Making Things Grow

Homage to Thalassa Cruso: Starting from Scratch from Michael Weishan on Vimeo.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my gardening past: how I got into gardening and the first books, magazines, writers, and television hosts that inspired me. Coincidentally, just yesterday I learned about Thalassa Cruso, the” Julia Child of Horticulture.”

I’ve decided that she just might be my new gardening hero.

Through the late 1960′s Ms. Cruso wrote and starred in a PBS television show called “Making Things Grow.” She is described in the New York Times as a “… witty and acerbic Englishwoman…” and an, “Everygardener, a true amateur who drew her advice from personal experience rather than formal horticultural training.”

Sounds like a plantswoman after my own heart. Now, how do I get my hands on a copy of this series?

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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9 thoughts on “Making Things Grow

  1. she has written a bunch of great books, too. a lot of them are on amazon for low, low prices (and some for high, high prices).

  2. Matt Mattus from Growing with Plants wrote in 2009:
    “Apparently WGBH is unable to transfer the old recordings over to DVD or digital due to cost limitations, but former host of The Victory Garden ( yes, another infuencial program that should be rereleased) Michael Weishan, has shared a terrific story and a video clip on his blog, worth visiting. The hour long Bonsai episode link is here.”
    http://www.growingwithplants.com/2009/12/remembering-julia-child-of-horticulture.html

    Maybe if you prepare a mail, then we all sign it and send to wgbh or pbs or whoever has the rights now?

  3. I think most of my interest in gardening came from childhood — helping in our family’s garden when I was very small and in the gardens of my grandmother and great grandmothers when I was older and we visited them in the summer. But the Victory Garden was very influential when I was older and started my first garden on my own — I wish I had found Thalassa Cruso back then!

  4. Hi everyone…I’ve never posted on this site but had to comment on the video. I like gardening now but as a child I can remember the never ending wait for programs like this to end so sesame street could start. It seemed like the yoga lady was on 12 hrs a day. Wow that five minutes seemed to last an eternity.

    Thanks…brought back a nice memory. Now I feel like having a grilled cheese and a bowl of chicken and stars in honor of my inner 7yr old.

  5. Hers were classic garden books in our home growing up: Making Things Grow, and Making Things Grow Indoors. I think I have one and Sarah has the other. We used to watch her show with our mum; in black and white, of course. Love Thalassa Cruso.

  6. what a wonderful accent. i didn’t know she had a TV show, but i do have one of her books, an old hardcover copy of “making things grow” that i picked up at a thrift store a while ago.

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