Crockett's Victory Garden. James Underwood Crockett.

Crockett's Victory Garden

Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977. George Ulrich. First Edition. Seventh Printing. Softcover (outsized). Used - Good/Very good. Original pictorial card stock wraps, slightly age-worn: original laminate is bubbling and peeling at the rear. Spine is creased. Binding tight and square. Edges slightly toned and foxed. Text box clean and unmarked. B&W illustrations and color photographs. 19 x 25 x 2 cm. Index. 326 pp. Item #5981

On James Crockett via The Guardian:

Guest blogger Amanda Thomsen is a landscape designer whose Kiss My Aster blog graces Horticulture magazine. She takes up the family gardening theme begun by Garden Monkey with a post about the TV show that inspired her parents to take up gardening:

When I just a sprout, my parents were obsessed with a TV show called The Victory Garden. The host's name was James Underwood Crockett and he was a gardening rock star. Crockett was the host of The Victory Garden between 1975 and 1979 and I was born in 1974, so I shouldn't be able to remember this show, but I absolutely do. Every Sunday at 3pm all normal household activities came to a standstill.

My parents were so into Crockett that they planned a very ambitious Victory Garden because of his show; it was a very large oval garden with a gate that made the most gratifying slamming noise. They were ballsy for first-timers; they tried everything from corn to pumpkins, currants to horseradish. Everything Crockett said was gardening gospel to my parents so I'm very glad he didn't recommend blood of the firstborn as fertiliser. My Dad made a three-compartment compost bin and a cold frame from Crockett's designs. When my parents added a greenhouse, Crockett taught my mom how to start seeds. When I grew up, I lunged at a copy of his book when I saw it in a thrift store. My dad used the designs from the book to make compost bins for me. The title of the section on building a compost bin is called The Composter, Or The Brown Gold Cadillac. That never gets old, or less funny.

Jim Crockett was folksy, knowledgable, neighbourly and approachable with the bonus of a loveable Boston accent. He turned gardening into must-see TV, even for five-year-olds. Who knows? If I hadn't watched this show during my most formative years I might have turned out to be a banker or accountant, it's hard to say.

The Victory Garden went on with a new host after Crockett's death in 1979 but it's never been the same. It's actually the show is still carries on; they have had a few hosts over the years. Currently the host is some sort of hunky Australian but even if he takes his shirt off, I'd still rather have Crockett.

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