Watch the weather and Doug Donaldson

First published in New Zealand TV Weekly , July 11 1966.

Although his brother is Mr K. W. Donaldson, station manager of WNTV1, Doug Donaldson came to be DNTV2’s gardening expert purely on his own merit. Looking just a bit like Andy Griffith in his (Andy’s) bashful moments, Doug has been associated with horticulture and agriculture all his working life.

He started off at the Dunedin Botanical Gardens in nursery and glasshouse work, now owns fourteen acres at Outram where he grows raspberries, tomatoes and early potatoes for marketing.

Stopped in street

Although Doug’s TV series has only been running since last September, he has built up a tremendous following. Mountains of mail come in-and these letters, together with the seasons, usually provide the weekly topics for the session.

Fire brigade

Incidentally, Doug is quite an active member of his rural community-he’s secretary of the Outram Volunteer Fire Brigade (though we haven’t had a fire since we opened the new station) and he’s a member of the Board of Governors at Taieri High School, (-and speaking horticulturally- I’m the biggest thorn in the principal’s flesh!

Watch the weather

We asked Doug how he came to light upon such a catchy signing off phrase as his Watch the weather.

Therein lies a tale. He was at a party shortly before his TV debut, and the subject of signing off phrases was raised. There were lots of suggestions but none that appealed. Then, as the party was breaking up, Doug was kissing "somebody’s wife" goodbye, when the husband interrupted and chided, Watch the weather! Well that’s his story.

Apart from his raspberries, etc., Doug has a half acre of informal garden around his home, but, he says, I must give my wife, Joyce, a lot of credit for our garden. She keeps it going while I tell others how to do theirs.

But Mrs Donaldson protests. She claims that although she had no interest in gardening at all before her marriage, the garden is now a "family affair."

The family by the way comprises a married daughter Beth, and two sons Hunter and Richard, not forgetting Doug’s pride and joy his eighteen; month-old grandson, Mark.

Doug’s plans for retirement? A gardener, he said, never retires.

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