It is the softly spoken radio show that provides good-natured help and advice to thousands of gardeners every week.
So regular listeners to Gardeners’ Question Time may be horrified to discover it has been accused of peddling racial stereotypes.
According to an academic, the sedate Radio 4 panel show is riddled with “racial meanings” disguised as horticultural advice.
One current presenter, Bob Flowerdew, rubbished the idea, calling it “ridiculous”, and asked whether experts on the show “should stop using Latin names to avoid offending the Romans”.
But Dr Ben Pitcher, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Westminster, claimed the programme’s regular discussions on soil purity and non-native species promoted nationalist and fascist beliefs.
Speaking on another Radio 4 programme, Thinking Allowed, the academic said: “Gardeners’ Question Time is not the most controversial show on Radio 4, and yet it is layered with, saturated with, racial meanings.
“The context here is the rise of nationalism. The rise of racist and fascist parties across Europe. Nationalism is about shoring up a fantasy of national integrity. My question is, what feeds nationalism? What makes nationalism powerful?”