Every Saturday morning since 1983 the garden show has hit the airwaves and in those early days the Christmas show would be a real family affair with my mom and dad joining me live in the studio. My parents would tell a few stories of Christmases past and general merriment would ensue with callers phoning in, not with the usual plant questions but compliments of the season and Christmas wishes.
My mom always brought along a special poem to read on air and of course my dad would sing a couple of tunes a cappella.
Ken Salvail and I will be presenting our special Christmas garden show this Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. on AM 1150.
In those days the program was aired on CKOV 630 which was the very first Kelowna radio station owned by the Browne family and managed by third generation owner Jamie Browne.
The station itself was historical and quite different than most today in that it was privately owned and operated.
Nowadays most are owned by large corporations; however the garden show, which has aired on basically two stations over the years, has remained a down to earth (no pun intended) program helping gardeners improve the results of their gardening endeavours.
In the early 1990’s the show “crossed the floor” to the rival CKIQ 1150 which eventually became AM1150 and here we are today, 1,525 shows later and still going strong.
My good friend and partner in crime Ken Salvail has been participating casually on the show since the mid-’80s when he worked as my nursery manager. Since I invited him on as a guest in 2002 he has been my regular co-host and I consider myself lucky to work with such a knowledgeable and personable gentleman.
This Saturday, Ken and I will be joined by special guests such as Brian Minter, Ed Hume, Scott Austin—all passionate garden industry icons—as well as my good friend Valdy who is not only well known as a folk rock singer but is an avid gardener who lives on Salt Spring Island.
I am also going to attempt to connect with Mark Flanagan, who is one of the Queen of England’s personal gardeners. All of this will be crammed into the usual two-hour program and just to keep the tradition of family participation I will have a couple of songs played from my Dad’s Anthology 2000 album. The most common request is the duet he and my sister Joan sang in 1992 from the Phantom of the Opera. He was 82 years old at the time, and it always brings a few tears to my eyes albeit happy ones.
I invite you to join us for this special program. An just a reminder—if you are out of radio range you can access it anywhere on the Internet at http://player.am1150.ca/.