Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
January, 2009
Regional Report

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Henry and Art on the set of Henry's Garden. I will miss their company and the free garden tools!

Back to the Garden, Again

Every job I have seems to be my favorite. I'm lucky to be able to work in a field that is rewarding both spiritually and financially. When I was gardening at Sunset Magazine, I couldn't imagine any career more inspiring or creative. I was a pampered member of the staff and treated like royalty. Seventeen years spent gardening there expanded my knowledge of horticulture and my love of gardening.

From Dirt to Digital
After I left Sunset to pursue a career in television, I was asked to join a group of ex-Sunset folks who designed and a fledgling, garden-related Internet site. The only kind of computer I knew how to use at that time was an ATM machine. However, the folks at this new site requested my assistance in answering the many gardening questions they were receiving. That soon turned into a weekly column. Then, we began demonstrating the features of the Web site at garden shows across the country.

Next, I lined up a regular gig as a resident garden expert at KTLA and KRON. The money wasn't great but the work was fun and I loved the people I was working with. The KTLA job went south with budget cuts but the KRON job expanded into a producers position. For those of you who always wondered what the difference is between a producer and a director here it is; the director is in charge of what happens on stage. He gives time cues and direction to the talent. The producer is in charge of everything else. In my case, we didn't have a director so I was the go-to person in charge of scheduling, booking guests, segment ideas and execution, props, catering, timing the segments, logging tape, writing voice over tracks, building shows -- well, you get the idea. I was responsible for everything that goes into a one-half hour television show that you don't see on screen, and even some of that when a scheduled guest didn't arrive. I LOVED it! I never knew how bossy I was until I became a producer. I had excellent people to work with and even a regular pay check (although a small one...)

All good things come to an end and last week, I was given two weeks notice that my position as Attila the Producer at KRON TV was coming to an end. Things at the station have not been good for the past year and although we have sponsors for the show, the powers that be decided to let Henry's Home and Garden fade into the sunset.

Back to Square One
Once again I will be forced to reinvent myself into some incarnation of a gardener. Sixty years old is a bit long of tooth to take up rake and hoe, but I have supported myself as some sort of gardener all my adult life and I don't expect to quit now, just when I finally have the hang of things. Perhaps I'll take up greenhouse work again, or a position at a retail nursery. Or, maybe I'll just find a few clients who need someone to follow behind the mow and blow guys. Whatever it will be, I know it will become my new favorite job, because when you are doing God's work, it's always good.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Have Hoe, Will Travel.

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