Have you ever been on television before?
I hadn’t until 2 weeks ago. To be frank, the idea was a bit scary to me.
Do you remember way back, when you were in school and had to present a report in front of the entire class? That is what I imagined it would feel like – except worse.
I have done work before cameras doing how-to videos, but it wasn’t quite the same since they can retake the video every time you mess up.
This was going to be live TV…
So, how did this all come about? I assure that I don’t have an agent looking to book TV shows for me 😉
The producer of our local ABC television station contacted me about appearing on their morning show, called Sonoran Living (we live in the Sonoran desert, hence the name).
She asked me to do a segment on plants for fall.
So, I came up with a list of a few of my favorite ‘fuss-free’ plants and headed out the nursery.
I visited 3 different nurseries to see which ones had the best looking plants. Then I waited until 2 days before my appearance to pick them up.
You know what true love is? It is when your husband traipses through the nursery with you without an umbrella in the pouring rain 🙂
It was so rainy for the next couple of days that I kept the plants on my patio and took some time to do a little ‘window dressing’ pruning away dead flowers and branches so that they would look their best.
My youngest sister, Grace, volunteered to come with me to the studio and help me set up for my segment. So, I loaded up the plants and my little cart and we headed out to downtown Phoenix and the television studio.
When we arrived, the security guard let us in and showed us the studio and then led us to the green room.
I did walk through the studio before anyone got there, to see what it looked like because I knew I wouldn’t see it again since my segment was to be filmed out on their patio.
My sister, who is a professional photographer, told me to pose up front where the hosts of the show come out every morning.
We headed to the green room where we saw the order of the upcoming segments.
I must admit that I was both more nervous and yet relieved that mine was to go first, so that I could get it over with more quickly.
We were led outside to the patio, which had a golfing green. I’m not sure why there was a green – maybe the news anchors like to golf during their breaks?
Another reason I was so glad my sister came with me was that in addition to moral support, she is great at staging. So she did the plant placement for me along with some of the props that I brought.
She will tell you that she has no particular talent in staging, but she is wrong! Just look at how well the plants look together.
I brought gardening tools and my leather gloves because I was told to bring props.
I posed for a few pictures while waiting. The plants next to me are Blue Bells (Eremophila hygrophana) and Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera).
It was so humid that morning because of all the rain, that my carefully curled hair was rapidly becoming UN-curled 😉
I was told to prepare for a ‘teaser’ before my segment, so I tried to look busy putting a plant marker in my pot of chives.
One of the hosts (Terri Ouellette) of Sonoran Living came out early to meet me and go over what I was going to talk about. She was very nice and I told her that I had been watching her on TV since the 90’s.
It was almost time to go and they wired me up with a mike and they put a monitor outside so we could see what the television audience saw.
Instead of beginning the show inside the studio, they started it outside and then it was time for my segment.
The segment went smoothly and while my nerves showed a little, I actually enjoyed it. I did mess up by saying “All of these shrubs need pruning one year”, when I meant to say that they need pruning once a year.
After it was over and the commercial was running, our host Terri said that she wanted me on again – so I guess I didn’t mess it up too badly.
Before we left, my sister asked if she could take a picture of me with the host. I was too embarrassed to ask myself, so I was glad she did 🙂
So, would I do this again?
I received an email the day after from the producer saying that she wanted me back in 3 months. I’d told her that I’d be happy too.
I think that I will enjoy it more next time and have fewer nerves.
If you haven’t had a chance to see the video, here is the link – “Ready? Fuss Free Plants for Fall”.Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."