Graham Ross, Presenter, Producer and Horticulturist
Graham Ross is an accomplished horticulture expert with an expansive career spanning from the late 1970s to the present day, and has worked many different roles from various major news networks such as the ABC, Channel 7, Radio 2GB, The Daily Telegraph, and many more.
However, Graham explains that his long-lasting media career was a “sheer accident”.
“I just thought I would give radio a shot,” he explains. “I wasn’t really interested in a career in radio at first.”
Despite his initial lukewarm feelings toward radio, by his first month of work at 2GB in 1980 he had his own one-hour program and has since remained on-air every weekend for almost 42 years.
Graham also has an extensive, decades-long history in television, with 1995 ushering in the start of ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ on Channel 7.
“I was just on episode one, and now I’ve done almost 1,200 episodes,” he jokes.
“I’ve never wanted the massive money or the massive recognition. We just accidentally ended up here in 1980 and are still doing it, which is pretty amazing.”
He explains that he has always had a fascination with gardening, starting from an early age of four years old, and first started work when he was only 11 years old at a gardening centre.
“I was six feet tall, skinny as a tomato stake, but very keen and enthusiastic.”
He worked there consistently every Saturday and Sunday until he was 21.
His love for gardening and horticulture is also traced back to his green-thumb ancestors in Europe, with his great-uncle working as the head gardener to many high-profile clients such as King George V, King George VI, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and even Queen Victoria.
Graham states that there is “an enormous heritage of horticulture” in his family tree and that the career of his uncle and his own are “weirdly almost parallel”.
“I was teaching Darwinism as part of botany, and here I was, a clear example of genetics and evolution.”
Following the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and numerous lockdowns, Graham says that the one “silver lining” has been “without a doubt” gardening.
Graham explains that around 2.5 million Australians took up gardening between March 2020 and March 2021, which he describes as “just phenomenal”.
He even suggests that vegetables such as dwarf carrots, beans, and pumpkins can be fully grown in a smaller space, highlighting the recent influx of interest of city-dwellers who have caught “the gardening bug”.
“I’ve never been busier,” Graham laughs. “Gardening is enormously important to a lot of people, and there’s been such an explosion in interest in growing indoor plants.”
With spring currently in full effect and summer soon approaching, people should begin to look into growing strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers, Graham advises.
“Fertiliser, full sun, and good soil is really the combo that makes plants really work, and this time is the best for taking advantage of the natural elements.”
Graham’s advice for young people wanting to start into the media industry is to remain “flexible” and just to always give everything a shot: “you never know if this will be a pathway to a career opportunity”.
“The challenges are harder because the media is so much tougher today ... you have to put out a professional effort, and have the guts to stand up for yourself.”
Graham’s pitching preferences:
“It doesn’t bother me! I get a lot of contacts through Instagram, and a lot of people contact me via email. I don’t like answering calls that I don’t know, but my email is pretty much everywhere if you need to reach out.”