In the opening of Garden Rescue, a British garden makeover show, Harry Rich, speaking for himself and his brother David, says, “We want to be the brothers who change people’s perception of gardeners.” I’ve seen him say this dozens of times in the past few weeks because watching Garden Rescue has become my singular focus. To clarify, my interest is in the Rich Brothers, the program is simply a means of distribution. If you don’t know, Harry and David Rich are brothers who garden—which would be largely unremarkable if it were not for the fact that they are also hot.
I learned about them from another gardening obsession of mine, Monty Don. “Britain’s Favourite Gardener” if you believe (I do!) the narrator of his own garden makeover show, Big Dreams, Small Spaces. (Imagine living in a nation with a favo(u)rite gardener!) Monty, who in addition to being a total dreamboat has, in recent years, become my style icon. He makes classic British workwear look so good and hopefully will help usher us into a new era of loosely fitting, sturdy, and practical clothing. You can keep your added stretch and skinny whatever. Anyway, Monty posted a photo of himself and Harry Rich at Chelsea, as those of us in the know call the Chelsea Flower Show, a yearly event presented by the Royal Horticultural Society that succinctly highlights one of the many differences between our nation and the UK. They have a week-long sold-out gardening show that is televised nightly on a major network, attended by royalty as well as tens of thousands of commoners. But the point is that Monty posts this photo of himself and Harry Rich at Chelsea and I’m like: WHAT.
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The Instagram post lead me down an internet rabbit hole related to these very attractive (did I mention they are attractive?) Welsh brothers who, I learn, have a landscape design firm, really wonderful personal style (I mean), and a television program that I’ve been watching almost daily for weeks. Weeks. Every time I do Harry repeats this, ” We want to be the brothers who change people’s perception of gardeners” thing. It’s a funny phrase. I guess the brothers part makes it funny? As if a prophecy foretold of brothers who are destined to change our perception of gardeners. And there is Harry all: WE ARE THOSE BROTHERS. Also, I am not sure I need the perception of gardeners changed. Do I? Especially when Monty Don, the most popular gardener in their country, is basically the coolest person I know of? But Harry is so earnest when he says it that I really do want him to succeed.
At this point you may be starting to wonder where this is going and I can assure you, nowhere.
When we started the show (yes, Bryan is on this journey with me) we were initially drawn to Harry. He looks like an early 20th century movie star, with his mesmerizing eyes (maybe too mesmerizing! Bryan will often just randomly utter those eyes while we’re watching an episode), and his high waisted trousers and perfect hair. He has the most intense listening face I have ever seen, like, when he looks at you he SEES you. I would definitely not be able to maintain eye contact (or would I!?). He also seems, in many ways, like the millennial heir apparent to Monty Don. But after watching more of the show David’s charms are revealed. He is the younger brother, but taller, and his style could best be described as British gardener who’d rather be surfing or skateboarding (which is maybe My Type?). He’s playful! He has some pretty glorious flow, which if you’ve seen Bryan lately you know I am into. He also is funny in a goofy dad-joke sort of way, and has such pretty, sad eyes. Also, his dungarees. He is definitely the casual hot brother to Harry’s more formal hot brother.
But choosing between the brothers is unnecessary and unfair. We get them both.
Up to this point I have mostly focused on the superficial appeal of the Rich Brothers. I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge that they do seem to be genuinely talented. The format of the show has the brothers pitted against Charlie Dimmock (deserving of her own lengthy essay!) competing for the chance to design the homeowners garden. They present their designs to the prospective clients in an awkward pitch scene that has the brothers using phrases like “quite architectural” and “lovely texture”. And Harry always with those eyes! I usually prefer the Rich Brother’s designs—they have a nice sense of form and space and material. They feel modern. It makes sense that their rad personal style is simply a reflection of their design skills and good taste. I would definitely want them to design my garden.
That is not a euphemism.