Paul James is a TV gardener from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Known as “The Gardener Guy,” he was the host of the HGTV show Gardening by the Yard from 1996 to 2009. He was the creator, writer and senior producer and shot almost the entire show in his own backyard.
In the late 1980s, James began doing a gardening segment on a Tulsa CBS station. A few years later James read an article that HGTV was being launched. He called Scripps Howard Broadcasting and asked for a meeting. James was told if he could get to their headquarters they would meet with him. He did and Gardening by the Yard was born.
James’ show explores topics familiar to the average home gardener, such as lawn care, growing vegetables, pruning trees, and instilling an interest in gardening in young people, in an informative yet light and irreverent style. Nearly all of his pre-2000 shows were filmed on his Tulsa property, and James produced most of the show’s content himself. Later episodes usually included one or more segments by a respected lawn and garden expert and devoted more attention to organic gardening and topics that were more upscale or technical. All episodes of Gardening by the Yard made in 2000 or later were produced by Screaming Flea Productions.
James took master gardener training in 1983.
James is a married father of three with two delightful grandchildren. In addition to his work on Gardening by the Yard, James has hosted numerous HGTV specials, including a Rose Parade, as well as a short-lived cooking show (Paul James’ Homegrown Cooking) that ran from 1998 to 2000.
2009 was the last year of Gardening by the Yard as the show was not renewed. His official website, gardenerguy.com, no longer exists.
Paul can be found these days at Southwood Garden Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he continues to educate the public about gardening and yard care. He hosts regular seminars at Southwood and had a weekly segment with Taft Price on KJRH Channel 2.