chapter  8
20 Pages

Questions of Consumption: What Ordinary Gardeners Do With Garden ‘Lifestyle’ Media

This chapter turns to the relationship between my respondents and the garden lifestyle

media texts they were consuming in the late 1990s. In earlier chapters I argued that

lifestyle texts might be conceived as agents which enable subjects to make the

transition from ‘ways of life’ to ‘lifestyle’ (Chaney 2001). Central to processes of

‘ordinari-ization’ adopted by such texts, however, was their address and formal ability

to hook into the ordinary rhythms, practices and sites of everyday life. Such ‘ordinari-

ization’ strategies included the more popular tone of contemporary public service

broadcasting (Bondebjerg 1996; Ellis 2000); the accessibility and achievability of

the presentation of lifestyle projects; and the increase in more ordinary ‘experts’ and

lifestyle subjects. This chapter examines the lived consequences for ordinary subjects

of the shifts in the ethos of public service broadcasting, programme changes and

promotional lifestyle culture at the time the data was gathered. It investigates how

those changes concretely interacted with the sites that ordinary gardening viewers

both experienced and imbued with meaning. In these ways, it aims to contribute to

an historical understanding of how such macro changes are experienced at the micro

level by people at the point of media consumption.