Best known as the host of TV gardening show Dig This, NZ telly’s first national gardening show, he also presented gardening programmes on radio and wrote regularly for newspapers, magazines and published books on the subject.
Click here for a 1979 episode of Dig This in which he guides viewers on how to shift an established tree, pitfalls in establishing a blueberry crop, and what to do with a plant with (sci-fi) runaway roots.
He developed Willow Glen gardens on the southern side of Gordonton where he married his second wife, Ann, in 1990. The couple lived there for five years before moving to Hampton Downs.
He was often seen at markets around the region, selling a range of plants. Gordonton Country Market says he was a superb stallholder and friend, and will be much missed.
Noted for his sense of humour, he claimed to have been the source of the craze to put plastic bottles filled with water on lawns to deter dogs.
Over the years Eion had battled prostate cancer and had helped raise awareness of the disease. In January he moved into Apirangi Village, where he died on Anzac Day, with Ann at his side. She said he just loved gardening.
“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.”
His funeral will be held at the Te Kauwhata rugby ground on Tuesday at 1pm.
Read the story from the Waikato Times here.
For a 2012 profile in Rural Living, click here.