Costa Georgiadis and Wendy Harmer lead celebrity tributes for Gardening Australia host Peter Cundall


Celebrity tributes have poured in after news that Australian gardening expert Peter Cundall had died, aged 94.

Peter, who hosted ABC television show Gardening Australia for 18 years, passed away after a short illness and was surrounded by family, who have requested media publish the announcement of his death without any photos.

Posting to Twitter, TV star Wendy Harmer wrote: ‘Vale the wonderful Peter Cundall. We loved you so much xx’. 

Loss: Celebrity tributes have poured in after news that Australian gardening expert Peter Cundall had died, aged 94. Pictured: Costa Georgiadis

Loss: Celebrity tributes have poured in after news that Australian gardening expert Peter Cundall had died, aged 94. Pictured: Costa Georgiadis

Gardening Australia star Costa Georgiadis Tweeted: ‘Just heard that Peter Cundall has passed away. Called back to the earth he loved and nurtured for a lifetime on World Soils Day. 

‘Your service and love of nature will continue to shine & be spread like seeds in the wind by those you’ve inspired for generations. May his memory [be] eternal’. 

Writer Marieke Hardy wrote on her social media: ‘Dear Peter Cundall was in the first EVER episode of The Book Club and startled us all by going absolutely full ham on American Psycho, including at one point banging his fist on a table for added drama. I adored him. Vale. x’ 

Posting to Twitter, TV star Wendy Harmer (pictured) wrote: 'Vale the wonderful Peter Cundall. We loved you so much xx'

Posting to Twitter, TV star Wendy Harmer (pictured) wrote: ‘Vale the wonderful Peter Cundall. We loved you so much xx’

Christine Milne, former Leader of the Australian Greens, Tweeted: ‘Vale Peter Cundall. Courageous campaigner for social justice and the environment. 

‘He stood up against Wesley Vale and Gunns pulp mills and fought for the forests. Rest In Peace Peter as ‘we will never, ever give up’ just as you never did.’ 

Actor Rhys Muldoon wrote: ‘Vale Peter Cundall. Tasmania has just lost one of her favourite sons.’

Gardening Australia star Costa Georgiadis Tweeted: 'Just heard that Peter Cundall has passed away. Called back to the earth he loved and nurtured for a lifetime on World Soils Day'

Gardening Australia star Costa Georgiadis Tweeted: ‘Just heard that Peter Cundall has passed away. Called back to the earth he loved and nurtured for a lifetime on World Soils Day’

Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt Tweeted: ‘Vale Peter Cundall, a man who didn’t just enrich us by appearing on our screens, but who fought fiercely for justice and the environment. We will miss you.’ 

Celebrity astrologer Jessica Adams wrote: ‘Oh, Peter Cundall. How incredibly sad. Everyone who enjoys the rare wilderness of Tasmania today owes him so much.’  

Peter’s family released a statement on Sunday, and revealed there will be a private cremation and no memorial services.

The statement read: ‘On Sunday 5th of December 2021, Peter Cundall passed away peacefully after a short illness, surrounded by his family.

Sad news:  Peter's family released a statement on Sunday, and revealed there will be a private cremation and no memorial services. His family requested media publish the announcement of his death without any photos

Sad news:  Peter’s family released a statement on Sunday, and revealed there will be a private cremation and no memorial services. His family requested media publish the announcement of his death without any photos

‘Peter’s privacy, and the privacy of his family, is to be respected during this very sad time. Peter’s family does not wish to be contacted.

‘While he was loved by many, as per Peter’s wishes, there will be a private cremation and no memorial services will be held.’

Peter hosted Gardening Australia from 1990 to 2008. He filmed his final episode in June 2008. 

The English-born horticulturalist, who lived in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, began working in television since 1969, and previously said he has always loved his job. 

‘I’ve never lost the passion,’ he told ABC News in 2008. ‘Right from the very beginning, the only difficulty I ever had… was making sure I could transmit that passion I felt. The passion is absolutely genuine.’

At the time, Peter also encouraged people to take up gardening.

Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt Tweeted: 'Vale Peter Cundall, a man who didn't just enrich us by appearing on our screens, but who fought fiercely for justice and the environment. We will miss you'

Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt Tweeted: ‘Vale Peter Cundall, a man who didn’t just enrich us by appearing on our screens, but who fought fiercely for justice and the environment. We will miss you’

‘The greatest message of all is we’re living in a time of crisis; there will be an economic depression, there’s a world shortage of oil and I’m saying to people, ‘Grow your own in your own backyard or in pots or tubs and we can survive’,’ he said. 

Born in Manchester, Peter moved to Tasmania in 1955. Prior to his hosting role on Gardening Australia, he hosted a gardening program on a Launceston radio station.

He also ran his own landscaping business.  

Peter’s services to horticulture and the environment were recognised with a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007.  

In an interview with the Mercury in March, Peter described his health as ‘marvellous’ apart from his ‘fading eyes’ – a result of glaucoma and macular degeneration.  

Peter also revealed he last visited the doctor at age 90, and was told he had ‘the heart of a man of 30’, and is ‘still digging, planting and weeding’. 

The horticulturalist expert also said he doesn’t have a fear of dying and was not wanting a burial or funeral. 

‘When I kick the bucket, they can cart me off to the nearest university medical centre in the back of somebody’s ute. I don’t want a burial or funeral,’ he said.

‘I can’t see the point in having a grave stone saying, ‘here lies Peter Cundall, he’s dead’. I mean, come on, he’s kicked the bucket – he’s had his blooming lot.’  

'Your service and love of nature will continue to shine & be spread like seeds in the wind by those you've inspired for generations. May his memory [be] eternal' Costa Georgiadis added

‘Your service and love of nature will continue to shine & be spread like seeds in the wind by those you’ve inspired for generations. May his memory [be] eternal’ Costa Georgiadis added

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