Eion Scarrow was my Gardening Hero and legendary Garden Personality that inspired me to take the gardening path from an early age. Many times I read his gardening books, watched his gardening series ‘Dig This’ and learned all his gardening secrets.
I was already well into my gardening career when I first met Eion. We were paired together to do presentations at the Dunedin Rhododendron Festival and were featured as New Zealand’s Garden Guru, Eion Scarrow and the Night Line Gardener, Dale Harvey. This proved so successful combination with the Public that soon we were invited to do many other garden festivals around New Zealand. During this time we became great friends.
Then unbeknown to me, Eion Scarrow, Gardenz Organizers, the Dunkley Family and TV 3 organized a special presentation at the now world-famous Gardenz Festival in Christchurch and introduced me as Dale Harvey, New Zealand’s New Garden Guru. Ever since, I have cherished and attempted to honour the coveted title.
Eion used to call me “young Dale” perhaps not so much from my appearance or as a term-of endearment as much as a typically Eion Scarrow cheeky reference to my inexperience. But he was so caring, kind and mentoring. He taught me so much almost like a Father Figure that forever altered my life.
Much of this knowledge wasn’t so much about gardening, as Eion openly admitted that my botanical knowledge and experience “far outmatched (his) own” but what he gave me was guidance about human nature; dealing with the (fickle) Public; how to manage crowds during public speaking and when to “duck and cover” from the “big boys” and “ business and television moguls”. We both learned that they could be much more damaging than helpful as their loyalties lay with advertising and commercial interests rather than gardening and love of Nature. Truly he was such an inspiration that strengthened me to go on and move ahead with my own career, knowing that we both shared a similar love of Nature and passion for gardening.
When we look back in hind site and ahead at the climate and environmental issues that face our world, it is obvious to me that Eion was a natural leader who led the world through honesty, integrity, love of Nature and a passion for the Earth and gardening. Now we see that his insights were years ahead of his time. Just image if all 7 billion people on this Planet embraced Eions’ passion and cared enough to learn how to successfully grow a garden? Our world would be almost instantly transformed into a garden paradise. I know Eion and possibly most of us would welcome that day.
Now Eion is eternally shining upon us and his caring and wisdom is within us every day forevermore. I will always remember with greatest fondness and respect all that he has done for all of us to make that dream of a world garden paradise come true.
May all Blessings strengthen you, uplift you and illuminate your future path.