Get to know Gardening Australia’s host, Costa Georgiadis

Costa Georgiadis is an Australian landscape architect and television presenter. Georgiadis is best known as the host of ABC’s Gardening Australia. Georgiadis grew up as a second generation Greek Australian in North Bondi, on the same street as his grandparents and uncle. His yiayia and his pappou fostered his early interest in gardening.

Costa talks about his upbringing, his career and the women who influenced him.

Occupation: Landscape architect

Age: 56

Relationship status: Alone

Best known for: The host of Gardening Australia

My paternal grandmother, Julia, was sent to Sydney from Greece for an arranged marriage. But when she met her future husband, she refused to continue because he did not look like the photo she had been shown. At the time, his action was a massive affair.

Julia was a business brain. When she met my grandfather, Constantine, they bought a property in Nyngan on the Bogan River in mid-west New South Wales and started a market garden. For someone who came from nothing, she had incredible meaning.

My maternal grandmother, Elpida, lived down the road from our home in North Bondi. Her love wrapped around me as soon as I walked through her door. It was a place when a little I felt so safe.

Elpida lost her husband, Isaac, when my mother, Anne, was about seven years old. She raised her two children on her own and ran the Hot Roasted Walnut Stalls in Sydney Train Stations, created by my grandfather. She was an extraordinary woman.

I see so many lines of my yiayias [grandmothers] at my mom’s. She had an infinite capacity to keep everyone’s life in her orbit. Mom made sure that we kids attended a Greek language school, and my two older sisters, Elisa and Julie, went to Greek dance lessons. Mom passed away in 2002. I feel little hot flashes when I think of her.

My favorite for the teenage holidays was Heather. We met while I was at a friend’s house in Lake Macquarie, north of Sydney. He fell in love with this girl and Heather was his friend. But on the way home, Mom was the voice of reason. She said nothing would ever happen between us as Heather was from a girls’ school 540 kilometers north near Narrabri. I was 14 and enjoyed Mom’s frankness.

I met Sandra while studying Landscape Architecture at the University of NSW. She was a country girl from Tumut, and her parents ran their own business, like my electrician father, Stan. We had a great time together and dated for four years, but I had always said that once I qualified I was going to travel. I didn’t expect her to expect me, so when she found a new relationship, I accepted her.

i was in europe for three years. While I was living in Vienna, I saw an American from Prague. I lived and worked all over Austria and hung out with amazing dancers, musicians and environmentalists. I had been aiming for this period for so long that when I was there, I just fidgeted in his pool.

i am not in a romantic relationship right now, because I am romantically involved in my life. Maybe it made it a little harder to be in a relationship. When you’re happy and satisfied, sometimes people aren’t quite sure how to deal with it. They think something is missing and wonder why you don’t have all the “normal” things.

A difficulty with my life is that I cannot guarantee my presence. Since my time isn’t necessarily free to create the balance that a relationship would require, I haven’t actively pursued one.

About 65 percent of our Gardening Australia team are women. This is the domain everywhere I work and everything I do. I understand why women run sustainable development projects, businesses and businesses. This feminine energy has infused the places she needs.

The male posture of conflict and confrontation, “We will beat nature, the bugs and the weather – and we will win”… the tide has turned. Feminine energy, education and concern for the homeland are what is needed.

I have two hooks, Awesome and Flying. They are a nice balance in my life. During confinement, they wandered around the garden. I open that old wooden window, throw in a banana, and they turn into creepy bananas. They are my roommates. They keep me down to earth and honest.

Gardening Australia airs Fridays at 7:30 p.m. on ABC TV and ABC iview.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald


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Terri S. Tomasini