Wow, being taped for TV is fun! That was my mantra, anyway. Otherwise a body could get nervous about being on camera, especially if the body has a few decades on it. And a garden coach could fret over how the whole thing’ll get edited because there’s always that chance of coming off as stupid. Or smug, or any number of impressions you’d rather not make on the viewers of metro D.C. Thank god I can blog about it, at least. That seems to be how we bloggers process life. (Not sure what I think about that but it’s a lot cheaper than talking to therapists so I’m sticking with it.)
THE SHOW AND THE SEGMENT
It’s called News Now at 6 and it’s the lead-in to Katie herself on CBS affiliate WUSA9.com. The subject? Garden coaching, of course. But that was just the starting point. The idea was to coach the camera – the viewer – so man, what an opportunity! (See, another positive-sounding mantra – something else that’s easier on the budget than therapists, by the way.)
First to arrive were the cameraman and producer. Alia, whose last name I didn’t catch because it was all I could do to remember his first one, created the story line and determined every single shot and clearly knew what he was doing. After bossing me around for 2 hours of B roll he’s relaxing here on my porch, just waiting for the anchor to arrive.
With him was "senior multimedia producer" Stephanie Wilson, with whom I had a chance to sip lemonade and shoot the breeze on my deck. (A respite – no reason to be nervous!) She set up the whole event and was in charge of the interview itself. That’s the very cool Stephanie on the right.
And last to arrive was local anchorwoman Lesli Foster, beauty-queen beautiful in person or on the air. (Hard not to stare.) I’d seen Lesli do countless interviews with gardening experts in her last gig on Sunday mornings - including regular appearances by my buddy Kathy Jentz. – and always manage to look like she understood the answers. (She tells me that’s a miracle.)
WHAT I SAID
Quick – think of 5 bullet points you’d like to make in your few seconds on air. Given what my garden could demonstrate on this particular day, here’s what I hoped to get across and if even one out of five actually airs, I’m happy.
- The lawn-to-edibles conversion. Edibles are the one segment of gardening that’s growing. (And I slipped in a mention of the great coaching that GardenRant commenters gave me, since I don’t know what I’m doing.)
- The anti-lawn tide sentiment that’s sweeping the green world, and the reasons for it.
- Climate change = drought-tolerance in plants more important than ever.
- For low-maintenance, choosing shrubs and trees over annuals and even perennials.
- Urging people to buy plants that bloom some other time of the year. We have plenty of azaleas around here already, thank you.
And I couldn’t help but talk up the DC Urban Gardeners and hand over the business card. None of that was on tape – that’s a different story – but we’re spreading the word every chance we get.
WHAT I DID
Alia worked me pretty hard. Had me pruning (while the shrubs are blooming? Say it isn’t so!) Also watering, both the wrong way and the right way. And even dividing a sedum.
It’s no surprise that this particular local TV station is covering garden coaching. They have gardening interviews almost every Sunday morning, after all, with good experts. And one of their weathermen, Howard Bernstein, has a blog where I recently spotted a discussion of preemergent lawn herbicides. Neither Ed Bruske nor I could resist jumping in to suggest something organic rather than the synthetic Scotts product mentioned by our local extension agent. Heck, I’d just read Jeff Gillman’s praise of corn gluten meal as a preemergent weedkiller. Like the "Weed & Feed" products we rant against, it fertilizers while it weeds BUT in an totally safe and healthy way.
So local Master Gardeners and wise practitioners of the gardening arts, let’s join Howard in his efforts to educate the homeowners of DC about gardening by sending him timely items for his blog. Then check back with your comments because the more the merrier – and because all bloggers crave comment, right, Howard?
WHAT, NO VIDEO?
It’s coming – as soon as it airs and they send me the link. Coz nowadays we’re all about the link.