John Cushnie

The Witty Botanist

It's the birthday of John Alexander Montgomery Cushnie, born today on May 14, 1943.

Cushnie was a landscape designer, writer, and broadcaster.

He was a tall, good-looking Irishman. Listeners were often surprised to see how handsome he was after just listening to his voice on the radio for so many years.

Cushnie became a household name in England once he became a regular panelist on the show gardeners question time for 15 years.

Cushnie was 66 years old when he appeared on the show for his final broadcast right before Christmas. He was enjoying his first week of retirement when it was cut short by his sudden death from a heart attack on New Year's Eve In 2009.

On the show, Cushnie cultivated a wicked sense of humor. He was not a fan of poinsettias.

He reacted to a discussion about dogs peeing in the garden by saying,

"The dog is simply marking his territory... the only thing [the urine of] a male dog will not kill is a lamppost."

When asked about lawn damage by playing children, John said let the children play, they aren't young for long.

Many times, his ultimate response to a problem posed by a gardener would simply be - "just dig it up".

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John Cushnie
John Cushnie

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