[Editor, Nov. 22, 2018: Unfortunately, HortusTV is off the air due to lack of subscribers. What a pity!]
I’ve given up watching the late-night news. No need to be reminded that the world is going through a bit of a bad patch. Not right before bedtime.
And I can’t always be in the garden – the gardener’s happy place, no matter which way we fall on the political divide.
Lately, I’ve found refuge in HortusTV, the online garden network, working my way through hours of (mostly British) garden shows. You can, too, with 25% off for the lifetime of your subscription. Read to the end for your promo code!
Although I’d known about HortusTV for a couple of years, I’d resisted subscribing. It’s an online streaming service. I’m already chained to my computer for my job, and didn’t relish having to sit at my desk any longer than I had to.
But a chat with HortusTV’s creator Liza Drozdov told me how easy it was to hook up with my wide-ish-screen TV and watch from the comfort of my couch.
Her tips for me as a Mac user – with tips for PC users, too:
- Simplest way: use an HDMI cable to connect your computer to the TV (best method for PC users, too)
- If your SmartTV has a built-in browser with internet access, use that to stream directly (though some built-in browsers are slow and you might get buffering, especially with HD videos)
- For Mac users, if you have Samsung SmartTVs from 2012 on, the AirBeamTV app (available on the iTunes store) mirrors your iPhone or iPad (on iOS11.0 or later) to the TV via home wifi. (For PCs, it looks like the Smart View app works this way)
- If you have AppleTV (which I do), use your iPhone (which I did) and share the stream through AirPlay, using your home’s wifi network (which has worked a charm!)
Now, I’m hooked. Hortus TV is the perfect before-bed or rainy-day viewing. There’s always hope and a sense of renewal in a garden – especially relaxing when someone else has done the digging.
As a city gardener, my favourite at the moment is Big Dreams, Small Spaces in which Monty Don coaches regular Joes as they transform their tiny patches into their dream gardens.
Here’s what Drozdov replied when I asked her why she created her own little online dream.
“So others can indulge their crush on Monty Don? I can’t be alone in that. No, I started HortusTV because I was frustrated there were no garden shows on TV any more. Now, here they are. Brilliant and inspiring. All on one channel, unlimited and commercial free.”
Well, I’m a happy customer. Sign up for the free trial via the link in paragraph 3 and you might be, too. Then if you dig it (sorry!), use the code TORONTOGARDENS18 before July 21, 2018* and get 25% off the monthly subscription – currently $6.99 – for as long as you remain subscribed. [UPDATE: That’s a month longer than the 2018 HortusTV summer promo.]
As a little aside, Drozdov is a veteran of Canadian how-to TV with shows like Holmes on Homes and Colour Confidential. After leaving that world, she wrote Design My Life a novel that hints at where all the bodies are buried with home makeover shows. It makes fun summer reading – which I just finished and now am dying to ask her who was really who. If plied with wine, I wonder if she’d say…