Those of you who read this column regularly know that I am a huge fan of 60s gardening guru Thalassa Cruso.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten a number of letters from various Thalassa fans, thanking me for my earlier efforts in bringing at least one her episodes back from extinction. (For my 2009 tribute to Thalassa, click here.) Frankly, my initial attempt at video restoration was a bit amateurish, with only OK sound and not terribly good picture quality, so with these latest viewer letters as my incentive, I decided to go back and have another crack at the tape we’d transferred to DVD a couple of years ago. I’d always known we had portions of three episodes, but my initial read was that they were merely fragmentary bits. Imagine my surprise, when after a lot of late night prodding and poking, I managed to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again, and restore all three half-hour shows! This time however, the results are much more professional: digital picture quality and stereo sound that goes a long way to restoring gardening’s grande dame to her former glory. In the first restored episode, Starting From Scratch, Thalassa explains how little equipment is really needed to begin gardening indoors. In the second, Heirlooms from the Supermarket/10-Cent Store, she delves into the best way to grow a worthy indoor plant collection. The last episode features world renowned bonsai expert Connie Derderian teaching a dubious Thalassa how to create this Japanese art form.
So here, once again, may I present the indomitable, the inimitable, the one, the only Thalassa Cruso!
Starting From Scratch (1969)
Heirlooms from the Supermarket/10-Cent Store (1969)
And here’s the re-restored Bonsai from the show’s 1967 season.