Monday, 6 October 2008


Achtung! I have seen Peter Cundall in person. Live. In reality. All is now well.


On Saturday Lucy and I ventured out into the Melbourne sun, walking toward the light, braving a mild breeze and unruly throngs of black thumbed middle-aged Victorians, hippies and jam sales-women all eager to bathe in the shadow of the awesomeness that is Peter Cundall.

I'd never been to a garden expo before. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, other than greenery, lots of grey haired people (greyer than I) and the occasional tool. It turned out to be quite a fun few hours, where Lucy and I looked into and midly researched our longterm big dream; a sustainable home, environmentally friendly and off the grid (or lightly tethered to).

Plenty to see. There were plants of a myriad different type and more water tanks and cow poo than you could shake a garden wand at. Perhaps my favourite elements of the afternoon (aside from the Cundall) were the lounge chairs designed for outdoor use, suspended from a rope, complete with a foot stool that is suspended from its own rope. Mmmm lazy. I also quite liked the various solar, wind and water related stalls/products, of which I now have a handy bag full of literature to digest. Beyond those, and the brilliant recycled wood photo frames that I bought - there was Peter Cundall.

Peter Cundall is special. A recently retired octogenerian (b. 1927) star of ABC TV's "Gardening Australia", Peter is an icon of Australian backyard culture, but to me he will always be known as the guy who loves shit. Oh yes, I have never seen, heard or known of any soul who could get as excited about compost, cow turds and a bag of blood and bone than this guy. The way he caresses and enthuses about mulch is truly a thing of.. well, interest. Whilst a tad funny, the bloke is a champion. The highlight of seeing him and being the people in the line to get him to sign Lucy's DVD (we missed out as we hit the front) was to see Peter give two little would-be gardeners and fans the biggest hug you've ever seen (plus minor unintentional headbutt). How can ya not love the dude?

Well worth having gone, but jeez - $17 is a bit steep. For that I'd at least expect a packet of seeds (for me) and a doughnut (for Lucy).

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