Ciscoe Morris’ legacy transcends the garden

Sep 30, 2017, 7:46 AM

It has pretty much been established that every Seattleite loves gardening aficionado Ciscoe Morris. That fact was recently highlighted by John Oliver on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight.”

Ciscoe loves the “livin’ tweedle” out of life. I have the good fortune of serving up the local news during his “Gardening with Ciscoe” show every Saturday on KIRO Radio.

I recently spent an afternoon ogling and I’ll admit, pining after the magnificent garden Ciscoe shares with his wife, Mary, who is also an accomplished gardener. As you would imagine, their bungalow on a corner lot in full bloom will take your breath away. Ciscoe and Mary are so passionate about their plants that they split the garden in half; his side and her side.

The plants and blooms spilled onto the sidewalks in the front and side of the home, like an open invitation for the neighborhood to enjoy. Unusual plants, colorful blossoms of all shapes and sizes, petrified wood, stone, garden art, a bubbling stream, an abundant garden full of kale, broccoli and everything else you can imagine. And yes, Ciscoe grows his own Brussels sprouts.

But equally special was the accumulation of over 30 years of stories behind how Ciscoe and Mary, together, came to fill every nook and cranny of their home with exotic beauties from all over the world on their many trips.

One of those stories was how he got started in television. His first show was with Jeff Probst on a show on KIRO 7 in the 1980s called “Northwest Home and Garden Show.”

As everyone knows, Probst went on to host “Survivor.”

“Ciscoe made it look as though I was good and knowledgeable, which I wasn’t, because I didn’t know anything about gardening,” Probst said. “But it didn’t matter, I ended up with this great body of work for a young person in my career and it ended up helping me get ‘Survivor’ … which completely changed my career, so I owe a lot to Ciscoe.”

Ciscoe is exactly like the fun, unusual, funky and, above all, rare species of plants that he “ooh’s and ahh’s” over.

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Ciscoe Morris’ legacy transcends the garden