Paul James

Learn more about master gardener Paul James, host of HGTV's Gardening by the Yard.

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Paul James, host of Gardening by the Yard, admits there was a time when he hated gardening. The dislike stemmed from digging Bermuda grass out of his father's vegetable garden in the middle of August.

Paul has come a long way since that memorable hot and sweaty day. Now known as "The Gardener Guy," Paul serves as Gardening by the Yard's creator, writer and senior producer and shoots almost the entire show in his own backyard.

"I remember watching gardening shows when I was younger, and I was amazed at how everything was always picture perfect. The soil was so soft and crumbly. The plants were pest- and disease-free. And the hosts never broke a sweat! So when I got the chance to do my own show, I decided to make it as real as possible."

That realism, plus Paul's somewhat zany style and a commitment to all-natural approaches to gardening, has endeared viewers to his show since it first aired on HGTV in 1996. "If I've got a spot where the soil is awful, or a plant that's been riddled by bugs or plagued by some sort of disease, I don't hide it. I feature it. How else will people know how to deal with their own garden problems?"

Paul's gardening career began in 1978 when he and his wife, Carrie, purchased their first home. As an undergraduate, Paul studied botany, plant physiology and plant pathology. He obtained his master-gardener certification in 1983.

Despite his credible education background, Paul confesses that most of what he knows about gardening came from "digging in the dirt, and making more than a few mistakes along the way."

When he's not in the garden, Paul enjoys time in the kitchen, fishing his favorite trout stream, playing guitar, hanging out with his kids, practicing Tae Kwon Do and working on his third-degree black belt.

For 14 years before entering the world of television, Paul owned and operated a corporate communications company that specialized in corporate comedy.

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