Thu, 25 May, 2017Danielle McCarthy

Graham Ross reveals his battle with cancer

Graham Ross reveals his battle with cancer

Graham Ross who has entertained Australian gardening enthusiasts for over 50 years has opened up about the cancerous health scares he has recently faced.

The famous horticulturalist, who turns 70 in October, has not let his ageing or life-threatening cancer scares deter him from doing what he loves.

“I’ve had a couple of nasty skin cancers, and I’m a prostate [cancer] survivor,” he told New Idea.

“They thought I had bowel cancer there for a while, but at the moment I don’t, which is good.”

“I lost my whole bottom lip a while ago – had to have it razored off – that was the most serious. There was a major skin cancer heading down my cheek into my throat, carotid artery and lymph glands.”

“The doctor told me if they hadn’t got to it when they did, if it had been just five or six weeks later, I wouldn’t be here now.”

“Australia is full of it, you know, and with outdoor hobbies like gardening you really need to be very careful, so I always warn people to watch out and use plenty of 50+ sunscreen.”

“When I was head of horticulture at Ryde TAFE I had 76 teachers working with me, and 32 of them have died of cancer. We were exposed to the worst, most carcinogenic chemicals back then, which is why I’m so keen on organic gardening today.”

Graham Ross joined Better Homes and Gardens when it started in 1995 and has helped the show receive 12 Logie Awards.

For the past 37 years, Graham has broadcasted his three-hour radio show The Garden Clinic every Saturday and Sunday and he also manages to find time to run the world’s largest specialist garden tour company with his wife Sandra.

Graham started gardening at the age of 4 and by 11-years-old was part-time at his local garden centre in Sydney’s southern suburbs.

Graham has received various industry honours over the course of his career and is qualified in horticulture, park administration, greenkeeping, landscaping and agronomy.

“It’s only gardening, it’s not brain surgery. I never dreamt my TV and radio career would go on this long, but people and plants are my absolute passion.”

“I love talking to people, and I’m a real old-fashioned storyteller who can talk under water. There aren’t too many people with my qualifications who can do what I do, so I guess that’s why I’m still around.”

Image credit: Better Homes and Gardens