For all garden-loving people of Christchurch ...David Combridge

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

Almost exactly four years ago CHTV3 introduced its gardening fea- ture conducted by David Combridge who turned out to be a “natural” for TV. After 27 years in broadcasting he is now undoubtedly one of the New Zealand TV personalities.

Although the weekly programme has a relaxed, informal air about it, it is a most professional presentation and this is not surprising for David Combridge is, before all else, a professional.

Love of plants

I was born in England and spent my early life among trees and shrubs, he explained. Kew Gar- dens, Richmond Park and the surrounding semi-rural area instilled in me a love of plants.

He trained in horticulture in Sheen, Surrey, and during this period sat the Royal Horticultural Society’s examination and topped the first class of the year and also won the Banksiam Medal.

Came to NZ

When still a young man he decided to come to New Zealand and, as he puts it, soon found work among the garden-loving people of Christchurch.

In my own interests I obtained the Certificate of Competency to spray and prune an orchard, granted by the horticultural division of the Department of Agriculture and then, for many years wrote a gardening column for the Lyttelton Times and, subsequently, the Christchurch Star, he said.

Broadcast 1935

My chance in broadcasting came in 1935 when I-took up a series of talks on gardening at Station 3YA, he went on. However, when 3ZB went on the air I was in the announcing. team.

Even today David Combridge is still responsible for two sessions each week with the Christchurch commercial station.

With such a wealth of knowledge, as well as broadcasting experience behind him, it was, perhaps, only logical that he should be the man to run a TV gardening session.

Duck to water

Today he admits that TV was a challenge. However, he took to it like a duck to water and confesses that he enjoys every minute of it.

On the screen he gives the impres- sion of a man who likes sharing his knowledge with all who are interested in learning but at the same time wants to be entertaining, and herein would appear to lie the secret of his success.

However, he does not spend all his time in gardening. His hobbies are just as exacting-photography and angling. He calls classical music his recreation.

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