorial garden for 45 Commando Royal Marines.
Toby Buckland has written a number of books, including:
- BBC Gardeners’ World Flowers: Planning and Planting for Continuous Colour April 2011 BBC Books | ISBN 978-1-84607-865-1
- “Gardeners’ World” Practical Gardening Handbook. BBC Books. 4 March 2010. ISBN978-1-84607-854-5.
- How to Make Your Garden Grow. Mitchell Beazley. 2 March 2009. ISBN978-1-84533-505-2.
- 50 Weekend Garden Projects. Cassell Illustrated. 13 February 2003. ISBN978-1-84403-062-0.
- Garden Boundaries. Laurel Glen Publishing. January 2003. ISBN978-1-57145-823-0.
The Garden Makeover Book. Cassell Illustrated. 8 March 2001. ISBN 978-0-304-35894-6.