is always a busy and joyful month for everyone myself included.
To add to my joy this is also the anniversary of the Open
Line Garden Show™. It
has been eleven years since I first got the phone call.
I was driving down the Q.E.W on my way home from work when I
was told to be in Greg Slaight's (Station Manager) office in
the morning if I wanted to do a weekly garden show.
After a short and very upfront meeting, I was to start my
show in two weeks. That
first Saturday morning I arrived at 7 am where my good friend
Les Walton was there to lend support.
At 7:30 am, I began. Les
was in and out of the studio throughout the show, which aired in
those days until 9 am. To
this day, I am still grateful for his support.
The hardest part of the first show was controlling the board
and answering the phones. I
had to do this all at the same time.
In the old days you did not know who was calling; from where
or with what questions. By
today’s standards, it was primitive radio but it was fabulous.
Doug Hobbs was my operator that day and for many years hence.
The most common question of the day was what is wrong with my
Peach tree. It has
curly leaves that turn red and fall off.
Peach leaf curl and this was in December!
GARDEN SHOW™ PREPARATION
preparation has always been an on going process.
Each day of the week, I read the numerous gardening magazines
I get from all over the world and I am always finding a gardening
book I just have to have. This
has made my office a reference library.
A good example of this was just yesterday I was talking to
one of my former Niagara College students who was unable to source
information on Hydrangea vetchii.
It was not in any of his books including Michael Dirr's.
I found the information in my library and phoned him with the
in the preparation process are the questions I get from gardeners I
meet out in public at malls, garden clubs, horticultural societies
and my students. Also
part of my show preparation is your letters, faxes, e-mails and the
very best are the live samples.
The live samples always give me the most information and it
has taught the secretaries and receptionists to have great respect
for Bruce’s mail. They
all tell the stories of the weed sample that came in with thousands
of tiny spines which were hard to pull out of their fingers and
about the bug that escaped and was later found crawling up her leg.
I just love it when that happens.
The e-mail questions email@example.com
you send me are
answered from home usually on Wednesday nights though if necessary
questions requiring immediate answers are answered ASAP.
All this and the weeks’ catalogues, news releases and junk
mail are pulled together on Friday night for the next morning’s
Open-Line Garden Show. Your
faxes are usually picked up with my mail on Saturday
mornings. If you are
sending in your club's notice of meetings and events, please give me
a few weeks lead time to get them on the air.
There is no charge for this service if your club is a
non-profit organization like all the Ontario Horticultural
Association groups. The
mail is opened and read.
The show notes are then modified to accommodate these letters
and faxes. This adds
immediacy to the information in the week's show.
TO THE NEWSROOM
about this time I go into the newsroom and check with that person
for any applicable news stories.
For example: the people in critical condition after eating
Datura to hallucinate. If
they live, they will need liver transplants.
CHECK ON GREENNOTES
week I check on my free Newsletter Greennotes.
(Greennotes are no longer available.)
IS TIME TO GO SEE KEVIN:
is my new board operator. He
is the young man who runs the “Wizard.”
The Wizard is the computer program that fires the
commercials, promos, and satellite feeds.
Kevin is the person who answers your call.
When you call, Kevin will ask you for your first name,
location, and question. He
will then put your information into the Wizard. It is then
displayed, on my computer in the adjacent studio.
I then select the call to take next.
Usually calls are taken in the order they came in, but calls
with similar questions will be spaced out.
However, sometimes similar calls are grouped together to form
a segment. An example
of this is similar questions on roses or maybe African violets.
Some other exceptions are if you are calling in long distance
on a local line (it’s your nickel).
The other time you might jump the line is if you are on a
cell phone in your car or out in your garden. This gets
expensive so we try to help.
is also the person who selects the prize winners almost every week.
He selects callers at random to win a prize and they must not
of won anything in the last 60 days.
For this reason, and to be sure to get on the air you should
always be nice to Kevin.
YOU HAVE TALKED TO KEVIN AND YOU ARE ON HOLD:
you have made it!
will select your call and say now lets go to i.e. Vince in Markham
Good morning Vince. Do
not listen to your radio, there is a seven second delay.
Listen to your telephone.
Now ask your question. You should expect to supply me with
additional information in order for me to give you the best answer
possible. Once you have
your information, you can say good-bye or ask another question.
CAN YOU LISTEN TO THE OPEN-LINE GARDEN SHOW™?
can listen to the OPEN-LINE GARDEN SHOW™ on 105.1 The River every Saturday
morning from 8am until 10am year round. In fact I was even on the
air Saturday January 1, 2000. I
thought it would be a slow show but it was busy.
You can listen to the OPEN-LINE GARDEN SHOW™ on the web at www.105.1
The River.This will allow you to listen from anywhere in the world.
Therefore, there are no excuses for not listening!
LETS GO TO BREAK
us be honest. What do you do during the commercials?
I am doing the same thing.
I go get a coffee etc. I
also talk to Kevin through the talk-back to pass on information,
select music bumpers, and check on the information Kevin has put on
the Wizard. You can
understand why he may have a problem spelling some of the more
unusual plant names. So
when you hear me coming back from break still laughing you will know
ANYTHING EVER GONE WRONG?
you are dealing with highly sophisticated equipment things can go
few years back I started the show and the phones would not work…Ahhhhhhhhh!
did you do? I
talked for two hours while the station manager and the technicians
were crawling around my feet trying to find out what was wrong.
I still do not know what was wrong but it was fixed before
the Monday morning shows.
there was the time that the callers could phone in but I could not
hear them even though they could hear me.
So I did the show in with the operator Lou Caesar telling me what
the caller was asking and then answer the question.
If you think it is hard for the operator to spell plant names
you should have heard him try to pronounce them, when he had no idea
what he was talking about. The poor operator (Lou) was frazzled.
the past twelve years I have had many guests on the Open-Line Garden
Show™ here are just a few in no particular order Roland Barnsley,
Marjorie Harris, John Pierce, David Tarrant, Liz Primeau, Michael Schmahl,
Jim Wilson, Brian Holly, David Tarrant,
Hilary Weston, Nikky Eaton, Betty Lou Souter, Michael Anderson, Ed
Lawrence, Trevor Cole, Carol Mack, John Valleau, Walt
Lastewka M.P., Michael Collins R.C., Jim Bradley M.P.P., Mayor Tim Rigby,
Toni DiGiovanni and the best guests of all were
all my listeners and callers who have made doing the Open-Line
Garden Show™ the highlight of my week. THANK
is never a poor, dumb or stupid gardening question!
If it has to be asked, please just call the show.
Everyone is a gardener, even if they only have one plant.
However, as was once pointed out by a regular listener, the
mould in your refrigerator does not qualify you as a gardener.
8 am until 10 EST on 105.1 The River