Series G, Episode 1 - Gardens
- The set is decorated with trees, flowers, ivy and garden gnomes.
- The tools you need for "do nothing" gardening are animals that do the gardening for you. Also known as "natural gardening" or "natural farming", it is an Eastern version of organic farming. Ducks are used in paddy fields to get rid of weeds instead of herbicides, and carp are used to purify the water.
- The panel are given each a tool used by 18th-19th century gentlemen gardeners, belonging to The Garden Museum, and are asked what they are.
- XL: Stephen asks the panel to draw what they think the first novelty teapot looked like. The answer is that they looked like fruits and vegetables, like cauliflowers and pineapples. The first date from the reign of Queen Anne in the early 1700s.
- The best place in the world to discover an entirely new species is your own garden. In 1971, biologist Jennifer Owen carried out a very long term study in her own garden in a suburban house in Leicester. She found 533 different types of ichneumon wasp, 15 of which had never been recorded in Britain, and 4 where completely new to science. Naturalist Gilbert White said nature is so full and varied that if you want to find the place with the most variety, it is the place you most study. Just take in small piece of land and examine it hard enough. (Forfeit: The Rainforest)
- The person who found garden gnomes attractive was Charles Isham, a vegetarian spiritualist who introduced them in 1847 in the hope they would attract real gnomes. He introduced 21 porcelain garden gnomes, one of which survives to this day and is insured for about £1 million. The red cap worn by almost all garden gnomes is based on the idea that German gnomes and dwarves (like the ones in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves) wore them because they were miners, and German miners wore red caps. (Forfeit: Phwoarr!)
- The reason why American farmers hate Shakespeare is because of him there are now starlings in the USA. An eccentric drug manufacture called Eugene Schieffelin who decided that America should contain examples of every bird species mentioned in Shakespeare. This included starlings that were not native to America, so he had 100 introduced to Central Park. However, they are terrible pests, befouling everything they do not eat. There is an estimated 200 million now in the country.
- Out of "Grocer's", "Grocers" or "Grocers'", it does not really matter which one you use. Despite the attempts of some people insisting that the apostrophe goes in a certain place, as well as societies forming to protect apostrophes, there has been disagreement about where the "grocer's/grocers/grocers' apostrophe" should go in dating as back as the 18th century. In Birmingham, the use of the apostrophe for grocers was abolished.
- You can tell the difference between an apple and pear without tasting or opening them up by whether or not they float. Apples float, pears sink. The oldest variety of apple in England is the Pearmain.
- XL: If you go into a shop to get one or two items and you come out with a load of stuff, then you have been subject to a "Gruen transfer", named after Victor Gruen. Supermarkets are carefully laid out to increase the chances of sales. For example, men are more likely to by things on higher shelves and are more like to pay more, so items designed to attract men are put on high shelves. Cheaper, more everyday things which are more likely to be brought by women are placed on the shelves below (about 3-4ft). Men pick the higher items thinking that they are the best because they are more expensive. Women will get the items lower down thinking they are good value.
- Trees are made out of wood, which in turn is made out of carbon which comes from the air via photosynthesis. (Forfeit: Earth)
- The thing that makes Australian spiders so dangerous is the fact you do not expect them. No-one has died of a spider bite in Australia since 1981 since antivenoms where introduced. The main cause of death from spiders is when they surprise you in cars, and thus you are in such a panic you crash the car. There are two venomous spiders in Australia - the funnel-web and the redback.
- David Mitchell and Dara O'Briain: 3 points
- Rob Brydon: -6 points
- Alan Davies: -8 points
- Thursday 26th November 2009
- BBC One
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|Dara O Briain||Guest|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|Justin Pollard||Question Writer|
|James Harkin||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Katie Taylor||Executive Producer|
|David Morley (as Dave Morley)||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|