October 22, 2016
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Gardening personality Esmonde-White dies

Anstace Esmonde-White, a long-time gardening television and radio personality in Canada and the United States, passed away Aug. 21. She was 96.

Esmonde-White hosted From a Country Garden on PBS from 1986 to 1999 with her husband Larry at their Kemptville, Ont. farm. The couple were also regulars on CBC television and radio for many years.

Born in Ireland, Anstace and Larry, who passed away in 2013, immigrated to Canada in 1948. In 1971 they purchased Evergreen Farm, a stone farmhouse with five acres of land south of Ottawa, and created the beautiful gardens that would become the background of their shows and books.

“Her impact was really quite large in that she made everybody understand and thoroughly believe that they could do it,” Ed Lawrence, CBC Ottawa’s gardening specialist told the national broadcaster. “You had to trust her, she looked like your grandmother!”

Ottawa contractor Tim Kearney knew Anstace for many years. “(Anstace and Larry) singlehandedly created relevance for our industry,” Kearney said. “To this very day, we (as an industry) struggle with creating relevance; struggle to find an answer. Perhaps we needed to look no further than to know that Larry and Anstace Esmonde-White created relevance by being honest, frowning upon malpractices, and mentoring the young bucks to reach for higher goals.”