Garden designer Shirley Bovshow preparing her display for the CBS Early Show
When you’re a professional garden designer and appear on television as aÂ garden expert, youÂ have to be ready to create beautiful gardens at a moments notice and in any season, weather its prime gardening time or not! Â So when I got the call to do the CBS Early Show last week, I jumped at the challenge!
Â Â My mission was to create “themed container gardens” usingÂ decor and colorful finishing touches to stand in the gap when plants have little colorÂ to offer. The task was a lot more challenging than I had imagined! Doing the show itself was a piece of cake and lots of fun and the four-and-a-half minutes went byÂ in a flash.Â The television hosts and their production team were fantastic to work with and very helpful. Â The problem was, “where was I going to find camera-ready plants in the middle of NYC in the wintertime in just a few hours?” Â I was the plantÂ expertÂ after all, but I needed help!
Â To protect myself from utter failure, I made a call to the national plantÂ grower, Monrovia, the “Horticultural Craftsmen” companyÂ before leaving Los Angeles and left aÂ “cry for help” message on Nicholas Staddon’s voice mail. Nicholas is in charge of new plant introductionsÂ for the company and probably not the person who could help me out, but his was the only contact information I had.Â I jumped on the plane to New York before I could hear back from him. I felt like a blind person without a cane when I arrived in New York.
The day before my television appearance, IÂ worked with Al DeLuca, art director for the show andÂ some of his assistants. They provided me with pots, soil, decor, and detailing materials. I was almost ready, but I had no plants for the container gardens.Â “No plants, no garden,” I thought.Â
Nicholas Staddon from Monrovia called me back just as I was starting to feel doomed. Nicholas got in touch with the oneÂ Monrovia’s northeastern sales managers, Chris Rubino andÂ arranged to have Chris help me out. Chris came through like a hero!
Plants from Monrovia Â were used by Shirley Bovshow on the CBS Early Show.
Chris Rubino of Monrovia personally visited a few of his territory stores in New Jersey and brought a carÂ full of beautiful plants intoÂ the cityÂ for me to choose from!Â Chris canvassed his stores in the rain and drove through Manhattan city traffic to get them to me with no promise that he or his company would get any credit. The generous-spirit that is the hallmark of gardeners everywhere was alive and active in Chris and all the professionals who made my presentation possible.
There was oneÂ another gentleman, Rob, who feeling compassion for me, openedÂ hisÂ store, (Empire CutÂ Flower on West 28th Street),Â after hoursÂ and let me in to buy some very important curly willow and red twig dogwood that were central in one of my potted designs. Berkeley Booth of American Specialty Glass was another hero, who sent me on overnight delivery,Â a box-full of recycled and tumbled glass in a rainbow of colors that I used to bring color to the container gardens!
On the morning of the television appearance,Â Â I was filled with joy when I saw the potted arrangements handsomely displayed on the set of the Early Show.Â Â I stood before the cameraÂ smiling and excitedÂ because the gardens were ready for their close-up thanks to the many hands that brought the pieces together for me.
Watch Shirley Bovshow on the CBS Early Show