Gardening personality Eion Scarrow dead
Veteran gardening personality Eion Scarrow has died at the age of 81.
His family said he died "peacefully in his bed" in a rest home on Anzac Day with Ann, his wife of 21 years, at his side.
Scarrow had a passion for gardening, and was probably best known as the host of gardening show Dig This, from 1972-1986.
He also presented gardening programmes on radio for 30 years, wrote columns for several publications and took garden tours to 90 countries as well as writing a total of 24 books.
Although in recent years Scarrow had suffered a number of health issues including prostate cancer and had several heart surgeries, Ann Scarrow said he never lost his love for plants.
"Even when I would visit him in the rest home, he would still be asking how the garden was looking, and asking me how I was managing it.
"He'd say 'oh no, you have to do it this way,'" she said.
"He just loved gardening, and I think he enjoyed getting everybody into gardening."
She said he was gardening and propagating (creating new plants) right up until he went into Aparangi Rest Home in January this year.
A family friend, who did not wish to be named, said he would always enjoy helping people who sought out his gardening advice at their local market.
"He was a very friendly chap, and he had a huge heart. He loved teaching children about gardening as well."
Ann said the family "dearly missed him", but he had been in pain so his death was also a blessing.
Scarrow leaves behind Ann, four adult children and three adult step-children, 13 grandchildren and one great grandson.
His funeral will be held on Tuesday.