Roots and All - Gardening Podcast

By Sarah Wilson

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Subscribers: 116
Reviews: 1

Anton
 Mar 27, 2020
One of the most informative and interesting gardening podcasts. A very simple format that works. Sarah gets great guests then just extracts lots of fascinating facts out of them in a relaxed and unobtrusive fashion.

Description

Do you want to know how to grow plants and get the best out of your outdoor space? Do you find traditional gardening media baffling and/or boring? Then you’re in the right place, because the Roots and All podcast is here to dig deep into how to create a successful garden. If you want honest information and insider knowledge about how to get results, join irreverent horticulturist Sarah Wilson as she chats to the best people from the world of plants and gardens. Sarah is on a mission to help you create your own beautiful green environment, with a focus on saving resources and working with nature. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure you don’t miss an episode.

Episode Date
Episode 179: Ecological Gardens with Sid Hill
30:09
Oct 03, 2022
Podcast 178 - Alternative Allotments
24:39

This week, I’m speaking to co-founder of Roots Allotments Ed Morrison. Along with Christian, Will & Josh, Ed set up Roots Allotments on a site in Bath as an alternative to traditional allotments with their long waiting lists, large and often difficult to manage plots and set up a low carbon footprint, no dig and wildlife-friendly site where people could lease some space and join the grow your own food movement.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Harvestmen

What We Talk About

How Roots Allotments came about

How they are different to conventional allotments

The costs of a plot, waiting lists, term of lease, facilities and support offered

What can be grown on a Roots Allotment? 

Why no dig?

Links

Roots Allotments 

Other episodes if you liked this one:

No Dig with Charles Dowding

Sharing & Borrowing Gardens with Joyce Veheary of Lend and Tend

Patreon Membership

Sep 26, 2022
Episode 177: Propagating Plants
28:58

This week, my guest is Nikki Barker. Nikki’s long career in horticulture has seen her work across many sectors of the industry and she is now the Senior Horticultural Advisor at the RHS.

She’s just had a book published called ‘A Gardener’s Guide to Propagation Techniques’ and I spoke to Nikki to get some general tips on propagation and to find out what we can be propagating at this time of year. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Allium leaf miners

What We Talk About

With peat being phased out, what are good alternative proprietary growing media for propagation? 

Some common seeds that require light to germinate

Seeds that can be particularly tricky to germinate

Good ways of propagating plants at this time of the year

Dahlias - good ways to propagate them

The easiest methods and plants to try propagating if you don’t have a lot of space or equipment

Links

Gardener’s Guide to Propagation Techniques: The essential guide to producing plants by Nikki Barker - The Crowood Press Ltd, September 2022

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Young Propagators’ Society

Growing Under Protection with Guy Deakins

Patreon Membership

Sep 19, 2022
Episode 176: Gardening on a Gradient
22:24

This week’s guest is Carol Smith, garden designer, lecturer and author of the book ‘Gardening on a Gradient: Designing and Establishing Sloping Gardens’. Interestingly, the book is relevant to home gardeners and professional designers and covers everything from the initial garden site assessment and survey, right through the design process to the final stages of planting, as well as inspiration and ideas from sloping gardens around the UK. If you’ve ever faced the challenge of a sloping site, you’ll know how tricky they can be but fear not, Carol is here to help you tackle them.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Large hairy house spiders

What We Talk About

Main drawbacks to gardening on a gradient and any advantages

Is it more expensive than gardening on the flat?

Gardens that slope back towards the house and drainage issues

Making changes to levels and water run off

Soil moisture and temperature ranges across a slope

Surveying a sloping site

Retaining soil

More naturalistic ways to deal with a sloping site

About Carol Smith

Carol Smith is a professional garden designer and freelance lecturer. She has worked on several award-winning show gardens and teaches on all aspects of garden and planting design. 

Links

Gardener’s Guide to Gardening on a Gradient: Designing and Establishing Sloping Gardens by Carol Smith

Other episodes if you liked this one:

I Want to Like My Garden with Rachel McCartain 

Natural Stone with Giles Heap of CED

Patreon Membership

Sep 12, 2022
Episode 175: No Dig with Charles Dowding
27:05

This week, making his second appearance on the podcast, is my guest Charles Dowding. Charles is the leading proponent worldwide of No Dig gardening. He’s authored and co-authored many books and articles on the subject, including his latest book No Dig which is the result of 40 years experience and looks set to become the definitive text on the subject.

He produces enough food to sell to local restaurants and inhabitants, to feed all his course attendees and visitors and also his own household from his plot which until recently has only been a quarter of an acre in size, proving categorically that no-dig equals maximum productivity. He is a prolific generator of media content, his YouTube channel has over 55 million views and he’s bought the no-dig technique to a worldwide audience. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Spider silk

What We Talk About

How Charles got started out in gardening

Why do we need compost for no-dig and is it essential to create our own?

No dig techniques on different types of soils

Giving the beds a year off (or not) and crop rotation

No-dig and plant pests and diseases

Why every last gardener in the UK hasn’t adopted no-dig!

About Charles Dowding

Charles Dowding is the leading proponent of no-dig gardening. Not only does he have a huge following, but his advice is born out of more than 40 years of growing, analysing, comparing, and recommending. He has been growing veg since 1981, having gardened in four different locations and grown hundreds of thousands of crops.

Charles currently gardens his modestly sized plot Homeacres, in Somerset, from which he produces enough food to sell to local restaurants and inhabitants, to feed all his course attendees and visitors and also his own household. He is a prolific generator of media content and has bought the no-dig technique to a worldwide audience. 

Links

No Dig: Nurture Your Soil to Grow Better Veg with Less Effort by Charles Dowding - Dorling Kindersley, September 2022 

www.charlesdowding.co.uk

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Feeding your Soil with Humanure with Joseph Jenkins

Growing Food with Stephanie Hafferty

Patreon Membership

Sep 05, 2022
Episode 174: Gardening for Your Senses
25:16

This week I’m chatting with writer Kendra Wilson. Kendra has written a vast amount about gardening but I was particularly interested in speaking to her about her book Garden for the Senses. Engaging all your senses can lead to a deeper connection with the landscape and it can be an unusual and transformative experience. I wanted to find out how we can all learn to better use our senses and firstly, what prompted Kendra to write the book. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: The blue butterflies

What We Talk About

How catering to the senses can lend another dimension to the garden

How many senses should we aim to stimulate in a garden?

One good plant that will engage with each of our five senses

How you can learn to engage your senses more when in the garden

About Kendra Wilson

Kendra has contributed to The Sunday Times, Gardens Illustrated, Guardian Weekend, Garden Design Journal, RHS The Garden,  and Vogue. She is a longstanding correspondent for Gardenista online and contributed a chapter 'The Gardenista 100' to the 2016 book, Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces.

Kendra has worked on numerous projects including a limited-edition book for Mulberry and other books including My Garden is a Car Park and The Book of the Flower.

Links

Garden for the Senses by Kendra Wilson - Dorling Kindersley, February 2022 

www.kendrapagewilson.com

Aug 29, 2022
Podcast 173 - The Composting Process
28:18

This week’s guest is ecologist and author Julian Doberski. If you think about compost heaps, how much do you really think about the living micro and macro organisms that dwell within them, how they contribute to the composting process and how what you do to your heap can increase or decrease their chances of survival?

Julian has written about the science of what goes on in a compost heap and about the living organisms who provide the ‘hard graft’ of transforming waste organic matter in his latest publication The Science of Compost. I spoke to Julian to find out more. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Fuchsia Gall Mite

What We Talk About

What is compost?

Does what go in also come out? Eg if we want a high nitrogen compost product should we use raw materials that are also high in nitrogen?

How do you know what you’ll be getting as an end product?

How do you get the right balance of the organisms that break down the heap?

The correct ratio of woody versus green materials in a compost heap

What makes a compost heap break down, apart from the organisms in it? 

About Julian Doberski

Julian Doberski has degrees in Zoology (BSc Southampton), Forestry (MSc Oxford) and a PhD in biological control of insects using fungi (Cambridge). He has thirty years of teaching experience at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (and its predecessor institutions) where he was a Principal Lecturer in Ecology. He has jointly published a resource pack for A level ecology students and a range of scientific research and science in education papers. He is currently retired and lives in Cambridgeshire.

Links

The Science of Compost: Life, Death and Decay in the Garden by Dr. Julian Doberski

Other episodes if you liked this one:

The Regenerative Grower’s Guide to Garden Amendments with Nigel Palmer

Mycorrhizal Fungi with Jeff Lowenfels

Patreon Membership

Aug 22, 2022
Episode 172: Your Garden Spa
30:50

This week I’m speaking to Juliette Goggin, perfumery consultant to some of the most recognised brands in the world, upcycling and reusing champion, owner of the cosmetics company Hand Made by Juliette and author of the books Handmade Beauty and Handmade Spa. We talk about how you can use plants from your garden to create products that are natural, inexpensive, easy to make and that actually work. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Gooseberry Sawfly

What We Talk About

Juliette’s background in perfumes and cosmetics

The impetus behind the books Handmade Beauty & Handmade Spa

Why should we try to make our own products? 

How are they better than what you can buy?

Do you need a lot of equipment?

Do you need to source fairly specialist ingredients? 

How you can incorporate items from your garden into your products

Prepping ingredients

About Juliette Goggin

Juliette trained in perfumery evaluation, and worked for a Fragrance house in Grasse in the South of France to develop bespoke products for niche brands in the UK. Throughout this time Juliette was always keen to learn how everything was made and to expand her knowledge, combining this with a natural love of crafting which she developed as a child forever making things from cast off bits and pieces. 

Juliette teaches classes in Natural Skincare and Candle Making, based around her Handmade Beauty and Handmade Spa illustrated books. The books also acted as a springboard to creating her own Collection of natural skincare and home fragrance products in 2018, appropriately called Handmade by Juliette.

Links

www.handmadebyjuliette.com

Instagram @handmadebyjuliette

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Sensory Herbalism with Karen Lawton

The Rose in Perfume with Mairi MacKenzie

Patreon Membership

Aug 15, 2022
Episode 171: A Rolling Stone Gathering Moss
23:45
Aug 08, 2022
Podcast 170 - Sassy Farming
25:26

This week’s guest is Hawaii-based writer and grower Ja-Ne de Abreu. When the pandemic began, Ja-ne became an instant 24/7 caregiver for her hanai mother. To keep things positive, she started growing food and discovered it also grew peace and calm to their lives amid the ongoing chaos. Ja-ne had an intuition to write Sassy Food to share the inspiration that everyone can grow food at any time of year, anywhere in the world on any budget and harvest peace in the process. We talk about growing in small spaces, how growing food can foster positive connections in difficult times and what happens when the creative spark catches. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Butterfly decline

What we cover

The idea behind Sassy Food

The climate in Hawaii and what you can grow

Why it’s important that we all grow food where we can

Seeds that can be eaten as sprouts

Grow tents to increase indoor growing space

Easy and cheap/free ways to propagate edible plants

Washing produce and some easy, natural products to use

Why is food like music?

About Ja-ne de Abreu

When the pandemic began, Ja-ne de Abreu became an instant 24/7 caregiver for her hanai mother. To keep things positive, she started growing food and discovered it also grew peace and calm to their lives amid the ongoing chaos. Ja-ne had an intuition to write Sassy Food to share the inspiration that everyone can grow food at any time of year, anywhere in the world on any budget and harvest peace in the process. Sassy Food has won two first place book awards and was a finalist in two book contests for the book cover as well as interior design.

 

De Abreu’s other award-winning books are a memoir with her sister and brother-in-law, Chasing the Surge: Life as a Travel Nurse in a Global Pandemic, and her debut novel, The Energy Inside Valsin’s Choices. In addition, de Abreu also published five books of the Richard Tregaskis Classics Collection under the JMFdeA Press imprint last year and will publish five more in the near future. Ja-ne’s focus is exploring the energy inside our choices and the resulting responsibilities and freedoms by telling stories through various methods. 

Links

Join Sassy Food Farms on Instagram 

Ja-Ne de Abreu’s website

www.jmfdeapress.com

Ja-Ne on Facebook

Ja-Ne on Twitter

Ja-Ne on Instagram

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Abundance and Self-Sufficiency with Liz Zorab

Patreon Membership

Aug 01, 2022
Episode 169: Creating Meadows with James Hewetson-Brown
26:55

This week I’m speaking to Founder of Wildflower Turf Limited and author of the book ‘How to make a wildflower meadow’ James Hewetson-Brown. James has a vast amount of experience creating meadows at domestic and public scales, is passionate about creating species rich habitats which are attractive to people and wildlife and which have the added benefits of pollution mitigation and carbon sequestration. We talk about the nuts and bolts of meadow making but also about why meadows can be the solution to so many of our landscaping needs.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Tardegrades

What we cover

Why meadows can be a quick solution to bring biodiversity to previously relatively barren areas, particularly in urban environments

If you build it, will they come? Or is biodiversity too depleted already?

The best ways of establishing a meadow

Convert an area of lawn to meadow

Annual species, perennials, and mixtures of both

Do you need grass species in a meadow?

Unusual or interesting projects James has worked on

Links

www.wildflowerturf.co.uk

How to make a wildflower meadow: Tried-And-Tested Techniques for New Garden Landscapes by James Hewetson-Brown - Filbert Press, 2016

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Meadows with Keith Datchler

Patreon Membership

Jul 25, 2022
Podcast 168 - Britain’s Birds with Benedict Macdonald
24:58

My guest this week is naturalist, conservationist and writer Benedict Macdonald. Benedict has recently released a new book ‘Cornerstones’, which talks about how by restoring cornerstone species we can help turn around the current impoverished state of nature in the UK. His previous book ‘Rebirding’ was how I first came to know of his work and I’ve been a great admirer of his work ever since. We talk about the numbers of UK birds, how land management needs to change in order to stop the loss of species in this country and what we can do at a garden level to make changes.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Box tree moth

What we cover

- Do we waste money propping up untenably small populations of threatened species in isolated areas?

- Bird species that are the ‘walking dead’ in Britain

- Achieving cooperation between individual land owners to create the large scale and connected habitats that are needed to sustain populations

- Adopting a build it and they will come approach

-  Are we wasting our time trying to make a difference at the garden scale? If not, what can we do to make a difference? 

- Some of the problems mentioned in Rebirding are directly related to the EUs common agricultural policy. How could this change given Brexit?

- Ecotourism

About Benedict Macdonald

Benedict Macdonald is a conservation writer, field director in wildlife television, and a keen naturalist. He is passionate about restoring Britain's wildlife, pelicans included, in his lifetime. 

During his extensive global travel experience, Benedict has found inspiring examples of why desecrating our country’s ecosystems is both entirely avoidable and against the national interest. This book is his attempt to ensure that this generation, for the first time in thousands of years, leaves Britain’s wildlife better off, not worse, than the generation before – for wildlife and people alike.

Benedict is a long-time writer for Birdwatching magazine, as well as a contributor to the RSPB Nature’s Home and BBC Wildlife. He has been fortunate to work on TV series for the BBC and Netflix - most notably the grasslands and jungles programmes of Sir David Attenborough’s conservation series Our Planet.

Links

Cornerstones: Wild forces that can change our world by Benedict Macdonald - Bloomsbury Publishing PLC , 2022

Orchard: A Year in England's Eden by Benedict Macdonald - HarperCollins, 2021

Rebirding: Restoring Britain's Wildlife by Benedict Macdonald - Pelagic Publishing, 2020

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Irreplaceable with Julian Hoffman

Patreon Membership

Jul 18, 2022
Episode 167: Hoverflies
30:21

This week’s guest is Martin Harvey, an entomologist and biological recorder based at the UK CEH Biological Records Centre. His main areas of work include the iRecord online recording system, liaison with national recording schemes, and the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme. Martin enjoys watching and recording hoverflies and I was delighted he agreed to an interview as although I know next to nothing about them, I do love seeing them in the garden and I’m always keen to find out more.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Beewolf

What we cover

The UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme

How hoverflies are distinct from bees or other flies

How many species of hoverfly are in the UK

More common species and the rarest

Mimicry

How to encourage more hoverflies into our gardens

Where to find out more about hoverflies

About Martin Harvey

Martin Harvey is an entomologist and biological recorder based at the UK CEH Biological Records Centre. His main areas of work include the iRecord online recording system, liaison with national recording schemes, and the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme. He also teaches for Field Studies Council. Martin enjoys watching and recording hoverflies and other insects, and as a volunteer he runs the national Soldierflies and Allies Recording Scheme, and is County Moth Recorder for Berkshire.

Links

UKCEH Biological Records Centre

Hoverfly Recording Scheme

UK Hoverflies on Facebook

Buzz Club hoverfly lagoons from Sussex University

Dipterists Forum (the society for the study and conservation of flies)

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Butterflies with Peter Eeles

Patreon Membership

Jul 11, 2022
Episode 166: Historic Roses
24:36

This week, I’m speaking to Michael Marriott about historic roses. Micheal is an expert rosarian, Chairman of the Historic Roses Group and author of the recently published book RHS ‘Roses’. We talk about what historic roses are, some of the myths surrounding them and why they’re an excellent choice for your garden, particularly if you’re looking for something a little different. I began by asking Michael about his background and how he became interested in historic roses.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Harebell Carpenters

What we cover

The Historic Roses Group and Michael’s involvement with the group

What is an historic rose? 

More common historic roses we might have come across

Disease resistance

Scent

Do they repeat flower?

Gardens in the UK where you can see historic roses

Good old rose varieties if you’re dipping your toe in the water of growing them

Links

Historic Roses Group

RHS Roses: An inspirational Guide to Choosing and Growing the Best Roses by Michael Marriott

Other episodes if you liked this one:

Pruning Roses with Richard Stubbs of David Austin

Jul 04, 2022
Episode 165: Gardening for Wildlife
29:45
Jun 27, 2022
Episode 164: Growing Under Protection
24:10

This week I’m speaking to horticultural expert Guy Deakins who amongst other things is a garden designer, historic gardens expert, consultant and author of the new book Gardener’s Guide to Protected Growing: Creating a successful, sustainable and health micro-climate in the garden. I wanted to find out a bit more about creating protected environments for plants, and about the positives and negatives and Guy’s book provides comprehensive answers all rooted in scientific research.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Fleas in the garden

What we cover

What is protected growing? 

When thinking about protecting crops, should we look to install a windbreak first of all? How do we know we’re not going to create a frost pocket or channel winds in an unfavourable way?

Does growing on a protected site mean you are usually dealing with an artificial growing medium?

If you want to automate the watering, some good alternatives to hand watering

Avoiding too much light for plants growing in a protected space

Moderating temperatures

Good examples of growing in protected spaces

About Guy Deakins

Since starting his business in 1999, Guy has gained experience in many differing environments from small courtyards and roof gardens in the heart of the city, fen gardens in rural Norfolk, windswept beach-side formal gardens, and country estates designed by twentieth century cognoscente – with just about every beautiful variation in between.

With the coming of the global climate crisis, the focus of the company is always to encourage biodiversity whilst maintaining a good design aesthetic. To this end, Guy studied neuroscience at degree level, so that he could fully understand the brain’s aesthetic pathways when looking at shapes, structures and colours.

Links

Gardener’s Guide to Protected Growing: Creating a successful, sustainable and health micro-climate in the garden by Guy Deakins - Crowood Press, 2022

www.guydeakinsgardening.com

Patreon Membership

Jun 20, 2022
Episode 163: Garden Roots
26:54

This week I’m speaking to gardener and writer Lulah Ellender about her book Grounding: Finding Home in a Garden. Lulah’s book is about tuning into the unceasing rhythms of nature in order to live with uncertainty and how they can help us become more connected to the places in which we live. We talk about how gardens can root us in time and place, even when those roots seem tenuous and liable to break.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Sentient bugs

What we cover

The premise behind the book and the circumstances in which Lulah came to write it

How Lulah gardened differently when she thought she might lose her garden

Why the potential loss of her garden seemed such a wrench

Custodianship of gardens 

Advantages to being a temporary, more tenuous occupier of a space

How do gardens help us cope with our emotions? How do they help us make sense of cycles of life, death, birth, aging?

About Lulah Ellender

Lulah lives in Lewes, East Sussex, with her husband, four children and assorted animals. She has written for the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday’s YOU magazine, and Sussex Life among others. She was recently writer in residence at Charleston’s Festival of the Garden. Her first book Elisabeth’s Lists was published in 2018. 

Links

Grounding: Finding Home in a Garden by Lulah Ellender - Granta Books, April 2022

Patreon Membership

Jun 13, 2022
Episode 161: Connecting with Plants
24:45

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode where I’m speaking to Marion Whitehead from the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden in New South Wales, Australia, part of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.

I talk with Marion about one of her areas of speciality; the intersection of plants and human feelings, particularly in the context of 3 books as recommended by Marion; Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘The Overstory’ by Richard Powers.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Venom

What we cover

Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’: the tree is the central character, but actually seems pretty inanimate. How does the magic faraway tree provoke emotion?

Is there a suggestion in Blyton’s book that wild plants are more emotionally provocative than cultivated plants?

‘The Secret Garden’: the garden heals but it seems to be healing physically as much as emotionally, is this the case?

Is the garden responding to individuals’ needs? 

Do people instinctively find or seek out what they need, emotionally, in a garden?

Do we have the language to describe our relationship to plants? 

Richard Powers’ ‘The Overstory’: are plants losing their power to connect with us emotionally, or vice versa, given our detachment from nature? 

About Marion Whitehead

Marion is Senior Horticulturalist at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden. She has an extensive background in cool climate plant species, with a specific interest in ephemeral and heathland plants. Marion has many horticultural topics of interest from Australian plant history, to managing plant nurseries, to the emotional connection between human and fellow flowers.

Links

www.bluemountainsbotanicgarden.com

The Overstory by Richard Powers 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett 

Patreon Membership

Jun 06, 2022
Podcast 161 - Show Gardens
44:07
May 30, 2022
Episode 160: Crevice Gardens
30:03

This week’s guests are Kenton Seth and Paul Spriggs, co-authors of a book that’s just been released called ‘The Crevice Garden: How to Make the Perfect Home for Plants from Rocky Places.’ This book is immensely detailed and if you’ve ever had an interest in crevice aka rock gardens, or indeed have not but are curious, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the types of plants suited to growing in this style of garden (there are many), the different looks you can create, how to build and maintain them, famous and successful examples and why they are good from an environmental perspective.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Flower Crab Spiders

What we cover

What is a crevice garden?

Advantages to putting plants in crevices

The sort of plants suited to growing in crevices

Installing a crevice garden

Sourcing stone you might need?

Planting into a crevice garden

Are they a purely aesthetic addition to a garden or can they be useable too?

Maintenance

About Kenton & Paul

Kenton J. Seth began his career in public horticulture and the nursery trade and is now a garden designer who specializes in crevice gardens, drought-tolerant natives, and meadows. He writes for a variety of local, national and international magazines and lectures to rock garden clubs at home in Colorado and overseas. 

Paul Spriggs has been rock gardening for 23 years and building crevice gardens for the last 16. He is a professional gardener and landscaper, and an avid plant explorer. He has a passion for all wild plants, especially miniatures, collecting and cultivating them at home in Victoria, British Columbia.

Links

The Crevice Garden: How to Make the Perfect Home for Plants from Rocky Places by Kenton Seth & Paul Spriggs - Filbert Press, April 2022

Huw on YouTube

Huw on Facebook

Huw on Instagram 

Patreon Membership

May 23, 2022
Episode 159: Huw Richards on Veg Growing
27:46

This week’s guest is veg growing expert Huw Richards. Huw grows a vast range of plants in his garden in mid-West Wales and is always trialling and experimenting with new ways of growing. He has an enormously popular YouTube channel and has authored a number of books, the latest of which is ‘The Vegetable Grower’s Handbook’ which draws on his experience as very much a thoughtful and philosophical gardener.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Flower Crab Spiders

What we cover

Gardening with a mission statement

Being organised in the garden; keeping checklists, batching jobs, planning

Some of the most surprising things Huw’s discovered on his gardening journey

Poly culture 

Intercropping

Having an odds and ends bed

Harvesting water in the garden 

The method of multisowing

New veg Huw’s trialling in 2022

On being a philosophical gardener

Links

The Veg Grower’s Handbook by Huw Richards - Dorling Kindersley Ltd, March 2022

Huw on YouTube

Huw on Facebook

Huw on Instagram 

Patreon Membership

May 16, 2022
Episode158: Irises with Clare Keller
30:53

This week’s guest is Clare Keller, a fashion designer and stylist who’s previously work at Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Pringle, Chloe and Givenchy. Clare is currently a Trustee and spokesperson for the British Iris Society, a society dedicated to promoting and preserving UK irises and providing resources to iris growers. We talk about these picturesque, perpetually popular flowers.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Organic recyclers

What we cover

How Clare became involved with the British Iris Society and interested in irises

Species of iris

Ideal iris growing conditions

Iris hardiness

Propagation of irises

Easy irises to grow

Links

The British Iris Society

On Facebook

Patreon Membership

May 05, 2022
Episode 157: Climate Cuisine with Clarissa Wei
26:13
May 04, 2022
Episode 156: Bonsai with John Hanby
28:50
Apr 25, 2022
Podcast 155 - Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying
39:48

This week’s guest is Frank Hyman, a certified mushroom forager who teaches mushroom identification to chefs, arborists, organic farmers and the general public. Frank’s latest book is called ‘How to Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying’ and contains guidance on mushroom identification, on your suitability for becoming a mushroom forager on which subject he writes “if you have a reputation among your friends and family for exercising poor judgement…you may not be a very good candidate”, about the sniffy attitude of the English to mushrooms versus that of mainland Europeans and a whole host of other myco-related topics that should help you in your quest to survive foraging. Despite dealing with a potentially lethal topic, both book and author are laugh out loud funny and I was delighted that Frank agreed to an interview.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Viruses

What we cover

Can you take a mushroom guide from one country or continent and use it in another?

Frank’s three different types of mushrooms

Mycophobia

Should you be careful of the soil mushrooms are growing in?

Nutritional and medicinal values

Cleaning and cooking mushrooms

About Frank Hyman

Frank is a certified mushroom forager who teaches mushroom identification to chefs, arborists, organic farmers and the general public. His writing on foraging has appeared in Forbes, Paleo Magazine and Hobby Farms. He lives in Durham, North Carolina. 

Links

How to Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Identifying 29 Wild, Edible Mushrooms by Frank Hyman

Other episodes you might like:

Edible Mushrooms with Geoff Dann

In Search of Mycotopia with Doug Bierend

Patreon Membership

Apr 18, 2022
Episode154 - Food Forest Garden
25:23
Apr 11, 2022
Podcast 153 - Lichen
30:07

This week I’m speaking to April Windle. April is a naturalist with a particular interest in lichens, especially those occupying our rainforest habitats along the western seaboard of the British Isles.

April works on a variety of lichen education and conservation projects and co-chairs the Education & Promotions Committee of the British Lichen Society. April talks to me about what lichen actually is, where you can find it and why it’s interesting and worth studying. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Brimstone butterflies

What we cover

What is a lichen? Might they be confused with algae, moss or fungi?

The provenance of lichens

UK species

Where you can find them

Lichen propagation 

Lichens as species or material specific

What is life like for lichen given things like development, air pollution and climate change?

Edible and medicinal uses

Where you can find out more about lichens

About April Windle

April Windle is a naturalist with a particular interest in lichens, especially those occupying our rainforest habitats along the western seaboard of the British Isles.

She is currently self-employed and involved in a variety of lichen education and conservation projects, whilst co-chairing the Education & Promotions Committee of the British Lichen Society.  Her employment history includes Plantlife International, the Natural History Museum, Exmoor National Park Authority and the RSPB. 

Links

www.britishlichensociety.org.uk 

April on Twitter: @aprilwindle

Patreon Membership

Apr 04, 2022
Podcast 152 - A Therapist’s Garden
26:47

This week I’m chatting with New England-based horticultural therapist and master gardener, Erik Keller, who is also the author of the book A Therapist’s Garden: Using Plants to Revitalise Your Spirit.

Over 20 years, Erik has worked with thousands of people of all ages and types, using horticulture and therapeutic techniques to help them deal with physical, emotional and mental challenges. Erik talks about using an outdoor space as a place for therapy and learning and about the downs and ups of bringing horticulture into peoples’ lives as a way to heal. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Home grown bugs

What we cover

Erik’s background in therapeutic gardening

The most therapeutic and stimulating plant scents for people to work with 

How plants spark memories 

Establishing a connection between growing and eating plants

Techniques to stop attention wandering whilst completing a task 

Techniques you use if people are exhibiting undesirable behaviour

Lesson planning and being flexible during gardening sessions

Using your garden year round

How seasonal changes can help garden users deal with their personal issues and relate to the garden

About A Therapist’s Garden: Using Plants to Revitalise Your Spirit

The Zen of mixing mud with seniors; crafting surprising salads out of weeds; and a hidden rabbit bringing joy to girls in a juvenile detention center. These are a few of the nearly 100 stories that Erik Keller takes readers on through a journey of how interacting with plants and nature can help heal mental, emotional, and physical trauma. Through the lens of January to December in a New England landscape, discover how horticultural therapy improves the lives of those in pain including special-needs children, cancer patients, and disabled seniors. 

A Therapist’s Garden is unique in portraying how gardening, nature-based arts, plants and horticulture can revitalize the spirit of people. It encompasses over 20 years of experiences seeing the healing power of horticultural therapy. Its themes and subject material are universal in interest as different portions of this book apply to nearly anyone who likes plants or to garden, both booming activities today, as well as therapists who will find the approach interesting and of use to their client bases. 

About Erik Keller

Over the last 20 years, Erik Keller has worked with thousands of people of all ages and types using horticulture and therapeutic techniques to help them deal with physical, cognitive, social and emotional challenges. Venues have ranged from special-needs schools, to prisons, to nursing facilities to private homes. Certifications from the University of Connecticut as a Master Gardener in 2000 and the New York Botanical Garden in Horticultural Therapy in 2009 has given Keller a strong base of knowledge from which he has been able to help his clients. He is a member of the American Horticultural Therapy Association, the Northeast Horticultural Therapy Network as well as the Connecticut Master Gardeners Association. He writes extensively about the healing power of horticultural therapy on a variety of social media platforms and on his website www.grohappy.com. 

For over a decade, Keller has been running a twice-monthly horticultural therapy (HT) program at Ann’s Place, a not-for-profit facility helping those with cancer located in Danbury, CT. Since the emergence of COVID-19, Keller has developed a wide variety of virtual and hybrid HT sessions for clients. He also manages and maintains the grounds at Ann’s Place, which he designed over a decade ago to accommodate therapeutic needs of the client base. 

Keller is also a commissioner for the Ridgefield Conservation Commission, which manages and maintains over 5,800 acres of open space in Ridgefield, CT. In the past, he has run horticultural therapy programs at senior living and nursing facilities as well as run programs at Green Chimneys, a school for special-needs children in Brewster, NY. 

Earlier in Keller’s career, he spent a decade as a journalist and editor for a variety of technology- focused trade publications, a decade as a Research Fellow at Gartner, Stamford, CT (the leading technology advisory firm in the world), and another decade as a management consultant with his own firm. During that time he received many awards for editorial, writing and analytical excellence. He also wrote a well-received book for the technology community called Technology Paradise Lost (Manning Publications) in 2004. 

Keller graduated from State University of New York at Stony Brook with a Bachelor’s of Engineering degree as well as minored in English and Journalism. While at Stony Brook, he won the University’s Martin Buskin Memorial Scholarship for Journalism. 

Links

Black Rose Publishing - A Therapist’s Garden: Using Plants to Revitalise Your Spirit

www.grohappy.com

Patreon Membership

Mar 28, 2022
Podcast 151 - Violas
26:35
This week I’m talking with Jack Willgoss, who along with wife Laura, runs Wildegoose Nursery in Shropshire where they hold the Bouts collection of violas.

The collection comprises over 160 varieties and includes some favourite varieties which date back to the 1800s. Jack talks about his collection, the different types of violas you might come across and how you can best grow them in your garden either in the ground or in containers.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Biodiversity Decline

What we cover

Jack’s collection of violas

How many species of viola there are

The history of violas in cultivation

Violettas 

Pruning violas

Viola growing conditions and feeding

Hardiness

Violas and scent

Viola colours

Propagation

Edible flowers

Links

www.wildegoosenursery.co.uk

Patreon Membership

Mar 21, 2022
Podcast 150 - Welcome to Mintopia
44:03

This week’s guest is Dr Si Poole, founder of Mintopia, a website dedicated to mint featuring its own online reference library for the different types, the mintopaedia. Si holds one of the National Collections of mint and holds getting on for 200 different cultivars. From his plastic-free, organic nursery, he sells themed collections of mints and he’s passionate and knowledgable about every aspect of the Mentha genera, impressive given that there’s much more to this plant than mint sauce and mojitos. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Locusts

What we cover

How Si became interested in mint

The different species and cultivars of mint

The Mintopia Mint Collections

How is mint propagated?

The cultivation of mint in the garden 

Is it true that you shouldn’t allow mints of different varieties grow in the same container otherwise they all end up tasting the same? 

Mint pests and diseases

Links

Mintopia 

Patreon Membership

Mar 14, 2022
Podcast 149 - Feeding Your Soil with Humanure
31:31

I stumbled across a book called The Humanure Handbook: Shit in a Nutshell and of course, I had to buy a copy. I’ve long thought that if we’re aiming towards a closed system within our gardens then our own waste needs to be factored into the equation so I was intrigued to find out what the book’s author Joseph C Jenkins had to say on the matter. What I didn’t expect was the book to be one of those that slaps you in the face with facts and makes you question the whole way you’ve lived your life, in this case in relation to loos and their contents. Not only does Joe comprehensively explain how you can take the contents of your loo and compost it along with your garden waste so that you have a clean and useful product that can be used on everything from vegetables to houseplants, he will make you wonder why you ever thought the alternative of flushing it away was a sensible, viable option. There is so much I wanted to cover with Joe and we only scratched the surface of the subject in this interview. I urge you to get the book and think about the issue of how we deal with waste, it’s a vitally important environmental issue.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Eating insects

What we cover

The background to Joe’s work on composting toilet waste and his book, The Humanure Handbook

In order to put back what we take out of the soil, we need to be reusing our waste as well as all household and garden waste - how can this work in practice?

Is a flushing toilet the holy grail of comfort and civilised living for all?

Composting and pathogens

Composting and drug residues

Compost toilets vs dry composting systems

Links

Humanure Handbook can be downloaded here

Humanure videos

Humanure videos on Youtube

Humanure research papers:

2018

2015

2013

2011

2009

Patreon Membership

Mar 07, 2022
Podcast 148 - The Plants of Armenia
39:48

The flora of Armenia is one of the most diverse and interesting in the world and includes many favourite garden plants and their relatives. This week’s guest, Tamar Galstyan, has travelled the length and breadth of the country botanising and leading guided plant tours. She’s recently published ‘A Field Guide to the Plants of Armenia’ which includes more than 1000 of the diverse range of plants found in the country and in the interview, we cover the range of habitats and climates found in Armenia, what it’s like to travel there to find plants and how the native flora is threatened by things such as climate change and grazing animals.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: UV light

What we cover

How Tamar become interested in plants

What makes Armenia so significant in terms of plants

The sorts of climates experienced in Armenia

The rarest plants you could find

Armenian wild plants that are also garden cultivars

The protection given to the native flora

How to see the plants in Armenia and the best time to visit

About Tamar Galstyan

Tamar Galstyan graduated from the University of Art and Theatre in Yerevan, Armenia. After some years she studied ecology and worked with children as an ecology teacher. Tamar began travelling regularly in Armenia, taking numerous pictures of plants and identifying them. She created a website to help her students learn about the Armenian flora and this led to her popular Facebook page 'Plants of Armenia'. In 2012 Tamar was invited to guide a botany trip in Armenia. Gradually the geographical range of her trips expanded and some are managed through her own travel company, SkyGreen. Travels in Georgia, Iran and Central Asia deepened Tamar’s love of nature as well as her plant knowledge. She learns by travelling and is passionate about sharing what she has learnt during the past nine years guiding botany trips. 

Links

A Field Guide to The Plants of Armenia by Tamar Galstyan

Patreon Membership

Feb 28, 2022
Podcast 148 - How to Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying
This week’s guest is Frank Hyman, a certified mushroom forager who teaches mushroom identification to chefs, arborists, organic farmers and the general public. Frank’s latest book is called ‘How to Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying’ and contains guidance on mushroom identification, on your suitability for becoming a mushroom forager on which subject he writes “if you have a reputation among your friends and family for exercising poor judgement…you may not be a very good candidate”, about the sniffy attitude of the English to mushrooms versus that of mainland Europeans and a whole host of other myco-related topics that should help you in your quest to survive foraging. Despite dealing with a potentially lethal topic, both book and author are laugh out loud funny and I was delighted that Frank agreed to an interview.

 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Viruses

 

What we cover

 

Can you take a mushroom guide from one country or continent and use it in another?

 

Frank’s three different types of mushrooms

 

Mycophobia

 

Should you be careful of the soil mushrooms are growing in?

Nutritional and medicinal values

 

Cleaning and cooking mushrooms

 

About Frank Hyman

 

Frank is a certified mushroom forager who teaches mushroom identification to chefs, arborists, organic farmers and the general public. His writing on foraging has appeared in Forbes, Paleo Magazine and Hobby Farms. He lives in Durham, North Carolina. 

 

Links

 

 

How to Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Identifying 29 Wild, Edible Mushrooms by Frank Hyman

Other episodes you might like:

Edible Mushrooms with Geoff Dann

In Search of Mycotopia with Doug Bierend

Patreon Membership

Feb 23, 2022
Podcast 147 - Beans, beans good for…the planet!
33:01

This week, I’m talking to Susan Young, author of the book ‘Growing Beans’. As I’ve looked further into having a sustainable diet, into growing and storing crops and into sources of plant protein, beans just seemed to tick every box, but I needed to know more. So Susan’s book ‘Growing Beans’ is exactly what I’ve been looking for, because it covers growing, harvesting and storing beans and it argues a very convincing case for a fact that many people the world over have known for centuries; that beans are good not only for you but for the planet, because they’re such a resilient, easy to grow, low carbon footprint crop.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Tobacco whitefly

What we cover

What makes beans such a good crop to grow, in terms of their eco credentials? 

The beans we commonly grow here in the UK

Beans to grow for their green pods, as fresh green beans, half dried and drying

Bean nutritional needs

Overwintering tubers of runner bean plants

Drying beans in a UK climate

Bean toxicity

Storing different types of beans

Easy beans to grow

Beans for taste and aesthetics

Preparing and cooking beans

About ‘Growing Beans: a diet for healthy people and planet' by Susan Young

Susan's new book brings together 10 years of experimentation with multiple varieties of beans. She clearly explains how to sow, grow, harvest, dry, store and cook them, and shares her six ‘must grow’ varieties. 

Beans are easy to grow and cook, help build healthy soil in the garden, and also provide a nutrient-rich diet, helping to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer – they are good sources of protein, fibre, folate, iron and potassium. Plus, they can reduce your carbon footprint and food miles as well!

Links

'Growing Beans: a diet for healthy people and planet' by Susan Young

Beans and Herbs 

Publishers of the book, Permaculture Magazine, on Facebook 

Patreon Membership

Feb 21, 2022
Podcast 146 - Seeking Rare Plants
35:07

This week’s guest is Nick Macer, plant hunter, self-taught botanist, rare species expert and owner of Pan Global Plants, a nursery based in the Severn Valley, which, to quote the website, offers “a selection of the finest, most desirable and often rarest plants capable of growing on these isles”. And that’s key - Nick hand selects plants, in the past, directly from where they were growing in the wild and brings them into cultivation. He’s renowned for choosing sublime varieties and for openly sharing his knowledge and experience. I did intend to talk to Nick a bit about his plant hunting trips, but as a stop has been put to these recently due to rules around the transportation of plant materials, the conversation went in other directions.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Mealybugs

What we cover

How Nick got into plant hunting

How plants make the grade for inclusion into your nursery catalogue

Rare plants - hardy or non hardy?

Propagating rare plants

Using rare plants in the garden

About Nick Macer

Coincidentally connected to last week’s episode on Georgian gardens, Nick Macer rented land at Painswick Rococo Garden before moving to Frampton-on-Severn to set up Pan-Global Plants, which specialises in rare and unusual plants, many of which are well-suited to growing in a UK climate.

Nick trained at Merrist Wood and went on to have placements at Westonbirt Arboretum and the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens. He’s travelled the globe to find the most beautiful specimens to bring into cultivation and continues to work at the nursery and to share his knowledge in person and in the media.

Links

www.panglobalplants.com

Patreon Membership

Feb 14, 2022
Podcast 145 - Painting the Georgian Garden
31:13

I’m speaking to Dr Cathryn Spence this week, about Thomas Robins, a painter who documented the country estates of the Georgian gentry in all their Rococo splendour. Robins captured images of this flamboyant age of outdoor design where gardens were laden with symbolism and crammed full of Chinoiserie, follies ruins and the latest imports of exotic animals and plants. Follow the story of Robins as he moves from jobbing fan painter to star of his own paintings, the development of the floral borders around his canvases, for which he’s famed, and the evolution of the Georgian garden and what remains of this style today. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Fig wasps

What we cover

The artist Thomas Robins and when and where he worked

What gardens looked like at the time Robins was painting

What is a Rococo garden?

Why Robins painted floral borders around his paintings

How exotic species came to be included in these frames

In the book, Cathryn references “the Rococo’s requirement of asymmetry”. How did this manifest in Robins’ artworks and in gardens? 

Political themes in Georgian gardens

Robins’ botanical art

How contemporary painters painted entire estates on one canvas

Remaining examples of rococo gardens

About ‘Nature’s Favourite Child – Thomas Robins and the Art of the Georgian Garden’

Thomas Robins the Elder (1716–1770) recorded the country estates of the Georgian gentry—their orchards, Rococo gardens, and potagers—like no other, with both topographical accuracy and delightful artistry, often bordering his gouaches with entrancing tendrils, shells, leaves, and birds. Robins's skill was honed by the delicacy required for his early career as a fan painter and is shown too in his exquisite paintings of butterflies, flowers, and birds. This ravishing and scholarly study emerges from many years’ research by Dr Cathryn Spence, the curator and archivist at Bowood House who has also worked for the V&A, the Bath Preservation Trust, and the National Trust. This is the first full study of Thomas Robins since John Harris’s Gardens of Delight, published in two volumes in 1978; Harris, in fact, made over all his research notes to Spence in 2005 when she embarked on her work. Chinoiserie is everywhere—a wooden bridge over the Thames, delicious kiosks in a garden, a view of Bath with sampans, and Chinese fishermen on the river. There are also fascinating views of Sudeley Castle and other great houses that incorporated more or less ruined monastic structures, destroyed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Spence has tracked down many previously unknown paintings by Robins and sets his elusive life and work in the framework of his patrons. More detective story than art historical monograph, this lavish study delights in Robins’s astonishing proficiency as a topographical, botanical, entomological and naturalist artist. 

About Cathryn Spence

Dr Cathryn Spence is a museum professional, lecturer and historic gardens and buildings consultant. After a career in London and Bath museums, including the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Building of Bath Museum, she is now Lord Lansdowne’s consultant Archivist and Curator at Bowood House, Wiltshire. She has published several books on the architectural and social history of Bath, most recently The Story of Bath (2016). Her study of Thomas Robins is the culmination of over fifteen years research.  Cathryn has worked with the team at Painswick Rococo Garden, a site restored using Robins’s paintings from 1984, for the last 5 years advising on the continuing heritage and conservation of the garden. 

Links

Nature’s Favourite Child – Thomas Robins and the Art of the Georgian Garden by Cathryn Spence is available from John Sandoe Books or directly from the author. Email thomasrobinselder@gmail.com (£45 to include p&p to a UK address, for RoW postage contact Cathryn on the above email for quote).

Painswick Rococo Garden

Patreon Membership

Feb 07, 2022
Podcast 144 - Sharing and Borrowing Gardens
26:59

This week, I’m talking to Joyce Veheary about her fantastic Lend and Tend project, which aims to match garden owners who perhaps don’t have the time, experience, desire or means to tend their garden with gardenless gardeners keen to employ their green fingers, 

pairing up people who are local to each other, then sending them on their merry way in the hopes they will have a long and happy garden sharing relationship. Joyce talks about why she felt the need to begin the project, how it works, what happens when it succeeds and why the idea is of benefit to whole communities, as well as the individuals involved.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Indoor houseplant bugs

What we cover

Lend and Tend and how it came about

How likely are you to find someone on Lend and Tend who shares the same view of what a garden can and should be? 

Some of the keys to having a mutually beneficial relationship between lender and tender

What about tools?

Practical considerations such as insurance and references

The social element of Lend and Tend and how it benefits the community

Where to find out more and get involved

About Joyce Veheary

Joyce is the founder of Lend and Tend and is a self-taught gardener with a passion for sharing skills and experiences. She is particularly interested in growing her own produce to cook with and she’s a keen forager too. 

Joyce is always looking for ways to look after the environment and to promote social justice. Her aim with Lend and Tend is to democratise access to growing space, which she rightly views as an act of horticultural rebellion.

She’s also a film and TV actor and her latest role is in Zack Snyder’s Justice League where she plays a Gotham cop. Talk about multi-talented!

Links

www.lendandtend.com

Lend and Tend on Facebook 

Twitter 

Instagram 

Patreon Membership

Jan 31, 2022
Podcast 143 - Saving Our Seeds
28:33
Hello and welcome to this episode of the podcast, where I’m speaking to Madeline McKeever, owner of Brown Envelope Seeds. Madeline’s company produces organic, open-pollinated seeds, which are harvested from crops grown on site at the Brown Envelope Seeds’ HQ, a farm in Skibbereen in County Cork. Madeline talks about why open-pollinated seeds are essential in the fight to feed people and for greater food biodiversity, the benefits of seed saving and sourcing seeds locally and how you can harvest your own seeds.

P.s. for those expecting exotic plants and sunny climes as promised last week, apologies! The course of podcasting never did run smooth - hopefully next week!

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Overwintering moths

What we cover

Brown Envelope Seeds and how Madeline started the company

Why organic seeds? Why open-pollinated?

On the Brown Envelope Seeds website, Madeline writes that open pollinated seeds “are naturally pollinated - by insects or wind; not enforced pollination or in-breeding”. She expands on what she means by this.

Food plant biodiversity

Why you should try to buy seeds from a seed producer in your region or from one who has similar growing conditions

Saving our own seeds

If we save seeds each year, are the resulting plants are getting better and better?

What to look for when saving seed

Potential problems with seed crops that can affect the quality of the seed

The situation globally with seed production and seed sellers?

About Madeline McKeever

Madeline began Brown Envelope Seeds in 2004 with 25 varieties. Since then, the company has grown, along with the amount of varieties offered (especially tomatoes!) to a family business supplying organic and open-pollinated vegetable seeds to Irish growers. 

Madeline’s mission statement is to enable people to grow their own food and she believes producing and saving seeds is a vital part of that. She is doing her part to preserve and safeguard the future of food diversity in Ireland and by sharing her knowledge and expertise, is helping this happen on a global scale. 

Links

www.brownenvelopeseeds.com

www.seedie.ie

Other episodes you might like:

Episode 12 - Esiah Levy’s SeedsShare Project 

Patreon Membership

Jan 24, 2022
Podcast 142 - Grow Easy with Anna Greenland
28:27

This year’s first guest is organic vegetable grower Anna Greenland. Anna has supplied produce to some of the UK’s top chefs, including Raymond Blanc and Jamie Oliver, has created gardens at Soho Farmhouse, Kew Gardens and the Huntington Botanical Gardens in LA. She is currently establishing a market garden and gardening school in Suffolk and has just released a book called ‘Grow Easy’. Anna talks about working with the best chefs in the best kitchens and catering to their clientele, about producing pristine veg organically, about growing food in different climates and the fundamentals of veg garden success.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Overwintering fruit & vegetable bugs

What we cover

Anna’s background

How Anna begins to plan a veg garden from scratch

What makes a good site

The chefs Anna has worked with 

Growing food for a professional kitchen

Keeping a veg garden in a public space looking good all year round

The biggest challenges for new veg gardeners and how they can be overcome

About Anna Greenland

Anna was working as a model when she moved to Cornwall and began working at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall. Bitten by the veg growing bug, she took on a job at The Lost Gardens of Heligan and began supplying produce to Jamie’s restaurant. From there, she moved to LA to study Ecological Horticulture and set up a food growing garden at Huntington Botanical Gardens. 

After moving back to the UK, she worked at Soho Farmhouse, Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons for Raymond Blanc and has set up a productive area at Kew Gardens. She won gold and Best in Show for her ‘Herbs and Preserves’ garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in 2018 and has just released a book, ‘Grow Easy’. She now lives in Suffolk where she is setting up a market garden and gardening school.

Links

www.annagreenland.co.uk

Anna on Instagram 

Grow Easy: Organic crops for pots and small plots - October 2021, Octopus Publishing

Patreon Membership

Jan 17, 2022
Podcast 141 - Christmas Round Up
12:52

Welcome to this pre-Christmas episode of the podcast, the final one of 2021. And what a year this has been! In this episode, I talk about what’s been happening at Roots and All and look back over some of the favourite episodes from this year. 

Thank you for supporting the podcast this year and a Merry Christmas to you!

What I cover

The redesigned Roots and All website and the bookshop

Episode 94 - Wild Gardens with Jo McKerr

Episode 99 - Pollinators & Pollination with Prof Jeff Ollerton

Episode 108 - Dr Glynn Percival of Bartlett Tree Research

Episode 125 - Modern Plant Hunters with Dr Sandy Primrose

Episode 136 - The View from Federal Twist with James Golden

Patreon Membership

Dec 20, 2021
Podcast 140 - Darwin’s Garden with Dr Jude Piesse
30:54

This week’s guest is Dr Jude Piesse. Jude’s book ‘The Ghost in the Garden’ is essentially about Charles Darwin’s largely forgotten garden in Shrewsbury but the book turned out to be much more than a study of the garden, its history and the man himself. In fact, these aspects are almost incidental to the other characters in the book and this makes it an amazing narrative where many aspects are hung together on the framework of the garden. In the interview, Jude tells us about how the book developed, the characters that animated the garden and how it fed into Charles Darwin’s work and life. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Winter Bumblebees

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

How Jude first came across Charles Darwin’s garden and what was it about the garden that interested her

Jude says the book is more a collective biography and memoir than just the story of Darwin and it incorporates a whole host of characters. She talks about whether this was intentional.

When the garden was built and what the contemporary horticultural world was like 

How might the change from landscape gardens to the collectors’ gardens with their array of exotic species have contributed to scientific discoveries at that time?

Whilst he was on The Beagle, the correspondence between Darwin and his family seems to have been set against the backdrop of seasonal events in the garden. Was this merely a common topic of conversation or were these updates of a deeper significance? 

Who were the Darwins’ gardeners and what role did they play in shaping the garden and Darwin’s work? 

How much did the garden feed into his work? 

Did Darwin love the garden or was it a laboratory? 

What is the condition of the garden now?

Whose ghost is it in the garden? 

About Dr Jude Piesse

Jude Piesse is an academic and writer. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Exeter. She has published widely on nineteenth-century literature and culture, including her book about emigration literature, British Settler Emigration in Print, 1832–1877 (OUP, 2016). Though she grew up in Shropshire, she did not discover Darwin’s childhood garden until she moved to Shrewsbury with her young family to take up her first lectureship. She now works as a lecturer in English Literature at Liverpool John Moores University. https://scribepublications.co.uk/books-authors/books/the-ghost-in-the-garden-9781913348052

Links

The Ghost in the Garden by Jude Piesse - Scribe Publications, 2021 

Dec 13, 2021
Podcast 139 - Cottage Gardens with Andrew Sankey
35:10

This episode features garden designer, grower, speaker and writer Andrew Sankey. Andrew specialises in English cottage gardens and has meticulously researched the subject for decades, becoming an expert on this style of gardening. He’s recently released a book called The English Cottage Garden and in the interview, we talk about what defines a cottage garden, both in the past and now, the plants and features most commonly found in one and tips if you’re looking to create your own. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Ivy Mining Bees

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

What was a cottage garden historically and what is it now?

How big is a cottage garden?

What hard landscaping elements characterise a cottage garden?

Which planting techniques stand out as most cottage garden-like?

Where does the winter interest come from in a cottage garden?

Using plants as supports for other plants

Cottage gardens and wildlife

Andrew’s 3 essential plants

Edibles in a modern cottage garden

About Andrew Sankey

Andrew left teaching (Head of Graphics/Design) in 1989 to start a Garden Design & Landscaping business in Lincolnshire. He discovered it was very difficult to obtain plants required for designs so started a specialist nursery stocking plants for dry shade/ dry sun.

He went on to organise Plant Fairs in Lincolnshire, Cambs and Norfolk & produced a booklet called the Plant Fair Guide for a number of years.

Andrew moved to a cottage near Woodhall Spa, Lincs in 1992 and created a cottage garden which was opened twice a year for the NGS and other groups.

He became Chairman of the Lincolnshire branch of the Cottage Garden Society and began lecturing on cottage gardens and related subjects (including lecture tours to Minnesota and Wisconsin in the USA).

He’s written booklets on Companion Planting, Cottage Favourites and Sayings and Superstitions and he continues to design gardens and lecture widely on a range of gardening topics.

Links

The English Cottage Garden by Andrew Sankey - The Crowood Press Ltd, 2021 

Episode 62 - The Living Jigsaw with Val Bourne 

The Cottage Garden Society 

Dec 06, 2021
Podcast 138 - Plan, Plant & Maintain Fruit Trees with Wade Muggleton
27:50

Hello and thank you for joining me this week, as I talk to Wade Muggleton, permaculturist, tree expert and author of The Orchard Book, a book about incorporating fruit trees into your garden, however big or small your space. Wade is my favourite type of guest in that he’s written a book based on 20 years of solid experience and he’s busted a few myths along the way, not least the received wisdom around fruit tree pollination. So if you’d like to find out what makes an orchard, when to prune your trees, what types of tree to select, how to underplant your trees, creative tree training, what is a pitcher and what is a chequer, then listen on!

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Ear wigglers

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

What is an orchard? 

What types of tree might one contain?

Underplanting orchard trees

Keeping the costs down when establishing an orchard

Have you heard of chequers?

Grafting and over grafting

Pitchers

Pollination and the need for multiple trees of the same pollination group

Creating step overs and fruit tree arches

Pruning in summer instead of winter

Top types of tree

About Wade Muggleton

“Wade Muggleton lives in Shropshire with his partner and two children, where their plot, Station Road Permaculture Garden, is a demonstration site for permaculture and opens under the National Open Gardens Scheme. In 2013, he acquired a field and now has a collection of over 130 fruit trees and was featured on BBC Gardeners’ World in 2018.” https://www.chelseagreen.com/writer/wade-muggleton/

Links

The Orchard Book: Plan, Plant and Maintain Fruit from Garden to Field by Wade Muggleton - 2021, Permanent Publications

 

Nov 29, 2021
Podcast 137 - Water-wise Gardening with Janet Manning
33:35

Welcome to this week’s episode, where I’m talking water-wise gardening with Janet Manning. Janet undertook a three year project with the RHS and Cranfield University where she looked at strategies and techniques currently available to gardeners to help them both conserve and manage water in a way that reduces waste and protects the environment. We talk about why there’s a need to be water-wise in wet countries like the UK, what we can do to help and why gardens are an important part of the bigger environmental picture.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Harvestmen

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

Janet’s work with Cranfield University and the RHS

How we gardeners can conserve water in our gardens

How we can contribute towards rainwater management

Drought tolerant plants 

The fabled moist, well-drained soil!

Using swales and hugelkultur beds

Long term meteorological predictions

About Janet Manning

Janet has just completed a three year water management knowledge transfer partnership between Cranfield University and the RHS. As a graduate of Cranfield with an MSc in process engineering, and after a 17 year career as a scientist in the water industry, she followed her passion for the natural environment into horticulture where she worked on a production nursery producing hardy ornamentals. Having worked 'both ends of the hose' she was well placed to take up the role at the RHS as the first garden water scientist. She has contributed to the water neutral targets set within the RHS's new sustainability strategy and has written the first water road map for Wisley as a plan implement the strategy. A gardener since she was big enough to pick up a trowel, the combination of practical gardening experience and scientific knowledge, she has recently left the Environmental Horticulture Team at Wisley but with a legacy that will continue through the sustainability strategy.

Links

www.mains2rains.co.uk

RHS advice for water management 

RHS Neutral Water Targets 

Nov 22, 2021
Podcast 136 - The View From Federal Twist with James Golden
28:49

This week’s episode features James Golden, talking about the naturalistic garden he’s built around his home in New Jersey. James’s garden has been created intuitively over time and sits perfectly within the landscape, in fact is a landscape in its own right. Sometimes baffling, sometimes threatening and without utilitarian purpose, the garden is nonetheless life-affirming, vital and dramatically beautiful in different ways from one moment to the next.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Harlequins

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

About the garden at Federal Twist

Would the garden be as successful from a horticultural and aesthetic standpoint if James had plotted the garden on paper, particularly the planting?

Visitors often seem to get lost in the space and can’t find a route through it - so who did James design the garden for, himself or was it always meant to be shared with visitors? 

James’s stone circle, which serves no purpose other than an aesthetic one

James on being a fearless and philosophical gardener

How long is long enough to make a garden?

How do you create a garden which varies so dramatically from one season to the next?

What inspired the garden

About James Golden 

“James Golden’s garden design has been featured in national and international magazines, in The New York Times, and in several books on garden design. He has been the recipient of national awards and is widely known in the gardening world through his garden blog View from Federal Twist (www.federaltwist.com). James’ Federal Twist garden regularly appears on tours of the Garden Conservancy, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Hardy Plant Society, and on numerous private tours. Recently retired, he has started a garden design practice.” https://federaltwistdesign.org/about

Links

The View from Federal Twist: A New Way of Thinking About Gardens, Nature and Ourselves by James Golden - Filbert Press, 2021 

The View From Federal Twist 

Federal Twist on Instagram 

Nov 15, 2021
Podcast 135 - By Any Other Name with Simon Morley
29:53

This week’s guest in Simon Morley, a British artist and art historian. Simon is the author of several books on modern and contemporary art and is a keen rose gardener. Simon’s latest book was released a few weeks ago and is called ‘By Any Other Name: A Cultural History of the Rose’. During the interview I ask Simon about the cultural significance of roses throughout history, their symbolism, their origins and what how we use roses in gardens today says about us as a society.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Cluster flies

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

Why the rose is a meme 

Why the rose has been so enduringly beloved by humans 

The origins of Valentine’s Day and why roses are intrinsically linked to it

Why roses in religious symbology fell out of favour during protestantism 

Of all the concepts or beliefs that the rose signifies, which most resonates with Simon

Which nations were the most important players in the development of the rose varieties we know today? 

Simon writes "aesthetic horticultural considerations were often coupled with a theoretical component, and the selection and arrangement of plants were determined by the botanical theory of the period, which in its turn reflected the way the world was perceived to be ordered”. What does Simon think the way we use roses today tell us about how we perceive the world to be ordered? 

The lack of a role for roses in movements such as rewilding and the new perennial movement

About Simon Morley

Simon Morley is a British artist and art historian. He is the author of several books on modern and contemporary art, and has contributed reviews and essays to a number of publications. His artworks have been exhibited internationally. He is currently writing a new history of modern painting, to be published in 2023. Simon lives in France and South Korea, where he teaches at Dankook University. He is also a keen rose gardener.

Links

By Any Other Name: A Cultural History of the Rose by Simon Morley - Oneworld Publications, 2021 

Simon’s website 

Simon on Instagram 

Nov 08, 2021
Podcast 134 - Camellias with Fiona Edmond
26:21

This week’s guest is my second ever returning guest, Fiona Edmond of Green Island Gardens a garden and nursery in Essex. Fiona holds National Plant Collection status for her range of camellias, which includes winter/spring flowering varieties, but also the sometimes overlooked autumn flowering varieties, unjustly so as they offer colour in the garden when little else is happening. This episode tells you everything you need to know about successfully growing camellias. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Spanish slugs

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

Autumn and spring flowering varieties

The need for acidic soil when growing camellias

Cultivation

Feeding

Some of Fiona’s favourite varieties for the garden

Pests and diseases

About Fiona Edmond

Links

wwwgreenislandgardens.co.uk

The Green Island Nursery 

On Instagram 

On Twitter 

On Facebook 

Nov 01, 2021
Podcast 133 - Caring For God’s Acre with Harriet Carty
29:45

This week’s guest is Harriet Carty. Harriet is the Charity Director & Beautiful Burial Ground Project Manager at Caring for God’s Acre, an organisation which works nationally to support groups and individuals to investigate, care for, and enjoy burial grounds and graveyards. These sites are refuges for wildlife, veteran trees and plants. They’re community assets which need protecting and preserving for us and for future generations and I was fascinated to find out more about what’s being done to look after these local treasures.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Overwintering butterflies

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

About Caring For God’s Acre

Why it’s so important to protect burial grounds and the wildlife and plants that call then home

Burial grounds as important historical sites and as a link to the past

Veteran trees and ancient yews in burial grounds

Biodiversity in burial sites

How you can get involved with recording wildlife

How to check if your local church is involved

About Caring for God’s Acre

“Caring for God’s Acre works nationally to support groups and individuals to investigate, care for, and enjoy burial grounds and graveyards. There are over 20,000 burial grounds in England and Wales, ranging from small rural medieval churchyards to large Victorian city cemeteries, spanning different cultures, religions and centuries. Appealing to many who are interested in local history and the natural world, burial grounds encapsulate the history of communities whilst offering refuge for our native wildlife.” https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk

Links

www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk

On Twitter 

On Facebook 

Oct 25, 2021
Podcast 132 - The Jungle Garden with Philip Oostenbrink
29:09

This week’s guest is Philip Oostenbrink, Head Gardener at Walmer Castle and Gardens, Collections Coordinator for Plant Heritage in Kent, Plant Trials committee member for the RHS and self-confessed jungle plant nut. Philip has just published a new book titled ‘The Jungle Garden’ and in this interview, I talk to him about what a jungle garden is, whether they can work in shady and sunny aspects, easy jungle plants, rarer ones, plant hardiness, seasonal and winter interest and where to get plants. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Black vine weevil

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

What sparked Philip’s interest in jungle plants

How the jungle influences his design aesthetic

The importance of seasonal changes and how do you can highlight these in a jungle garden scheme

How much did writing the book make Philip examine what is an instinctual talent for grouping plants?

Can jungle plants mix with more traditional cottage style plants? 

Mixing exotic plants from different continents or eco regions

Winter interest in a jungle garden

Jungle gardens in full sunshine

Good jungle garden climbers

Trees for a small space but big impact

Easy to look after starter plants 

Rarer plants to wow your friends

About Philip Oostenbrink

“My name is Philip Oostenbrink and I am Head Gardener at Walmer Castle and Gardens in East Kent. Apart from my full-time job I am Collections Coordinator for Plant Heritage in Kent and Plant Trials committee member for the RHS. I am also a horticultural speaker for any groups who are interested in gardening and/or history.

I have been a plant collector all my life. I have a passion for jungle gardening and I have four National Plant Collections: Aspidistra elatior & sichuanensis, Variegated and Yellow-leaved Convallaria, Hakonechloa macra and Ophiopogon japonicus. I have a love for variegated plants.” https://myplants.me

Links

The Jungle Garden by Philip Oostenbrink - Filbert Press, October 2021 

Philip’s Blog - ‘Thoughts of a plant nut.” 

Philip on Instagram - mr.plantaholic 

Oct 18, 2021
Podcast 131 - Making a Wildlife Garden with Chris Baines
30:48

This week I’m speaking to gardener, TV presenter, author, government adviser and wildlife and environment advocate, Chris Baines. Chris designed the first ever wildlife garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1985, which was swiftly followed by his bestselling book ‘How to Make a Wildlife Garden’ so I thought it would be a perfect time to speak to Chris, given the continuing interest in wild gardens that we witnessed again at this year’s Chelsea.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Carrot root flies

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

How Chris thinks things have changed since the 1980s with regard to the plight of wildlife

Why a wildlife garden which mimics a woodland edge is desirable

Planting a wildflower strip next to a mixed native hedge, how could you go about starting this type of strip and what plants you might use

How you can identify the wildlife in your garden

Is Chris hopeful for the future and are things changing quickly enough? 

Documenting your garden wildlife, in order to help protect habitats threatened by developments

About Chris Baines

"Chris Baines is one of the UK’s leading environmental campaigners, an award-winning writer and broadcaster and an experienced speaker at national and international conferences. His particular garden-related expertise lies in wildlife gardening, community participation and trees in towns. Specilaist subjects: industry and environment, wildlife gardening, community participation, habitat creation, sustainable water management." https://www.gardenmediaguild.co.uk/guild-members/directory/profile/Chris-Baines/15

Oct 11, 2021
Podcast 130 - Cosmos & Hollyhocks with Jonathan Sheppard
39:34

My guest this week is Jonathan Sheppard, a political lobbyist who somehow fell into becoming the holder of 2 national plant collections; hollyhocks and cosmos. Jonathan talks about how to grow hollyhocks and cosmos, what you can, or can’t do about rust, good varieties to try and what to look out for in the coming year in terms of new varieties and colours.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Dragonflies

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

Hollyhocks and rust

When to sow hollyhocks

Are they biennial or perennial?

The best places to grow hollyhocks

Some of the best varieties

New colours 

The cultivation of Cosmos

Links

British Hollyhocks

Jonathan Sheppard on Twitter 

Oct 04, 2021
Podcast 129 - Growing Big Veg with Social Media Star Gerald Stratford
33:02

This week I’m speaking to social media sensation and veg grower Gerald Stratford about growing big veg - do they taste better, how do you avoid pests and diseases, what growing media is best and what you can do with your big veg once you’ve grown it? Gerald’s new book Big Veg has recently been published and his star continues to ascend. Gerald spoke to me from his shed, with his wonderful wife Liz and cat Jet in attendance.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Woodlice

This episode is brought to you by Horti:couture, a conference exploring the influence of plants and gardens on the fashion world and featuring some of the industry’s leading academics and influencers. For more information visit the LCGD website LCGD.org.uk or their Eventbrite page. The conference will take place on the 9th October and tickets start at just £59 and the day will be streamed online as well as in person at Kew Gardens. 

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

How Gerald got started on social media

Why would you want to grow big veg and is big always best for taste?

What type of soil you need to grow big veg

Avoiding blight on tomatoes and potatoes

And rust on onions

Using the trench system for runner beans

What Gerald is doing on his plot right now 

About Gerald Stratford

Gerald’s book of tips and tricks, 'BIG VEG', is accessible for beginners and those interested in grow-your-own veg. This gentle guide distils years of knowledge, including the top 10 vegetables to begin with, how to ‘supersize’ them and a month-by-month breakdown to sowing, planting and harvesting.

Aged 72, Gerald rose to fame later in life, gaining over 308k followers after sharing pictures of his potatoes at the height of lockdown in May 2020. He has been hailed the ‘Veg King’ by the press and is passionate about sharing the benefits of mindful gardening at any age and cultivating your own food. After becoming a social media sensation, he continues to go viral with his wholesome allotment content.  

Illustrated with photos throughout, Big Veg is encouraging, full of wisdom and dry humour, much like lovely Gerald himself. In the spirit of bringing joy, please enjoy Gerald as the star of GUCCI’s latest campaign!

Links

Gerald Stratford on Twitter 

'Big Veg' by Gerald Stratford

Get your tickets for Horti:couture from Eventbrite 

Sep 27, 2021
Podcast 128 - So you want to write a gardening book? With writer Catherine Mack
31:22

In this episode, I’m speaking to award-winning writer Catherine Mack about getting a gardening book published. Catherine talks about why you might want to write a book, the process of getting your ideas onto paper and how to get published. Plus, she addresses the most important issue of whether or not you’ll make your fortune! If you’ve ever harboured dreams of writing a book, listen on and be inspired by Catherine’s advice and encouragement.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Red Admirals

This episode is brought to you by Horti:couture, a conference exploring the influence of plants and gardens on the fashion world and featuring some of the industry’s leading academics and influencers. For more information visit the LCGD website LCGD.org.uk or their Eventbrite page. The conference will take place on the 9th October and tickets start at just £59 and the day will be streamed online as well as in person at Kew Gardens. 

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

Good reasons for writing a book

How do you know if it will be of interest to readers?

How to check someone hasn’t already written something similar and does it matter if they have?

Your options if you’re looking to get published

Getting published in a magazine

What you need in order to approach potential publishers or crowdfunders

Traditional publisher vs. alternatives

Are you likely to make any money?!

About Catherine Mack

Catherine is an award-winning travel writer specialising in sustainable and ethical tourism. Storytelling and sustainability go hand in hand for Catherine, who engages with people just as much as place on her travels. As Covid clipped her wings she started to focus on journeys that people took closer to home. In other words, to their allotments. She is delighted that The Allotmenteers, Profiles of a Growing Community - has now been commissioned by Unbound, an award-winning crowdfunding publisher. 

Catherine has always sought to understand why people journey and is keen to capture what people gain from travelling this short distance from urban to rural, from home to allotment, as well as the growing and personal journeys they take while being allotmenteers. Catherine doesn’t have an allotment and, as it is considered such a private world by those who maintain them, she is able to offer an objective eye in her interviews and subsequent essays, helping the reader feel as if they too are privileged to enter this private world.

Read more about The Allotmenteers, and do please pledge to help have this book hit its crowdfunding target. You can also follow Catherine on Twitter and Instagram

Links

The Allotmenteers on Unbound

Catherine Mack on Twitter 

Catherine Mack on Instagram 

Get your tickets for Horti:couture from Eventbrite 

Sep 20, 2021
Podcast 127 - John Brookes and Denmans with Gwendolyn van Paasschen
27:16

This week, I’m speaking to Gwendolyn van Paaschen about the legendary garden designer John Brookes. Gwendolyn is the owner of Denmans Garden and chairman of the John Brookes-Denmans Foundation. Gwendolyn’s new book ‘How to Design a Garden’ brings together a collection of John’s works from across his lengthy career, disseminating the fundamental principles which underpinned his design work, in a way that is useful to both professionals and home gardeners. Gwendolyn is carrying on John’s work at Denmans by opening the garden to the public and as she puts in at the end of the interview, keeping his conversation going. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: House Spiders

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

Who was John Brookes and what are some of the highlights he accomplished during his long career?

The importance of designing in the vernacular and John expressed this through his designs

 How John’s design style and interests evolved during his career 

Garden designers today who particularly embody the work of John Brookes

His influence on garden design over the past 50 years

The long term effect of John's design in the realms of amateur gardening

About Gwendolyn van Paasschen

Gwendolyn van Paasschen, a garden designer and writer, worked with landscape designer John Brookes MBE and helped write his memoir, A Landscape Legacy (Pimpernel Press, 2018). Chairman of the John Brookes-Denmans Foundation, she owns Denmans Garden. Currently writing a book about Denmans, she also writes about garden design.

Links

How to Design a Garden By John Brookes MBE. Edited and introduction by Gwendolyn van Paasschen. Preface by Andrew Duff Released 7th October

www.denmans.org

Sep 19, 2021
Podcast 126 - Wild Food with Marlow Renton
32:51

This week’s guest, Marlow Renton, is the co-founder of Wild Food UK. Marlow talks about why we should all go out foraging, especially children, about how we can overcome our fear of wild food (particularly mushrooms!), what to look out for, when to do it and where to do it responsibly and how to get help if, like me, you’re a bit of a wild food wuss.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Cabbage Root Flies

Please don’t forget to rate, review and share the podcast!

What we cover

How Marlow learnt to forage

How easy is it to forage?

Why it’s important to take children foraging

What to be careful of when foraging

Foraging responsibly

How scared should we be of mushrooms?

Helpful resources if you’re unsure where to start

About Wild Food UK

“Wild Food UK was formed a few years ago by Marlow and Eric driven by a desire to expand peoples experience of nature into a practical source of enjoyment. Since then the company has grown in course leaders and course locations, covering most of the UK. Our aim is to educate people about tasty edible wild plants, mushrooms, fruits, roots and flowers that we think everyone should be able to identify, pick and eat with confidence.

We’re extremely lucky in Britain to have a climate that provides us plenty of food all year round, all you need to know is how to find it. We teach these “skills for life”; and we believe that with the skills we teach, every life will be enhanced. Not only is foraging fun and interesting; you never know when being able to pick your own food might come in genuinely useful or even life saving!” https://www.wildfooduk.com/about-us/

Links

www.wildfooduk.com

Sep 06, 2021
Podcast 125 - Modern Plant Hunters with Dr Sandy Primrose
38:26

This week, I’m speaking with Dr Sandy Primrose about his brilliant book Modern Plant Hunters, which tells the stories of plant hunting in more recent times; who’s doing it, why and what are they looking for. Find out about the challenges plant hunters past and present have faced, whether you can do it in somewhere like the UK and the kind of qualities and personal traits you might need if you want to start - spoiler, it’s not for the faint-hearted!

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Mosquitoes

Thanks to Betakut for sponsoring this episode - visit https://www.betakut.co.uk/shop to find out more - enter the code ROOTS20 to get 20% off until the end of August.

What we cover

Why do people go on plant hunting expeditions in this day and age?

Some of the difficulties they face

The prominent plant hunters today

The CITES treaty and the Nagoya protocol

The extent to which politics, funding issues, international relations etc have interfered with the work of plant hunters

Plant hunting in the UK

Advice for anyone interested in plant hunting

About Dr Sandy Primrose

Dr Sandy Primrose MBE PhD has spent his professional life as a biologist in academia and industry, as well as working with various government agencies on food fraud and related topics. He is a keen gardener and passionate teacher and lectures extensively on plant-related topics. - https://olympiapublishers.com/authors/sandy-primrose/

Links

Modern Plant Hunters by Dr Sandy Primrose - Pimpernel Press Ltd. 

Aug 30, 2021
Podcast 124 - Hydrangeas with Roger Butler of Golden Hill Nursery
24:06

This week, I visited Golden Hill Nurseries to interview Roger Butler, Find out about the different species in cultivation, the best way to prune hydrangeas, what and when to feed them and of course, the all important information about whether your flowers will be pink or blue and what, if anything, you can do about it!

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Horse Chestnut moth

Thanks to Betakut for sponsoring this episode - visit https://www.betakut.co.uk/shop to find out more - enter the code ROOTS20 to get 20% off until the end of August.

What we cover

Where hydrangeas originate from

Their preferred growing conditions

The main species in cultivation

Why are some hydrangeas blue and some pink? Can blue hydrangeas turn pink and what can we do if we want blue hydrangeas but can only seem to grow pink ones? 

The colour range of hydrangea flowers

How and when should to prune hydrangeas

How many months off the year can we expect hydrangeas to bloom? 

Particularly good species

Pests and diseases, or lack thereof!

About Roger Butler

Roger is the owner of Golden Hill Nurseries, a plant centre based in Kent, specialising in hydrangeas, hedging plants, Japanese maples and larger shrubs. Roger has made many appearances in the media sharing his expertise about hydrangeas and regularly gives talks on the subject. The nursery has won multiple medals at RHS shows for their plant displays and you can catch up with them at one of the RHS shows this year, or order from them online.

Links

www.goldenhillplants.com

Signature Hydrangeas

Signature Plants

Signature Shrubs

Aug 23, 2021
Podcast 123 - New Nordic Gardens with Annika Zetterman
32:20

This week’s guest is Annika Zetterman, a Swedish garden designer teacher and author of New Nordic Gardens. Annika works internationally designing visually beautiful gardens which encompass sustainability, respect for the local environment and aesthetic and which exemplify all the best aspects of Scandinavian design. In this episode, Annika talks about the ethos behind Scandinavian design as it’s expressed in a landscape setting and decodes why the gardens featured in her book are so downright stunning.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Grasshoppers

Thanks to Betakut for sponsoring this episode - visit https://www.betakut.co.uk/shop to find out more. 

What we cover

When talking about Nordic gardens, which countries Annika includes in her book

The importance of light in Nordic gardens and what effect this has on the colours and materials designers choose

Nordic design can be thought of as pared back, uncluttered, clean - where does this aesthetic come from?

Sustainability and how it underlies outdoor design in Nordic countries

Attention to detail and the meticulous selection of hard landscaping materials

The weather and how this is coped with in gardens

Trends emerging in contemporary Nordic gardens

About Annika Zetterman

“Annika Zetterman is the founder and designer at Zetterman Garden Design, creating gardens with Scandinavian ethos throughout the Nordics and beyond, with projects in Sweden, Spain, France, Switzerland and in the UK. She arrived back to her homeland, Stockholm, Sweden 2010, after living abroad, in Hawaii, USA and 10 years in London, UK. 

Annika is the author of the book ‘New Nordic Garden, Scandinavian Landscape Design’ published in 2017 and in 2021 (Thames & Hudson), with a Danish translation 2018. Her projects have been featured in books and publications, nationally as well as internationally. Annika was teaching garden design in Stockholm for seven years and lectures on the subject both in Sweden and abroad. 

Annika is driven by creating aesthetically pleasing and sustainable expressions, with respect to surrounding landscapes and architecture, while maintaining a positive contribution to future generations and to the Scandinavian design heritage." http://www.annikazetterman.com/indexENG.html

Links

New Nordic Gardens by Annika Zetterman 

www.annikazetterman.com 

Annika on Instagram 

Aug 16, 2021
Podcast 122 - The Forager’s Garden with Anna Locke
32:52

This episode I’m speaking to permaculture designer, teacher, author Anna Locke. Anna is my favourite type of gardener, in that she walks the walk and has a wealth of experience in growing edible plants. Anna has recently published a book called The Forager’s Garden, and in the interview, we talk about how to create an easy to look after yet productive space.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Crab spiders

Thanks to Betakut for sponsoring this episode - visit https://www.betakut.co.uk/shop to find out more. 

What we cover

A forest garden is "a project to dip into and out of as time, money and opportunity comes along” (The Forager’s Garden). Can a garden really be that little work? 

Guild planting

Grafting fruit trees onto wild hawthorns and blackthorn

The theory behind Anna’s 'keep it for now' policy

Hugelkultur beds

Ollas

Advice for anyone starting a forager’s garden from scratch

How to ID the plants you have

About Anna Locke

Anna is a permaculture designer and teacher based in Hastings. She is also a community development project manger. With a solid background as a gardener, specialising in forager’s gardens, she offers a bespoke design service or consultancy. She has planted over 50 forager’s gardens of varying sizes, including a large ongoing project in Hornshurt Wood and in her own small-scale permaculture farm, both in East Sussex. She regularly holds workshops to empower people to plant their own, look out for- ‘How to Plant a Forager’s Garden’ on her instant courses website

Links

www.annalockepermaculture.co.uk 

The Forager’s Garden by Anna Locke 

Aug 09, 2021
Podcast 121 - Head Gardeners with Ambra Edwards
34:42

This week, I’m talking Head Gardeners with Ambra Edwards; why she chose the ones she did to feature in her book of that name, the diverse range of tasks they undertake and what makes a good one. I ask Ambra what prompted her to write a book about some of the legendary and some of the unsung heroes of the horticultural world and if she could swap places with one, whose boots would she choose to fill. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Gooseberry sawfly

This episode is sponsored by gardencourses.com. gardencourses.com offers online horticultural training for those looking to develop their own, home gardens. The lasted course to be added is Create Your Garden Sanctuary - you can go to gardencourses.com to find out more. 

What we cover

How Ambra chose the head gardeners included in the book

Is there any such thing as a typical head gardener?

Some of the unexpected roles the gardeners in the book have to perform

How much gardens are expressions of the personality of the head gardener

Is it stifling for a head gardener to stick to historical plans/designs and not inject their own creativity into a space? 

What makes a great head gardener? 

Gardening as a profession 

About Ambra Edwards

Ambra Edwards is a journalist with a special interest in garden history, and the people, passions and often surprising stories that lie behind our gardens. Three times voted the Garden Media Guild's Garden Journalist of the Year  (2006, 2009 and 2015), she is a regular contributor to the Guardian, the Telegraph, Gardens Illustrated, Hortus and Country Living. Her most recent book is The Story of the English Garden (Pavilion, 2018). She lives in Dorset. https://www.pimpernelpress.com/ambra-edwards

Links

www.ambra-edwards.com

https://www.pimpernelpress.com/head-gardeners-2

www.gardencourses.com

Aug 02, 2021
Podcast 120 - Growing Real Food for Nutrition
35:10

In this episode, I’m talking to Dr Elizabeth Westaway and Matthew Adams, founders of Growing Real Food for Nutrition, or Grffn for short. Grffn’s vision is for a world where all food is grown for its nutritional qualities using regenerative practices, and made accessible to all. We talk about how the way food is grown can affect its nutritional value and how this can support environmentally sound growing practices. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Conopid flies

This episode is sponsored by gardencourses.com. gardencourses.com offers online horticultural training for those looking to develop their own, home gardens. The lasted course to be added is Create Your Garden Sanctuary - you can go to gardencourses.com to find out more. 

What we cover

How Elizabeth and Matthew came to start Growing Real Food for Nutrition

Why not all carrots are made equal

How you measure the nutrient content of food

Why it can vary

How we can make sure we’re growing nutrient dense food

How citizen science helps

Brix testing

Is organically grown food generally higher in nutrients than non-organically grown?

About Growing Real Food for Nutrition

Grffn’s vision is for a world where all food is grown for its nutritional qualities using regenerative practices, and made accessible to all, creating an abundance of health and harmony, reconnecting humans with Mother Earth.

Grffn’s mission is to deepen citizens’ understanding of how we derive nutrition from natural processes and to realise its impact on human development.

Links

www.grffn.org

Jul 26, 2021
Podcast 119 - Botanical Styling with Michelle Mason
30:46

This week I’m speaking to Michelle Mason, stylist, designer, author and co-founder of Mason & Painter a shop located next to Columbia Road which specialises in furniture, homewares and plants. Michelle’s latest book Flower Market: Botanical Style at Home, is a mouth-wateringly beautiful and inspirational guide to styling your home using plants and cut flowers.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Noctuid moths

This episode is sponsored by gardencourses.com. gardencourses.com offers online horticultural training for those looking to develop their own, home gardens. The lasted course to be added is Create Your Garden Sanctuary - you can go to gardencourses.com to find out more. 

What we cover

Can you learn an eye for design? 

The importance of taking the time to arrange a small corner or table top with a collection of beautiful things 

The creative process and the end result 

Starting the habit of creating botanical displays

How a theme or narrative can underpin a creation 

The accessories Michelle wouldn't be without when styling

The importance of sourcing sustainably grown and seasonal plants and flowers

Arranging plants and flowers on a budget?

About Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason is a designer, shopkeeper and stylist and has worked for a number of clients including Sir John Soane’s Museum shop, the British Library, the National Gallery and the Southbank Centre. She is also co-founder of east London vintage shop Mason & Painter in Columbia Road, home to the weekly Sunday Flower Market. Her first book was Flower Market (Pimpernel, 2019). https://www.pimpernelpress.com/michelle-mason

Links

Mason & Painter

Flower Market: Botanical Style at Home by Michelle Mason

Vintage Shops London by Michelle Mason

www.gardencourses.com

Jul 19, 2021
Podcast 118 - Coastal Gardens with Mark Laurence
31:30

This week I’m speaking to Mark Laurence. For decades, Mark has been at the vanguard of sustainable and ecologically sensitive landscape and garden design. He currently specialises in coastal plants and gardens and in this interview we cover what makes a coastal garden, which types of plants fare well on the coast and whether these gardens can be havens for wildlife.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Flatworms

This episode is sponsored by gardencourses.com. gardencourses.com offers online horticultural training for those looking to develop their own, home gardens. The lasted course to be added is Create Your Garden Sanctuary - you can go to gardencourses.com to find out more. 

What we cover

Mark’s background and work

What is a coastal garden? How far can a garden be from the sea and still be classified as coastal?

Some of the challenges facing plants in a coastal garden

Plants that do well by the coast and plants don't fare well

Coastal gardens and wildlife

Trees for coastal gardens

Further resources (or not!)

About Mark Laurence

Since 1987 Mark has worked as a designer, specialising in sustainable and adaptive landscapes, natural “drift” planting, coastal, water & rain gardens, living walls and vertical green infrastructure for urban environments.  He is a current committee member (Technical & Sustainability) and has been a keynote speaker at SDG and other conferences. He works locally and internationally, creating water gardens in USA, living walls in London, Trondheim, Chicago and Dubai. 

Mark is a chartered horticulturalist and consults on horticulture and arboriculture in the Middle East. 

He has a passion for creating nurturing and relaxed gardens and landscapes which connect people to nature and place.

https://www.sgd.org.uk/find_a_designer/search_for_a_designer/designers/f4775253-4f5d-4eaf-8fc1-cdb3b3755524/

 

Links

www.marklaurence.com

Mark Laurence on Facebook 

www.gardencourses.com

Jul 12, 2021
Podcast 117 - The Rose in Perfume with Mairi MacKenzie
26:07

Today’s guest is Mairi MacKenzie, fashion historian, writer and curator, whose research looks at the relationship between the clothes that we wear and our culture. Her latest research is into the world of scent and what flower could be more intrinsically linked with perfume than the rose? In the interview, we discuss famous rose-based perfumes, the symbolism behind its use, whether its historically been perceived as a feminine scent, the mysterious workings of the Osmotheque and why that rose perfume you made as a child never worked! 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Hummingbird Hawk Moths

This episode is brought to you by the team at LECHUZA, suppliers of self-watering pots and planters. www.lechuza.co.uk

What we cover

Mairi’s career and her interest in the role of the rose in perfume

When roses were first used in fragrance

The Osmotheque

Roses for symbolism as well as scent

Has rose always been perceived as a feminine scent?

What does rose scent connote?

Scents that are heavily rose based

The role of the rose as an ingredient in contemporary perfumes

About Mairi MacKenzie

Mairi MacKenzie is Research Fellow in Fashion and Textiles at Glasgow School of Art. She is a fashion historian, writer and curator, and her research seeks to understand not just what was worn and by whom, but why it was worn and what the relationship is between the clothes that we wear and our culture. - https://www.gsa.ac.uk/research/design-profiles/m/mackenzie,-mairi/

The London College of Garden Design’s Horti-couture conference takes place in October. The Conference will explore the influence of plants and gardens on the fashion world and features some of the industry’s leading academics and influencers. For more information visit the LCGD website LCGD.org.uk or their Eventbrite page. Tickets start at just £59 and the day will be streamed online as well as in person at Kew Gardens.

 

Jul 05, 2021
Podcast 116 - Therapy Gardening with Carol Sales
31:50

In this episode I’m speaking to horticultural therapist Carol Sales. Carol headed up a therapy garden in a prison, before moving over to lead the Therapy Garden at Headley Court, a rehabilitation centre for injured military veterans. Carol was a pioneer in the use of horticultural therapy and is one of the most well-respected professionals in the field.

Carol is featured in many books and media articles, including Head Gardeners by Ambra Edwards and Sue Stuart-Smith’s The Well Gardened Mind and she was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2019.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Vapourer Moths

This episode is brought to you by the team at LECHUZA, suppliers of self-watering pots and planters. LECHUZA brings decades of experience in state-of-the-art, precision manufacturing to bear on its stylish high-functionality range of planters. All LECHUZA products are designed in-house and manufactured in the same factory as the iconic Playmobil toys. The complete collection comes in a wide variety of traditional and trend-led colours and shapes and are highly reliable for use both indoors and outdoors. The integrated soil irrigation system ensures that the plant receives the perfect amount of water for optimal growth. Thanks to a reservoir that always holds enough water and is controlled by a water level indicator, dried out or overwatered root bales are a thing of the past. Find out more by visiting www.lechuza.co.uk

About Carol Sales

Carol is a gardener and designer who started working in horticultural therapy for the prison service. She was recruited by High Ground who worked out of Headley Court, a military hospital providing horticultural therapy to military veterans. Carol ran the therapy garden there for almost a decade, during which time she pioneered treatment methods and set the gold standard for therapeutic horticulture as it pertains to those with both physical and mental health issues. 

Links

www.veteransgrowth.org

www.highground-uk.org 

Jun 28, 2021
Podcast 115 - The State of Horticulture with Matthew Appleby
28:59

This week I thought it would be good to get an overview of the horticultural industry - so I’m speaking to the person with their finger on the pulse, Matthew Appleby, Editor of Horticulture Week and host of the Horticulture Week podcast. We cover the effect of Brexit, plant passports and the pandemic on plant supplies and how this has affected consumers. Find out how the industry is faring given supply issues and the uptick in interest in gardening. Matthew talks about whether consumers need to adjust their expectations and their way of gardening and we end on how has the push to go peat-free is affecting gardeners and the trade too.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Aphids and Ecosystems

This episode is brought to you by the team at LECHUZA, suppliers of self-watering pots and planters. LECHUZA brings decades of experience in state-of-the-art, precision manufacturing to bear on its stylish high-functionality range of planters. All LECHUZA products are designed in-house and manufactured in the same factory as the iconic Playmobil toys. The complete collection comes in a wide variety of traditional and trend-led colours and shapes and are highly reliable for use both indoors and outdoors. The integrated soil irrigation system ensures that the plant receives the perfect amount of water for optimal growth. Thanks to a reservoir that always holds enough water and is controlled by a water level indicator, dried out or overwatered root bales are a thing of the past. Find out more by visiting www.lechuza.co.uk

Whether a gardener or working in the horticultural trade, this episode is relevant, covering Brexit, the pandemic, plant supplies, the popularity of gardening and how the push to go peat-free is affecting gardeners and the trade too. Matthew, Editor of Horticulture Week & host of the Horticulture Week podcast, gives an overview.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Aphids and Ecosystems

This episode is brought to you by the team at LECHUZA, suppliers of self-watering pots and planters. www.lechuza.co.uk

Links

 www.hortweek.com

Horticulture Week Podcast 

Jun 21, 2021
Podcast 114 - Grounded: A Gardener’s Journey to Abundance and Self-Sufficiency with Liz Zorab
32:07

This week I’m speaking to smallholder and YouTuber Liz Zorab. Liz has been documenting her growing efforts, firstly via a blog and then via her hugely popular YouTube channel. She’s recently written Grounded: A Gardener’s Journey to Abundance and Self-Sufficiency in which she talks about setting up at a new site in Wales and how her gardening journey went hand in hand with her journey from ill-health to relative wellness.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Black Garden Ants

This episode is brought to you by the team at LECHUZA, suppliers of self-watering pots and planters. LECHUZA brings decades of experience in state-of-the-art, precision manufacturing to bear on its stylish high-functionality range of planters. All LECHUZA products are designed in-house and manufactured in the same factory as the iconic Playmobil toys. The complete collection comes in a wide variety of traditional and trend-led colours and shapes and are highly reliable for use both indoors and outdoors. The integrated soil irrigation system ensures that the plant receives the perfect amount of water for optimal growth. Thanks to a reservoir that always holds enough water and is controlled by a water level indicator, dried out or overwatered root bales are a thing of the past. Find out more by visiting www.lechuza.co.uk

About Liz Zorab

“Liz works full time on the homestead and as a content creator in various media. Her love of gardening started as a small child, but blossomed when she left home. In her own garden, she found joy in propagating plants and growing food for her family.

At her happiest when pottering in the garden, Liz now manages the half acre fruit and vegetable gardens and food forest at Byther Farm. Liz is available for talks and presentations about gardening, growing for food security and self-sufficiency.” http://bytherfarm.com/about/

Links

Byther Farm YouTube channel

www.bytherfarm.com

Jun 14, 2021
Podcast 113 - Growing Under Cover with Niki Jabbour
32:37

This episode, I’m speaking to Canadian gardening superstar Niki Jabbour. Niki is a gardener and author of 3 books, including ‘Growing Under Cover’, which is the most comprehensive guide to using crop covers in your vegetable garden. It’s based on Niki’s first-hand, decades long research into successfully growing food 365 days a year in the challenging climate of Nova Scotia and what she doesn’t know about using covers to protect crops, prolong the season and cheat the weather, you could write on the back of a stamp and still have room to lick it.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Doodlebugs and Billy Witches

This episode is brought to you by new green-tech company Harvst. The company's recently launched smart web-connected ‘mini greenhouses’ are designed to help people grow more at home, with less effort and minimal space. Choose between The Yard and The Terrace; both are simply popped directly on the ground or patio, they’re self-watering, climate controlled, space efficient and enable you to grow your own produce without the need to tend every day. So whether you’re a budding beginner or a seasoned pro, visit www.harvst.co.uk and take advantage of a 5% discount on all 4 seasons and eco Mini Greenhouse orders from now until the end of July. Simply enter the code mentioned in the episode at the checkout.

About Nikki Jabbour

Niki Jabbour is the award-winning author of four books – The Year Round Vegetable Gardener (2012 American Horticultural Society Book Award), Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your GardenVeggie Garden Remix: 224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor, and Fun (Winner of the 2019 American Horticultural Society Book Award, Winner of the Gold Book Award from GardenComm, and winner of the 2019 Silver Award from Taste Canada), and Growing Under Cover: Techniques for a More Productive, Weather-Resistant, Pest-Free Vegetable Garden. She also writes for magazines like Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and Birds & Blooms. Niki is an in-demand speaker, offering seminars and keynotes at events, shows, societies, and greenhouses across North America such as the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, The Dow Gardens, The Philadelphia Flower Show, The Boston Flower Show, and Canada Blooms. Since 2006, Niki has hosted and executive produced her popular radio show, The Weekend Gardener which airs on News 95.7 FM in Halifax as well as online. For her broadcasting work, Niki won the 2015 Gold Award from GardenComm as ‘Best On-Air Talent’. Niki is very active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can find her gardening videos on Youtube. When she’s not writing, speaking, or broadcasting about food gardening Niki is harvesting year-round from her twenty raised bed vegetable garden in Halifax, Nova Scotia which is filled with an eclectic mixture of popular vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans, as well as unique heirloom varieties, and crops from around the world like cucamelons, snake gourds, and za’atar. https://savvygardening.com/about-us/

Links

www.savvygardening.com

Growing Under Cover by Niki Jabbour - Storey Publishing, 2021

Jun 07, 2021
Podcast 112 - Swapcast: Plants Grow Here Podcast
46:13

This week’s episode is a little bit different as it’s a recording of me chatting to Daniel Fuller on the brilliant Plants Grow Here podcast. Although we may be geographically antipodean, there are a lot of similarities between Roots and All and Plants Grow Here, as Daniel and I both cover a wide range of horticultural topics, including those on the fringe and we both love a bit of geeking out! Join us as we dive into the world of podcasting and gardening. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Garden snails

This episode is brought to you by new green-tech company Harvst. The company's recently launched smart web-connected ‘mini greenhouses’ are designed to help people grow more at home, with less effort and minimal space. Choose between The Yard and The Terrace; both are simply popped directly on the ground or patio, they’re self-watering, climate controlled, space efficient and enable you to grow your own produce without the need to tend every day. So whether you’re a budding beginner or a seasoned pro, visit www.harvst.co.uk and take advantage of a 5% discount on all 4 seasons and eco Mini Greenhouse orders from now until the end of July. Simply use the code mentioned in the episode.

About Daniel Fuller

Daniel is the primary host on the Plants Grow Here Podcast and content writer. Currently based in St. Kilda, Melbourne, he has been working in the horticultural maintenance field for 8 years, leading crews for most of this time.

The idea of Plants Grow Here was born from his desire to learn more from people who have specialised knowledge and a passion for what they do.

Links

www.plantsgrowhere.com

Plants Grow Here Podcast

May 31, 2021
Podcast 111 - Companion Planting with Jessica Walliser
31:16

Today’s intro comes to you from by back garden, courtesy of the local birds! 

This week I’m speaking to Jessica Walliser, author of ‘Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden’ which as it says, is a scientific look at companion plant to find out if it works, and if it does, in what way and why. Jessica’s unique book is essential reading if you like to uncover some of the secrets behind the received horticultural wisdom that’s passed down from one gardener to the next.  

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Red lily beetle

This episode is brought to you by So & Mo. Launched this year, So & Mo is a new lawn care brand bringing the right products and expertise to give everyone the confidence to be a lawn expert. They have developed the perfect 12 month plan, through 6 liquid feeds to give your lawn all the nutrients needed for complete plant health and professional results. Packaged into a one size fits all box lasting 6, 12 or 24 months based on the lawn size, ensures the ability to cater for all lawns with no waste.

As a special offer for listeners, So & Mo is offering 15% off your first box. Simply visit soandmo.com and enter the code mentioned in the episode at checkout.

What we talk about:

What we know now about companion planting that wasn't known previously

Why companion planting works

Why we should be interested in nitrogen fixing plants

Cover crops

How companion plants help with weed control

Busting the myth that it's the scent of the companion plants that deters pests 

Beetle bumps 

Companion planting and plant diseases 

About Jessica Walliser

Jessica is the co-founder of SavvyGardening.com and was co-host of the award winning radio show ‘The Organic Gardeners’ for 15 years. Jessica is a journalist, editor and Acquisitions Editor for Cool Springs Press. Jessica takes an organic and wildlife-friendly approach to gardening and is the former owner of a 25 acre market farm. She also teaches horticulture and has a degree in ornamental horticulture from the Pennsylvania State University. 

She’s the author of ‘Good Bug, Bad Bug: Who’s Who, What They Do, and How to Manage Them Organically’, ‘Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control, ‘Container Gardening Complete: Creative Projects for Growing Vegetables and Flowers in Small Spaces’, ‘A Gardener’s Journal: Life With My Garden' as well as ‘Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden'.

Links

jessicawalliser.com 

Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden 

May 24, 2021
Podcast 110 - Greg Peterson of The Urban Farm
33:54

Today’s intro comes to you from by back garden, courtesy of the local birds! 

 

In this episode I’m joined by Greg Peterson, who started The Urban Farm nearly 30 years ago. His third of an acre site is covered in edible crops which feed his family and other families too. Gardening as he does in Phoenix, Arizona he has to make full use of rainwater harvesting systems, soil improvement techniques, plus he’s heavy into recycling and reuse. We talk about how he’s created a fully functioning and successful farm in an urban neighbourhood.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Leaf rollers

This episode is brought to you by So & Mo. Launched this year, So & Mo is a new lawn care brand bringing the right products and expertise to give everyone the confidence to be a lawn expert. They have developed the perfect 12 month plan, through 6 liquid feeds to give your lawn all the nutrients needed for complete plant health and professional results. Packaged into a one size fits all box lasting 6, 12 or 24 months based on the lawn size, ensures the ability to cater for all lawns with no waste.

As a special offer for listeners, So & Mo is offering 15% off your first box. Simply visit soandmo.com and enter the code ROOTS15 at checkout.

What we talk about:

Why Greg began The Urban Farm

Gardening in a desert and managing water

Greg's natural soil and how he fertilises it 

The importance of growing local

Seed saving

Neighbourhood rules and regulations

One easy win that people could achieve if they’re thinking of establishing their own urban farm

About Greg Peterson

Greg has lived at the Urban Farm for almost 30 years.  His 1/3-acre yard features an entirely edible landscape, including over 70 fruit trees, rainwater and grey-water harvesting, solar applications, and extensive use of reclaimed and recycled building materials.

Greg is a longtime permaculture advocate, flunked out of university in 1981 because he was bored, then went back twenty years later to get a bachelor’s degree and a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning in 2006 and is a lifelong continual learner.

On his days off he hangs out in his garden with his sweetheart Heidi and their chickens, creating new projects and catching some rays.

Links

www.urbanfarm.org

The Urban Farm Podcast

Brad Lancaster - Rainwater Harvesting 

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

soandmo.com 

 

May 17, 2021
Podcast 109 - The Botanical Mind with Gina Buenfeld
39:01

In this episode, I’m interviewing Gina Buenfeld-Murley, exhibitons curator of the Camden Art Centre and co-curator of the online exhibition The Botanical Mind. In this episode, we go deep into the relation between art and the natural world and talk about sacred geometry, indigenous art, symbolism, Jung, the mysterious Voynich manuscript and why this exhibition is so pertinent given the current relationship humans have to the rest of nature.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Pollen beetles

This episode is brought to you by the team at The Real Soil Company. Launched to the market in 2020 The Real Soil Company proudly offers new organic, peat-free SuperSoil. Packed full of organic nutrients for optimal plant health, SuperSoil’s natural ‘boosters’ will stimulate quicker plant establishment and better resilience against pests and disease, whilst also enabling edible crops to benefit from nutritional enhancement and a higher crop yield.  The enhanced soil also offers better water retention and release for optimum plant growth, whilst providing a more balanced and workable material for gardeners. 

What we talk about:

Sacred geometry and that patterns that are found in nature and in entheogenic experiences and which occur at the micro and macro level

Georgio Griffa’s writing, which forms part of the exhibition, talks of art and science two being in extricably linked. How do seemingly pre-determined and logical patterns such as fractals influence art? Do the patterns stop being science when they are recreated by a human hand? 

How can we be inspired by indigenous art and nature appreciation, both past and present, whilst avoiding cultural appropriation or slipping into romanticism? 

The Voynich Manuscript

The significance of Jung’s archetypes in relation to botany

About The Botanical Mind and Gina Buenfeld-Murley

Humanity’s place in the natural order is under scrutiny as never before, held in a precarious balance between visible and invisible forces: from the microscopic threat of a virus to the monumental power of climate change.

Drawing on indigenous traditions from the Amazon rainforest; alternative perspectives on Western scientific rationalism; and new thinking around plant intelligence, philosophy and cultural theory, The Botanical Mind Online investigates the significance of the plant kingdom to human life, consciousness and spirituality across cultures and through time. It positions the plant as both a universal symbol found in almost every civilisation and religion across the globe, and the most fundamental but misunderstood form of life on our planet.

Gina Buenfeld-Murley is Exhibitions Curator at Camden Art Centre, London where she has co-curated The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and The Cosmic Tree (2020-21); A Tale of Mother’s Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff and the Birth of Psychorealism (2019); Athanasios Argianas, Hollowed Water (2020); Wong Ping, Heart Digger (2019); Yuko Mohri, Voluta, (2018); Joachim Koester, In the Face of Overwhelming Forces (2017); João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Papagaio (2015); Bonnie Camplin (2016) and Rose English (2016). Recent independent curatorial projects include Gäa: Holistic Science and Wisdom Tradition, at Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, Cornwall, and Origin Story, at The Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku, Finland (both 2019). In 2017 she was curatorial resident at Helsinki International Curatorial Programme, Finland and has been researching the place of plants within indigenous cultures in Europe and South America, including in Finnish Lapland (Samí shamanism) and in the Colombian, Peruvian and Brazilian areas of the Amazon Rainforest where she researched the sacred geometries and music of the Yawanawa, Huni Kuin and Shipibo-Conibo peoples. In 2014-15 she was curator-in-residence with Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT) and established Tokyo Correspondence, a series of exhibitions, residencies and research visits, facilitating cultural dialogue between artists in the UK and Japan and curated At the Still Point of the Turning World at Shibaura House Tokyo, featuring work by Manon de Boer; Joachim Koester; Simon Martin; Ursula Mayer; Jeremy Millar; Sriwhana Spong; Jesse Wine; and Caroline Achaintre. She was previously Director at Alison Jacques Gallery, London.

Links

The Botanical Mind Online

Camden Art Centre on Facebook 

May 10, 2021
Podcast 108 - Dr Glynn Percival of Bartlett Tree Experts
31:48

This week, I’m speaking to Senior Arboricultural Research Manager Dr Glynn Percival, who works for Bartlett Tree Experts. I first heard Glynn speak about 7 years ago and I was blown away by his straight talking and the research he presented that day, which exploded many myths about tree planting. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that his eye-opening lecture was a pivotal moment in my understanding that I didn’t have to swallow all the received wisdom surrounding horticulture.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Orange tip butterflies

This episode is brought to you by the team at The Real Soil Company. Launched to the market in 2020 The Real Soil Company proudly offers new organic, peat-free SuperSoil. Packed full of organic nutrients for optimal plant health, SuperSoil’s natural ‘boosters’ will stimulate quicker plant establishment and better resilience against pests and disease, whilst also enabling edible crops to benefit from nutritional enhancement and a higher crop yield.  The enhanced soil also offers better water retention and release for optimum plant growth, whilst providing a more balanced and workable material for gardeners. 

What we talk about:

  • Why tree pests and diseases are on the increase 
  • The benefits of feeding trees with sugar
  • Chemicals and how they can switch on tree defences
  • Mulching trees - why it matters
  • Biochar applications
  • Chitin and phosphites
  • Issues affecting trees in the UK
  • Scented plants and their effect on tree health

About the Bartlett Tree Experts

“Bartlett Tree Experts was founded by Francis A. Bartlett in 1907 and is the world's leading scientific tree and shrub care company.

From its over 100 offices worldwide, Bartlett helps both residential and commercial customers maintain beautiful, healthy trees. Bartlett is dedicated to developing environmentally sound products and promoting their use on our clients' properties. With the Bartlett Legacy Tree Programme, Bartlett provides tree seedlings to help with reforestation efforts, and teaches people how to care for trees.” https://www.bartlett.com/about-us.cfm

Links

www.bartlett.com

Bartlett Tree Experts on Facebook 

May 03, 2021
Podcast 107 - RAA Takeover: Young Propagators Society
53:10

Today’s episode is the first in another new series called the Roots and All Takeover, where I hand the microphone over to an individual or group of people and they produce the content for the episode. There are no rules, they have complete free rein, the idea being to give an audio platform to people that don’t already have one. So this first takeover is by The Young Propagators Society and features a chat between Ellie and Sophie, the founding members of the society, Michal who’s a dendrologist at Westonbirt Arboretum and Natasha, a builder and gardener and they talk about the challenges, successes and techniques they’ve discovered when propagating a very diverse range of plants. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Broad bean pests

This episode is brought to you by the team at The Real Soil Company. Launched to the market in 2020 The Real Soil Company proudly offers new organic, peat-free SuperSoil. Packed full of organic nutrients for optimal plant health, SuperSoil’s natural ‘boosters’ will stimulate quicker plant establishment and better resilience against pests and disease, whilst also enabling edible crops to benefit from nutritional enhancement and a higher crop yield.  The enhanced soil also offers better water retention and release for optimum plant growth, whilst providing a more balanced and workable material for gardeners. 

About the Young Propagators Society

The Young Propagators Society was founded to create a network of people interested in propagation to share their knowledge with one another. They produce a quarterly zine that members contribute to, which you can find on their website www.youngpropsoc.com and you can get involved by contributing written pieces or artwork to hello@youngpropsoc.com

Ellie and Sophie are co-creators of The Young Propagators Society, they met at Great Dixter when they were both students. They, at the same time, got their positions in their jobs as; propagator at Crug Farm and assistant nursery manager at Great Dixter. Respectively. Michal and Ellie worked together in the arboretum nursery at RBG Kew when Michal was botanical horticulturist and Ellie was a student, Michal is now the dendrologist at Westonbirt arboretum. Natasha and Ellie have been friends since teenagers and they have inspired each others’ learning and understanding of plants and botany. Natasha is a gardener and builder.

Links

www.youngpropsoc.com 

Apr 26, 2021
Podcast 106 - In Search of Mycotopia with Doug Bierend
32:00

This week I’m speaking to Doug Bierend, journalist and author of In Search of Mycoptopia, a book which documents Doug’s journey of discovery as it pertains to the world of mushrooms. We talk about what sparked this journey, about what, as he puts it in the interview, was his Come to Mushroom moment and how his interest in fungi continues to develop with each new step he takes along the way. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Hoverflies

This episode is brought to you by the team at The Real Soil Company. Launched to the market in 2020 The Real Soil Company proudly offers new organic, peat-free SuperSoil. Packed full of organic nutrients for optimal plant health, SuperSoil’s natural ‘boosters’ will stimulate quicker plant establishment and better resilience against pests and disease, whilst also enabling edible crops to benefit from nutritional enhancement and a higher crop yield.  The enhanced soil also offers better water retention and release for optimum plant growth, whilst providing a more balanced and workable material for gardeners. Order HERE.

What we talk about:

  • How Doug’s relationship with mushrooms began and what led to the birth of the book
  • The future of mycology in terms of research and education
  • Citizen science and its relevance to the progression of mycology
  • Mushroom farming as an industry
  • Why Doug thinks those in the mycological community are so non-competitive and community-minded
  • How mycelial networks can be used as potential blueprints for societal organisation
  • How mushrooms help improve soil

About Doug Bierend

“Hi, my name is Doug. I'm a freelance writer and recent first-time author based in the Hudson Valley. Over the last decade or so, I've written with a special interest in science, technology, visual and interactive media, food, sustainability and general subversiveness. My first book, In Search of Mycotopia, is due out in March of 2021 with Chelsea Green Books.”

https://dougbierend.com/About-Me

Links

In Search of Mycotopia by Doug Bierend - Chelsea Green Publishing, 2021

www.dougbierend.com

Apr 19, 2021
Dig In: So & Mo
27:59

This episode features Luke Taylor, co-founder of So and Mo, talking about a new type of liquid lawn feed that’s formulated to work in different ways at different times of the year, depending on the growing needs of your lawn.

When you buy the box, you receive 6 formulas that you apply to your lawn between February and December. They’ve been developed using the decades of experience and knowledge Luke and his business partner have gleaned working with lawns on a commercial scale - basically, it’s a professional standard of lawn care simplified and delivered so you can get professional results in a really easy way. Luke talks about the product, about lawn care, what you should be doing with your lawn right now and how to get the best out of those pesky sprayers - plus if you listen to the end there’s a discount code just for you.

So and Mo Performance Liquid Lawn Feed 

Background on So and Mo 

Apr 15, 2021
Podcast 105 - The Love Lives of Birds with Laura Erickson
36:56

This week’s guest is Laura Erickson, talking about her brilliant book the Love Lives of Birds. Find out why some birds mate for life whilst others play the field, why some value age and experience, which birds lay their eggs in other bird’s nests and which stash their young in riverbanks and why there’s so much dancing involved! 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Bee Flies

This episode is brought to you The Seed Sistas, who have been community herbalists for over 20 years. Their work took a turn last March and they converted their passion for plants, people and the planet into an online course called the Pathway to Peace. It is an engaging Seven-day immersive journey with lots of wonderful content. If you suffer from stress or anxiety this course may well be able to offer you connection to herbs and tools for stress management, better sleep and nourishment for your nervous system. The next course starts again on April 28th.

What we talk about:

Why bird courtships so varied and whether there’s any correlation between courtship patterns and life span/size/habitat

Why there’s so much dancing involved

The issue of age and its relevance when finding a partner

Nest parasites and why they steal other birds’ nests 

Kingfishers and where they nest

The need for privacy when mating

Why some birds mate for life whilst others can have multiple mates in a breeding season 

About Laura Erickson

“Laura Erickson, 2014 recipient of the American Birding Association’s prestigious Roger Tory Peterson Award and the 2020 Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union’s Thomas Sadler Roberts Memorial Award, has been a scientist, teacher, writer, wildlife rehabilitator, professional blogger, public speaker, photographer, American Robin and Whooping Crane Expert for the popular Journey North educational website, and Science Editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s written twelve books about birds including, in 2020, The Love Lives of Birds. (also the ABA Field Guide to the Birds of Minnesota, National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America, the best-selling Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds (co-authored by photographer Marie Read); the National Outdoor Book Award-winning Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids; 101 Ways to Help Birds; and The Bird Watching Answer Book for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s currently a columnist and contributing editor for BirdWatching magazine. Since 1986 she has been producing the long-running “For the Birds” radio program for many public radio stations; the program is podcast on iTunes. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.” - https://www.lauraerickson.com/about-laura/

Links

www.lauraerickson.com

The Love Lives of Birds: Courtship and Mating Rituals by Laura Erickson - Storey Publishing, 2020 

Pathway to Peace course - starts 28th April - more details.

Episode 67 with Karen Lawton of Sensory Solutions

 

Apr 12, 2021
Podcast 104 - Stephen Hackett of Horatio’s Garden South West
29:40

This week’s guest is Stephen Hackett, head gardener at Horatio’s Garden South West. We talk about this amazing garden which was designed by Cleve West and is managed by Stephen, with the help of and for the benefit of the staff and patients at the adjacent spinal injuries unit. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Brimstone Butterflies

This episode is brought to you The Seed Sistas, who have been community herbalists for over 20 years. Their work took a turn last March and they converted their passion for plants, people and the planet into an online course called the Pathway to Peace. It is an engaging Seven-day immersive journey with lots of wonderful content. If you suffer from stress or anxiety this course may well be able to offer you connection to herbs and tools for stress management, better sleep and nourishment for your nervous system. The next course starts again on April 28th. 

What we talk about:

About the charity Horatio’s Garden and the South West

How the gardens help people with spinal injuries 

Managing a garden from a therapy as well as a horticultural perspective

The features of the garden which make it useful to patients and staff

The most rewarding part of the job

Visiting the Horatio’s Garden sites 

About Stephen Hackett

Stephen Hackett grew up in Lancashire, before studying at Oxford and Nottingham.

He spent several years teaching Cultural Studies in Southampton before joining the Arts Council in 2000.

Subsequently he worked in in adult education, and was Principal of a residential adult college in Oxfordshire.

Always a keen gardener, Stephen trained in Horticulture at Sparsholt College in 2010 and established a gardening business in the Salisbury area.

Stephen joined Horatio’s Garden South West in 2016 as Head Gardener. He lives in Salisbury with his family, and has written gardening columns for magazines including Wiltshire Life and The English Garden.

Links

horatiosgarden.org.uk

Online Spring Raffle running from 29th March - 3rd May 

Horatio's Garden Summer Art Auction which opens on 15th May for two weeks until 30th.

Pathway to Peace Course - starts 28th April. Sign up now.

Episode 67 with Karen Lawton of Sensory Solutions

 

Apr 05, 2021
Podcast 103 - Adventures in Eden with Carolyn Mullet
33:58

This week’s guest is Carolyn Mullet. Carolyn is an author and garden tour organiser. She recently released a book about some of the most beautiful gardens she’s visited in Europe, called Adventures in Eden. In the interview, I speak to Carolyn about the book and (with barely concealed envy) I ask her about the trips she undertakes and the gardens she sees with her company Carex Tours.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Bay Sucker Psyllid

This episode is brought to you by our friends at Natural Grower. Launched in 2019, their award winning liquid fertiliser and plant feed and soil conditioner is made entirely from maize.  Naturally rich in nitrogen, potash, phosphate and other trace elements that plants and vegetables love, it is approved by the Soil Association, Vegan Society and Organic Farmers and Growers. Their concentrated natural fertiliser can be poured around the base of plants, whilst the plant feed and soil conditioner can be mixed into the soil or compost and used as a mulch on the surface as a long-term slow-release fertiliser. The fertiliser can be used for all outdoor and indoor plants. As a special offer for listeners, Natural Grower are offering 15% off all of their range. Simply go to naturalgrower.co.uk and enter ROOTS15 on checkout. 

What we talk about:

How Carolyn chooses gardens to visit 

How does a garden make the grade for the book or to be included in a tour?

Whether there is any correlation between an owner’s personalities and the type of garden they have

The ways Carolyn has noticed private gardens changing over the past decade or so

The recipe for a successful garden

The most exciting place for garden design and innovation right now

About Carolyn Mullet

Carolyn Mullet is a retired award-winning garden designer who practiced in the Washington, DC metro area for over 30 years. She received her formal training in residential landscape design from George Washington University. She is also the owner and creative director of CarexTours offering international garden tours each year for the discerning garden traveler. Her book "Adventures in Eden: An Intimate Tour of Private European Gardens" was published by Timber Press in 2020. In addition, she produces popular social media posts daily showcasing gardens from around the world on both Instagram and Facebook for a large international community of garden and plant enthusiasts.

Links

CarexTours

Facebook

Instagram

Mar 29, 2021
Dig In: Harvst
29:01

This is the first episode in the series and it features Rik Sellwood who along with his business partner Chris Tanner, has launched a company called Harvst. They build greenhouses for home gardeners, which can be controlled via an app. During the episode we talk about Harvst’s products of course, but we also talk about managing crops in greenhouses and how technology can be applied in a garden setting to make our lives easier.

Listen to the end for the 15% discount code!

Shop Harvst

Information on the technology

App information and to register for the app go to app.harvest.co.uk

Mar 25, 2021
Introducing Dig In
02:22

Hello. This is a short introduction to a new episode that’s being released on Thursday called Roots and All: Dig In.

Dig In is a new series which came about because I’ve been contacted by various companies who would like to come on the podcast and talk about the wonderful products they have to sell.

So do drop by on Thursday when I'll be speaking to Rik Sellwood of Harvst about, that amongst other things, a greenhouse you can water and ventilate via an app. Clever stuff!

Mar 23, 2021
Podcast 102 - The Garden of Equal Delights with Anni Kelsey
36:23

This week’s guest is forest gardener Anni Kelsey. Anni is an experienced grower of edibles and she follows the principles of forest gardening - if you’re not sure what that means, all will be revealed. Her latest book The Garden of Equal Delights sets out principles for managing a garden in order to maximise its productive yield but it’s much more than that, it’s about gardening sustainably and using techniques that many conventional gardeners might find unusual but which work.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Signalling

This episode is brought to you by our friends at Natural Grower. Launched in 2019, their award winning liquid fertiliser and plant feed and soil conditioner is made entirely from maize.  Naturally rich in nitrogen, potash, phosphate and other trace elements that plants and vegetables love, it is approved by the Soil Association, Vegan Society and Organic Farmers and Growers. Their concentrated natural fertiliser can be poured around the base of plants, whilst the plant feed and soil conditioner can be mixed into the soil or compost and used as a mulch on the surface as a long-term slow-release fertiliser. The fertiliser can be used for all outdoor and indoor plants. As a special offer for listeners, Natural Grower are offering 15% off all of their range. Listen now for details. 

What we talk about:

  • What is a forest garden?
  • Anni writes in her book "how would I describe or explain what I do in the garden to someone else?”. Given her gardening style is very intuitive and site specific, find out how she manages to communicate her principles to others
  • The practice of bringing nothing in and taking nothing out of the garden 
  • How Anni brings uncultivated areas into production
  • Dealing with weeds 
  • Why she doesn’t compost 
  • Why all plants are special

About Anni Kelsey

“Anni Kelsey has been passionate about gardening and the natural world for as long as she can remember. As her concerns about the unsustainability of our present food system grew she began to 'edibilise' her garden aiming to find a way of growing food that required as little time, effort and skill as possible. She based her experiments on forest gardening but adapted this to fit in an average sized back garden. This led her to focus on experimenting with perennial vegetables, obtaining and growing as many as she possibly could.

As she gained experience and enthusiasm for this style of gardening she wanted to convey what she had learned to others which in turn led her to write Edible Perennial Gardening or the book she would have liked to have been able to read years ago, if it had already been written! She hopes that it will inspire and enable others to grow perennial vegetables which are little known but tasty and rewarding crops.

Anni's garden is in a challenging situation high on a hill facing Wales in one direction and England in the other. When she is not in the garden she loves nothing more than exploring the local countryside and coffee shops” - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anni-Kelsey/e/B00N8XJMPK/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Links

Anni’s Veggies Blog 

The Garden of Equal Delights by Anni Kelsey - Permanent Publications, 2020

Mar 22, 2021
Podcast 101 - GrowVeg with Benedict Vanheems
31:49

Podcast 101 - GrowVeg with Benedict Vanheems

This week I’m talking to Benedict Vanheems, gardener, author, editor and face of the popular GrowVeg.com YouTube channel. If you’re thinking about growing veg this year, whether you’re an old hand or new to it, you’re bound to hear something of value from Benedict, who’s innovative approach to growing food takes the hard work out of things. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Black Garden Ants

This episode is brought to you by Natural Grower.

Launched in 2019, their award winning liquid fertiliser and plant feed and soil conditioner is made entirely from maize.  Naturally rich in nitrogen, potash, phosphate and other trace elements that plants and vegetables love, it is approved by the Soil Association, Vegan Society and Organic Farmers and Growers. Their concentrated natural fertiliser can be poured around the base of plants, whilst the plant feed and soil conditioner can be mixed into the soil or compost and used as a mulch on the surface as a long-term slow-release fertiliser. The fertiliser can be used for all outdoor and indoor plants. As a special offer for listeners, Natural Grower are offering 15% off all of their range. Listen to the episode now to access the discount code.

What we talk about:

Is growing edibles right for everyone? And is it worth it? 

Tips for getting seeds started in open ground

Moving seeds from indoors to outdoors

What should we be doing in our veg gardens right now? 

Upcycling and repurposing household items as containers for growing in

Labour intensive jobs in the veg garden and ways to make them easier/quicker 

Keep things low maintenance

Growing mushrooms

Sprouting seeds

About Benedict Vanheems

Benedict Vanheems is a passionate home gardener specialising in delicious, organically grown fruit, vegetables and herbs. No stranger to dirt under his nails, Benedict’s fascination with plants started at an early age. As a young boy he could often be found digging holes, experimenting with sowings, or helping his granddad plant leeks or pick climbing beans on his veg patch.

As a teenager, Benedict worked during his school holidays at a nursery supplying plants to many of the UK’s top garden designers. After completing a degree in Horticulture he went on to edit gardening publications, including Garden Design Journal and Grow it!. He has written for Grow Your Own magazine and is an ongoing contributor to Kitchen Garden, Britain’s longest established edible gardening title.

In 2014 Benedict joined the team at GrowVeg.com where he has become the face of their YouTube channel, growing it from 20,000 subscribers to more than 280,000. A firm advocate of growing in tune with nature, he continues to produce compelling gardening content for the respected GrowVeg.com website, inspiring both new and seasoned gardeners to get more from their space.

Benedict lives in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire and has recently moved house, taking on a third-of-an-acre garden where he is creating two kitchen garden areas to indulge his horticultural hunger.

Links

growveg.co.uk

GrowVeg: The Beginner's Guide to Easy Vegetable Gardening by Benedict Vanheems - Storey Publishing, 2021

Mar 15, 2021
Podcast 100 - The Regenerative Grower's Guide to Garden Amendments
41:49

This week’s guest is Nigel Palmer, an experimental gardener who brings to bear his experience as an aerospace engineer to analyse, identify and organise the various components that make plants grow well. From his research, he’s compiled a recipe book of garden amendments, some easy to make and some involving more complex methods, but all of which you can recreate at home and use on your garden for better plant health and resilience. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Darwin’s Worms

This episode is sponsored by gardencourses.com

What we talk about:

The book ‘Natural Farming Agriculture Materials’ by Cho Ju-Young and how it influenced Nigel’s work 

When making soil amendments and fertilisers and having them analysed in a laboratory, how does Nigel know the results will be consistent for future batches? 

Why is local biological material important for a garden? 

The theory behind feeding a plant with its own 'ancestors' 

The ability of a plant to change the soil pH in the immediate vicinity of its roots 

How plants need different nutrients and minerals at different stages of their development

Using a refractometer

Fermented plant juice and its uses

What difference can these amendments make to a garden? 

About Nigel Palmer

“Nigel Palmer has been a lifelong gardener in New England relying on the amazing complexity of nature to inspire his gardening philosophy, as well as working as an aerospace engineer sorting, organizing, and resolving complex technical issues. He is the instructor and curriculum developer of the Sustainable, Regenerative Gardening program at The Institute Of Sustainable Nutrition (TIOSN).  ” - https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/the-regenerative-growers-guide-to-garden-amendments/

Links

The Regenerative Grower’s Guide to Garden Amendments: Using Locally Sourced Materials to Make Mineral and Biological Extracts and Ferments by Nigel Palmer - Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020

www.tiosn.com 

Dr James Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases

Mar 08, 2021
Podcast 99 - Pollinators & Pollination with Professor Jeff Ollerton
46:44

This episode I’m speaking to Professor Jeff Ollerton, author of the brilliant new book ‘Pollinators and Pollination’, another must-have to add to your ever burgeoning reading pile I’m afraid! I loved the book and as you’ll hear during the interview, it threw up all sorts of interesting questions about pollinators, their role in our lives and gardens and how much we need them. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Queen Bumblebees

This episode is sponsored by gardencourses.com

What we talk about:

What is a pollinator? 

Apart from being nice to look at, why should gardeners want pollinators to visit? 

How pollinators navigate via linear features in a landscape and what this means for plants situated near these features

Would it be fair to say the increase in pollinators since older times has gone hand in hand with that of humans? Did our populations increase in tandem? 

Now we seem to have the upper hand and are disregarding the pollinators, will we ultimately be damaging ourselves, at least from a food growing point of view? 

How useful is it to measure the number of species of pollinators that visit a garden? Are species over-represented in gardens due to the garden’s value as a food source?

Top tips for inviting pollinators into the garden

About Jeff Ollerton

“During a career spanning more than 30 years, Professor Jeff Ollerton has established himself as one of the world’s leading experts on pollinators and pollination. The author of more than 120 articles and book chapters, his highly-cited, ground-breaking research has been used by national and international agencies to support efforts to conserve pollinators and their pollination services. Jeff is also in demand as an advisor and consultant to governments, local authorities, printed and broadcast media, and funding organisations. 

Although he is based in the UK, Jeff’s field work in support of his research and advisory activities has been conducted across Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and Australia.  He received his PhD in pollination ecology in 1993 from Oxford Brookes University, and holds Visiting Professor positions at the University of Northampton in the UK and Kunming Institute of Botany in China. Jeff has previously held visiting researcher positions at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil and the University of New South Wales in Australia.” - https://jeffollerton.co.uk/about/

Links

www.jeffollerton.co.uk 

Order a copy of Jeff’s book and get 30% off with the offer code ROOTS30

Episode 74: Wasps with Richard Jones 

 

Mar 01, 2021
Podcast 98 - Cats and Gardens
34:25

This week, I’m speaking to Danielle Draper, Manager of the Cats Protection National Cat Adoption Centre in Surrey and we’re talking about that sometimes contentious issue of cats and gardens. Cats are part of gardeners’ lives, particularly if you live in an urban area. Love them or hate them, you can’t get away from them and Danielle’s here to talk about learning to live harmoniously alongside the neighbourhood felines…

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Narcissus Bulb Fly

This episode is brought to you by our friends at Natural Grower. Launched in 2019, their award winning liquid fertiliser and plant feed and soil conditioner is made entirely from maize.  Naturally rich in nitrogen, potash, phosphate and other trace elements that plants and vegetables love, it is approved by the Soil Association, Vegan Society and Organic Farmers and Growers. Their concentrated natural fertiliser can be poured around the base of plants, whilst the plant feed and soil conditioner can be mixed into the soil or compost and used as a mulch on the surface as a long-term slow-release fertiliser. The fertiliser can be used for all outdoor and indoor plants. As a special offer for listeners, Natural Grower are offering 15% off all of their range. Simply go to naturalgrower.co.uk and enter ROOTS15 on checkout.

What we talk about:

How many cats there are in the UK - is cat ownership growing or declining in popularity?

Where do cats factor in the big picture of wildlife decline?

Can we exclude the neighbourhood cats from our gardens? Or deter them?

Is it myth that cats don’t use their own gardens to go to the loo? Can we deter them from doing it? 

What can we do if all the neighbourhood cats choose to use our garden as a battleground?

What can we do if we want to feed the birds but keep them safe from cats? What about if we put food out for foxes, hedgehogs? 

Ways to avoid wildlife casualties 

Plants cats particularly like/don’t like

What benefits can cats bring to a garden?

About Cats Protection

Cats Protection is the UK's largest feline welfare charity in the UK and helps around 200,000 cats and kittens every year. Formed in 1927, when it was known as the Cats Protection League, Cats Protection (CP) has grown to become the UK's leading feline welfare charity. Its vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its need and it has simple and clear objectives to help cats:

•             Homing - finding good homes for cats in need

•             Neutering - supporting and encouraging the neutering of cats

•             Information - improving people’s understanding of cats and their care

More information about the work of the charity can be found at www.cats.org.uk. To make a donation, please visit https://www.cats.org.uk/donate

Advice about cats and gardens:

https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/home-and-environment/garden-and-outdoors

https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/home-and-environment/keeping-cats-out

https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/home-and-environment/dangerous-plants

Feb 22, 2021
Podcast 97 - The Psychology of Gardening with Professor Harriet Gross
39:31

This week I’m speaking to Harriet Gross, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Lincoln. She was part of a team that won a gold medal for the Digital Capabilities garden at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show and she is the author of The Psychology of Gardening. Harriet talks about our emotional connection to our gardens, what makes people connected to nature and the environment, why we can be territorial over our gardens and just what it is we get from gardening.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Stridulation

This episode is sponsored by the London College of Garden Design Melbourne.

Based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne the college brings together unique Australian design and horticultural expertise with the training experience of Europe’s leading garden design college. The College delivers professional skills training for those aiming for a career in landscape design and from 2021 will offer a real-time online option for those who want to study from anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. To find out more visit lcgd.com.au

What we talk about:

  • What led Harriet to write the book
  • Is the amount of research conducted into the psychology of gardening commensurate with its popularity in the UK?
  • People who are more connected to natured and concerned with the environment and their personality type
  • Personality traits that are generally common to gardeners
  • Why people become so emotionally attached to their gardens
  • Taking refuge in our gardens during the pandemic
  • Emotional attachment to allotments
  • Fractals and their significance in landscapes and to our appreciation of these landscapes

About Professor Harriet Gross

Harriet Gross is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at University of Lincoln. She was part of a team that won a gold medal for the Digital Capabilities garden at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show and she is the author of The Psychology of Gardening. 

Harriet Gross on Twitter @Harriet_Gross 

Links

The Psychology of Gardening by Harriet Gross - Routledge, 2018

 

Feb 15, 2021
Podcast 96 - Ben Cross of Crosslands Flower Nursery
36:34

This episode is the last one before Valentine’s Day. Of course, you may be thinking about buying some flowers to give on Sunday so I thought, what better person to interview than a British flower grower? So I’m talking to Ben Cross of Crosslands Flower Nursery, a family owned and run nursery specialising in cut Alstroemerias. Ben is an expert grower, public speaker, an ambassador for British flowers and founder of the British Flowers Rock Campaign. As you will find out, growing flowers isn’t all roses but Ben loves what he does and he starts by giving some background on the nursery and his involvement…

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Tobacco Whitefly

What we talk about:

  • The history of Crosslands Flower Nursery and how Ben came to be involved
  • Specialising in growing Alstroemerias - why them?
  • The scale of the nursery operations
  • Organic and sustainable flower farming
  • Some of the biggest challenges facing British flower growers 
  • The British Flowers Rock campaign

About Ben Cross

Ben is a 4th generation grower at Crosslands Flower Nursery which was established in 1936 in West Sussex and is one of the last flower nurseries producing cut flowers in a full colour range all year-round. 

Ben’s British Alstroemeria is a very sustainable crop. His flowers are not sprayed with any chemicals after being harvested and go into recyclable, reusable boxes and arrive with customers the next day. No soil cooling techniques are used to force production and some flower beds are over 20 years old, still producing premium quality stems. Under 5% of the crop is replanted a year so sterilizing the soil is kept to a minimum.

The British Alstroemeria is known as a ‘Cool Crop’ and a ‘Dry Crop’ so doesn’t take much heat input or watering. Optimum heat at night through the winter is just 13°C via a biomass boiler and the crop is watered for just 20 minutes once a month in the winter and just 20 minutes once every 10 days in the summer unlike flowers grown in warmer countries that use a lot more water resource.

When Ben’s flowers have been picked they don’t go into big freezers, the cooling storage system at Crosslands is usually turned off between November and March. When the flowers need to be stored in warmer weather they’re only chilled at about 6°C instead of 0.5°C like most imported flowers. They are only stored for a couple of days before they are with the customers. They are a lot fresher than flowers that go all around the world. Most importantly all the stems are harvested at a ‘ripe’ big fat bud stage giving a bigger more vibrant flower unlike the imports that are harvested too tight so more can be transported in boats and planes.

Ben also only employs local people and more importantly does apprenticeship schemes with local horticultural colleges and goes into floristry colleges to give his British Flowers Rock Talks.

Next to being a full time grower, Ben is an avid campaigner for British Flowers and takes any opportunity he can to spread the word that British Flowers Rock!

Ben won the Grower Award in 2019 and won the Gold Sussex Environmental award in 2020.

Links

Crosslands Flower Nursery

Barnham Lane

Walberton

Nr Arundel

West Sussex

BN18 0AX

M: 07712332241

Email: crosslandsflowernursery@gmail.com

Follow on Twitter @AlstroemeriaBen

Follow on Instagram @AlstroemeriaBen

Find Us on Facebook at Crosslands Flower Nursery

 

Feb 08, 2021
Podcast 95 - No Winter Garden Should be Without...
27:37

In this week’s episode I’m speaking to Fiona Edmond of Green Island Gardens about one of the stars of the winter garden, the Hamamelis aka witch-hazel. Fiona is the holder of the National Collection of Hamamelis and she talks about their cultivation and goes through some of the fool-proof and some of the choicer varieties. I dare you not to buy one after listening! 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Fig Wasps

This episode is sponsored by gardencourses.com

What we talk about:

Fiona’s background and that of Green Island Gardens

How Fiona came to have the National Collection of Hamamelis

Their preferred soil and aspect and their hardiness

Pruning

Propagation

Potential pests and diseases (hint: this is short answer!)

What can they be underplanted with? Do they look particularly good in one sport of setting/against a certain type of plant as a background?

The flower colour spectrum 

Easy to grow cultivars and Fiona’s favourites

About Green Island Gardens

Green Island Gardens are private gardens, open for the public. Professionally designed by its owner Fiona Edmond, they are laid out as a series of structured gardens displaying a huge range of unusual trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs - 'A Plantsman’s Paradise’. Surely one of the best gardens open to visit in Essex. Recommended in Great British Gardens 2019 and Essex Days Out.

20 acres of Water Gardens, Seaside Garden, Japanese Garden, Gravel Garden, Woodland Gardens, Island beds and stunning colour everywhere. There is a tearoom serving light lunches, home-made teas and cream teas.

The nursery offers plants all seen growing in the gardens. We now offer mail order service for the nursery during the lockdown period.

We also run different courses and special events.

Visitors will be able to enjoy flat and easy walking throughout the gardens.

Links

Green Island Gardens

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuTfQ6Aq6evRmBZ0fjfqwdA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greenislandgardens

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/greenislandgardensuk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenislandgdn

 

Feb 01, 2021
Podcast 94 - Wild Gardens with Jo McKerr
42:59

This week’s episode features garden designer and horticulturist Jo McKerr, who runs Pratensis Gardens. Jo is particularly interested in designed spaces where soil health, biodiversity and wildlife are encouraged but which still look good to the human eye. I started with a list of questions for Jo but the interview became more of a fireside chat, so pull up a chair and join Jo and I as we wend our way through eco-gardening.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Winter Moths

This episode is sponsored by the London College of Garden Design Melbourne.

Based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne the college brings together unique Australian design and horticultural expertise with the training experience of Europe’s leading garden design college. The College delivers professional skills training for those aiming for a career in landscape design and from 2021 will offer a real-time online option for those who want to study from anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. To find out more visit www.lcgd.com.au

What we talk about:

Jo’s background and the type of projects she is currently working on.

Rewilding has been a buzzword for a few years and is creeping over into gardening. Can we rewild our gardens?

Jo wrote an article for Bloom magazine about creating natural gardens and stated that due to our lack of real knowledge about gardens and their wild inhabitants, “I’ve come to the conclusion that if we are to garden in a way that’s kind to the planet, we need to be conscious protectors and regenerators, with good instincts.” Jo explains what she means by this and talks about how it can be at odds with the way many currently garden.

Younger generations or people new to gardening - are they are alienated by certain practices or traditional methods of thinking?

The place of gardens in a climate crisis.

The future of horticulture. 

About Jo McKerr

“Horticulture and garden design is my second career. Before I had children and a mortgage I worked as a TV producer and director and dreamed about writing and performing in the theatre.

Plants and garden-making snuck up on me. I initially just wanted to save some stag beetles and create bit of an oasis in London. I found life in London challenging, I was used to space and quiet and contact with the elements, and I ended up becoming homesick (what we now understand as “biophilia”). It was my little London garden with two trees and birds and insects and the feel of the soil that made me sane at the weekend.

I have all the requisite qualifications that make me both a garden designer and trained gardener: a Garden Design Diploma from Merrist Wood and a RHS2 in Practical Horticultural Theory from Bristol University. However, it has been my fortunate ability to constantly fiddle in my own gardens that has allowed me the space to develop and grow.

I am always looking to collaborate with fellow landscapers, soil scientists, entomologists, gardeners, architects, designers and artists. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch – my gate is always open!” - https://jomckerr.com/about/

Links

www.jomckerr.com

www.lcgd.com.au

Jan 25, 2021
Podcast 93 - Meadows with Keith Datchler
30:40

I’m kicking off the year on the podcast with an interview with conservationist and wild meadows expert Keith Datchler. We talk about the state of our wildflower meadows, their importance for biodiversity and where we, as humans, fit as part of the biodiversity that feels at home in meadows. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Winter Bumblebees

What we talk about:

The definition of a meadow

How many ancient meadows are left in the UK. When they date from. How they were created.

Do we need to protect them from a wildlife and a human perspective?

How meadows are region and ecosystem specific 

Why we should consider the locale when choosing plant species to add to or to create a meadow

Can meadows work on a small scale? How long do they take to establish? What are the major hurdles to implementing one?

Whether it’s desirable to encourage people to visit meadows and interact with them in terms of footfall and conservation

What’s being done to preserve ancient meadows and create new ones

About Keith Datchler OBE

Keith Datchler started his career as a dairy farmer, before moving into estate management, with his latest position being Estate Manager at the Beech Estate in Ashburnham, East Sussex. He is a Trustee of the Weald Landscape Trust and of People Need Nature and he works as a conservationist and wild meadows consultant. 

Links

www.peopleneednature.org.uk

www.highwealdlandscapetrust.org

Jan 18, 2021
Podcast 92 - Greening the Paranormal with Dr Jack Hunter
32:19

This week I’m talking to Dr Jack Hunter, anthropologist and author of the book Greening the Paranormal: Exploring the Ecology of Extraordinary. The book isn’t about fairies at the bottom of the garden, although they do get a mention in the episode, but looks more at ways of studying and engaging with the super-natural and considers how these might be useful when approaching the environmental crisis.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Holly Leafminer

About Dr Jack Hunter

Dr. Jack Hunter is an anthropologist exploring the borderlands of ecology, religion and the paranormal. He lives in the hills of Mid-Wales with his family. He is an Honorary Research Fellow with the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and a Research Fellow with the Parapsychology Foundation, New York. He is a tutor on the MA in Ecology and Spirituality and the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology with the Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David. 

He is the founder and editor of Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal, the author of Spirits, Gods and Magic: An Introduction to the Anthropology of the Supernatural (2019) and Engaging the Anomalous (2018). He is the editor of Strange Dimensions: A Paranthropology Anthology (2015), Damned Facts: Fortean Essays on Religion, Folklore and the Paranormal (2016), Greening the Paranormal: Exploring the Ecology of Extraordinary Experience (2019) and is co-editor with Dr. David Luke of Talking With the Spirits: Ethnographies from Between the Worlds (2014).

Links

Dr Jack Hunter's website 

Greening the Paranormal: Exploring the Ecology of Extraordinary Experience by Dr Jack Hunter, August Night Press, 2019

 

Dec 21, 2020
Anna Soper on Kate Crooks
32:39

This week, I’m talking to Anna Soper, a Canadian artist, writer, podcaster and master of too many things to mention really about Kate Crooks, a largely forgotten Canadian botanist whose work Anna uncovered for a project she undertook in 2018. Anna’s research into Kate Crooks has unearthed pieces of a historical jigsaw puzzle which leave us wondering how many other botanists and specimens are out there just waiting to be discovered and how many of these important pieces of the botanical record have been lost forever.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Fleas

About Anna Soper

“Anna Soper has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from OCAD University, where she won the OCAD University Medal in 2011. She has studied abroad at the Glasgow School of Art, and has a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Western University.

Soper has exhibited her work in Toronto, New York, and London, UK. She lives and works in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where she has created two public art works for the City of Kingston.” https://www.annasoper.ca/about

Links

Anna Soper’s Article on Kate Crooks in Atlas Obscura

www.annasoper.ca

Flora150Project on Twitter

Teen People Podcast on Twitter

Teen People Podcast on Instagram

Botanical Society of Canada - Biodiversity Library

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/kate-crooks-botany-collection-lost-1.5249427

https://news.westernu.ca/2019/08/alumna-searches-for-botanists-trailblazing-work/

Dec 14, 2020
Podcast 90 - Soil Testing with Robert Galster of Safe Soil UK
28:05

This week, I’m delighted to speak to Robert Galster, one of the co-founders of Safe Soil UK, about soil testing. There are many companies offering soil testing but the whole process is incredibly opaque. Companies offering the testing don’t often tell you what to test for, or offer to explain the results they’ll be sending and the process can be very costly. Enter Soil Safe UK, who offer soil tests for gardeners, that make sense and that don’t cost a small fortune!

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Indoor Plant Pests

What we talk about:

What does a soil test involve?

Are all soil tests the same?

When might we need one? Is it a legal requirement in some cases?

What does it measure? What might it reveal about your soil?

What are some typical results we might see? 

What are some common problems that might be revealed?

About Robert Galster & Safe Soil UK

“At Safe Soil UK, our aim is to make the testing and analysis of soil easy. Whether it’s to check that soil has all the nutrients it needs to grow great veg or to investigate for potential serious contamination (the UK’s industrial heritage has left behind much that can have a negative impact on our health), we offer a straightforward approach to soil testing. Because while growing and eating local, even homegrown, should ideally be what we do as often as possible, it definitely shouldn’t be dangerous.

Britain’s proud industrial and farming history left behind a legacy of contamination, with countless substances and waste products that have the potential to harm human health being discharged into the ground. Our testing packages can give you peace of mind that your growing space is safe - so why chance it?

We’re big fans of gardening in general and growing vegetables in particular. Have been for as long as we can remember. Robert, one of our cofounders, tells of his early childhood memories annoying his mum by “planting” exotic fruit in various plant pots around the family home. This involved making a little hole in the soil using a toothpick and dropping orange, grapefruit and lemon seeds into the holes. Not a great deal came of these early efforts - Robert blames the climate - but he got better with time. And lots of practice.

Since then his interest in gardening has remained with him and flourished as it expanded to include growing his own fruit and veg. 

And that interest played a part in launching Safe Soil UK. That and curiosity. 

A few years ago we came across a local rumour that a site near our urban house was once a battery factory. At this point, our interest started to extend beyond soil basics like pH and texture and on to toxic elements that may have been lurking beneath our feet. So we started to root around (pardon the pun) for a way to check the soil.

What if our little annual harvests of veg and flowers were actually serving up a cocktail of lead, arsenic, chromium and other unsavoury (to say the least) elements while our time tending the fledgling crops was exposing us to airborne samples of dioxins, hydrocarbons and even asbestos? Posing that question marked the germination (again, sorry!) of Safe Soil UK, which aims to make the testing of urban soils easy, affordable (the scientific analysis involved in the testing is never going to be cheap but we’re doing our best) and also help interpret the results using UK government standards where they’re available and relying on international guidelines to fill in any blanks.

There’s no disputing that the UK’s industrial heritage has left behind a legacy of contaminated land. We are descendants of a people who were at the sharp end of the industrial revolution and while this played an important part in establishing the living standards we now enjoy, there was a darker downside as the very industrial processes and activities that made Britain one of the wealthiest nations on earth also released substances and waste products into the environment that have the potential to have a detrimental impact on our health.

When we started our journey in search of peace of mind that our little patch of land was not slowly killing us, we hit a roadblock. There is no shortage of laboratories capable of testing soil but many of these charged a fortune. Then there was the problem of what we actually wanted to test for. The list of harmful chemicals and elements that a lab could test for is a long one. Which ones should we be testing for? And finally, how much of something is too much? 

The answers to these questions required extensive research but we got there in the end. And while no health authority can make a definitive call on the precise level at which something becomes harmful or even lethal, most agree on ranges. We use these to interpret results and where conflicts exist, we point them out to allow our customers to make informed decisions and, hopefully, provide peace of mind. When that’s not possible, we are happy to share recommendations on potential remediation approaches.

We’re happy to report that we’re now in position to make everyone’s journey of discovery markedly easier than the one we had to take.”

Links

www.safesoil.co.uk

Dec 07, 2020
Podcast 89 - Tokachi Millennium Forest with Dan Pearson & Midori Shintani
43:48

In this episode, I am very pleased to have a double interview with Dan Pearson and Midori Shintani, the two key horticultural forces driving the Tokachi Millennium Forest project in Hokaido, Japan and co-authors of the book Tokachi Millennium Forest: Pioneering a New Way of Gardening with Nature. I speak to Midori first, then Dan, about this vast, 1000 year project, their hopes and intentions for now and the future and about their own places with the timeline of the forest.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Ivy Mining Bees

What we talk about:

The history of the site of the Tokachi Millennium Forest

The idea behind the project

The challenges on site, posed by flora and some big fauna!

Influences on the design

The future of the site

About Dan Pearson & Midori Shintani

Twenty years ago, Dan Pearson was invited to make a garden at the 240-hectare Tokachi Millennium Forest in Hokkaido, Japan. Part of the intention was to entice city dwellers to reconnect with nature and improve land that had been lost to intensive agriculture and this was achieved along with much more. By tuning into the physical and cultural essence of the place and applying a light touch in terms of cultivation, this world-class designer created a remarkable place which has its heart in Japan's long-held respect for nature and its head in contemporary ecological planting design. The bold, uplifting sweep of the Meadow Garden mixes garden plants with natives while the undulating landforms of the Earth Garden bring sculptural connection with the mountains beyond. 

Under the skilful custodianship of Midori Shintani, the garden has evolved beautifully to reflect principles that lie at the heart of Japanese culture: observation of seasonal changes, practical tasks carried out with care and an awareness of the interconnectedness of all living things. This beautiful, instructive book allows us all to experience something of the Tokachi effect, gain expert insights into how to plant gardens that feel right for their location, and reconnect with the land and wildlife that surround us.

Links

Tokachi Millennium Forest: Pioneering a New Way of Gardening by Dan Pearson & Midori Shintani - Filbert Press, 2020

www.danpearsonstudio.com 

Nov 30, 2020
Podcast 88 - Biochar with Lottie & Connor of Earthly Biochar
33:09

This interview features two guests instead of the usual one and those guests are Lottie and Connor, founders of Earthly Biochar. Maybe you already use Biochar in the garden, maybe you’ve heard of it but aren’t quite sure what it does or how it works, or maybe you’re completely new to it as a concept. In any case, I’m sure you’ll learn such a lot from this interview.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Spiders and their Webs

What we talk about:

The origins of Earthly Biochar

What is biochar

Biochar in the home & garden

The history of biochar and its uses around the world

‘Charging’ biochar

About Earthly Biochar

Website: www.earthlybiochar.com 

Biochar maker

Organic biochar

Free biochar guide + webinar

Twitter: @earthlybiochar

Instagram: @earthly.biochar

Email: lottie@earthlybiochar.com and connor@earthlybiochar.com

"We'd love to offer the audience 10% off their order with the code ROOTSANDALL - simply place an order on our website and enter this code at checkout. All our orders come with free shipping! We're based in North Devon in Appledore and if anyone wants to meet up, talk biochar, have a go with our kiln, please reach out to us on Instagram or via email. We're currently offering a special price for our biochar makers for the first 10 orders, if anyone would like to be a raving fan and get one of our first kilns, then please email connor@earthlybiochar.com ***The special price is not listed on our website so if you're interested please email us***

We sell only high quality, EBC certified, organic and professionally tested biochar which has been made in a carbon negative process – aka it's capturing carbon not emitting it! You can learn more about this process in our free guide and webinar, which you can sign up to receive on our website here.

Lottie is doing her PhD on biochar at Reading University, working with growers across the UK, and she is recruiting farms (of all sizes and all crops), nurseries and orchards – basically anyone growing plants on a commercial scale – who would like to take part and try biochar out. If you want to take part, please email us!

We're a growing company with great friends and partners in soil health, horticulture, agriculture and wood management but we're always looking to meet new people. We have an exciting project coming up, working with tree planting projects in the UK, and we are starting trials with the RHS.  Please get in touch if you want to learn more about us, our plans and opportunities to collaborate.

Nov 23, 2020
Podcast 87 - Green Roofs with Dr Anna Zakrisson
30:22

This week I’m speaking to scientist and science communicator Dr Anna Zakrisson about green roofs, particularly with regard to their use in urban areas and the important role they can play in water management. Amongst other things, we talk about the functions these roofs can perform, whether they can work in rural as well as urban situations, how self-sustaining we should expect the plants on green roofs to be and if they’re always the best solution.

 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Allium Leaf Miner

About Dr Anna Zakrisson

Anna Zakrisson has travelled extensively for work and study, including periods spent at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University and Stockholm University, where she completed her doctoral thesis on cyanobacteria. She worked as a researcher for the Max-Planck-Institute before working in Berlin as a biologist. She currently works as a consultant on green roofs and is attached to US-based research company Green Roof Diagnostics.

What we talk about:

The functions green roofs can perform

Do green roofs improve our environment? 

The adverse effects they can mitigate

Can green roofs have an application in rural areas too?

Is it responsible to supplement green roofs with water and/or nutrients?

Are green roofs always the best solution?

Pioneering work in the world of green roofs and future developments

Links:

Anna’s Imaginarium website

Anna Zakrisson on Twitter 

www.greenroofdiagnostics.com

Nov 16, 2020
Podcast 86 - Herbs with Barbara Wilkinson of The Herb Society
44:22

This week I’m speaking to Barbara Wilkinson, a Trustee of The Herb Society, which was founded in 1927 in order to promote the use and understanding of herbs and to provide a worldwide forum for the exchange of ideas and information pertaining to these plants. We talk about growing herbs in different garden situations, unusual herbs to grow, why humans seem drawn to them, what Barbara refers to as “generous” herbs and why we seem to enjoy abusing them by cramming them in unsuitable containers and most importantly, what even is a herb?

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Box Tree Moths

About Barbara Wilkinson

Following a lifelong passion for health and nutrition, Barbara qualified as a Consultant Medical Herbalist in 2012. She is a member of the College of Medicine and Integrated Health, and runs The Springfield Clinic of Natural Healing in Cheshire. Barbara is an advocate of cultivating the use of plants in everyday life and keen to empower people with the confidence to embrace food as medicine. As well as running her own practice, Barbara is a Trustee for The Herb Society and has appeared as a guest speaker at numerous events and conferences. She has an allotment, where she grows produce that is used for medicines within the practice, and has worked with The Herb Society on designing gardens for the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. In 2018, she appeared in the BBC’s coverage of the RHS Flower Show, as part of a special segment looking at fermented foods. She recently supported Horticulturist Alys Fowler in producing her new book A Modern Herbal.

What we talk about:

What is The Herb Society?

The definition of a herb

Humans’ affinity with herbs

Herbs for shade

Herbs for dry, sunny spots

Unusual herbs to grow

Links:

www.herbsociety.org.uk

The Herb Society on Instagram : @theherbsocietyuk

Evolutionary Herbalism: Science, Spirituality, and Medicine from the Heart of Nature by Sajah Popham

Tree Medicine by Peter Conway

Self-Sufficient Herbalism : A Guide to Growing and Wild Harvesting Your Herbal Dispensary by Lucy Jones 

 

Nov 09, 2020
Podcast 85 - An Economic History of the English Garden with Sir Roderick Floud
39:30

This week I’m speaking with Sir Roderick Floud, author of ‘An Economic History of the English Garden’. The book charts the economics surrounding English gardens since the seventeenth century and talks about private gardens, public spaces, professions related to gardening and the often eye-watering amounts of money spent on achieving a bigger and better gardens. Sir Roderick calculates the cost of yesteryears’ gardens in today’s money and it’s worth reading the book alone to find out how much the likes of Capability Brown earned or the amounts spent on the gardens of Versailles!

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Cluster Flies

About Roderick Floud

“Roderick Floud has been a pioneer of two new kinds of history: using statistics to study the past and the history of human height and health. The economic history of gardens is his third innovation. 

He has taught at the universities of Cambridge, London and Stanford, has written or edited over 70 books and articles and is the long-standing editor of the Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain. 

He has also led London Metropolitan University and Gresham College London and undertaken many other roles in the university world, such as President of Universities UK, receiving a knighthood for services to higher education.” - https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/123901/roderick-floud.html?tab=penguin-biography

What we talk about:

Public parks

Charles II and his popularisation of garden making.

Why were extravagant gardens built? Were these gardens worth the huge sums spent on them? 

Technological advances that were later applied outside the world of horticulture

Trends around people growing their own fruit and vegetables

Trends in the numbers of people employed as gardeners

How gardeners wages over the centuries compare with those today 

Economic trends on the horizon related to gardening

Links:

An Economic History of the English Garden - Roderick Floud Paperback out 5th Nov 2020. Pre-order here.

Nov 02, 2020
Podcast 85 - An Economic History of the English Garden with Sir Roderick Floud
39:30

This week I’m speaking with Sir Roderick Floud, author of ‘An Economic History of the English Garden’. The book charts the economics surrounding English gardens since the seventeenth century and talks about private gardens, public spaces, professions related to gardening and the often eye-watering amounts of money spent on achieving a bigger and better gardens. Sir Roderick calculates the cost of yesteryears’ gardens in today’s money and it’s worth reading the book alone to find out how much the likes of Capability Brown earned or the amounts spent on the gardens of Versailles! 

Paperback edition of ‘An Economic History of the English Garden’ out on 5th Nov.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Cluster Flies

About Roderick Floud

“Roderick Floud has been a pioneer of two new kinds of history: using statistics to study the past and the history of human height and health. The economic history of gardens is his third innovation. 

He has taught at the universities of Cambridge, London and Stanford, has written or edited over 70 books and articles and is the long-standing editor of the Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain. 

He has also led London Metropolitan University and Gresham College London and undertaken many other roles in the university world, such as President of Universities UK, receiving a knighthood for services to higher education.” - https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/123901/roderick-floud.html?tab=penguin-biography

What we talk about:

Public parks

Charles II and his popularisation of garden making

Why were extravagant gardens built? Were these gardens worth the huge sums spent on them? 

Technological advances that were later applied outside the world of horticulture

Trends around people growing their own fruit and vegetables

Trends in the numbers of people employed as gardeners

How gardeners wages over the centuries compare with those today 

Economic trends on the horizon related to gardening

Links:

An Economic History of the English Garden - Roderick Floud Paperback out 5th Nov 2020. Pre-order here

Nov 02, 2020
Podcast 84 - Permaculture with Graham Burnett
42:43

This week I’m speaking with permaculturist, teacher, speaker and author, Graham Burnett. Through his organisation Spiralseed, Graham has been involved with both public and private projects across the globe and has accumulated a huge portfolio of work. We talk about the principles which underpin permaculture and how to implement these in your own garden. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Earwigs

About Graham Burnett

“In addition to cultivating his own garden and allotments in Southend in Essex, where he lives with his family, Graham nowadays teaches permaculture and writes extensively on the subject. Graham founded Spiralseed in 2001, and he has worked with projects and organisations including Comic Relief, Naturewise, Green Adventure, the Vegan Organic Network, Ars Terra (Los Angeles), NuArc Health and Wellbeing Centre (Puglia, Italy), Wild Earth Farm and Sanctuary (Kentucky, USA) and Ekosense Ecovillage (Croatia), as well as a number of Transition Town initiatives. He has also over the years written a number of books and booklets (including The Vegan Book of Permaculture, Permaculture a Beginners Guide, Well Fed Not An Animal Dead, and Earth Writings).

Earlier this year Graham taught a permaculture course in Italy, and in summer 2015 he was one of the instructors in the first ever vegan permaculture course in the USA. He continues to teach and organise courses both at home and abroad.” - https://spiralseed.co.uk/graham-burnett-‒-path-permaculture/

What we talk about:

How Graham became involved in permaculture

The theory behind a permaculture garden

How much work is involved in establishing a permaculture garden from scratch, or from an existing garden? 

Can permaculture gardens incorporate ornamental areas?

Permaculture gardens; are they completely dedicated to production?

Vegan permaculture gardens

Can we feed ourselves without harming animals in some way? For example, how do you successfully grow brassicas without excluding birds and butterflies? 

Links:

www.spiralseed.co.uk

Online courses in Permaculture from Spiralseed 

Oct 26, 2020
Episode 83: Heritage Apples with Caroline Ball
36:29

This week’s guest is Caroline Ball, author of a beautiful book called ‘Heritage Apples’. In normal circumstances, this week would have seen lots of events to celebrate Apple Day taking place across the country, but instead, I’m celebrating here on the podcast by delving into some of our lesser known and historic varieties with Caroline, plus there’s a very useful bit at the end where Caroline explains the mysteries of apple tree pollination.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Leather Jackets

About Caroline Ball 

“Caroline Ball is an editor, copywriter and occasional translator. She has written on subjects from horticulture and travel to antiques and health, and has contributed to books about William Morris and a guide to historical sites. She is a keen gardener and, having been born a 'Kentish Maid’, some of her earliest memories are of apple orchards in blossom.” - https://bodleianshop.co.uk/products/heritage-apples

What we talk about:

What is a heritage apples?

The Herefordshire pomona

Why should we grow heritage apples? 

Some of the varieties described in the book; Beauty of Kent, Catshead & Oslin 

Where to taste heritage varieties 

Apple tree pollination

Links:

Heritage Apples by Caroline Ball 

Paul Barnett’s Family Tree  

Oct 19, 2020
Podcast 82 - Nerines with Nick de Rothschild
27:26

This week I’m speaking to Nick de Rothschild, President of the Nerine and Amaryllid Society and of Exbury Gardens in the New Forest. The gardens play host to a huge range of plants providing interest throughout the year, but one of jewels in the crown of Exbury is the collection of Nerines. There are many types of Nerines planted in the garden and an exhibition is currently underway of one particular species, sarniensis. We talk about the different types, how to grow them successfully and about some of the intricacies and intrigue of plant breeding. (Apologies for sounding muffled, I was wearing a mask!)

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: House Spiders

About Nick de Rothschild 

Nick de Rothschild, President of the Nerine and Amaryllid Society and of Exbury Gardens in the New Forest. 

Now celebrating more than 100 years, Exbury Gardens encompasses a spectacular collection of woodland, herbaceous, contemporary, formal and wildflower gardens.

At over 200 acres, these impressive gardens located in Hampshire, were created and are now managed by the Rothschild family. They boast a number of special collections including world-famous rhododendrons and azaleas, unprecedented swathes of hydrangeas and the National Collection of Nyssa trees - https://www.exbury.co.uk/gardens

What we talk about:

The different nerine species

Growing nerines outdoors and under glass

The history of Nerine sarniensis cultivars

Breeding Nerine sarniensis

Pests and diseases

Links:

www.exbury.co.uk

Nerine & Amaryllid Society

Oct 12, 2020
Podcast 81 - Probiotics for Your Garden with Sue Allen of Microbz
36:52

This week I’m speaking to Sue Allen of Microbz, which produces and distributes probiotics for gardens. The concept of probiotics in gardens is new to me, but it dovetails nicely with previous episodes looking at soil health and mycorrhizal fungi so I was delighted to speak to Sue and find out more about how probiotics work in gardens and what we can do to encourage them.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Woodlice

About Susan Allen 

I’m co-founder and co-director of Microbz Ltd, producers and distributors of probiotics for gardens. Most of all I love gardening. I love long summer evenings out on our land nurturing our plants and vegetables, and even cold wet winter days preparing for the next season. Part of the reason I am so passionate about microbes is because I really see the difference that they have made to my garden. They really work. My soil is healthier, my plants are more robust, and the best thing is: it is all natural. 

I want to share my love of using microbes so that other people feel confident to give it a go. It will benefit their health and the long-term health of soil and plants all over the UK. 

About Microbz

In 2007 my husband was asked to join a philanthropist who travelled the globe looking for solutions to environmental problems. His job was to mediate the potential conflicts of interest between investors and innovators. It was a fascinating time of travel and discovery. 

When he got home, Jeff described the technology he saw that really excited him: Microbial Balancing Technology. The excitement we both felt for the potential of this ‘solution’ for the planet, was immediate. 

We committed to learning more and quickly turned one of our outbuildings into a mini-brewery.

The first brews in 5-litre jars were trialled by us, and by friends and family. Now we’re up to 100 and 300-litre containers, regular lab tests and a fully functioning business. 

Our involvement with microbes is all that you would wish a love affair to be, full of enthusiasm to be learning and growing and caring for and nurturing the brews. Our hope is that every person who uses microbes sees a health benefit and is aware that they are contributing to the sustainability of our precious planet. 

What we talk about:

Microorganisms as the fundamental building blocks of life

What microbes do in our gardens

How do they work

Why it’s important to have them in the soil

What happens when you don't have a diversity of microbes or you use a lot of chemicals in the garden?

How does introducing beneficial microbes back into your garden work? 

How do microbes impact each stage of the cycle of life e.g. seeds, growth, flowering, death, decay, composting, back to new life?

Links:

www.microbz.co.uk 

Microbz on Instagram

Microbz on Facebook

Susan on Facebook

Probiotics Research

Soil Your Undies Challenge 

Life at the Edge of Sight by Scott Chimileski, Roberto Kolter 

The Garden Jungle by Dave Goulson 

Oct 05, 2020
Podcast 80 - Hedgerow Foraging with Joff Curtoys
28:05

This week I’m speaking to Joff Curtoys, conservationist, ecologist and founder of Sloemotion Distillery. Saturday just gone saw the launch of National Hedgerow Day, an annual event launched by Joff to inspire people to undertake their own foraging missions to spot what’s growing and living in their local hedgerows. Hedgerows are historically important, biodiverse and fascinating, as Joff explains.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Fruit Flies

About Joff Curtoys 

Joff is the founder of Sloemotion Distillery, a family-run Yorkshire business producing small batch spirits and liqueurs, and a passionate advocate of wildlife conservation. He has a background working for the RSPB and his respect for the environment and protection of the countryside is deeply embedded into how Sloemotion operates. The brand has its roots firmly in the Yorkshire countryside and this is a huge influence on the premium spirits they produce providing not only a source of sloes and hedgerow fruits, but also inspiration on their doorstep. 

What we talk about:

The history of hedgerows

Hedgerows and biodiversity

When and what to forage from hedgerows

Managing hedgerows for foraging

Links:

https://www.sloemotiondistillery.com

National Hedgerow Day 

A Natural History of the Hedgerow - John Wright 

Sep 28, 2020
Podcast 79 - Gardening Post-Lockdown with Adam Kirtland
30:44

This week I’m speaking to Adam Kirtland, who began gardening seriously at the start of lockdown. His initial interest has become a full-blown obsession and we talk about the challenges presented by going back to work full time and having less time to garden. For more seasoned gardeners, this episode may be a useful reflection upon how we communicate with newer gardeners.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Flatworms

About Adam Kirtland

“Bookseller by day, gardener by night. I work as part of the head office team at Waterstones looking after some of the gifting products rather than books, but it’s still the love of books that got me here in the first place.

Gardening has always been something that I’ve used as a tool to relax and wind down but it’s only this year, during lockdown that I really found what it was to be a gardener. For me it’s not just mowing the lawn every fortnight or doing a bit of weeding, it’s become so much more. Making a garden for both me and my family that can be used in all season.

Lockdown opened my eyes to the world of Instagram and how huge the community is there and that’s where my gardening journey has taken me now.”

What we talk about:

Sources of gardening information

Catching the gardening bug

Gardening post lockdown and post-furlough

Gardening social media 

Links:

Adam’s Instagram account - @viewfromthepottingbench 

Episode 20 - Container Planting with Harriet Rycroft 

Episode 1 - Dahlias 

Sep 21, 2020
Podcast 78 - Sweet Peas with Philip Johnson
30:28

This week I’m speaking to Philip Johnson of Johnson’s Sweet Peas. Philip grows and sells plants and seeds via his website and he sells and exhibits his plants at shows across the country, when they’re on! He judges at major shows and has put in 25 years service as a Sweet Pea judge. He is a former chairman of the National Sweet Pea Society/RHS Sweet Pea trials held at Wisley and is currently serving as a member of the RHS Herbaceous Committee. So what Philip doesn’t know abut sweet peas you could write on the back of a stamp and still have room to lick it.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Woolly Aphids

About Johnson’s Sweet Peas 

Johnson's Sweet Peas is a traditional Sweet Pea specialist, growing their own seeds and plants at their nursery in Kent. Through their extensive breeding programme, they occasionally have brand new varieties available for naming and introduction.

Philip grows and sells plants and seeds via his website and he sells and exhibits his plants at shows across the country. He judges at major shows and has put in 25 years service as a Sweet Pea judge. He is a former chairman of the National Sweet Pea Society/RHS Sweet Pea trials held at Wisley and is currently serving as a member of the RHS Herbaceous Committee.

What we talk about:

When to sow sweet pea seeds

Can we succession sow to prolong the season?

Pinching out seedlings

Deadheading; why? Essential?

Why do stems get shorter as the season progresses? 

Watering, feeding, soil requirements

Best kinds of supports for sweet peas

Pests and diseases

Wildlife value

Best varieties for scent

Colours in sweet pea flowers

Colour trends for next year. Exciting developments on the horizon in sweet pea breeding?

Links:

www.johnsonssweetpeas.co.uk

Philip Johnson on Twitter

Johnson’s Sweet Peas on Instagram 

National Sweet Pea Society on Twitter 

Sep 14, 2020
Podcast 77 - More Than Weeds and More with Sophie Leguil
41:06

This week I’m speaking to biologist and ecologist Sophie Leguil. Sophie is an outspoken and passionate advocate for nature, plants and wildlife and can often be found on social media, helping make sense of complex concepts that affect gardeners and their outdoor spaces. We talk a bit about public spaces, a bit about gardens and urban areas and we touch upon what can happen when you try to stand up for what you believe in.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Tardegrades

About Sophie Leguil:

“Trained as a biologist & ecologist, with experience in horticulture, I am fascinated by the natural world in all its forms. I have a soft spot for plants, from the tiniest orchid at the top of a Vietnamese mountain, to the blousiest iris in a 18th century garden.

I currently work freelance in the UK and France, as a writer, photographer, speaker, translator and wildlife tour leader.

My BSc research focused on pollens of Psychotria (a fascinating genus with ethnobotanical uses), and my MSc on systematics of a small genus of African orchids.

I am particularly interested in the love-hate relationship between plant conservation and horticulture, and more specifically how growing plants can help us better understand, preserve and raise awareness on need to conserve plants.” https://naturanaute.com/about/

What we talk about:

Rewilding

Warren Park

Meadows and wildflower planting

Sophie’s ‘More Than Weeds’ Project

Brownfield sites and their ecological value

The future of nature under our current government

Links:

www.naturanaute.com

www.morethanweeds.co.uk

Sophie Leguil on Twitter

Sophie Leguil on Instagram

More Than Weeds on Twitter 

 

Sep 07, 2020
Podcast 76 - I Want to Like my Garden with Rachel McCartain
36:06

This week I’m speaking to garden designer, writer and podcast host Rachel McCartain. Rachel believes the garden should work for you, that it should suit your lifestyle. If you struggle to reconcile the garden you want with the time you have to spend on it, this is the episode for you. Whether you have your own garden or you create gardens for others, Rachel’s advice will no doubt prove useful.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Tree Bumblebees

About Rachel McCartain:

Rachel founded PlantPlots.com an online garden design company which is now one of the world's most popular websites. PlantPlots offers uniquely practical garden design advice, with the aim of making gardening easier for everyone.

In addition PlantPlots creates affordable and practical garden design for anyone with a garden. She has designed gardens in both the UK and the USA and presents the popular gardening podcast The Plotting Shed. It was whilst transforming her second garden, she began to wonder why with all the thousands of gardening books available do so many gardens all look the same! A lawn in the middle surrounded by borders hugging the fence and a couple of hanging baskets.

It began to dawn on her that the reason was because all these books showed how to make A garden but didn't say how the reader could change THEIR garden - and that's why PlantPlots was founded. To help you make the gardening easier.

Rachel currently lives by the sea in West Sussex UK, she is married with 3 children. Although having pets has never been high on her list of must haves, her garden does boast a chicken wire heron named Eric, a shoal of wire ‘Michael’ fish (named after a departed uncle) and in pride of place a 7-foot sunbathing topiary leopard called Ingwe. Rachel is currently planning whether to ‘grow’ a giraffe or some antelopes.

What we talk about:

Useful ways of analysing your garden from a planting and design perspective

Having a garden that works for your skills and your schedule

Buying plants for your garden

Links:

I Want to Like my Garden by Rachel McCartain

The PlantPlots website

PlantPlots on Facebook

PlantPlots on Instagram

Aug 31, 2020
Podcast 75 - Botanical Storytelling with Amanda Edmiston
35:41

This week I’m speaking to botanical storyteller Amanda Edmiston. Amanda trained in herbalism and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of historical plants and botanical figures but in this episode, we focus mainly on what Amanda does and her work around Elizabeth Blackwell’s book ‘A Curious Herbal’.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Conopid Flies

About Amanda Edmiston:

“Amanda takes people into the stories she tells and brings other worlds, redolent with layers of history into people's lives. Immersion into one of Amanda's stories involves all the senses and often reveals facts which are often threatening to drift from the everyday consciousness. Each session is a magical experience and often stays in participants memories for years.

Her work weaves together plants, herbs and flowers with traditional tales, facts and her own stories.Amanda creates an enchanted world to take people into, one that is frequently funny and full of unexpected twists. Her work illustrates and is inspired by oral traditions, history, food, smells, places, objects and the audience themselves. Working with people in museums , botanical gardens, libraries, wherever they are, Amanda's work opens up different possibilities and can enhance a range of events and projects.” https://www.botanicafabula.co.uk/about

What we talk about:

The art of botanical storytelling

Elizabeth Blackwell’s ‘A Curious Herbal’

The lost connection with nature?

Historical herbals

Links:

Amanda’s website: www.botanicafabula.co.uk

The Botanica Fabula Facebook group 

Aug 24, 2020
Podcast 74 - Wasps with Richard Jones
32:04

This week I’m speaking to nationally acclaimed entomologist and author of the book ‘Wasp’, Richard Bugman Jones, about a species of wildlife that may not spring to mind as one of your immediate favourites. Wasps, yellow jackets, jaspers, stripy bastards…whatever you call these members of the insect world and whether you love them or loathe them, you will certainly learn lots about them as Richard explains their life cycles and the role they play in ecosystems. If you’re not convinced to become a full-blown wasp lover by the end of the episode, I suspect you will at least have a grudging respect for these resilient creatures. (FYI This episode was recorded a while ago, so it may sound as if we're talking in late winter.)

About Richard Jones:

Richard writes about insects, wildlife and the environment for a number of publications such as Gardener’s World and BBC Wildlife magazines, The Guardian and The Sunday times. He guests on programmes such as Radio 4’s Home Planet and Natural Histories, plus is the author of many books, full list below. He is a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and of the Linneaen Society of London. He’s past president of the British Entomological and Natural History Society. 

What we talk about:

  • The number of species of wasps plus which wasps you’re most likely to find in your garden
  • The life cycle of a wasp
  • A look at a typical nest
  • What stings worse, a wasp, bee or hornet?
  • Invasive species

Links:

Richard Jones’s website: www.bugmanjones.com

Books by Richard Jones

Wasp - Reaktion Books, 2019

Beetles - Collins New Naturalists Series, 2018 

Call of Nature: The Secret Life of Dung - Pelagic Publishing, 2017 

House Guests, House Pests - Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016 

Nano Nature - Collins, 2008 

Mosquito - Reaktion Books, 2012 

The Little Book of Nits - A & C Black Publishers, 2012 

Extreme Insects - HarperCollins, 2010 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link:

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

Aug 17, 2020
Mycorrhizhal Fungi Part 2 with Petra Guy
31:08

This episode is somewhat of a follow-up to my interview with Jeff Lowenfels in Episode 51. Following that interview, I found myself asking a few more questions, particularly about how we’re progressing with research into mycorrhizal fungi here in the UK. So here I am talking to Petra Guy, who’s based at Reading University. Petra looks mainly at woodland health from the perspective of mycorrhizal fungi but we cover a lot of garden territory too including proprietary fungi mixes, composts and replant disease.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Crab Spider

About Petra Guy:

Petra is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Reading modelling the responses of trees to climate, land-use soils and mycorrhizal symbioses. Currently exploring game theory as a means of understanding different ectomycorrhizal/plant relationships and responses.

What We Discuss:

How long mycorrhizal fungi can persist in the soil without a host

The efficacy of proprietary mixes

Saving soil over the winter to inoculate next year's crop

Replant disease

Should we be building ‘soil bridges’?

Susan Simard’s concept of mother trees in forests

Links:

Episode 51: Mycorrhizal Fungi with Jeff Lowenfels

Suzanne Simard TED Talk

Paul Stamets - Host Defence Mushropoms

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Aug 10, 2020
Podcast 72 - Saving Our Plants with Vicki Cooke of Plant Heritage
27:00

This week I’m talking to Vicki Cooke of Plant Heritage. Plant Heritage is a UK charity that works to conserve cultivated garden plants, predominantly through the National Plant Collection scheme and their Plant Guardians initiative. Think National Plant Collections are the preserve of stately homes with huge gardens or horticultural institutions? Not at all! In fact, you could start you own on an allotment, in your greenhouse or porch, you could choose a genera with a 1000 species or just one and choose anything from trees to houseplants. All you need is a passion for a particular group of plants and you can join the ranks of experts and plant fans helping to look after our cultivated plants for future generations. 

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Gooseberry Sawfly

About Vicki Cooke:

Vicki Cooke is the Conservation Manager at Plant Heritage, and has spent much of her career delving into plants and their history. From Garden Organic's Heritage Seed Library, growing and saving seed from heirloom vegetables, to the Hampton Court Palace kitchen garden and now at Plant Heritage, Vicki has always been passionate about growing and conserving our garden plants.

What We Discuss:

What is Plant Heritage

National Collections and why they are important

The Missing Genera project

Some of the genera that don’t already have a home

What is involved in becoming a National Collection holder?

How you can take part

Links:

www.plantheritage.org.uk

Missing Genera top 10 for 2020, plus a link to the long list of all genera without a National Plant Collection 

How to start a National Plant Collection 

Join and support the National Plant Collections 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Aug 03, 2020
Podcast 71 - Tapestry Lawns with Dr Lionel Smith
33:35

This week I’m talking to Dr Lionel Smith, horticulture lecturer and author of the book Tapestry Lawns: Freed from Grass and Full of Flowers. As the title suggests, a tapestry lawn replaces grass with flowering dicots, increasing biodiversity, lowering maintenance needs and seriously upping the aesthetic value of a lawn. Living with a tapestry lawns involves a little bit of self-education around how you treat plants and I start by asking how to overcome one of my own biggest worries about having one…

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Painted Lady Butterfly

About Dr Lionel Smith:

Dr Lionel Smith received his PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Reading in 2014. He is currently Lecturer in Horticulture at Myerscough College, Lancashire, and lives in St. Anne’s-on-Sea.

What We Discuss:

The history of lawns

What is a Tapestry lawn?

Tapestry lawn maintenance

Height convergence and why it's relevant to Tapestry lawns

Tapestry lawns and wildlife 

Tapestry lawns over winter

Sourcing plants for a Tapestry lawns

What does the future hold for Tapestry lawns? 

Links:

www.grassfreelawns.co.uk

 

Tapestry Lawns : Freed from Grass and Full of Flowers by Lionel Smith - Taylor & Francis, 2019

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon  

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Jul 27, 2020
Podcast 70 - Growing Food with Stephanie Hafferty
41:21

This week I’m chatting with Stephanie Hafferty. Amongst other things, Stephanie is a writer, speaker, long-time champion of No-Dig gardening, a food growing expert, a talented chef she shares some brilliant tips with us this week. The knowledge comes thick and fast in this episode, so you may want to grab a pen and paper before you begin listening!

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Asian Hornets

About Stephanie Hafferty:

“I’m an organic no dig kitchen gardener, plant based cook, award winning food & gardening writer, small scale homesteader and mum of three.

I live in Bruton, a small market town in rural Somerset where I grow delicious vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs in my garden and allotment using no dig methods.  I love reading (I studied  Literature and Art History at university and worked as an English teacher), crafting, visiting interesting places, exploring the countryside, trying out new recipes and food, making potions and learning new skills.” https://nodighome.com/about/

What We Discuss:

Avoiding bolting crops

The best way to pick leafy crops to prevent bolting

When to sow to stop bolting

Eat crops like rocket and mustard greens when they’ve flowered

Quick fillers for gaps

Gluts of crops

How can we avoid gluts

Preserving food

Deadheading and harvesting

Crops that people might think have gone past their best but are actually still usable

Links:

Stephanie's website nodighome.com

Stephanie Hafferty on Twitter 

Stephanie Hafferty on Instagram 

The Creative Kitchen by Stephanie Hafferty

No Dig Organic Home & Garden by Charles Dowding & Stephanie Hafferty 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Jul 20, 2020
Podcast 69 - Gardening By Touch, Sound, Smell and Taste with Andrew Hesser
37:10

This week I’m speaking to Andrew Hesser, the man behind Bryan’s Quest, a website and YouTube channel dedicated to exploring the natural world from the perspective of Bryan, a blind person. Andrew is also blind and draws on his personal experiences of gardening, volunteering for the National Trust and getting out and about in nature to produce videos and a library of resources for gardeners, in order to highlight how the natural world can be experienced without sight.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Grasshoppers

About Andrew Hesser:

“I’ve been blind for many years and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of study, work and family life. There have, of course, been difficult times when I’ve struggled to keep positive as I’ve ‘battled’ hard to get information made accessible to me. It is, for example frustrating to find shops full of cookery and gardening books totally inaccessible to me. Then there are the significant challenges of getting around using buses, trains, taxis and on foot, especially in new locations.

It is only in the past five years, or so that I have started to discover new ways of engaging with and enjoying nature and this naturally leads to wanting to learn more about the wonderful wildlife we are all surrounded by. However, much of the natural world is presented in a visual way, with colourful photos in books and amazing television documentaries. In fact it’s easy for all of us to think of nature being predominantly a visual experience, with all those beautiful views across gardens, countryside landscapes and hill-top vistas.

However, I continue to explore the opportunities to appreciate nature using hearing, touch, smell and taste. There is a lot of work to be done to arrange facilities and services to fully exploit the use of all five senses to appreciate the natural world.

Gardening is one readily available pastime that brings me very close to nature. Without sight all of the non-visual senses can be applied to get success in the garden and a feeling of achievement.  However, this can only be obtained by developing discipline to be  methodical, patient and resourceful to get truly meaningful pleasures from sowing, growing and caring for plants.”

What We Discuss:

Some of the biggest challenges faced by partially sighted or blind gardeners

Navigating around the garden and other outdoor spaces

What we’re missing out on in gardens if we just focus on the visual

Playing to the other senses - including particularly good plants or garden features

Methods and processes that help when working in the garden 

Gardening as an activity for those visually impaired people who may not have already tried it

What do visually impaired people need more (or less of) of in public gardens?

Helpful resources 

Links:

www.bryansquest.org 

Bryan’s Quest on Twitter 

Bryan’s Quest YouTube Channel 

www.look-uk.org 

www.sensing-nature.com 

Mr Plant Geek 

Carry On Gardening

Candide App 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Jul 13, 2020
Podcast 68 - Nature’s Best Hope with Prof. Douglas W. Tallamy
33:15

This week I’m speaking to Professor Doug Tallamy, author of amongst other things, the internationally influential wildlife gardening books Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope. Prof. Tallamy calls for an urgent rethink of gardening methods and backs up these calls with an illustrious career's worth of research, facts and figures This interview is a must-listen for wildlife gardeners everywhere!

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Rosemary Leaf Beetle

About Prof. Douglas W. Tallamy:

“Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 95 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 40 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug's new book 'Nature's Best Hope' was published by Timber Press in February 2020. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence, the 2018 AHS B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and the 2019 Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.” - http://www.bringingnaturehome.net

What We Discuss:

The problem with thinking that nature is somewhere else, that it’s outside our garden fences

The most compelling reasons to choose natives over non-native plants in gardens

Carrying capacity and why it’s important to humans

The problem with losing species that have evolved as specialist feeders

Are our native trees disease prone and do non-natives provide us with a healthier alternative?

Key research that needs to be done and what people can do in order for us to keep moving in the right direction

Links:

www.bringingnaturehome.net 

Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard by Douglas W. Tallamy - Timber Press, 2020

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Jul 06, 2020
Podcast 67 - Sensory Herbalism with Karen Lawton
35:48

This week, I’m speaking to Karen Lawton, co-author of the book ‘The Sensory Herbal Handbook’. The book isn’t just about herbalism, it’s about developing a connection to plants and yes, this can include talking to them! ‘The Sensory Herbal Handbook’ is a manual for learning not just to look at plants but to really see them. If you want to take your appreciation of plants to a deeper level, this episode is a good place to start.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Summer Snowflake

About Karen Lawton & Fiona Heckels:

Karen and Fiona are the Seed SistAs, authors of The Sensory Herbal Handbook and founders of herbal education group Sensory Solutions Herbal Evolution. Combining medical training and years of clinical practice with a passion for plants and creativity, their teaching gives people more autonomy in their health by connecting them with their local medicinal plants and the magical nature of the green world.

What We Discuss:

  • What is sensory herbalism?
  • The benefits of starting a herbal journal
  • Some good exercises to do if you would like to start one
  • Making a connection with a plant and using intentions when making remedies
  • An easily recognised herb that can be harvested now (July) and what could it can be used for 
  • The importance of communities having medicinal gardens

Links:

www.sensorysolutions.co.uk 

Facebook - Sensory Solutions Herbal Evolution  

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

 

Jun 29, 2020
Podcast 66 - How to Coexist Happily With The Bugs in Your Garden
36:53

This week, I’m speaking to esteemed entomologist Dr Ian Bedford about accepting the insects in your garden and learning to accept their vital role in the wider ecosystem. We talk about the how gardens can work alongside public spaces to provide habitats for beleaguered bugs, how we can reconcile growing food with welcoming bugs and whether reports of Insectageddon are justified.

About Dr Ian Bedford:

“I have been fascinated by insects and other invertebrates for most of my life.

Starting out as an Amateur Entomologist, studying and conserving butterflies on the South Downs, I went on to pursue a professional career as a Research Entomologist and ran the Entomology Department at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, until my recent retirement after 42 years. I can now follow my passion for all things Entomological at a more leisurely pace. 

Following retirement I am continuing to visit Garden and Horticultural Societies to give talks on various insect - related subjects.

In addition, I'm attending event days for Garden Centres, giving talks and arranging a Plant Pest Clinic for visitors and customers. I'm also invited to talk at a number of Garden Shows around the country.

I also speak on a number of radio shows and currently have the great honour of being the resident 'Go To' Entomologist for BBC Radio Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire. I also record a bug-related story each week for Toby Buckland's Sunday morning  show on BBC Radio Devon 'An Entomologist Entertains’.

 I've also featured on BBC Gardeners Question Time and appeared on TV shows such as BBC Gardeners' World, Inside Out, Tonight, Horizon, BBC Breakfast, A to Z of TV Gardening, The Great British Garden Revival and even  Harry Hill's Alien Fun Capsule!”. 

What We Discuss:

  • The species that most need our help at the moment
  • Some of the best and worst habits us gardeners have that either help or hinder insects
  • Plants that are fairly common but do little or nothing to provide a food source or habitat 
  • Public and private landowners collaborating in order to establish a network of habitats
  • The ecosystems of our gardens and our region-specific species
  • Are all pesticides a no-no?
  • How can we reconcile the need for wilder areas in our gardens and landscapes with the desire to grow food plants?
  • Insectageddon - exaggerated or as bad as reported? 

Links:

Dr Ian Bedford’s Website 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon  

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Jun 22, 2020
Podcast 65 - James Basson of Scape Design
30:55

This week I’m speaking to James Basson of Scape Design. James runs his design practice along with wife Helen out of the south of France and their work is synonymous with a naturalistic style, the use of native plants and often, the implementation of matrix or grid planting to populate large areas of landscape. It was this part of James’s practice that initially sparked my interest and we get round to talking about that towards the end of the interview, but first we cover the type of work undertaken by Scape Design and the gardens James designs for some of the most demanding environments.

About James Basson:

James specialises in dry, sustainable gardens that are inspired by his passion for the natural landscape and is known for using natural materials and local artisans. He has won numerous awards at Garden Shows throughout the world with Gold Medals at the Gardening World Cup in Japan, the Singapore Garden Festival, the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Chelsea Flower Show, where he won best in show in 2017.

He has published papers on a generative approach to Garden Design, and is currently developing a database around matrix form planting design, to help designers and gardeners create ecological planting schemes.

What We Discuss:

  • The work of Scape Design
  • The design principles that underpin James’s work and how he separates the cultivated from the uncultivated
  • The importance of building in resilience to the gardens James designs, both in the hard landscaping and planting
  • Problems with invasive plants in naturalistic plantings
  • James’s matrix form of planting and this works from an ecological point of view
  • His work to develop a database of plants that work together from an ecological point of view

Links:

www.scapedesign.com 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Jun 16, 2020
Podcast 64 - Organic Farming in Kenya with Simon Murungi
28:10

This week’s interview is with Kenya-based organic farming champion Simon Murungi. Simon is an organic farming trainer and founded the organization SOFAFRICA (Spreading Organic Farming in Africa). He is passionate about Agro Ecological Regenerative Agriculture and Rural Development and sees organic farming methods as a sustainable approach that can turn around smallholder agriculture from mere subsistence farming to a more commercial enterprise. We talk about why Simon believes organic agriculture is important for Kenya’s farmers, how it can be implemented and the challenges farmers face.

About Simon Murungi:

Simon is an organic farming trainer who founded the organization SOFAFRICA (Spreading Organic Farming in Africa). He is passionate about Agro Ecological Regenerative Agriculture and Rural Development as a viable and sustainable approach to turn around smallholder agriculture from mere subsistence farming to a more commercial enterprise.

He is a promoter and experienced trainer of Agro-ecological techniques towards social, economic and environmental conservation in Africa. Simon is also a change maker on how food is produced and linking the plate with the farm for a more safe and nutritious food to the ever increasing population. He champions and advocates for Organic Market Enterprises and Agribusinesses through value addition, creating employment in the rural areas and reversing the rural to urban migration.

SOFAfrica provides training to farmers, youths and schools on climate change mitigation strategies, indigenous seed saving, water and soil conservation, organic agriculture, natural resources conservation, rural development, nutrition, animal welfare, human rights especially for the young, elderly, those with disabilities and related issues based on public policy, the best available research science, and effective management.

SOFAfrica has a vision to provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural Kenyans to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Kenyans/ Africans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve their Nation's natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands in line with the sustainable development goals SDGs. Their strategic goals serve as a roadmap towards helping to ensure they achieve their mission and implement their vision.

What We Discuss:

  • The work of SOFAfrica
  • The popularity of organic farming in Kenya
  • The reasons Simon believes organic farming is important and is the right way to grow food
  • Seed sourcing and the importance of using organic seed
  • Objections from farmers and growers to organic growing methods
  • How Simon spreads the organic farming message
  • How Fair Trade initiatives work alongside ecologically sustainable farming practices;
  • Whether organic growing reduces the water requirements
  • Whether there is a measurable impact on the 'inputs' and the yields

Links:

Simon Murungi on LinkedIn  

SOFAfrica on Facebook 

Spreading Organic Farming in Africa

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe

Jun 09, 2020
Podcast 63 - The Secret Life of Crows with Ricky Whelan
29:15

This week I’m speaking to expert ornithologist Ricky Whelan about a talk he gives on the Secret Life of Crows, which has surprised Ricky with its “unexpected but massive interest and attendances”. As a life long lover of crows myself, I thought it would be great to find out a bit more about these birds in general, but also in a garden context. So if you’re intrigued to find out how corvids organise their societies, how they communicate, about their love lives and about the good and not so good things they do in the garden, join us as we put an eye to the key hole and spy on the secret life of crows.

About Ricky Whelan:

Ricky grew up in the Irish midlands surrounded by rural landscapes and bogland and it was here he developed his love for nature. After university Ricky left Ireland and started his conservation career in the UK working for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as part of their reserve’s teams in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. On return to Ireland Ricky began working for BirdWatch Ireland on the Dublin Bay Birds Project and now leads on Urban Bird projects with a large focus of his work being on Swifts. Outside of work Ricky volunteers with a number of wildlife and conservation projects close to home and has had unexpected but massive interest and attendances with and at his “Secret Life of Crows Talk” which he regularly gives around the country. Ricky lives close to his birthplace with his Claire and their son Art.

What We Discuss:

  • Some of the biggest misconceptions surrounding crows 
  • Their societal structures
  • Do crows mate for life?
  • How clever are crows?
  • Their repertoire of songs and sounds
  • How crows recognise humans
  • Their main food sources
  • Do they cause problems for gardeners or can they be beneficial?
  • The most amazing thing Ricky has discovered about crows during his research

Links:

Ricky Whelan on Twitter 

On Instagram 

Snowboarding Crow 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Jun 02, 2020
Podcast 62 - The Living Jigsaw with Val Bourne
35:41

This week, I’m talking to journalist and author Val Bourne about her book The Living Jigsaw: the secret life in your garden. Val is a perfect example of a gardener who loves ornamental plants as much as she respects the wildlife in her garden. She walks the walk, produces writing based on her observations and has a palpable love for all the things that share her garden. We talk about how to achieve an outdoor space where there’s room for everything to flourish.

About Val Bourne:

Val Bourne is an award-winning author and journalist, photographer and lecturer. She gardens organically in the Cotswolds, growing a huge range of ornamental and edible plants. Val is a true plantaholic and her work is informed by growing often challenging plants and observing how they interact, not only with each other but with other species that share the garden. 

What We Discuss:

The idea behind The Living Jigsaw

Slugs and snails in the garden - how bad are slug pellets? Garlic spray? 

Which roses work in an organic garden

Is leaving patches of garden undisturbed a necessity?

Some key wildlife plants

When to cut grassy areas of the garden

Some of the best and worst practices for a wildlife garden

Links:

Val Bourne - The Natural Gardener

The Living Jigsaw: the secret life in your garden by Val Bourne - Kew Publishing, 2017

SLUGS IN GARDENS: THEIR NUMBERS, ACTIVITIES AND DISTRIBUTION. PART 2 - Barnes, H. F. and Weil, J. W. 1945. Slugs in gardens: Their numbers, activities and distribution. Part 2. Journal of Animal Ecology. 14 (2), pp. 71-105. 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundM

May 25, 2020
Podcast 61 - I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast with Michael Holland
27:33

This week I’m chatting to author of the book I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast, Michael Holland. The book is a botanical and environmental textbook for children that makes learning about even quite complex topics such as plant scientific names seem like fun. I talk to Michael about activities you can do with children using stuff you can find in your cupboard, about some of the most engaging horticultural concepts for kids and how you can make learning entertaining. 

About Michael Holland:

Expert ecologist, educator and author, Michael Holland FLS is on a mission to educate and inspire people from all walks of life about the powerful world of plants and the vital role they play in our daily lives. Michael’s first book, I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast is published by Flying Eye Books on April 1 2020. Printed on Munken Arctic Paper and with ink using soya beans and linseeds, it provides an inspiring and accessible introduction to the wonderful world of plants and how they are relevant to our lives. Colourfully illustrated, it is packed with hints, tips, practical ideas and fun-filled activities to get children 7+ and their families informed, engaged and excited about plants.

Michael studied Ecology at Lancaster and Oregon State Universities and is a keen photographer, wildlife gardener and all-round composting nerd! Michael had a 25-year career at the eminent Chelsea Physic Garden in London, latterly as Head of Education for over 17 years. He has taught tens of thousands of people, aged 2 to 92, about the natural world. He is both a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and of the London Environmental Educators’ Forum (LEEF) - both organisations that work tirelessly ensuring people from all walks of life are connected to nature and natural history. Michael has spoken at a number of global conferences; a highlight being invited to talk at a botanical garden in Japan on subjects including ‘State of the Art Medicinal Plants’, ‘Container Gardening’, ‘London’s Parks & Gardens’ and ‘Five Plants that Changed the World’.

Michael has delivered a herb-planting master class for the team at Jo Malone London for their Herb Garden perfumes cologne collection, and in 2003, developed the innovative and award-winning Shelf Life project, labelled by Head of Interpretation, Sharon Willoughby at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as “the most effective piece of plant-based interpretation.”

What We Discuss:

  • Michael’s background in horticulture 
  • The importance of the book having roots in science and botany as well as being fun
  • Some of the best experiments kids can do with plants
  • Michael’s favourite fact to reel a child in to horticulture
  • The Shelf Life project
  • Useful online resources

Links:

www.growingunderstandings.co.uk

I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast by Michael Holland and Phillip Giordano - Flying Eye Books, 2020 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

May 19, 2020
Podcast 60 - Design Experts Part 4 with Xanthe White
27:47

This episode is the fourth and final part of the Design Experts series and this week’s guest is New Zealand-based garden designer Xanthe White who runs Xanthe White Design which has offices in Auckland and Wellington. As with the other episodes in the design experts series, we talk about the practicalities of running a design practice in the region, what the client design relationship looks like and the evolving face of garden design. The interview starts with me asking Xanthe about the beliefs underpinning her practice. 

This series has very kindly been sponsored by the London College of Garden Design.

About Xanthe White:

Xanthe is one of New Zealand’s top landscape designers. Her studio works with clients to design gardens that work for them on a personal level, creating gardeners as well as gardens. Her work is fused throughout with concerns for sustainability, ecosystems and the cultural significance of the spaces she builds. She has won medals at the 2006 and 2011 RHS Chelsea Flower Shows and has also won top awards at the Ellerslie International Flower Show and the Gardening World Cup in Japan.  

What We Discuss:

  • The ethos behind Xanthe White Design
  • What would Xanthe’s ideal client looks like
  • Some of the biggest challenges Xanthe faced as a garden designer in New Zealand
  • Xanthe’s favourite part of the design process
  • Who or what inspires Xanthe right now
  • How Xanthe sees the discipline of garden design evolving over the coming decades

Links:

www.xanthewhitedesign.co.nz 

With thanks to the episode sponsor, the London College of Garden Design.

www.lcgd.org.uk 

Tel +44 (0) 1483 762955

Email info@lcgd.org.uk

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

May 12, 2020
Podcast 59 - Scent Magic with Isabel Bannerman
31:26

This is an interview I did with garden designer and author of the book Scent Magic, Isabel Bannerman. You will deduce from some of the comments in the episode that it was recorded in autumn last year and for one reason or another, I’ve sat on it all that time, never quite sure when to release it. Of course, there are scents in the garden all year round, but when you’re heading towards winter and the scent of a sweet pea flower seems a lifetime away, somehow I couldn’t quite get together the enthusiasm for the subject matter that I felt this episode deserved, especially as scents are such an important thing to me. If you read the book, you will realise these ethereal, ephemeral things make up an integral part of our very being and yet we don’t have a consensus on a vocabulary to even begin to describe them. As the natural world bursts into green and flower around us, stick your nose in the air and have a good sniff.

About Isabel Bannerman:

Alongside Julian Bannerman, Isabel heads up a garden design practice. Together, the couple have designed gardens for HRH The Prince of Wales, clients from the worlds of film and fashion and have won gold medals at RHS Chelsea for their work. Isabel is also an accomplished photographer with 4 solo shows under her belt and is the author of two books, 'Scent Magic’ and ‘Landscape of Dreams’ (2016). 

What We Discuss:

  • The importance of scent to Isabel’s design work. Designing scentscapes.
  • Dreaming scents; why don’t we?
  • Air pollution and its affect on the way scent carries
  • Unexpected or overlooked scents in the garden
  • How aspect affects the way scent travels
  • The faecal smell that sometimes underscores the top notes of flowers
  • Some of Isabel’s favourite scent combinations
  • Combinations that don’t work together

Links:

Scent Magic by Isabel Bannerman - Pimpernel Press, 2019

Isabel & Julian Bannerman Garden Design 

www.howgreennursery.co.uk 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Support me on Patreon

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

May 05, 2020
Podcast 58 - Chasing the Ghost with Peter Marren
31:03

I’m speaking to Peter Marren, author of Chasing the Ghost: My Search for all the Wild Flowers of Britain. Peter travelled the length and breadth of Britain to track down those native species he’d never seen growing in the wild. Like all the best hero’s journeys, the path must be littered with challenges, disappointments, interesting characters, in this case both plants and people and the drama of the journey travelled surpasses the quest. This episode is perfect for those of us lucky enough to still have access to nature and my hope is that by the end of it at least one or two of you will have a new hobby/obsession!

About Peter Marren:

Peter Marren is an all-rounder naturalist, nature writer and conservationist. Peter is the author of many books, including volumes on nature conservation, mushrooms and butterflies. His writing has appeared in every issue of British Wildlife since 1990, where he writes a satirical column ‘Twitcher in the Swamp’. 

What We Discuss:

  • The quest embarked upon in Chasing the Ghost
  • How many species of native wildflower are there in the British Isles? How many did Peter need to see in order to see the ‘full set’?
  • How the book is as much about the people Peter met along the way as it is about plants 
  • Peter's best/most triumphant find
  • Of all the plants Peter saw, which is the most endangered, in his opinion?
  • His most dangerous expedition
  • Plant twitching as a hobby
  • Some of the most interesting common names
  • How could a person embark upon their own plant hunting quest? Where would be a good place to get started?

Links:

Chasing the Ghost: My Search for all the Wild Flowers of Britain - Peter Marren Vintage Publishing, 2019 

Harrap’s Wild Flowers by Simon Harrap - Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018 

Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland by Marjorie Blamey, Richard Fitter, Alastair H. Flitter - Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013

The New Concise British Flora by Rev. W Keble Martin - Sphere Books Ltd, 1972 

www.fertilefibre.com

www.naturalgrower.co.uk 

www.GardenTopsoilDirect.co.uk 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Patreon Link 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Apr 28, 2020
Podcast 57 - Nicole Rose of Solidarity Apothecary
26:28

This week I’m talking to anarchist organiser, agroecologist and grassroots herbalist, Nicole Rose. Nicole runs the Solidarity Apothecary, an organisation supporting mainly prisoners and refugees either by supplying herbal remedies or by facilitating the growing and making of these. We talk about Nicole’s work to help prisoners, refugees and other facing state repression by helping them with their physical and mental wellbeing through a connection to nature.  

About Nicole Rose:

“I’m undertaking a four-year clinical training with The Plant Medicine School in Ireland to develop my skills as a practitioner. This site shares my learning journey as well as the work of my project, the Solidarity Apothecary.

Plants and social struggle have always been inseparable to me. I learnt how to grow food on a 3.5 year prison sentence for a campaign to close down Europe’s largest animal testing company. Inside, it was the plants cracking the concrete that kept me going. On release, I have organised with many collectives and campaigns, from helping organise the first Radical Herbalism Gathering in the UK to stopping fracking in Somerset. I now mostly engage with campaigns against prison expansion and the prison industrial complex, as well as supporting prisoners and people experiencing repression.

As a massive and unashamed plant geek, my main field has been agroecology and food autonomy. 

I started Empty Cages Design in 2011 to offer design consultancy services and community education in liberatory forms of land use, including teaching an annual Vegan Permaculture Design Course. In 2013, I co-founded Feed Avalon, a workers cooperative that works for socially-just and ecologically sound food production in Glastonbury, Street and surrounding villages. We have community gardens, a kitchen, mushroom farm and all sorts of projects! I complimented this grassroots work with studying for a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, as well as a BSc Integrative Ecosocial Design and MSc Applied Agroecology with Gaia University." - https://solidarityapothecary.org/about-nicole/

What We Discuss:

The Solidarity Apothecary and what sparked Nicole to start the project

Who benefits from the herbal remedies Nicole produces? What are some of the most popular remedies?

What are the benefits to prisoners of connecting with nature? How much opportunity do they have to engage with the natural world and healing plants whilst they are in prison?

How the Solidarity Apothecary benefits people outside the prison system

The idea of Queer Ecology

How inaccessible horticulture, ecology and permaculture can seem to LGBTQ+ people. What can be done about this.

Links:

www.solidarityapothecary.org 

Email Nicole Rose info@solidarityapothecary.org

The Prisoner’s Herbal by Nicole Rose

Land In Our Names 

Justice for Kevan 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Patreon Link - Help me keep the podcast free & independent!  

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Apr 21, 2020
Podcast 56 - Invasive Plants with Tomos Jones
33:58

This week I’m speaking to Tomos Jones. Tomos is a PhD student at the University of Reading where he’s currently researching invasive plants. There are 17000 plant species from all over the world currently residing in our gardens here in the UK. A small percentage of these manage to jump the garden fence and survive in the wild and a smaller percentage still become a problem. But although it’s a small percentage that become invasive, anyone who’s done battle with Japanese Knotweed knows they can be a huge problem. Tomos is working to predict which plants may become a problem in the future, using a range of forecasting techniques, coupled with help from gardeners.

This episode is published in support of another of our independent nurseries, Ivy Hatch Plants, who continue to deliver fantastic plants to customers at this time. Please support them! www.ivyhatchplantsupplies.co.uk

About Tomos Jones:

Tomos Jones is a NERC SCENARIO PhD student at the University of Reading and a passionate gardener. His research focuses on the 17,000 plant species - introduced from all over the world - which are found in our gardens. A small number of these ornamental plants have become invasive, having a detrimental impact on native biodiversity. Climate change could provide opportunities for more plants to become a problem. Tomos' challenge is to identify which plants might become our future invaders. Gardeners are crucial to his approach to this challenge; in both their choice of plants to grow and in understanding how ornamental plants can escape gardens and potentially become invasive.

Before starting his PhD, Tomos worked at Treborth Botanic garden in N. Wales. Tomos also completed a British Council internship at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden in Yunnan, China, where he focused on in situ orchid conservation. These are only two of many fantastic gardens he has visited around the world giving him an appreciation of the long history of global horticultural trade, and the risk ornamental plants can pose to native biodiversity.

What We Discuss:

  • What is a native plant and what is a non-native?
  • How many new species of plant do we introduce to the UK each year and of those, how many ‘jump the garden fence’ and become established in the wild? Of those, how many cause an identifiable problem and become invasive? 
  • The definition of an invasive plant
  • Do non-native plants cause problems by occupying a niche that could otherwise be taken up by a native plant?
  • Non-native plants appear to perform OK in terms of providing nectar and pollen sources, but how do they compare to native plants as host plants? 
  • Should there be tighter controls on the importation of plants into the UK?
  • Ornamental plants which might naturalise in the future and why
  • Which ornamental plants have invasive potential, now and under future climate scenarios?
  • Can gardeners be effective in identifying invasive potential early in the invasion process?
  • Will the way we garden will change in the future as a result of threats to our ecosystems, eg less plants imported, a smaller range available, the banning of certain species, etc?

Links:

Tomos Jones's Blog 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Patreon Link - Help me keep the podcast free & independent!  

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Apr 14, 2020
Podcast 55 - Butterflies with Peter Eeles
33:48

This week I’m speaking to butterfly expert Peter Eeles. If you’re interested in encouraging more butterflies into your garden and you’d like to know what plants to grow to encourage them, we discuss how you can be a better gardener for butterflies and it doesn’t stop at growing some buddleia! Peter is the author of the book Life Cycles of British & Irish Butterflies. The book is THE definitive guide to UK butterflies and documents the different life stages from adults down to the smallest eggs.

This episode is supporting Independent UK Nursery Johnson’s Sweet Peas.

What We Discuss:

  • How many British butterfly species are there? How many life stages are documented in the book?
  • What are the chances of us recreating butterfly habitats in our gardens?
  • What are some of the most important host or nectar plants we can include in our gardens?
  • Are butterflies fussy about their food plants? Are some plants better than others?
  • Do any of our butterflies overwinter in the UK or are they all migratory?
  • Do we have any invasive species that force others out?
  • Which species are most able to cope with a loss in habitat? Will we see a proliferation of one or two successful species that are more adaptable?
  • The key period we should avoid cutting back foliage in our gardens/meadows/road verges

Links:

www.ukbutterflies.co.uk

Life Cycles of British & Irish Butterflies - Peter Eeles, NatureBureau 2019

Peter Eeles on Twitter @petereeles 

www.johnsonssweetpeas.co.uk  

Johnson’s Sweet Peas on Twitter @JohnsonsSweetPs 

Johnson’s on Instagram @johnsonssweetpeas 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Patreon Link:

Help me keep the podcast free & independent by subscribing at Patreon!  

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe

Apr 07, 2020
Podcast 54 - Making & Using Natural Dyes with Nicola Mehdi
53:57

This week I’m speaking to Nicola Mehdi who’s been making and using natural dyes using the contents of her own and other people’s gardens and over the years through trial and error, she’s gained a huge amount of knowledge that she’s happy to share. If you’re stuck indoors with little to do, making dyes is a fantastic pastime that you should be able to do using just the contents of your garden or store cupboard. This episode is for anyone looking to learn a new skill or keep children entertained and it will hopefully give you enough pointers to go off and explore natural dyes for yourself. It’s a slightly longer episode than usual, so sit back and like a scoured piece of fabric, soak up the dye of Nicola’s knowledge.

This episode I’m delighted to support independent nursery Ashwood Nurseries, who are still open for mail order and have a stunning range of Lewisias and Primula auriculas looking their best right now. Plus, they have an impressive range of shrubs, trees, conifers, fruit, roses, climbing plants, herbaceous perennials, alpines, heathers, patio and indoor plants. Visit www.ashwoodnurseries.com to browse their range and for cultural information on the plants they grow. 

What We Discuss:

  • How long it takes to make a dye
  • Some common things you might find in your garden that you could use
  • General dyeing processes
  • Different techniques involved in applying the dye to the fabric
  • Which fabrics you can dye
  • Relatively quick and easy projects you can try with children
  • Where you can find out more about making and using natural dyes

Links:

Jean Dean - Wild Colour : How to Make and Use Natural Dyes, Octopus Publishing Group, 2018

The Wild Dyery 

 

Suzanne Dekel on Instagram 

www.traditionaldyeworks.com 

Seasalt Stories 

www.georgeweil.com

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe or support me on Patreon

 

Mar 31, 2020
Podcast 53 - Irreplaceable with Julian Hoffman
33:02

This week’s guest is writer Julian Hoffman and we’re talking about his book Irreplaceable. I read the book a few months back and as you might expect from reading the blurb, it’s about those irreplaceable wild environments and the species we’re in danger of losing. But it’s also about the people who are so deeply connected to the landscapes and the animals they’re battling to save. Julian speaks about why it’s imperative that we stop the destruction of precious landscapes, how we can help at the individual level and why it’s vital to maintain the connection between people and place. 

About Julian Hoffman:

Julian is a writer living in the northwest of Greece, next to the Prespa Lakes. This area is home to a particularly diverse range of people, wildflowers, animals and habitats, making it a rich environment in which to learn about the connections between people the natural world. Julian’s previous book, ‘The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World’; won the 2012 AWP Series for Creative Nonfiction. His fiction and nonfiction work has been widely published; you can find some links below and more on his website. 

What We Discuss:

  • What are we really losing when we lose wild places? 
  • If future generations don’t experience as much biodiversity or wild spaces as we do, does that matter? Will they know what they’re missing if they never have it? 
  • Does it matter if we lose established habitats, such as ancient woodland?  
  • What’s the problem with biodiversity off-setting?
  • How can we reconcile a desire to protect wild spaces with our need to expand, be better/faster/richer?
  • Who’s to say the changes we make to the landscape today won’t contribute to positive developments in the future?
  • Restoration of landscapes versus preservation
  • How can people learn to love landscapes that may not be so easily read or their beauty not quite as apparent?
  • What can we do to help protect threatened landscapes, as individuals?

Links:

www.julian-hoffman.com

Julian’s Blog - Notes from Near and Far

Julian on Twitter 

Irreplaceable : The fight to save our wild places by Julian Hoffman - Penguin Books, 2019

The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World by Julian Hoffman - Georgia Press, 2014

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Patreon Link - Help me keep the podcast free & independent!  

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Mar 24, 2020
Podcast 52 - Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots with Aaron Bertelsen
29:33

This week I’m talking to Aaron Bertelsen about his new book ‘Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots’. Aaron is the resident kitchen gardener at Great Dixter but as with many who work there, he lives and breathes the Great Dixter way of life and works tirelessly to support the house and garden. You may find him harvesting produce in the kitchen garden, serving lunch to guests and students, hosting horticultural royalty in the house or travelling the world to promote Great Dixter.

‘Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots’ is both a practical guide to growing food in containers and a recipe book, providing inspiration for what to do with the abundance of produce you’ll have once you’ve mastered the art. Aaron gives tips on the best fruit for containers, how to avoid flea beetle, what to feed your crops, cooking with lettuce, plus loads of other invaluable advice for those growing their own produce in containers. 

About Aaron Bertelsen:

“Aaron studied Social Anthropology at the University of Otago before coming to England in 1996 to volunteer in the garden at Great Dixter. He subsequently studied for a Diploma in Horticulture at Kew Gardens, and spent two years at Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in Israel, where he is still a trustee. Aaron returned to Great Dixter in 2005 and became the vegetable gardener and cook in 2007. Aaron is regularly invited to speak about gardening at events worldwide. His first book The Great Dixter Cookbook is published by Phaidon and has received international acclaim since its publication in March 2017.” - www.greatdixter.co.uk

What We Discuss:

  • What crops you can grow in containers
  • What crops you can’t
  • The best salad leaf crops
  • Feeding crops in containers
  • The best fruit for containers
  • Growing for aesthetics as well as production
  • Aaron’s top 3 crops (which turned into 4!)

Links:

Aaron’s Blog https://dixtervegetablegarden.wordpress.com

Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots by Aaron Bertelsen - Phaidon, 2020 

The Great Dixter Cookbook by Aaron Bertelsen - Phaidon, 2017

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Patreon Link - Help me keep the podcast free & independent! 

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Mar 17, 2020
Podcast 51 - Mycorrhizal Fungi with Jeff Lowenfels
36:44

This week I’m speaking to Jeff Lowenfels, author of the ‘Teaming With’ series of books, specifically about the latest volume in the series ‘Teaming With Fungi: The Organic Grower’s Guide to Mycorrhizae’. Jeff writes the longest running gardening column in the US, is a former president of the Garden Writers of America and was inducted into the GWA Hall of Fame in 2005. He lectures on organic gardening, has presented a gardening show on television and is the founder of a programme that has resulted in millions pounds of garden produce being donated to the hungry. And gardening is just his side gig. 

I start by asking Jeff what inspired him to write his series of books, which deal with some in-depth scientific concepts around plant growth and nutrition, and also to explain what mycorrhizal fungi actually is.

About Jeff Lowenfels:

Jeff Lowenfels is the author of the ‘Teaming With’ series of books;  ‘Teaming With Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide To The Soil Food Web’, ‘Teaming With Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition’ and ‘Teaming With Fungi: The Organic Grower’s Guide to Mycorrhizae’. 

Jeff writes the longest running gardening column in the US, is a former president of the Garden Writers of America and was inducted into the GWA Hall of Fame in 2005. He lectures on organic gardening and hosted Alaska’s most popular gardening show “Alaska Gardens with Jeff Lowenfels”. He also hosted a weekly radio show. 

He is the founder of a national programme that has resulted in millions pounds of garden produce being donated to the hungry. “Plant A Row For The Hungry” runs across all 50 US states and in Canada and is something Jeff is deeply passionate about.

In his spare time, Jeff is a lawyer. 

What We Discuss:

  • What is mycorrhizal fungi?
  • How does it interact with plant roots and how does it benefit the plant?
  • How does the relationship benefit the fungi?
  • Plants that don’t form symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi
  • How can we encourage mycorrhizal fungi?
  • Do different species of plant need different types of mycorrhizal fungi? Is this particularly important in the case of trees?
  • If we’re buying a proprietary product, how can we be sure it’s appropriate for the plants we’re planting, will contain enough spores and that these will be viable?
  • How can we protect the mycorrhizal fungi that already exist in our soils?

Links:

www.jefflowenfels.com 

Jeff on Twitter @gardenerjeff 

Jeff on Facebook 

Teaming with Nutrients by Jeff Lowenfels - Timber Press, 2003

Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lowenfels, Wayne Lewis - Timber Press, 2010

Teaming with Fungi by Jeff Lowenfels - Timber Press, 2017

 

DIY Autoflowering Cannabis : An Easy Way to Grow Your Own by Jeff Lowenfels - New Society Publishers, 2019

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Patreon - Help me keep the podcast free & independent!  

Or donate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

Mar 10, 2020
Podcast 50 - Sacred Woodlands with Simon Leadbeater
40:53

Hello and welcome to this episode of the podcast. In this episode, I’m talking to ecologist and woodland owner Simon Leadbeater. We talk specifically about whether trees are sacred; spoiler alert, Simon thinks they are and he explains eloquently and convincingly why. He touches on books by authors you may well have already read; The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and Thus Spoke the Plant by Monica Gagliano. However, if you believe trees are sacred and sentient, a problem arises, namely do you have any right to move them, to prune them or even to move amongst them. And it’s questions like these that we touch on in the episode.

About Simon Leadbeater:

Simon has a background in local government and the third sector. He and his wife bought Rector’s Wood in 1999 and have lived there ever since. Simon has published work around the themes or ecology, rewinding and forestry. In his own words, Simon sums up his feelings on woodlands and the right to roam therein;

“I think my essential philosophy is that we lack empathy for nature and particularly her animals, and we no longer venerate nature, in particular we no longer consider trees (and other plants) as sacred. If you have empathy, and wish to act as animals’ proxy, then obviously you will give them space; if you consider trees sacred, then you will wish to look after them with reverent care. The latter would include behaving in a woodland as if you were in a temple or church – our behaviour would be appropriate for such sacred settings.” 

What We Discuss:

  • Simon’s beliefs surrounding the sacredness of trees.
  • What are the historical roots of considering trees to be sacred? How/why have we moved away from this idea? 
  • What makes Simon believe trees are sentient? How does this sentience manifest itself in the everyday lives of trees?
  • What is open access to nature? Why might it be problematic?
  • How do humans rediscover their connection with forests and woodlands?
  • Why is important to consider the feelings of the trees themselves?

Links:

Simon Leadbeater on Twitter 

Simon’s Work:

Leadbeater, S.R.B. (2019), ‘Ancient Roots to Untruths; Unlearning the past and seeing the world anew,’ Quarterly Journal of Forestry,’  January 2019 Vol 113 No.1

Nearby Wild Blog

Leadbeater S (2019) ‘In defence of tears,’ The Ecological Citizen 3(Suppl A): 101–3  

Leadbeater, S.R.B., (2018) ‘Meat: the Alpha and Omega of Extinction,’ ECOS, 39(3)  

Books Simon mentions in the interview:

Wohlleben, P., (2016) The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, Discoveries from a Secret World (2016), Greystone Books 

Gagliano, M., (2018) Thus Spoke the Plant: A Remarkable Journey of Groundbreaking Scientific Discoveries and Personal Encounters with Plants, North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, California

Mathew Hall (2011), Plants as Persons: a Philosophical Botany, State University of New York Press

The Imagination of Plants: A Book of Botanical Mythology (out this year, not yet read – but probably excellent)

Safina, C., (2015), Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, Henry Holt and Co.

Taylor, B., (2010), Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future, University of California Press

Powers, R., (2018) The Overstory, William Heinemann: London

Hill, J., Butterfly, (2000) The Legacy of Luna: the story of a tree, a woman, and the struggle to save the redwoods, HarperCollins Publishers Inc

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Patreon Link Help me keep the podcast free & independent!

Or onate as much or as little as you like at GoFundMe 

 

Mar 03, 2020
Podcast 49 - Garden Sculpture with Victoria Leedham
34:40

This episode I’m speaking to Victoria Leedham, Co-Curator and Gallery Manager of the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden. 

I visited the garden earlier this month and even in winter garb, it was beautiful, set as it is in ancient woodland with streams running through it that pour down from Leith Hill in Surrey. The sculptures in the garden are diverse in character and look stunning within the location,  each one fitting harmoniously into the backdrop of planting and landscape. Victoria is responsible for sourcing and placing sculpture in the garden, alongside owner garden designer Anthony Paul. We spoke about Victoria’s work, about the sculpture garden and also how you can select and place sculptures in your own garden.

This episode I’m speaking to Victoria Leedham, Co-Curator and Gallery Manager of the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden. I visited the garden earlier this month and even in winter garb, it was beautiful, set as it is in ancient woodland with streams running through it that pour down from Leith Hill in Surrey. The sculptures in the garden are diverse in character and look stunning within the location,  each one fitting harmoniously into the backdrop of planting and landscape. Victoria is responsible for sourcing and placing sculpture in the garden, alongside owner garden designer Anthony Paul. We spoke about Victoria’s work, about the sculpture garden and also how you can select and place sculptures in your own garden.

About the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden:

“The Sculpture Garden was the brainchild of owner and original curator Hannah Peschar 36 years ago, and has grown from a handful of sculptures to over 200 pieces exhibited every summer. Artists come from across Britain and Europe to exhibit their work in these breathtaking surroundings, allowing their sculptures to be seen in a whole new way.

The Garden used to be part of a large estate, laid out between 1915 and 1920. Later it was split up and sold in several lots; leaving the 15th Century, grade 2 listed cottage with ten acres of land including a large water and rock garden. The garden fell rapidly into decline after the estate was sold. Over the past 40 years the garden has been redesigned and replanted by award-winning landscape designer Anthony Paul, who has introduced many large-leaved plants in bold groups, tall grasses and created 3 new ponds.

The range of works selected by the curators is wide with styles varying from figurative to highly abstract, innovatively using contemporary metals, wire, glass, ceramics and plastics as well as the more traditional stone, wood and bronze. Each sculpture is placed in a carefully considered and meaningful relationship with the other featured works within the garden. The result is an inspired combination of peaceful, enclosed harmony and dramatic, surprise vistas in an ever-changing environment.

Throughout the 37 year lifetime of the Garden, the overriding theme is the powerful relationship between art and nature. Neither one outshines the other: every piece is placed in harmony with its surrounding to create an amazing synergy within the environment.” - http://www.hannahpescharsculpture.com/about

What We Discuss:

  • The ethos behind the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden
  • Considerations around placing sculpture in the garden, including planting and lighting
  • A discussion of the different materials used and their pros and cons
  • Choosing sculpture for and placing it in your own garden

Links:

Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden www.hannahpescharsculpture.com 

The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden

Black & White Cottage, Standon Lane, Ockley, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 5QR

Telephone: (+44) (0) 1306 627 269 

Email: hannahpescharsculpture@gmail.com

Re-opens for the year from 3rd April 2020 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Patreon Link:

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

GoFundMe gf.me/u/w7sy4c

Feb 25, 2020
Podcast 48 - Design Experts Part 3 with Leon Kluge
29:41

Hello and welcome to this episode of the podcast. This episode is the hotly anticipated Part 3 of the Design Experts series and this week’s guest is South African garden designer Leon Kluge who runs a design practice in Cape Town. I spoke to Leon about his work and the particular set of challenges he faces in South Africa. And let’s just say, you might just think twice the next time you moan about aphids…Leon goes out of his way to source and propagate plants from his local region and he discusses some of the amazing landscapes that surround the area. He also talks about when and where to go if you’re a plant lover and you’re planning a visit to South Africa. 

This series has very kindly been sponsored by the London College of Garden Design.

About Leon Kluge:

“Leon kluge was brought up in the Lowveld botanical gardens,From an early age, Leon has nurtured a great affinity for plants; his grandfather was the curator of the Betty’s Bay Botanical Garden and the Lowveld National Botanical Garden, while his mother owns and runs a renowned wholesale nursery in Nelspruit. 

Leon has been invited to create his unique landscapes throughout the world: being the only landscape designer from Africa that has ever won the Gardening World Cup held in Nagasaki Japan. He has also been awarded best designer at the biggest Garden design event on earth held in the USA, The Philadelphia flower show. Leon is also a multiple Gold award winner at the prestigious Chelsea flower show held in London-UK. He has also been the first designer from Africa to win Gold at the biggest design show in Asia, The Singapore Garden Festival and also the New Zealand International flower show. Some of Leon’s Clients include gardens for Disney ,The United Nations, Hollywood celebrities, and for governments all over the world. Leon also represents Cape Town and Kirstenbosch at the Chelsea flower show yearly. Leon Kluge has become synonymous with modern contemporary landscaping and garden design.” - www.leonkluge.com/about/

What We Discuss:

  • The ethos behind Leon Kluge Design
  • Influences/ Inspiration
  • Options for those who wish to train as garden designers in South Africa
  • The type of projects Leon works on, typical clients
  • The climate in and around Cape Town, the environmental challenges faced
  • The importance of gardens and horticulture in South Africa The challenges gardeners face
  • Sourcing plants, the use of native plants
  • The best time for plant lovers to visit South Africa 

Links:

Leon Kluge Design www.leonkluge.com 

Leon Kluge on Instagram @leonkluge 

With thanks to the episode sponsor, the London College of Garden Design.

www.lcgd.org.uk 

Tel +44 (0) 1483 762955

Email info@lcgd.org.uk

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram @rootsandallpod 

Patreon Link:

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at Patreon

Or GoFundMe 

Feb 18, 2020
Podcast 47 - School Gardening
24:45

This episode I’m joined by 3 guests; Louise Moreton who heads up the horticultural programme at Wicor Primary School and 2 of the MiniHorts themselves, Rebecca and Kieran. Louise set up a horticultural programme at the school 11 years ago, initially in a voluntary capacity. The programme became such a success she’s now employed by the school and works 4 days a week to deliver what has become a vital part of the curriculum. Rebecca and Kieran are Year 6 pupils who are members of the after school gardening club and leads in the MiniHorts programme, passing on their knowledge and enthusiasm to younger pupils. The MiniHorts have been in the media quite a bit, including featuring in an episode of Gardeners’ World in 2017, so they’re seasoned pros at this sort of thing! If you don't have children or children of school age, I think you'll still find this episode interesting and inspiring, it's well worth a listen. 

About Louise, Rebecca and Kieran:

Rebecca and Kieran are two MiniHorts; year 6 pupils who are also in the Wicor after school gardening group.

Louise’s history at Wicor is having worked from volunteer 11 years ago to employed horticulturalist 8 years ago. Her work has grown from a few hours a week to 4 days. She also works as a horticultural consultant alongside her work at the school.

After the school gardens appeared on Gardeners' World, Louise was approached to work for the BBC on the Editorial Review Board for the Gardeners’ World magazine. In January's clippings, she was asked to comment on The Wildlife Trust's recent survey on school gardening, from an angle that’s mentioned in the episode; what is stopping more schools gardening?

What We Discuss:

  • What are the MiniHorts?
  • Objections to school gardens; they’re hard work, rely on volunteers and run to rack and ruin whilst pupils are on holiday. How can you overcome these challenges? 
  • Is horticulture on the curriculum in UK schools? Can more be done to promote horticulture in schools?
  • What are the key factors needed to implement a successful school garden? Parent/community buy-in? Key stakeholder support? External funding?
  • What support is available to people who may be interested in setting up a similar scheme? 
  • Has there been an increase in interest in horticultural careers amongst the children who’ve participated in the MiniHorts programme? 
  • Evidence of measurable positive impacts as a result of involvement in horticulture
  • Particularly uplifting/poignant/heart-warming experiences as a result of being involved in MiniHorts

Links:

Wicor Primary School

Hatherley Cres, Portchester, Fareham PO16 9DL

01329 237412

www.wicor.hants.sch.uk 

Video of the Wicor School Garden at the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show 

MiniHorts on Twitter @minihorts 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall 

Instagram rootsandallpod 

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like - Patreon 

Or GoFundMe 

Feb 11, 2020
Introduction to Forest Gardening
28:49

This episode I’m speaking to Jake Rayson. Jake lives in rural Wales on a 2 acre smallholding, which is set up as a working forest garden. In addition to managing his own plot, he also teaches about and designs forest gardens in the UK and beyond. For a long time, forest gardening was one of those terms I’d heard but I’m not sure I fully understood the principles behind it, partly because the term always struck me as a bit if a misnomer. Essentially, it’s a common-sense and ecologically respectful way of organising a productive garden. Jake is here to explain exactly what it entails and how you can apply the principles in your own garden.

About Jake Rayson:

Jake moved to a West Wales farmhouse in 2015 to pursue his vocation as a forest gardener. In a time of climate emergency, he passionately believes that a productive garden can be sustainable, wildlife-friendly *and* ornamental. He divides his time between forest garden design and teaching, the relentless planting of 3 acres of hillside and his relentless young family.

What We Discuss:

  • What is forest gardening?
  • How much space do you need to practice it? Can anyone do it?
  • What are some common things people struggle with when they’re starting out growing this way or are establishing their first forest garden? What are your top tips for success?
  • Is it possible to be self-sufficient?
  • Top performing plants in a forest garden
  • How long does it take to establish a successful patch from scratch? Does it require a lot by way of maintenance?
  • Essential features in a forest garden
  • Where to find out more about forest gardening

Links:

www.forestgarden.wales 

email hello@forestgarden.wales

Twitter @ForestGdnWales 

Facebook @ForestGardenWales 

Free mini-course 'Make a Forest Garden Plan' 

Further Reading

Creating a Forest Garden by Martin Crawford 

Plants For A Future, online database of useful plants

Orange Pippin fruit directory 

RHS Plant Finder (with native filter) 

Database of Insects and their Food

Backyard Larder and Incredible Vegetables for perennial vegetables 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link:

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

GoFundMe gf.me/u/w7sy4c

Feb 04, 2020
Podcast 45 - Documenting the Natural World
58:47

This episode is a double-bill, featuring two interviewees speaking about two historical figures who led lives with many parallels, although they were working almost two centuries apart.

The first interview is with Teri Sayers-Copper and we discuss the life and work of Marianne North. Marianne was a biologist and botanical artist who journeyed across the world during the Victorian era, documenting the flora and fauna of the countries throughout which she travelled. Marianne explored and painted in every continent except Antartica and was responsible for documenting landscapes that were rapidly changing and disappearing in the wake of a developing world. 

The second part of the interview is with Tanya Latty, Associate Professor of Entomology at the University of Sydney. Tanya talks about Maria Sibylla Merian, a naturalist and scientific illustrator who was born in Germany in 1647. Merian also travelled the globe, meticulously observing and documenting insects and plants. In fact, she was the first to document caterpillar metamorphosis in an age where her contemporaries believed they came about by “spontaneous generation”!

Links:

Teri Sayers-Cooper www.creativeforce.org.uk 

www.mariannenorth.uk

 

The Marianne North Gallery - Royal Botanic Gardens Kew 

Marianne North : The Kew Collection - RBG Kew, 2018

Recollections of a Happy Life: Being the Autobiography of Marianne North 

www.tanyalatty.com 

Hidden women of history: Maria Sibylla Merian, 17th-century entomologist and scientific adventurer - Dr Tanya Latty, The Conversation, February 20 2019

The Woman Who Made Science Beautiful - Andrea Wulf, The Atlantic, January 19 2016.

Video of a talk given at the Linnean Society - A Curious Performance: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Art of Natural History by Kate Heard, Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at Royal Collection Trust 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link:

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

 

 

 

Jan 28, 2020
Podcast 44 - Fergus Garrett on Biodiversity at Great Dixter
29:05

Over the past four or so years, experts from many fields have come together to record the biodiversity at Great Dixter and the results have been fascinating. Fergus shares some of the results of this biodiversity audit and talks about how important it is to establish a coherent network of habitats in both public and private spaces across the UK. 

About Fergus Garrett:

Fergus trained in horticulture at Wye College. He worked for Rosemary Alexander and for Beth Chatto before becoming Head Gardener at Great Dixter in 1992. Fergus worked closely with Christopher Lloyd until Christopher’s death in 2006. Since then he has become Chief Executive of the Great Dixter Charitable Trust. Fergus continues to work full-time in the garden alongside a dynamic team of gardeners and students. He also writes for many publications and lectures extensively across the world. In 2019, he was awarded the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour. 

What we talk about:

  • The decision to commission the Biodiversity Audit of Great Dixter
  • The findings of the audit
  • Biodiversity hotspots 
  • How the ornamental areas compare to wilder areas such as the meadows and woodland
  • Thoughts about how the research that’s underway at Great Dixter can be developed and how it can beneficially inform the way we all garden
  • The importance of preserving historic houses and gardens from a biodiversity perspective

Links:

Great Dixter House & Gardens www.greatdixter.co.uk

Great Dixter Biodiversity Report

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link:

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

 

Jan 21, 2020
Podcast 43 - Pruning Roses with Richard Stubbs of David Austin
31:26

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast. This week I’m speaking to Richard Stubbs who currently works as the Trade Manager at David Austin but who’s worked in pretty much every department there, including as the Head Gardener of the 2 acre show garden. Richard lectures, designs and advises all over the world and what he doesn’t know about roses you can write on the back of a stamp and still have room to lick it. I asked him about which roses need pruning and which don’t, when to do it, how to do it and how not to do it. Plus, I got some inside information on why you shouldn’t leave the label on a rose when you plant it.

About Richard Stubbs:

“My interest in gardening stretches back to my childhood as my dad was very knowledgeable and worked in the trade for a number of years after the War.

My original intention was to go to college when I left school but due to the poor economy at the time I found myself working for a bank !!!

After nearly 15 years I found myself out of work and decided a change of career was the right way to go. As I lived in the village of Albrighton the local unemployment office suggested I went to see David Austin Roses to see if they would consider me under a special Government Scheme at the time.

After a quick interview with Michael Marriott the then Nursery Manager I was taken on, on a temporary basis. My first job was to walk through a field full of 900,000 new plants picking up the tops of the rootstocks that had been chopped off to allow the actual varieties to grow on.

I loved the place from day one and still do to this day, it’s a family business and everyone who work there is treated very much as members of their family.

I was very keen to learn and obtained a copy of Mr Austin’s first book ‘The Heritage of the Rose’ which I found fascinating, and my passion for roses quickly grew. Over the years I have worked in almost all the departments, the breeding section, producing 100’s of thousands of seedlings each year and helping them test possible new varieties for various attributes, the production department, growing the roses, lifting them from the fields and packing them up to send to our customers, and for many years the head gardener of the 2 acre show garden. The garden was my passion and I became almost obsessive about it trying to make sure it was kept to a very high standard (not easy with only one person to look after nearly 5000 roses of all different shapes and sizes). I loved working and listening to Mr Austin on a daily basis and the memories of this time will live for ever.

After a short break to look after people’s gardens in the area I started back at DAR but this time in the office, passing on my knowledge to our customers and processing orders. That was nearly 15 years ago now and I have had various positions in the offices including office manager. My main role now is to look after all our trade customers (apart from Garden Centres), so Local Councils, National Trust, large public estates, garden designers and landscapers. I am also responsible for staff technical training and one of my favourite jobs is designing rose gardens for either private or trade customers. These can range from a simple small border right up to very large park projects. Mostly it is just advising on what roses to plant where but sometimes you are given a completely blank canvas to work on and I always think it is a wonderful job to be able to create a beautiful rose garden for people to enjoy over many years from a blank space. I also visit gardens in the UK and abroad to advise and my favourite rose garden of all is a garden we created 10 years ago in Assisi Italy and I hold pruning courses there every February.

I am very, very passionate about roses and love to share this passion with whoever is willing to listen !!! This is one of the main reason I started The Magnificent Rose group on Facebook along with my wife so people with the same passion could share their pictures and their knowledge with likeminded people all over the world. I also have my own photography page RICMAY PHOTOGRAPHY as I am a keen amateur and love taking flowers and landscapes with my DSLR.”

What we talk about:

  • A brief overview of the various types of roses we might find in our gardens
  • Roses that don’t need pruning
  • When to prune
  • The key tenets of rose pruning aka the 3 D’s.
  • Different types of pruning for different types of roses
  • What can go wrong?
  • What would happen if you didn’t prune your rose?
  • Pruning hygiene and good practice 
  • Common mistakes

Links:

David Austin Roses www.davidaustinroses.co.uk 

Richard’s Photography Site 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link:

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

Jan 14, 2020
Podcast 42 - Wildfires with Saul Elbein
34:17

The National Geographic published an article by Saul on December 9th titled “How to live with mega-fires? Portugal’s feral forests may hold the secret”, which provides an insight into what conditions are needed for mega-fires to occur, the effects they have on humans once they take hold and how we can, and indeed must, be responsible for curtailing these events in the future, however the way forward is not certain and will undoubtedly involve a large amount of individual responsibility. I began by asking Saul just how much of a problem forest fires are becoming across the globe.

About Saul Elbein:

Saul is a freelance journalist who writes non-fiction features for outlets such as The New York Times Magazine, the National Geographic and one that some listeners may be fans of, the radio program and podcast, This American Life. He writes articles about the environment and the complex and often tense relationship between people and the land.

“Above all, my work is guided by one idea: the world is changing for all of us alike. Vast storm fronts sweep across it, bending down forests in their wake, shaking boulders from the mountains. We can see the outlines of faraway storms before they reach our homes. In my small way, as a Texan far from home, I try to chart these storms and find a logic in them.” - Saul Elbein www.saulelbein.com

What we talk about:

Are forest fires getting worse globally?

What areas are most at risk

How more densely planted areas can actually be more susceptible to wildfires

How have the ways communities are structured contributed to the problem?

Do people realise the extent of the problem?

What is being done to tackle the problem in Portugal and is it enough?

What should/could be done?

Is there a danger communities are waiting for someone in power to do something when we all need to take back management of our lands, which involves a cost to the individual, at least in terms of time?

Is there a danger knowledge of land management is dying out?

Links:

Website: www.saulelbein.com 

National Geographic - How to live with mega-fires? Portugal’s feral forests may hold the secret - by Saul Elbein Dec 9th 2019 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link:

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

Jan 07, 2020
Podcast 41 - Kim Wilkie - Led By the Land
30:27

Part 2 of the Design Experts Series, kindly sponsored by the London College of Garden Design

My guest for this episode is Kim Wilkie. Kim grew up in the Malaysian jungle and the Iraqi desert, before moving to England to attend school. He is a prolific landscape architect who works on large-scale projects in the UK and internationally, in both public and private spaces. He works on a scale that is beyond the experience of many, if not most designers, for example, designing the green spaces around an entire new city in Oman or his 100 year Thames Landscape Strategy that encompasses the land along the river Thames from Richmond to Kew. 

Arguably, it’s necessary on any project to tie together the culture, history, geology, the people, the place but never is it more important to get this right on projects of this scale where human experience is being shaped through what happens in the landscape on a huge scale and will be for generations to come. Kim’s book Led by the Land explores just that, how he is led by the land through every part of his design process.

About Kim Wilkie:

“After 25 years of running his own practice, Kim now works as a strategic and conceptual landscape consultant. He collaborates with architects and landscape architects around the world and combines designing with the muddy practicalities of running a small farm in Hampshire, where he is now based.

Kim studied history at Oxford and landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, before setting up his landscape studio in London in 1989. He continues to teach and lecture in America; writes optimistically about land and place from Hampshire; and meddles in various national committees on landscape and environmental policy in the UK.

Current projects are focused on regenerative farming combined with human settlement, both in England and North America.” - www.kimwilkie.com

What we talk about:

  • Keeping landscapes in a state of adolescence
  • Kim’s projects in Solovki and Transylvania. How modern ways of living seem so incompatible with bygone ways where people lived in harmony with the land and with the other species that occur within that landscape. Can we successfully have it all i.e. have a life where all the component parts work together in a mutually beneficial way or is it one compromise after another when we try to modernise?
  • An overview of the Thames Landscape Strategy
  • Kim’s work at the Natural History Museum and how Kim sees urban green spaces performing as natural resources get more squeezed and our climate changes
  • Kim’s Chelsea Barracks design, incorporating a vegetable garden. Who looks after the vegetable garden, who can harvest the produce and where would the produce be used or sold?
  • Landforms 
  • The need to reconcile areas of high maintenance turf with wildlife gardening
  • Is it the job of the designer to impose their artistry on a project or to channel the views of the stakeholders? Or both?
  • Are gardens art? If they are, does this mean we can sacrifice the environment when creating them so as not to compromise our artistic freedom? If so, where do we draw the line, should we draw a line in terms of materials used, the ecological impact and so on?

Links:

Website: www.kimwilkie.com 

Led by The Land - Kim Wilkie, Updated, expanded and reissued by Pimpernel Press, 2019

With thanks to the episode sponsor, the London College of Garden Design

www.lcgd.org.uk 

Tel +44 (0) 1483 762955

Email info@lcgd.org.uk

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link;

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 17, 2019
Podcast 40 - Robin Snowdon of Limeburn Hill Biodynamic Vineyard
36:48

This week, I’m speaking to Robin Snowdon who runs Limeburn Hill Biodynamic Vineyard. The vineyard is biodynamic and Robin works closely with the land, managing the estate not just for the vines but also for native flora and fauna. He also uses fascinating methods to produce unique wines that encapsulate the flavour and essence of the site. Robin gives an excellent insight into what can happen when you grow crops in tune with your site, rather than fighting against it. 

About Robin Snowdon:

Robin Snowdon and Georgina Harvey planted Limeburn Hill Biodynamic Vineyard in 2015, and Robin now works full time managing the vineyard and making the wine. The vineyard has been run following biodynamic practices from the beginning and this helps create both vineyard and wines that are full of character, identity and with a strong sense of place. More than half of the vineyard area is managed purely as habitat for native flora and fauna, and all wines are natural and fermented using only wild yeast from the vineyard. As part of his commitment to the land and his interest in the spiritual aspect of farming, Robin is also training to become a Druid.

What we talk about:

  • How Robin manages the vineyard and what they produce from Limeburn Hill?
  • How the vineyard is biodynamic? What does this involve?
  • What made Robin decide biodynamic growing was the best way to manage his vineyard?
  • Is there evidence that biodynamic growing produces better crops, higher yields and so on?
  • Robin’s salutogenic approach to growing. The anti-fungal and anti-mildew sprays he uses on his vines
  • The terroir and why the wines wouldn’t taste the same if they were grown anywhere else

Links:

Website:  www.limeburnhillvineyard.co.uk

Instagram: limeburnhill

Twitter: @limeburnhill 

For more details on Biodynamics have a look at the Biodynamic Association UK website

https://www.biodynamic.org.uk

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link;

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Dec 10, 2019
Bonus Episode - Plant Passports & New DEFRA Legislation
35:33

This is a bonus episode and a follow-up to one I did back in April with Graham, where he spoke about new DEFRA Legislation that comes into effect on Dec 14th 2019. 

This episode will be relevant if you buy, sell or supply plant material (including plants, cut flowers, bulbs, Christmas trees and so on) in the UK. As you listen, you'll discover that there are no clear-cut answers as to what exactly the new legislation means as it seems very much up in the air, especially for small scale and independent nurseries. 

I will aim to keep you abreast of the situation, but for now, here's Graham's take on how the industry may be affected.

Links:

Plantbase Nursery www.plantbase.co.uk 

Plantbase on Twitter https://twitter.com/Plantbaseuk

Plantbase on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/plantbase

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link;

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

Dec 04, 2019
Podcast 39 - Edimentals with Stephen Barstow
45:50

Stephen grows a dazzling range of plants, some you probably haven’t even heard of, let alone eaten and more still that you may have heard of but may not have considered to be edible. 

Stephen’s book Around the World in 80 Plants looks at perennial, leafy plants from around the globe that play a big part in the diet of those living where these plants naturally occur in abundance. He’s grown and studied these in his garden in Norway and selected varieties for taste, growth performance and for nutritional, ornamental and entomological value. that please the eye, work from a maintenance perspective and can evolve successfully over time. We talk about what he grows in his garden, his passion for onions, his book and some of the varieties mentioned therein. 

About Stephen Barstow:

“Stephen Barstow has devoted 30 years to trialling the world’s perennial vegetables. It is unlikely that anyone anywhere has tried as many different species of edible plants – just witness his salad comprising 538 varieties in 2003 – earning him the title of ‘Extreme Salad Man’!

Stephen grew interested in green issues whilst studying in Norwich. He began eating whole-foods baking bread and learning the names of birds and plants. He became vegetarian when studying in Edinburgh and began a vegetable patch at his landlords flat. He was even sold with the building to the new owner as a lodger/gardener. In 1981 Stephen moved to Norway for work and found vegetarianism was only a small underground movement and that supermarkets stocked little vegetables. To survive they grew their own, and now Stephen has a garden that takes over two days to tour and 2,000 or so edibles, each with their own ethnobotanical story to tell.” - Permanent Publications

What we talk about:

  • Stephen’s book and how he came to write it,  plans to release further editions that go beyond leafy veg? 
  • Advice for interested in growing edimentals, where to source seeds or plants, in the UK and internationally?
  • If you’re ‘blessed’ with Japanese knotweed, what can you with it?
  • How to carry out blanching to improve flavour
  • How onions propagate themselves? Stephen’s favourite ornamental edible onion?
  • If it’s possible to be self-sufficient in ornamental veg all year round? How much space would you need? 
  • How vital is it that we use our gardens to at least supplement our diets? 
  • Other good resources for those interested in Edimentals

Links:

Stephen’s Blog - Edimentals! 

Around the World in 80 Plants: An Edible Perennial Vegetable Adventure For Temperate Climates by Stephen Barstow - Permanent Publications, 2014 

Stephen Barstow on Twitter https://twitter.com/s_barstow

Edimentals Group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/273637002647408/

Edulis Nursery www.edulis.co.uk 

Incredible Vegetables www.incrediblevegetables.co.uk

Cool Temperate Nursery www.cooltemperate.co.uk

 

Edgewood Nursery edgewood-nursery.com 

Eric Toensmeier www.perennialsolutions.org

 

Plants for a Future - Online Database 

Cornucopia II: A Source Book of Edible Plants by Stephen Facciola 

With thanks to Jackie Currie, National Collection Holder of Alliums and Jake Rayson - www.forestgarden.wales 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link;

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

 

 

Dec 03, 2019
Bonus: A Review of the Podcast So Far
10:36

A warm welcome to new listeners and to those existing listeners who haven't quite got to grips with my wonky episode numbering system - this episode is for you! 

Join me for a quick whizz through all the previous content. I've split it into areas of interest (sort of!) to help you navigate easily through the back catalogue and discover episodes you may have missed. 

Thanks for listening.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link;

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

 

Nov 27, 2019
EP 38: Planting in a Post-Wild World with Thomas Rainer
33:48

Part One: The Design Experts Series - Sponsored by The London College of Garden Design 

This episode features Thomas Rainer, Principal Designer at Phyto Studio in Virginia and co-author of the book Planting In A Post-Wild World. Thomas’s approach to design pays particular attention to establishing new plant communities, especially within urban and suburban environments, where the native flora and fauna has effectively been pushed out. Concentrating on plant selections that work alongside each other and also with the site, Thomas introduces green spaces that please the eye, work from a maintenance perspective and can evolve successfully over time.

About Thomas Rainer:

Thomas is a leading voice internationally in ecological landscape design. He co-authored the book ‘Planting In A Post-Wild World’ in 2015 and has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden.

Thomas is Principal Designer at Phyto Studio and works alongside Melissa Rainer and Claudia West. Phyto Studio was created “to bring clients both customized, technical expertise in plant community ecology as well as an artistic vision of the possibilities of gardens with emotional depth.” He lectures internationally and teaches planting design on the George Washington University Landscape Design program.

What we talk about:

  • Wild landscapes - accepting that we can’t turn back the clock to a bygone era and what this means for designers and gardeners going forward
  • Planting in urban and suburban landscapes versus rural areas?
  • Thomas’s 3 archetypes for the purposes of categorising planting and landscapes
  • If there's a danger, especially in public spaces, that people come to accept edited versions of nature as the correct way ‘natural’ spaces should look and therefore become less tolerant of wilder, transitional, unkempt spaces?
  • The issue of ongoing, skilled maintenance
  • The future of built landscape design 

Links:

Tickets to the Thomas Rainer Masterclass at Regent’s College, London on 18th January 2020  

Email: gillian@gilliangoodson.com

Phyto Studio www.phytostudio.com 

Planting in a Post-Wild World - Thomas Rainer & Claudia West, Timber Press 2015

With thanks to the episode sponsor, the London College of Garden Design

www.lcgd.org.uk 

Tel +44 (0) 1483 762955

Email info@lcgd.org.uk

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link;

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

 

Nov 26, 2019
EP 37: Beth Chatto: A Life With Plants with Catherine Horwood
30:15

This week I’m talking to Catherine Horwood, authorised biographer of Beth Chatto and author of the recently released Beth Chatto: A Life With Plants. Catherine was hugely privileged to be given access to Beth’s personal diaries and I’m sure there are lots more stories she could tell you about Beth that didn’t make it into the book, but the snippets of Beth’s journals and the biographical information that are in the book paint a wonderful picture of Beth as a wife, a mother, an employer, a gardener and as the RHS crowned her this year an “Iconic Horticultural Hero”.

About Catherine Horwood:

Catherine is a freelance author and journalist and is the authorised biographer of Beth Chatto. As well as writing the recently released Beth Chatto: A Life With Plants, Catherine has written Rose (Reaktion, 2018) Gardening Women: Their Stories from 1600 to the Present (Virago, 2010) and contributes articles to Gardens Illustrated, The English Garden and several national newspapers.

What we talk about:

  • Her early career in flower arranging
  • How she changed to fit in with the socials circles she found herself moving in
  • The move to White Barn House
  • Her friendship with Christopher Lloyd
  • The inspiration for the gravel garden
  • Her awards and the recognition she gained worldwide
  • Her legacy, the future of the nursery and the Beth Chatto Education Trust

Links:

Beth Chatto: A Life With Plants - Catherine Horwood, Pimpernel Press, 2019 

Catherine Horwood www.catherinehorwood.com 

The Beth Chatto Gardens www.bethchatto.co.uk 

The Beth Chatto Nursery 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link;

Help me keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Nov 19, 2019
EP 36: Apples with Naomi Slade & Sassie Yassamee
36:26

This episode we’re discussing apples and I have TWO guests; Naomi Slade who is the author of An Orchard Odyssey and Sassie Yassamee who runs Eve Apple Press, a mobile apple pressing service in East Sussex. We’re just harvesting the last of our apples here in Sussex, so with the tastes and sights of varieties fresh in your mind, what better time to start planning your own orchard? 

Naomi’s book, An Orchard Odyssey runs through the practicalities of growing apples, but the focus of our chat is the ways in which we use our apples and our trees as both ornamental and edible additions to our own gardens, particularly from a design perspective. We also chat about how to reconsider how we view orchards and how we can use them within our communities. 

Which leads nicely on to my interview with Sassie Yassamee, who runs Eve Apple Press in Hastings in East Sussex. Sassie run a mobile apple pressing service, which helps people conveniently and productively deal with their crops and provides an ingenious solution to gluts and food waste. 

What I cover with Naomi:

  • The definition of an orchard
  • Historical orchards
  • Our changing relationship with orchards
  • The tale of Johnny Appleseed
  • Fruit trees for wildlife
  • Designing & underplanting orchards

What I cover with Sassie:

  • About mobile apple pressing
  • Which varieties you can use
  • Preserving the juice

Links:

Naomi Slade www.naomislade.com 

An Orchard Odyssey - Naomi Slade, Green Books, 2016

Naomi on Twitter @NaomiSlade 

Naomi on Instagram @naomisladegardening 

Eve Apple Press www.eveapplepress.co.uk

Eve Apple Press on Facebook 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Nov 12, 2019
EP 35 - Soil with Tim O’Hare
37:04

This episode, I’m talking about one of the fundamental cornerstones that underpins everything we do as growers - soil. And to talk about this vital element, who better than soil scientist and international expert on the subject, Tim O’Hare? Tim is the principal consultant of Tim O’Hare Associates and works on a wide variety of domestic and commercial projects, both in the UK and abroad.

Tim answers questions about issues that most gardeners have faced at some point; soil compaction, poor drainage, working with the soil you have and what to look out for if you’re bringing new soil in to your garden. As well as possessing phenomenal knowledge on the subject, Tim explains things in clear and simple language and you will enjoy this episode whatever your level of gardening expertise. 

About Tim O’Hare

Tim is the principal consultant of Tim O’Hare Associates, a leading independent soil science practice that provides soil investigation, testing and consultancy services to the landscape industry. He has been a Soil Scientist for over 20 years, working on anything from domestic garden projects to major construction developments.  Tim and his team have worked on a wide variety of assignments throughout the UK and internationally, including the London Olympic Park and Commonwealth Park in Gibraltar. They also test and approve many of the topsoil and subsoil products that are sold into the landscape market nationwide.  

Earlier this year Tim was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Kew Guild (Association of Alumni of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew) for his “outstanding contribution to the environment”.

We discuss:

  • Common problems with soil management
  • Storing and moving soil during building works
  • Soil compaction
  • Wet soils
  • Ways to combat poorly draining soils
  • Bringing life into new or damaged soils
  • The impacts of transporting soil into and away from a site
  • What to look for when you’re buying soil
  • Soil contamination
  • Tim’s more challenging/unusual work
  • Soil erosion and the shape of our future food production

Links:

Tim O’Hare Associates - Soil & Landscape Consultancy www.timohare-associates.com 

London Olympic Park www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Nov 05, 2019
Bats in Our Cities & Gardens with Jo Ferguson of the Bat Conservation Trust
35:32

This week, I’m speaking to Jo Ferguson and we’re talking about bats. As with most of our wildlife, population trends show a decline in bats in the UK in recent times. Loss of habitat, human activities including nighttime lighting and construction and lack of food are all contributing factors.  If you’re listening to the Roots and All podcast, in all probability you’re a conscientious gardener who wants to improve the natural landscape, not just for humans but for all species. In this episode, Jo talks about what bats need in order to thrive and how we can make small changes that will make big contributions to our bat populations.

 

About Joanna Ferguson BSc MCIEEM:

Jo has worked for the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) for the last 4.5 years as the Built Environment Officer before becoming the Built Environment Manager in early 2019. Prior to starting at BCT she had been involved with bat conservation in a voluntary and professional capacity for over 16 years. Jo’s more recent professional experience is as an ecological consultant specialising in urban bat ecology; providing surveys, mitigation and enhancement advice covering a range of development projects, including residential, commercial and transport. She also has extensive experience in scientific research, working for the Australian Research centre for Urban Ecology and Earthwatch in Melbourne. Jo is a Full Member of CIEEM, a Volunteer Bat Roost Visitor and London Bat Group Member.

 

We discuss:

  • Where bats live
  • How many species of bat are there in Britain and some of the most common ones we’re likely to see in our gardens
  • The biggest challenges facing bats at the moment
  • How we can help our bat populations
  • Will they get caught in our hair or give us rabies?

 

Links:

Bat Conservation Trust www.bats.org.uk https://www.bats.org.uk/

National Bat Helpline 0345 1300 228

Leaflet on helping create a great environment for bats, including which plants to include in our gardens https://cdn.bats.org.uk/pdf/Resources/Stars_of_the_Night.pdf?mtime=20181101151554

Bat 1K Genome project mapping bats DNA:

‘Imagine uncovering the secret of longer health-spans, flight, echolocation and disease resistance hidden in the bat genome.’ https://bat1k.ucd.ie/

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Facebook @rootsandalluk

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Oct 29, 2019
EP 34 - Edible Mushrooms with Geoff Dann
29:02

This week, Sarah is talking with Geoff Dann. Geoff is a Hastings based forager with a vast and by the sounds of it, pretty unique understanding of the mushrooms that grow in our landscape. He’s also the author of Edible Mushrooms.

Geoff is a pioneer because many of the mushrooms in his book were not classified as edible and he’s taken on the role of a well-informed and cautious taster, but nonetheless has been a human guinea pig in many instances! As he mentions, his book is without parallel in terms of classifying the edibility of our mushrooms and is the bible for foragers.

 

They discuss:

  • Why we’re a nation of mycophobes here in the UK
  • How to get started with mushroom foraging
  • Mushroom habitats
  • Beginner levels edible mushrooms
  • Mushrooms to watch out for

 

 Links 

Geoff’s website www.geoffdann.co.uk 

Edible Mushrooms by Geoff Dann, published by Green Books, 2016 

Natural Bushcraft Forum www.naturalbushcraft.co.uk 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Oct 22, 2019
Garden BirdWatch with Kate Risely of BTO
34:32

This week, I’m talking garden birds with Kate Risely, Garden BirdWatch Organiser at the British Trust for Ornithology. Kate talks us through the trends that have occurred in our garden bird populations over the past 40 years, what and when to feed them, diseases that are on the rise and how you can attract more birds in your garden. Plus, Kate answers my question; are magpies vandals, living off the fat of our songbirds?

About Kate:

Kate leads the BTO's Garden Ecology team and co-ordinates the programme of garden ecology surveys and research, within the Communications department.

Kate has overall responsibility for running for Garden BirdWatch, a 'citizen science' project where volunteers record birds and other taxa using their gardens on a weekly, year-round basis, as well as additional garden-based surveys. Kate is interested in the research and conservation applications of our garden wildlife data.

We discuss:

  • The BTO Garden BirdWatch & how you can take part
  • Why the data collected through the Garden BirdWatch is so important
  • Trends around garden birds over the last 40 years
  • When and what to feed your garden birds
  • Diseases in garden birds
  • How to attract more birds to your garden

Links:

British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU

Tel: 01842 750050

Garden BirdWatch www.bto.org/gbw

Garden Wildlife Health: https://www.gardenwildlifehealth.org/

Feeding affecting bird communities: https://www.bto.org/our-science/publications/peer-reviewed-papers/composition-british-bird-communities-associated-long

Blackcaps: https://www.bto.org/our-science/publications/peer-reviewed-papers/supplementary-feeding-gardens-driver-evolutionary

Disease risks of bird feeding: https://www.bto.org/our-science/publications/peer-reviewed-papers/health-hazards-wild-birds-and-risk-factors-associated

Greenfinch declines due to disease: https://www.bto.org/our-science/publications/peer-reviewed-papers/emergence-and-spread-finch-trichomonosis-british-isles

Predator effects on bird populations: https://www.bto.org/our-science/publications/peer-reviewed-papers/population-change-avian-predators-and-grey-squirrels

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Facebook @rootsandalluk

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Oct 15, 2019
EP 33 - Peonies with Alec White of Primrose Hall Peonies
28:53

This week, Sarah is talking Peonies with Alec White of Primrose Hall Peonies. If you attended this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, you probably saw the amazing, gold-winning stand Alec put together in the floral marquee - it was the one with the bath, peonies spilling everywhere and the semi-nude model painted all over with peonies. It certainly caused a stir and rightly so, because it was stunning.

Sarah was delighted to chat to Alec because, frankly, she has a chequered past with peonies. Under discussion are problems such as peony wilt and peonies that don’t flower. Alec also talks about the different types of peonies and debunks myths such as peonies can't be moved. Sarah asks expert-grower Alec how to get the best out of your peonies and if you're planning to add some to your garden or want to troubleshoot any problems you have, this is an episode not to be missed. 

 

They discuss:

  • The 3 main types of peony
  • Peony wilt
  • Moving, dividing, deadheading and feeding
  • The reasons your peony may not be flowering
  • Pruning tree peonies
  • Growing peonies in containers
  • Growing peonies from seed

 

 Links 

Primrose Hall Peonies www.primrosehallpeonies.co.uk 

On Twitter @primrosehalluk 

On Instagram @primrosehalluk 

On Facebook Primrose Hall Nursery

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

 

Oct 08, 2019
Public Green Spaces with Neil Sinden
27:35

Just how free are we to walk around our cities and countryside? Who owns our parks and public spaces and who makes the decision what you can and can’t do in them and when they can be closed for ticketed events? What can you do to make sure our green spaces stay open and accessible to all?

These are all questions I asked Neil Sinden, the Director of the London branch of the CPRE (Campaign for Rural England). I’d seen mention of the Urban Right to Roam, which piqued my interest and made me wonder about how much freedom we do have to roam across our cities and indeed our countryside. I had always assumed we had inalienable rights across public land but it seems it’s not as clear cut as I thought. 

As Neil mentions in the interview, 2.6million people in the UK live more than a 10 minute walk from a green space. That’s hugely important as our country becomes more urbanised and it’s important if, for you, your local green space is your only garden.

 

We talk about:

  • The CPRE and why it’s needed, even in towns and large cities like London  
  • The Urban Right to Roam
  • Rights of Way
  • Privately owned public spaces
  • Protecting and improving our green spaces

 

Links 

www.cprelondon.org.uk  

www.lfgn.org.uk

Go Parks London

How to register an unrecorded Historic Right of Way 

Blog post by Groundsure about the implications for our Historic Rights of Way of a 2026 deadline to register them by. 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

Facebook @rootsandalluk

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Oct 01, 2019
EP 32 - A New Garden Ethic with Benjamin Vogt
31:57

A New Garden Ethic with Benjamin Vogt

 

Sarah talks to garden designer and author Benjamin Vogt about his book A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future. Benjamin writes in his book how it’s imperative that we take up a new style of gardening, a new garden ethic, and that we do so fast. Benjamin explains what it means for him to garden with every species in mind and what happens when we separate ourselves from the rest of our garden’s community. 

Benjamin Vogt runs Monarch Gardens, a prairie garden design practice. His own garden was named a top outdoor space of 2012 by Apartment Therapy and has been featured in Fine Gardening, Garden Design, Nebraska Life, the Omaha World Herald, the Lincoln Journal Star, and on KOLN (Lincoln's CBS affiliate).  

Benjamin wrote an award-winning garden column for Houzz for five years and has contributed to books such as Lawn Gone! and Pollinator Friendly Gardening. His book A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future was published in 2017 by New Society Publishers. 

 

 We talk about:

 

  • What is A New Garden Ethic
  • Why it’s important that we feel part of the entire community that’s specific to where we live
  • The effects of a disconnect from nature
  • Benjamin’s definition of native plants
  • Benjamin’s design work and plant palette 
  • Objections to using native plants

 

Links 

 

Benjamin Vogt - Monarch Gardens www.monarchgard.com 

Benjamin on Twitter @BRVogt 

A New Garden Ethic:Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future by Benjamin Vogt (2017) 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

 

Sep 24, 2019
Psychoactive Plants of the Amazon forest with Dr Glenn H Shepard
32:50

Dr Glenn H Shepard is an ethnobotanist, medical anthropologist and film maker whose work focuses on the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. He speaks eleven languages and has done fieldwork with diverse native groups in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East researching shamanism, medicinal plants, and traditional environmental knowledge. His work features in the documentary Spirits of the Rainforest

We talk about:

- Glenn’s work with the indigenous people of the Amazon forest

- Biopiracy

- Medicinal/Psychoactive plants, in particular ayahuasca 

- How psychoactive plants may be used in the West vs the countries they originate from

- The ecological and legal consequences of exporting psychoactive plants

- The fires in the Amazon forest

 

Links 

Dr Glenn H Shepard Jr Blog - Notes from the Ethnoground 

Glenn on Twitter @tweettropiques 

Spirits of the Rainforest Documentary 

The Ethnobotanical Assembly www.tea-assembly.com

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Sep 17, 2019
EP 31 - Edible Flowers with Jan Billington
34:07

In this episode, I’m speaking to Jan Billington of Maddocks Farm Organics, a flower farm in Devon growing and selling organic edible flowers. We talk about the easiest and tastiest flowers you can grow, colour trends, some more unusual edible flowers and how you can use edible flowers for your own special event. The episode starts with Jan telling us about her farm and why she feels her business needs to give something back. 

 

What We Discuss:

  • Where to source edible flowers and what to look out for
  • Using them in a variety of ways
  • Flowers you can grow yourself
  • Flowers for insects
  • Colour trends
  • Unusual flowers

 

Links

Maddocks Farm Organics - www.maddocksfarmorganics.co.uk

The Scented Kitchen: Cooking with Flowers by Frances Bissell 

Botanical Baking : Contemporary baking and cake decorating with edible flowers and herbs by Juliet Sear

Jekka’s Herb Cookbook by Jekka McVicar 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Sep 10, 2019
Plants As Art with Alyson Mowat
27:53

Alyson Mowat runs her studio out of Shoreditch in London and has been creating botanical masterpieces for the past 5 years. She works with indoor and outdoor plants to make visually stunning green displays and specialises in terrariums, jarrariums, aquascapes and kokedama to stage plants in unique ways. 

We talk about using plants to create visual statements, finding sources of inspiration and how you can try some of these techniques for yourself. For more information about Alyson, please check out her website www.alysonmowat.com and her book Terrariums and Kokedama 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Sep 03, 2019
EP 30 - Growing Orchids In Your Garden with Dr Wilson Wall
22:40

This week I’m speaking to Dr Wilson Wall of Bewdley Orchids. Dr Wall is also the co-author of How to Grow Native Orchids in Gardens Large and Small and is a foremost expert on UK native orchids. In this episode, he talks about growing orchids in lawns, borders, containers…they’re much more versatile than you might expect! Not only are they beautiful and versatile, if you grow them, you’ll be doing your bit to conserve these plants as their numbers in the wild diminish.

 

About Dr Wilson Wall

Wilson Wall is the Director of Bewdley Orchids, provider of native British orchids for individuals and groups to grow in their garden or meadow. Elected Fellow of the Institute of Biology (now the Royal Society of Biology) and Chartered Biologist, Wilson has a PhD in genetics and a long interest in growing orchids from seed. He has written several books before, of both single and joint authorship and was editor of The Clematis, journal of the British Clematis Society.

 

What We Cover:

 

  • The relationship between orchids and fungi
  • Which orchids are suitable for growing in gardens
  • Orchids that work in containers
  • Soil requirements
  • The sourcing of plants
  • Common pests and diseases

 

Links

Bewdley Orchids www.bewdleyorchids.com

How to Grow Native Orchids in Gardens Large and Small - by Wilson Wall and Dave Morgan. Published by Green Books. https://www.greenbooks.co.uk/how-to-grow-native-orchids-in-gardens-large-and-small 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Aug 27, 2019
Budcast - The Bee Watch App with Penny Hearn
26:39

Sarah chats with Penny Hearn about a new app that's been launched to track bees and pestcide use.

The Bee Watch App is useful for beekeepers, but also for the general public who may locate swarms and are not sure who to call. It's also a great way to track pesticide use in your local area, plus register any spraying that you yourself may be carrying out. The idea behind Bee Watch is the more data we can log and the more beekeepers, those spraying and the general public can exchange information, the more chance we have of ensuring healthy bee colonies and mapping any problems as they occur. To find out more, go to www.bee.watch 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Aug 20, 2019
EP 29 - Garden Design for Every Species with John Little of the Grass Roof Company
28:37

This week I’m speaking to John Little. John founded the Grass Roof Company in 1998 and for the past 20 years, he’s been designing and implementing gardens in public spaces that work for people, for plants and for wildlife. 

Often working in urban locations, he installs wildlife habitats and planting in some unusual places including on roofs and structures such as cycle shelters. He also includes many edible plants in his schemes in order to create beautiful and useful spaces that engage the community. 

Maintenance and management is a key focus, and is vital to the success and longevity of his projects. We also talk about the need to revise traditional maintenance practices in order to reduce costs, save time and preserve wildlife. 

 

About John Little

“John’s life with green roofs started when he self built his own home in Essex. The green roof on John’s new house consisted of the standard green roof structure, onto which he literally dumped soil from the foundations. That was 17 years ago and the roof is still growing strong. A few years ago a colony of Bee Orchids appeared from nowhere!!

He has since designed and built small green roofs buildings throughout South Essex and London over the last 20 years. often combining the living roofs with habitat walls made designed to support solitary bees.

John’s company the Grass Roof Company does landscape contracting and green roof construction in Essex and London. John also part owns Green Roof Shelters, a company that produces modular design bike, bin and freight container green roofs.."

 

What We Cover:

  • How John creates gardens that mimic brownfield sites
  • Green roofs
  • The Clapton Park Estate project
  • Including edible plants in a community garden
  • John’s favourite trees and herbaceous plants for wildlife 

 

Links

John’s Design Practice - The Grass Roof Company https://www.grassroofcompany.co.uk 

Green Roof Shelters - the sister company to The Grass Roof Company, specialising in buildings and structures incorporating green roofs of all types https://greenroofshelters.co.uk 

Online Guide to building Green Roofs - co-authored by John Little & Dusty Gedge https://greenrooftraining.com 

John on Twitter @grassroofco https://twitter.com/grassroofco?lang=en

 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link:

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

Aug 13, 2019
Budcast - Garden Walk Around
11:57

Sarah invites you to join her on a walk around her garden. Plus, a quick chat about the garden media.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Aug 06, 2019
EP 28 - Crops In Tight Spots with Alex Mitchell
27:37

This week I’m speaking to Alex Mitchell, aka the Edible Gardener. Alex is the gardening columnist for the Evening Standard and author of five books on gardening, including her latest ‘Crops in Tight Spots’. 

I speak to Alex about growing edibles when space in tight and she has some brilliant tips and tricks about how to grow, what to grow and what not to bother with. Alex’s book is based on years of experience and I respect her approach of trialling, experimenting (including catching pupae in jars and observing them as they hatch!) and just giving things a go. As a result of this hands-on experimentation, she’s developed some nifty time, money and space-saving methods and she shares some of those with us in the episode. For the rest, you’ll just have to buy the book!

 

About Alex Mitchell

 

“Alex Mitchell is a gardening writer who has been obsessed with growing things she can eat for about 20 years. Before this, she was obsessed with television. On balance, gardening is healthier. Alex is the weekly gardening columnist for The Evening Standard and has written five books about gardening and growing food. Previously she wrote a column for The Sunday Telegraph about growing fruit and vegetables, first in a polytunnel in a muddy field, which often made her cry, then in a little south London garden, which made her happy. She now gardens in a large space in Kent which makes her ecstatic though often overwhelmed.

She has written five books, The Girl’s Guide to Growing Your Own – Or How to Grow Fruit and Vegetables Without Getting Your Hands Too Dirty, The Edible Balcony, The Rurbanite: Living in the Country Without Leaving the CityGardening on a Shoestring and Crops in Tight Spots."

 

What We Cover:

 

  • Crops to grow indoors
  • Crops for pots
  • Recycling compost
  • Essential crops for ease and high yield
  • Creative training of tomatoes

 

Links

 

www.alex-mitchell.co.uk http://alex-mitchell.co.uk

Crops in Tight Spots - Alex Mitchell, 2019 https://www.waterstones.com/book/crops-in-tight-spots/alex-mitchell/9780857835925

Alex’s Previously Published Books http://alex-mitchell.co.uk/alex-mitchell-the-edible-gardener/books/

Alex on Instagram @alexmitchelleg https://www.instagram.com/alexmitchelleg/

 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link:

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

Jul 30, 2019
Budcast - Low Allergen Planting with Olivia Kirk
22:41

This week I chat to Olivia Kirk about low allergen planting. Olivia works on both public and private gardens and has a number of show gardens under her belt, including a gold medal winning garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower show. She specialises in healing gardens and has worked on a number of projects such as hospice gardens, where the effect the garden can have on a person’s physical health is of paramount importance. We often think about the positive effects on mental and physical health that gardens and green spaces can provide, but we don’t often stop to think about the harm they might cause. Olivia explains how with a little bit of knowledge and a few relatively simple steps, we can make our environment a much better place for everyone, especially those suffering from allergies. Check out Olivia's work at www.oliviakirkgardens.com  Instagram: oliviakirkgardens

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Jul 23, 2019
EP 27 - The Garden Jungle with Professor Dave Goulson
31:35

This week I’m speaking to Dave Goulson, who is a Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex. Dave is also the founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and author of three books, the most recent of which is The Garden Jungle: or Gardening to Save the Planet.

With the recent interest in wildlife gardens, we talk about how you can create a good environment for wildlife, but more importantly, how you can avoid actively harming the environment with your gardening habits. 

 

About Dave Goulson

“After a childhood chasing butterflies and collecting bird’s eggs, I studied Biology at Oxford University, and then did a PhD on butterfly ecology at Oxford Brookes University. Shortly afterwards I got a lectureship at University of Southampton, where I stayed for 11 years. It was there that I began to specialize in bumblebee ecology and conservation. 

In 2006 I became Professor of Biology and Stirling University. In 2006 I also founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, a charity devoted to reversing bumblebee declines. In 2013 I moved to Sussex University.

I have published over 200 scientific articles on the ecology of bees and other insects, and am author of Bumblebees; their behaviour, ecology and conservation (2010, Oxford University Press) and A Sting in the Tale (2013, Jonathan Cape), a popular science book about bumblebees and The Garden Jungle: or Gardening to Save the Planet (2019, Jonathan Cape).

I am a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2010 I was BBSRC "Social Innovator of the Year" and in 2013 I won the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology from the Zoological Society of London.”

 

What We Cover:

  • What you need to look out for when buying plants and seeds 
  • Plants for wildlife
  • Native vs non-native plants
  • The effects of pesticides and fungicides on wildlife

 

Links

The Garden Jungle: or Gardening to Save the Planet - Dave Goulson https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Dave-Goulson/The-Garden-Jungle--or-Gardening-to-Save-the-Planet/23728420

A Sting in the Tale - Dave Goulson https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Dave-Goulson/A-Sting-in-the-Tale/22927310 

A Buzz in the Meadow - Dave Goulson https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Dave-Goulson/A-Buzz-in-the-Meadow/17156479 

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org

Follow Dave Goulson on Twitter - @DaveGoulson https://twitter.com/davegoulson?lang=en

RosyBee - Plants for bees http://www.rosybee.com 

 

Contact:

Stefan Batorijs

3 Barnsey Gardens 

Ashburton Devon 

TQ13 7GA UK 

stefan@natureandtherapy.co.uk 

+44 1364 652162 

Nature and Therapy UK on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/shinrinyokuUK/ 

Common Farm Flowers on Twitter: @TheFlowerFarmer https://twitter.com/TheFlowerFarmer

Common Farm Flowers on Instagram: @commonfarmflowers https://www.instagram.com/commonfarmflowers/?hl=en 

 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link:

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

Jul 16, 2019
Budcast - Chris Williams of Edibleculture Ltd
20:20

This week I’m speaking to Chris Williams, co-founder of Edibleculture, an inspirational nursery based in Faversham in Kent. From the day the nursery was established 5 years ago, ethically and ecologically sounds principles have been employed to create the brilliant business that exists today. 

We talk about how the nursery succeeds where so many others are failing to make changes; using peat-free compost, gardening organically without chemicals, eliminating single use plastics from their sales output and many other initiatives that make this nursery truly revolutionary.

Find out more about Edibleculture Ltd at www.edibleculture.co.uk  and the paper pots Chris discusses at www.posipot.co.uk 

 Thanks to Linda from Hastings for giving me the heads up on Edibleculture and their work.

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Jul 09, 2019
EP 26 - Forest Bathing with Stefan Batorijs of Nature and Therapy UK
27:31

Forest Bathing, or Shinrin Yoku, is the practice of immersing yourself in nature as therapy. It’s the perfect antidote for those who feel disconnected from the land and unattached from nature, which is increasingly likely to happen in a world where 55% of us live in urban areas. 

In this episode, I speak to Stefan Batorijs who founded Nature and Therapy UK in 2017, as a response to a growing need to foster a spiritual and psychological connection to the land. If you’ve always wondered what Forest Bathing, or Shinrin Yoku, entails, this is the episode for you! 

About Stefan

Stefan has been exploring the wild places for 50 years, and trained originally in Countryside Management, Conservation and Environmental Education. He is a qualified Integrative Psychotherapist and Mountain Leader, with 25 years experience facilitating individuals and groups in natural environments.

In 2008 he established the highly acclaimed Ecotherapy Project with Plymouth NHS, for people with severe and enduring mental health needs. Stefan is currently an Associate Lecturer at    Plymouth University. He teaches the role of Nature and benefits of natural immersion for mental health and recovery from trauma on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Training.

Stefan is passionate about trees, birds and Sacred land.

Stefan is a member of INFOM, the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine and a member of the Eco-psychology Network.

What We Cover:

  • Stefan’s personal journey through nature and into Shinrin Yoku 
  • What Shinrin Yoku entails
  • The evidence behind why Shinrin Yoku works
  • An excercise from a typical session of Forest Bathing

Links

Nature and Therapy UK - check out the Resources page for excellent links to the research surrounding Forest Bathing http://natureandtherapy.co.uk

Contact:

Stefan Batorijs

3 Barnsey Gardens 

Ashburton Devon 

TQ13 7GA UK 

stefan@natureandtherapy.co.uk 

+44 1364 652162 

Nature and Therapy UK on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/shinrinyokuUK/ 

Common Farm Flowers on Twitter: @TheFlowerFarmer https://twitter.com/TheFlowerFarmer

Common Farm Flowers on Instagram: @commonfarmflowers https://www.instagram.com/commonfarmflowers/?hl=en

 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link:

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

 

Jul 02, 2019
Budcast - Going Peat Free with John Walker
38:53

Sarah speaks to the Earth Friendly Gardener, John Walker about the use of peat in our gardens. 

We all know it's bad, but how bad is it and what's being done to prevent the use of peat in horticultural products? Is it realistic to think we can eradicate our use of peat? John is one of the foremost experts on this topic and it's fascinating to hear his thoughts. Sobering stuff indeed... About John: 

“As well as being a lifelong gardener and allotmenteer, I’m also an award-winning British gardening and environment writer with over 30 years combined experience in professional gardening, horticultural teaching and the garden media. I trained as a student gardener at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, and at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, England, where I was awarded the Kew Diploma in Horticulture in 1986. I gained a Permaculture Design Certificate in 1997.

While in publishing, I’ve been both features and deputy editor of Garden Answers magazine, contributing editor of Kitchen Garden magazine, and have been technical editor of The Organic Way. My long-running ‘digging deeper’ column, exploring the connections between gardening and our wider environment first appeared in Organic Gardening (later Organic Garden & Home) magazine in 2006.

I write and blog about greener, earth-friendly gardening for national newspapers, magazines and websites. My work has been published in NFU Countryside, Garden Answers, Garden News, Grow It!, Kew magazine, Organic Gardening (later Organic Garden & Home), the Telegraph, The Garden, The Organic Way and Kitchen Garden, and online at the Guardian and Hartley Botanic.

I’m the author of the new and updated Weeds: An Organic, Earth-Friendly Guide to Their Identification, Use and Control and The Bed & Border Planner, the editor of A Gardeners’ Guide to Annuals, and a major contributor to the Garden Organic Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.”

John’s website is a treasure trove of articles and information, please do check it out: http://earthfriendlygardener.net 

You can buy a signed copy of John's latest book, Weeds: An Organic, Earth-friendly Guide to Their Identification, Use and Control' here 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Jun 25, 2019
EP 25 - Growing Cut Flowers with Georgie Newbery of Common Farm Flowers
33:28

How many of us haven’t dreamt of having an idyllic smallholding that allows us to be financially self-supporting, maybe even one that grows flowers by the barrowload? Well, this week’s guest is living the dream!

Common Farm Flowers is an artisan floristry and cut flower farm based in Somerset. Founded by Georgie Newbery and her husband Fabrizio in 2010, the ethos of the farm is to produce flowers that are Grown, Not Flown. Add to that Georgie’s passion for wildlife, organic methods and her love of everything that grows and you have a successful business that produces eco-friendly, sustainable and beautiful floral creations.

As well as selling cut flower creations, Georgie also runs workshops and courses and has written two books on the subject. Her first book, the ’Flower Farmer's Year' is a great book for gardeners who want to grow a cut flower patch, whether for pleasure or for profit, and its sister volume, 'Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers.' is an inspiring floristry book for growers and people who enjoy arranging their own flowers. Check out her website www.commonfarmflowers.com to find out more. 

 

What We Cover:

  • The values behind Common Farm Flowers
  • The current state of the cut flower industry 
  • Good cut flowers for scent
  • What to grow if your space is limited
  • Shrubs that make a useful addition to your cut flower patch
  • Dealing with pests on a 7 acre site

 

Links

To order some of Georgie’s amazing creations, call 01963 32883

www.commonfarmflowers.com

Georgie’s Books https://www.commonfarmflowers.com/books.html

Common Farm Flowers on Twitter: @TheFlowerFarmer

Common Farm Flowers on Instagram: @commonfarmflowers

 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link:

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Jun 18, 2019
Budcast - Iain Tolhurst Stock-Free Farming Pt. 2
34:36
What happens to all the cows if everyone turns vegan?
 
In Part 2 of Iain’s talk, recorded at VegFest 2019, Iain addresses issues surrounding current farming practices. He describes how he believes stock-free is better in terms of carbon emissions and soil health and answers that common question; “what happens to all the cows if we all go vegan?”
 
If you’re interested in gardening, many of Iain’s practices are also applicable to small-scale and ornamental sites, as well as farms. Plus, if you’re concerned about the impact of your food shopping habits, he presents some fascinating facts and figures.
 
With thanks to the Vegan Organic Network for inviting me along to record the session. http://veganorganic.net/
 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Jun 11, 2019
EP 24 - Creating an Ark with Mary Reynolds
34:56

Mary Reynolds has a long and successful career in horticulture, which is underpinned by design, but has evolved along the way as she has striven to align her personal beliefs with her work. 

Starting out in landscape design, Mary went on to become the youngest gold medal winner at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2002 where she took the show by storm with her naturalistic Celtic Sanctuary Garden. The incredible story of her journey to Chelsea and the creation of the garden was told in the 2016 film ‘Dare to be Wild’.

Mary continues to design gardens, seeking to create spaces “that are healing, truthful and magical”. Her design ethos is set out in her 2016 book 'The Garden Awakening – Designs to Nurture Our Land and Ourselves’ which she describes as “a practical treasure map that leads gardeners into a gentle and healing relationship with the land. This book is a step by step instruction manual drawing on ancient methods of working with the land and using them to invite the power and energy of nature back into your life”.

In 2019, Mary launched an initiative called We Are The Ark, which invites gardeners, land owners and stewards to re-wild areas in their care. It’s this project that we focus on mainly in this episode and Mary explains the idea behind the project and how we can all get on board. 

 

What We Cover:

- Mary’s career evolution

- We Are The Ark

- What stops people rewinding their land and how can we overcome these problems?

- Growing food yourself

- How this can work in urban areas or for those with small/no gardens

- What to watch out for when buying plants

- Establishing and managing your own Ark

- The future of garden design and gardening

 

Links:

www.wearetheark.org

www.marymary.ie

Mary on Instagram: wildmarymary

Claire & Joe on Instagram: irishforestgarden

Dr Masaru Emoto - The Hidden Messages in Water

 

Get in touch:

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link:

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Jun 04, 2019
Budcast - Interview with Sarah Wilson
01:01:57

Sarah is interviewed by podcast listener Joanne Richardson

After a few prompts from listeners, Sarah takes the plunge and decides to be interviewed for an episode of the Budcast. Listener Jo does a fantastic job of asking the questions that were posed by listeners, so a huge thank you to her for taking over the reins of the show. This is the longest ever episode of the podcast but it's a not to be repeated event, so sit down with a cup of tea or glass of wine and enjoy!

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

May 28, 2019
EP 23 - Social Therapeutic Horticulture with Damien Newman of Thrive
33:40

As the RHS Chelsea Flower Show opens its doors to the public today, it’s interesting to see many of the gardens focus on the wellbeing and therapeutic benefits of spending time outdoors. Social Therapeutic Horticulture is a horticulture-based therapy that’s growing in popularity in the UK as more people become convinced of the mental and physical health benefits of spending time outdoors and with plants. 

In this episode, I speak to Damien Newman of Thrive, a charity responsible for promoting and providing Social Therapeutic Horticulture throughout the UK. Thrive is also the leading provider of training for those entering the profession. The Thrive website states;

“Social and therapeutic horticulture is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills. It also uses the garden as a safe and secure place to develop someone's ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent.” - www.thrive.org.uk 

Damien is hugely knowledgable and a great ambassador for the discipline of STH and this is a fascinating insight for anyone considering it as a career or a therapy.  

 

We cover;

  • What is Social Therapeutic Horticulture (STH)
  • The origins of STH
  • Whether STH works for everyone and who benefits from it the most
  • Details of where to find evidence-based research supporting the benefits of being outdoors
  • How can somebody be referred into STH
  • How is STH applied at a practical level
  • What makes a therapy garden
  • How to embark upon a career in STH
  • Some info about the charity Thrive

 

About Damien Newman

“I have been working in health and social care for 20 years beginning in mental health care where I first noticed the impact of gardens and gardening for health and began to be involved in utilising gardens and nature within care approach. Teaching in the field across my career I had the privilege of moving to Thrive 10 years ago and now manage our training, education and consultancy services. I aspire to support gardens and gardening to be appropriately utilised across society for the value and benefits it can bring.”

 

Links 

Thrive Charity www.thrive.org.uk 

Carry On Gardening www.carryongardening.org.uk

King’s Fund Gardens and health Report - 2016

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/gardens-and-health

Report Author David Buck’s Blog https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/about-us/whos-who/david-buck

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

May 21, 2019
Budcast - No Dig Gardening with Charles Dowding
17:03

Sarah attended a fantastic 2 day weekend course at Homeacres and posed these questions to Charles after the first day of the course was completed, based on what she had learnt up to that point. They talk about what No Dig means, if it works and how to apply the technique in your own garden or allotment. To find out more, check out Charles's informative website www.charlesdowding.co.uk  where you can find links to his books, YouTube channel and also find out how you can attend one of his courses.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

May 14, 2019
EP 22 - Giles Heap, Managing Director of CED Stone
34:45

This week, I’m speaking to Giles Heap, Managing Director of CED Stone. CED has a long history of supplying natural stone paving and facilitating the use of stone throughout the landscape and construction industries. Giles took over as the Managing Director of CED in 2013.


We discuss:

- Sourcing stone ethically, including mention of the Ethical Trading Initiative

- Using materials appropriate to the job and the location

- Options for those looking to source local stone in the UK

- The production process and the environmental impacts of this

- Issues with permeability and drainage surrounding hard surfaces and how to overcome these

- The future of stone products


About Giles

“I have been working for CED for over twenty years, on and off in many different roles.

My specialities lean towards design specification and consultation using natural stone in both the Urban Realm and Landscaping arenas. With hands on experience in quarrying, production and remedial masonry work I tend to have a slightly more practical and straightforward view on stone, its capabilities and uses.

I regularly lecture (preach) on the use of natural stone, both in Urban Design and Garden Design to Landscape, Urban and garden designers, students and contractors and I am more than happy to write and present bespoke lectures on the subject.

Before working full time for CED, I have previously been a Publican, Bodyguard, Chauffeur, Night-club manager, doorman, and a whole host of other unusual careers!

With a slight addiction to Scuba diving, martial arts (although not so much now I'm a Dad!) and extreme sports, especially climbing, I am quite happy to "say it as I see it" and I am always willing to face a challenge!

As a member of the family that owns CED and the current Managing Director, my professional goal is to make us the best supplier of natural stone and hard landscaping products in the UK, by ensuring that the right advice and materials are used in our cities, parks and gardens, indeed wherever and whenever it is right and correct to do so.”

 

Links

CED Stone - www.cedstone.co.uk

728 London Road,

West Thurrock,

Grays,

Essex,

RM20 3LU

Tel: 01708 867237

 

Blog by Giles on Using British Stone https://www.cedstone.co.uk/news/using-british-stone-by-ced-stone-group-managing-director-giles-heap

 

CED and the Ethical Trading Initiative https://www.cedstone.co.uk/about#3

 

More info: www.ethicaltrade.org 

 

Ethical Stone Register - www.ethicalstoneregister.co.uk

 

Steintec - StoneBed Permeable Bedding Mortar https://www.cedstone.co.uk/products/stonebed-permeable-bedding-mortar-pbm 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

May 07, 2019
Budcast - Kitchen Garden Ideas with James Mellors
23:01

Sarah chats to organic kitchen gardener James Mellors.

They discuss organic, no-kill pest control, companion planting, interesting varieties and bees in your veg plot.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Apr 30, 2019
Bonus Episode - Iain Tolhurst Vegan Organic Farming
48:22

This episode is produced in association with the Vegan Organic Network. It was recorded at VegFestUK on the 23rd March 2019.

Iain Tolhurst is a pioneer of what he terms Stock-free Farming; that is farming which uses no animal inputs. Based in South Oxfordshire, Iain talks about the history of his growing operation plus shares some unique practices he employs to maximise crops whilst making the farm a haven for biodiversity. He also gives figures about produce yields and carbon output of his farm, which are fascinating (and encouraging, for anyone considering this method of farming).

With thanks to Iain Tolhurst and The Vegan organic Network for allowing me to part of such a great day.

To find out more about Iain, including his courses, veg box scheme and consultancy work, please check out http://www.tolhurstorganic.co.uk 

The Vegan Organic Network is the only organisation in the UK solely working for food to be grown the veganic way. Please check out their website to find out more about the important work they are involved in: http://veganorganic.net

Apr 25, 2019
EP 21 - Wildlife Gardening with Kate Bradbury
30:23

Following on from my episodes on native vs. non-native plants and gardening for wildlife, who better for me to interview than wildlife gardening guru Kate Bradbury? 

We talk about the best ways to garden for wildlife, including what to put in to your wildlife garden and what to leave out. Kate champions some unusual species and our conversation touches upon aspects that may surprise even the most seasoned wildlife gardener.

The timing was perfect too, as Kate’s new book Wildlife Gardening for Everyone and Everything hit the shelves 5 days ago. Once she’s tempted you with snippets of wildlife gardening gold, you can go buy the book and find out everything you need to know about turning your own garden, whatever its size, into a haven for all creatures great and small.

 

  • Providing shelter in the garden

 

  • Kate’s top features to include in a wildlife garden

 

  • Kate’s top plants for wildlife

 

  • Common mistakes we make when trying to help wildlife

 

  • The decline of certain species

 

  • Gardening for flies!

 

  • Resources for wildlife gardeners

 

About Kate Bradbury

Kate Bradbury is an award-winning author and journalist, specialising in wildlife gardening. She edits the wildlife pages of BBC Gardeners World Magazine and regularly writes articles for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, RHS magazine The Garden and BBC Wildlife and BBC Countryfile magazines. 

In 2015 she became the first Butterfly Ambassador for conservation charity Butterfly Conservation, and she writes a quarterly column for its members magazine, Butterfly. Kate regularly talks at events and festivals, and appears on radio including BBC Gardeners Question Time and the popular RHS gardening podcast. 

She also makes wildlife gardening videos for gardenersworld.com. She lives and breathes wildlife gardening, and is currently transforming a tired north-facing patio garden into a wildlife oasis, where she hopes to attract a wealth of creatures including frogs, toads, newts, birds, beetles, hedgehogs, butterflies, not to mention her very favourite, and first love: bees.

 

Links:

Buy a copy of Kate’s new book Wildlife Gardening for Everyone and Everything here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wildlife-Gardening-Everyone-Everything-Trusts/dp/1472956052/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Kate+bradbury&qid=1554217200&s=books&sr=1-3 

Kate on Twitter @Kate_Bradbury https://twitter.com/Kate_Bradbury?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

On Instagram kategbradbury https://www.instagram.com/kategbradbury/

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway by Kate Bradbury - Buy Here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bumblebee-Flies-Anyway-year-gardening/dp/1472943104/ref=la_B00O0X7MLI_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1554215473&sr=1-2

The Wildlife Gardener by Kate Bradbury - Buy Here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wildlife-Gardener-Kate-Bradbury/dp/152671289X

Butterfly Conservation www.butterfly-conservation.org https://butterfly-conservation.org

Big Butterfly Count www.bigbutterflycount.org https://www.bigbutterflycount.org

Moths Count www.mothscount.org http://www.mothscount.org

Froglife www.froglife.org https://www.froglife.org

Bumblebee Conservation Trust www.bumblebeeconservation.org https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org

BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) www.bto.org https://www.bto.org

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Apr 23, 2019
Invasive Plants, Garden Records & A Listener Request
14:45

Plus, following a listener question about how best to plan and keep a track of what's going on in your garden, Sarah speaks about the results of a Twitter poll to find out how horticulturists document their own gardeners. At the end of the episode, find out how you could feature in an upcoming Budcast episode.

Apr 16, 2019
EP 20 - Container Planting with Harriet Rycroft
31:38

This week, I’m honoured to be joined by the Queen of Containers, Harriet Rycroft. Harriet worked for many years at Whichford Pottery in Warwickshire, where she became renowned for producing season after season of the most spectacular planting and colour combinations.

Oh, and Harriet had the door open to her garden, so enjoy the birdsong!


We talk about:

  • The ideal container
  • Layer planting
  • Planting media
  • Feeding your pots
  • Well and badly behaved container plants
  • Pests in/on pots
  • Tricks for discouraging mice and squirrels
  • Planting combinations for the wow factor


About Harriet Rycroft

Harriet Rycroft switched careers to horticulture while her children were small and spent 14 years

working for Whichford Pottery. As Head Gardener she was responsible for planning, planting and

maintaining large displays of planted flowerpots of every conceivable shape and size and was careful always to provide plenty of planting inspiration for visitors all year round. With up to 500 plantings on display at any time the garden attracted many visitors and much praise from some of the UK’s leading horticulturists.

While at Whichford Harriet also planned and planted container displays for events and shows,

including Chelsea Flower Show, and gave lectures and demonstrations both in the UK and abroad.

She now divides her time between writing about gardening and container planting, giving talks and demonstrations, and teaching container gardening online at LearningWith Experts.com. She still gardens at the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens and at home, where she usually has at least 200 planted containers on display. She’s a keen photographer, using her camera to record her own workbut also as a way to celebrate gardens and the natural world generally and to share  inspiration for the creative use of plants.

When she has a bit of spare time she writes a blog called “A Parrot’s Nest’ at https://harrietrycroft.com/ and can also be found chatting about plants and gardening and sharing

photos on Twitter and Instagram @HarrietRycroft

Harriet gives talks and planting demonstrations to garden clubs and groups, so if you would like a

talk about container gardening for your society please contact her at harrietrycroft@btinternet.com for more details.

She recently wrote (and took most of the photographs for) a book about the amazing gardens at the Cotswold Wildlife Park with their Head Gardener, Tim Miles. A Celebration of The Gardens is

available from the Park’s website.

 

Links:

 Cotswold Wildlife Park Website https://www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk


Buy a copy of The Cotswold Wildlife Park - A Celebration of the Gardens https://shop.myonlinebooking.co.uk/cotswoldwildlifepark/shop/product-list.aspx?catid=8 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Apr 09, 2019
Budcast - Exotic Plants and Why Plant Lovers Should Fear December 2019 With Graham Blunt of Plantbase Nursery in Wadhurst
27:40

To be completely contrary after her plea for gardeners to plant more native plants, Sarah interviews Graham Blunt of Plantbase, a nursery specialising in the most fabulous, exotic and downright bizarre plants! 

Graham talks about hardy palms, his favourite exotic trees, cacti and succulents that can be grown outdoors and how to overwinter caudex plants and bananas. Graham has also been intensively researching new regulations that come into play in December 2019 and how these will affect plant lovers. He reckons that Brexit will seem like a "small gust of wind" compared to the potential havoc wreaked by new CITES, Plant Health and Nagoya regulations due to come into effect on Dec 14th 2019. If you buy garden or indoor plants, this episode will be of real interest. 

 

www.plantbase.co.uk  

 

Plantbase, 

Sleepers Stile Road, 

Cousley Wood, 

Wadhurst, 

East Sussex, 

TN5 6QX. 

 

01892 785599 

07967 601064 

 

plantbaseuk@gmail.com  

Twitter: @Plantbaseuk 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Apr 02, 2019
EP 19 - Daffodils with Adrian Scamp
26:21

The daffodils have been in full swing for a few weeks now and as today’s guest, Adrian Scamp of Scamp’s Daffodils tells us, we can expect them to carry on gracing us with their cheery blooms into May.

Each year, I’m newly amazed by the indomitable daffodil; its ability to cope in all weathers, to grow in seemingly unpromising situations and to flower successively from December to May if you choose the right varieties.

This episode, we cover every question you had about daffodils but were afraid to ask! Adrian gives his expert advice on:

- When to order and when to plant bulbs (hint: order now!)
- The conditions favoured by daffodils including soil and aspect- When to feed and with what
- How to propagate
- Troubleshooting any problems

About Adrian

Scamp’s Daffodils was started by Ron Scamp. Ron’s passion for the daffodil developed as a child in the 1940’s and 50’s whilst spending his childhood on his uncle’s daffodil farm in the Tamar Valley. In 1990 after years of growing daffodil varieties in his garden and greenhouse, Ron produced his first catalogue offering select varieties to other daffodil enthusiasts.

Over the years the collection has developed and now contains approximately 2500 varieties including modern, species and historical collected from all over the world. As a professional grower, Ron has achieved many awards including RHS gold, the E.H Trophy for best exhibit and the Lawrence Medal.

Adrian joined the company in 2007 and continues to grow and develop the collection. During the spring, they display their flowers at many shows and find this aspect of their work particularly enjoyable, as they meet other enthusiasts and customers both old and new. Each year, a list of the shows they will be attending is published in the news section of their website.

Adrian can be contacted by phone 07826 067175 or via email amscamp@qualitydaffodils.com Please leave a message on the mobile as Adrian is often on the fields with no phone signal.

Links:

Scamp’s Daffodils https://qualitydaffodils.com 
The Scamp’s Daffodil Catalogue https://qualitydaffodils.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Scamp-Booklet-2019.pdf 

A.M. Scamp
49 Mongleath Road Falmouth
Cornwall

07826 067175 amscamp@qualitydaffodils.com 

Scamp’s on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/QualityDaffodils/  Scamp’s on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/scampsbulbs/  The Daffodil Society https://thedaffodilsociety.com/wordpress/ 

Daffodil: the Remarkable Story of the World’s Most Popular Spring Flower by Noel Kingsbury https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daffodil-Remarkable-Worlds-Popular-Spring/dp/1604693185 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Mar 26, 2019
Budcast - Native and Non-native Plants - Part 2
14:50

Join Sarah for a brief recap of why native plants are better than non-native, before a delve into the more positive impact gardeners can have in ensuring wildlife has a future in our landscape. 

Part 2 of this exploration of native vs. non-native plants looks at the reality of what happens when natural and human habitats collide. Sarah discusses Darwin Comes to Town, a book by Menno Schilthuizen, which explores how nature is adapting to fit in with our urban landscapes but as in Part One, the conclusions she comes to about the future of our wildlife aren't pretty! However, the second half of the episode looks at how we as gardeners and growers can help make a difference, no matter how big or small our plot. 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Mar 19, 2019
Bonus Episode - Wild Food Tasting Session
20:42

Rough & Ready Audio Alert!

This is a bonus episode recording of the wild food tasting session that took place before the main interview with forager Michael Wachter, which aired in Episode 18.

A supporting blog post featuring a photo and names of the plants that were sampled can be found on the Roots and All blog. As with the main episode, this episode and the blog post are not to be used as guides to foraging. Please do not attempt to eat any wild plants unless you are capable of correctly identifying them or you are accompanied by someone who can. 

Please note, there is much giggling, background noise and chewing audible throughout, which is not standard for there Roots and All podcast which is usually impeccably produced and edited!

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Mar 13, 2019
EP 18 - Foraging with Michael Wachter
31:26

In this episode, I’m talking foraging with expert forager Michael Wachter. Michael has masses of experience when it comes to living outdoors sustainably and being self-sufficient, having lived on a remote island off the North Coast of Germany. He also regularly treks across the landscape both in the UK and abroad, with nothing but a sleeping bag and his survival kit, foraging for food along the way.  

Michael currently lives and works in East Sussex, where he indulges his passion for plants at every opportunity. We only scratched the surface of his experiences and if you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, I urge you to do so, you will be spellbound as he recounts his adventures!

We cover:

  • The best places to find wild food
  • How to forage in your own garden, however limited you are on space
  • Michael’s trek along the South Coast of England
  • The philosophy of foraging

 

About Michael Wachter

Born in the rolling hills of North Bavaria along a river in Bamberg, Michael studied landscape architecture near Frankfurt. After a short stint working in an office, he went to work for the protection of mainly seabirds on the North Coast of Germany, before coming to England in 2014.

He currently works as a gardener in East Sussex and indulges his passion for wild plants on a daily basis.

 

Links:

Michael Wachter on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/michael_wachter/?hl=en

Robin Harford’s site provides great information, plus he produces a podcast on the topic: https://www.eatweeds.co.uk

The Woodland Trust’s guide to foraging sustainably: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/things-to-do/foraging/ 

Wild Food & Foraging UK Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/WildFoodUK/

The website of Samuel Thayer, a foraging resource for listeners in the US: https://www.foragersharvest.com 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Mar 12, 2019
Budcast - Native and Non-native Plants
15:35

Sarah explores the reasons we all need to go native in our gardens.

From declining insects and struggling bird populations to invasive species and plants for pollinators, Sarah looks at the impact planting non-native species in our gardens can have. Acknowledgement to Douglas W Tallamy for the excellent research presented in his book Bringing Nature Home.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Mar 05, 2019
EP 17 - Hedgehogs with Hugh Warwick
36:59

UK HEDGEHOGS NEED YOU! Since 2000, UK populations of hedgehogs have declined 30% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas. Today’s guest, Hugh Warwick, estimates hedgehog populations have dropped by 90% or more since the second world war. Based on these horrendous figures, we can deduce if we don’t start helping them right away, these beautiful animals could be facing extinction. 

That’s where we, as gardeners, come in. Hugh talks about how we can encourage hedgehogs into our gardens and how we can best look after those who decide to share our space.

We cover:

  • Encouraging hedgehogs into your garden
  • Supplemental feeding and watering
  • Ensuring hedgehog safety in the garden
  • The importance of creating a network to facilitate hedgehogs’ movements
  • How to identify and deal with poorly hedgehogs

 

About Hugh Warwick

Hugh is an ecologist and author with a particular interest in hedgehogs. He is a spokesperson for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, runs the Oxfordshire campaign, HedgeOX and is a regular contributor to radio and television. He has written two books about hedgehogs … and much to the distress of his family, has plans for more!

 

Links:

https://www.hughwarwick.com

Hugh on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hedgehoghugh

Link to the video we discussed, where Hugh drills through a perfectly good wall in aid of helping our hedgehogs, a worthy sacrifice! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8joMexoVo38&feature=youtu.be

 

Hedgehog Street: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org 

 

British Hedgehog Preservation Society

Website: https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hedgehogsociety

Telephone 01584 890801

Email info@britishhedgehogs.org.uk

 

State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018 Report: https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/state-britains-hedgehogs-2018/ 

Hugh’s project the HedgeOX campaign aims to help Oxfordshire’s hedgehogs:

Website: https://www.hedgeox.org/?fbclid=IwAR2FJwEaBz4Wejdl5PRWn5R-hFq9b8yUCqWrCSwSOes8_HjMpxTqj3Z4S3E 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hedgeox/ 

Feb 26, 2019
Budcast - Allotments Part 2
36:40

Back by popular demand, it's Part 2 of taking on and managing an allotment. With Louise Bell.

Listen as we talk about what to do with your allotment over winter, which crops you should be growing, when to harvest and if you only have time to do one job, which should it be. The follow up to Allotments Part 1 - Episode 5 of the podcast, published on 7th August 2018.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Feb 19, 2019
EP 16 - Poisonous Plants with Dr Liz Dauncey
31:52

Have you ever wondered which are the most poisonous plants in your house and garden? Do you know how plant toxins work and how to handle poisonous plants safely? What are we, as gardeners, most at risk of when dealing with our beloved plants? And which risks are sometimes blown out of proportion?

Join me as I speak to botanist Dr Liz Dauncey about poisonous plant facts, myths and interesting cases. And if you’re particularly fascinated by the macabre and want to find out the most gruesome way to go, plus which poisons are untraceable, listen on!

 

About Dr Elizabeth A. Dauncey

Liz is a botanist with a PhD in Plant Taxonomy during which she undertook a taxonomic revision of Dendrobium section Pedilonum, a group of orchids from South-East Asia. She spent most of her career as a botanical toxicologist working for the Poisons Unit of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital in London, on joint initiatives with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 

Her work involved developing strategies and products to reduce the number of poisoning incidents involving plants, and to improve the identification of plants by treatment centres. She worked with the Horticultural Trades Association on their 'Harmful?' campaign that introduced a list of 117 plants on sale in garden centres that should carry warnings on their pot labels. Liz subsequently spent four years with Kew’s Medicinal Plant Names Services, which enables effective communication about medicinal plants in health, regulation and research. She now works freelance, writing books, providing information and advice about plant toxicity, and undertaking poisonous plant surveys. 

 Liz is author of Poisonous Plants: A Guide for Parents and Childcare Providers (Kew Publishing, 2010) and co-author of Plants That Kill: A Natural History of the World’s Most Poisonous Plants (Kew Publishing, 2018). Plants That Kill is now also available in German, Dutch, Italian and Japanese! She is currently co-authoring a follow-on book called Plants That Cure, due to be published in 2020, which looks in particular at the plants from which pharmaceutical drugs have been developed. There are also plans for a revised and updated edition of her Poisonous Plants guide that will be expanded to include plants that are poisonous to pets. 

 

Links:

Poisonous Plants: A Guide for Parents and Childcare Providers (Kew Publishing, 2010) - out of print at the publisher but still available online:

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Poisonous-Plants-Parents-Childcare-Providers/dp/184246406X/ref=smi_www_rco2_go_smi_g8682124849?_encoding=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0&ie=UTF

Plants That Kill: A Natural History of the World’s Most Poisonous Plants (Kew Publishing, 2018) - widely available 

https://shop.kew.org/plants-that-kill-a-natural-history-of-the-world-s-most-poisonous-plants  

Horticultural Trades Association - Code of practice for potentially harmful plants, downloadable list 

https://hta.org.uk/resourceLibrary/code-of-practice-for-potentially-harmful-plants.html

Kew’s Medicinal Plant Names Services - plant name portal 

https://mpns.science.kew.org/mpns-portal/  

 

Twitter - @liz_dauncey 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Feb 12, 2019
Budcast - Open Source Seeds
09:30

An episode dedicated to Esiah Levy. A short intro to seed sharing and open pollinated varieities.

Sadly, Esiah Levy who you may have heard interviewed in Episode 12 of the Podcast, passed away on the 22nd January. This episode is dedicated to sharing his passion for seed sharing and open pollinated seeds, and will hopefully inspire you to add some of these varieties to your patch this year. Please check out the GoFundMe set up to help Esiah's young family: https://www.gofundme.com/esiah-levy 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Feb 05, 2019
EP 15 - Super Organic Vegan Gardening with Matthew Appleby
26:52

Matthew Appleby is a multi award-winning horticultural journalist who regularly writes for gardening magazines, national newspapers and the industry bible Horticulture Week. Matthew is a long-time vegan and organic gardener and has a wealth of growing experience upon which to base his new book, The Super Organic Gardener. The book is released on the 31st January 2019 and I spoke to Matthew about what it means to garden in this style.

 

We touched upon:

The definition of organic and vegan gardening

Why veganism is gaining so much traction

What products do and don’t qualify for use in a vegan garden

What is no-dig gardening

Vegan composts, green manures, fertilisers , seeds and plants

Matthew’s reasons for practising vegan gardening

 

Further reading:

The Super Organic Gardener - Matthew Appleby

Jan 2019 - Pen & Sword

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Super-Organic-Gardener-Paperback/p/15572

Charles Dowding - No-Dig Gardening 

https://www.charlesdowding.co.uk

Poyntzfield Herb Nursery

https://www.poyntzfieldherbs.co.uk

Delfland Nurseries

https://www.delfland.co.uk

Walcot Organic Nursery

https://walcotnursery.co.uk

Hulme Garden Centre

https://hulmegardencentre.org.uk

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Jan 29, 2019
Budcast - Caroline Cotton of Fertile Fibre
31:10

Why it's good to know what goes in your compost, especially if you want to shop ethically, sustainably and/or vegan. 

"Since the 1980’s Fertile Fibre have been producing peat free coir based organic composts. Fertile Fibre have also been working closely with the Vegan Society and the Biodynamic Association to develop composts which are specifically tailored to meeting the needs of those growers. I talk with Caroline about what goes into making Fertile Fibre composts, what you should look for when making purchasing decisions about composts and fertilisers and why this is important. For more info visit www.fertilefibre.com 

 

Further contact Information;

Fertile Fibre Ltd

Withington Court

Withington

Hereford

HR1 3RJ

Tel: 01432 853111

Email:    info@fertilefibre.com

Twitter:  @fertilefibre

Facebook: fertilefibre

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Jan 22, 2019
EP 14 - Cleve West
39:57

In this episode, I talk with critically acclaimed garden designer Cleve West about his journey to a vegan lifestyle and how this impacts upon his work. 

We touch upon vegan gardening, cooking, farming for vegan and meat based diets and why we all need to think about the mark we leave on our gardens and the wider environment. 

 

Further resources;

www.clevewest.com

Our Plot by Cleve West. Published in 2011 by Frances Lincoln

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Our-Plot-Cleve-West-2013-04-04/dp/B01K939IVO/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_img_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=X4JTJ0GQZVM0R9T860M9

Earthlings – a 2005 documentary

http://www.nationearth.com

Cowspiracy

http://www.cowspiracy.com

Forks Over Knives

https://www.forksoverknives.com

Land of Hope and Glory – Documentary

https://www.landofhopeandglory.org

Knepp Farm 

https://knepp.co.uk

Matthew Appleby – The Super Organic Gardener. Published 31st Jan 2019 by Pen and Sword.

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Super-Organic-Gardener-Paperback/p/15572

Iain Tolhurst – Tolhurst Organic

http://www.tolhurstorganic.co.uk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Growing-Green-Organic-Techniques-Sustainable/dp/0955222516

BOSH Cookbook

https://www.bosh.tv/book/bosh-the-cookbook

Dr Michael Greger

https://nutritionfacts.org

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Jan 15, 2019
Budcast - The Christmas Episode
17:46

Happy Christmas! Welcome to this special festive Budcast episode.

Join Sarah for the inaugral Roots and All Christmas Quiz. Plus, hear from two special guests about their best and worst horticultural Christmas gifts and join in with a seasonal treasure hunt. 

Dec 25, 2018
EP 13 - Ivy with Angela Tandy of Fibrex Nurseries
21:10

Fibrex is a family run nursery, started by Hazel & Dick Key over half a century ago. The business is still run by family members; Angela works alongside her sister, brother and sister-in-law, as well as other family members, to make the nursery the success it is today. 

In addition to being respected horticultural experts, they hold two National Collections and continually attain top accolades at flower shows such as RHS Chelsea, Hampton Court, Malvern and Gardeners World Live. 

The nursery is open to visit, but they also offer an excellent mail order service and you can order plants through their website. 

 

Key talking points with Angela were:

  • Growing ivy as a houseplant
  • Ideal growing conditions for ivy indoors
  • Ideal growing conditions for ivy outdoors
  • Different growth habits and the suitability of certain species for certain garden situations
  • Fast and slow growing varieties
  • Pruning
  • Benefits to wildlife
  • Unsuitable situations for ivy
  • Growing ivy in containers

 

If you’d like to view and shop the full range of Ivy that Fibrex Nurseries has to offer, you can visit their website:

https://www.fibrex.co.uk 

Nursery Contact Information:

Fibrex Nursery LTD
Honeybourne Road
Pebworth
Stratford-upon-Avon
Warwickshire
CV37 8XP 

Telephone: 01789 720788

Email: sales@fibrex.co.uk

Opening Hours
1 Mar - 31 Aug: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
1 Sept - 28 Feb: Mon-Fri 9am-4pm
1 Apr - 25 Jun: Sat-Sun 10.30am-4pm

Twitter @FibrexNurseries

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Fibrex-Nurseries-Ltd-217275455080317/ 

Instagram fibrex_nurseries

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Dec 18, 2018
Budcast - Plant Hardiness, Birds and Hand-digging
19:50

RHS Plant Hardiness Ratings, Offering the Best Menu to Garden Birds & Why Going to the Gym is Madness.

This week is a bit more back to basics as Sarah talks about how RHS and USDA hardiness ratings help you select the right plants for your garden. Plus, Sarah talks about what food attracts which birds, why we should all be eschewing heavy machinery and a cheeky tip to fake it until you make it in your borders. 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Dec 11, 2018
Episode 12 – Esiah Levy’s SeedsShare Project
25:22

Born in 1986 to Jamaican parents in South East London, Esiah Levy is a London-based creative Food Grower, Gardener Designer and the founder of SeedsShare, a project sending edible plant seeds all over the world.

SeedsShare is a project set up by Esiah in December 2016 to provide organic seeds which can be sown to produce free food and provide long-term food security for Individuals or community gardening groups, particularly in areas where organic fresh produce is at a minimum. Countries which have SeedsShare seeds growing include Japan, Canada, Peru, Indonesia, France, America, the Netherlands, Russia and more!

What makes the SeedsShare unique is all seeds are grown and harvested locally in Esiah’s own garden and various plots around London. All seeds are 100% free with only postage to pay to get your hands on them! 

 

Key talking points were:

  • What is an heirloom vs. a hybrid variety? Which is better and why?
  • What are the easiest types of seed to collect and save?
  • As a seed distributor, is the SeedsShare subject to any regulations or legislation?
  • Can you explain the implications of legislation surrounding seeds?

 

Esiah has great social media accounts that are well worth a follow! You can find  and connect with him here:

 

twitter / instagram / facebook - @croydongardener 

Website – www.SeedsShare.co.uk 

Linkedin - Esiah Levy 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Dec 04, 2018
Climate Change Gardening - Panel Discussion
51:16

 

Gardening in A Changing Climate

This is a recording of a panel discussion that took place at a Designers' Day event on 27th November 2018. The sound quality is pretty raw and not up to our excellent standards, as we recorded in a polytunnel in the lashing rain! The topic up for debate was how climate change is affecting the way designers design gardens for clients. Or not, as the case may be! A straw poll at the beginning revealed that in a room full of garden designers and landscapers, about 4 said their work had been influenced by a changing climate. Which is comforting, or frightening, depending on how you look at it...

Although the debate was intended to be heard by designers, there are definitely words of wisdom that can be applied in gardens or all shapes and sizes, and by gardeners at all levels.

The panel is chaired by Jack Wallington. The designers taking part are your host Sarah Wilson, Emma Page and Nic Howard. 

The event was held at How Green Nursery in Hever, Kent. How Green Nursery is a trade nursery supplying plants to retailers, landscapers, designers, local authorities and historic gardens. They also supply plants for show gardens, including the RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows. Thanks to the guys at the nursery for hosting an informative and thought-provoking event. 

Further Information

The Roots and All website - https://rootsandall.co.uk

https://twitter.com/rootsandall

https://www.facebook.com/rootsandalluk/

https://www.instagram.com/rootsandallpod/

Email: podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

How Green Nursery - 01732 700382 - www.howgreennursery.co.uk

Jack Wallington www.jackwallington.com

Emma Page www.natureredsigned.co.uk

Nic Howard www.we-love-plants.co.uk

Nov 30, 2018
Budcast - Plant Life Cycles
09:11

Decoding plant categories so you can tell how long your plant will live.

This episode sees the introduction of a new segment, 'Getting to the Roots of...' and this week we're going back to basics to find out the differences between annuals, biennials, perennials etc. so you know how long to expect your plant to live.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Nov 27, 2018
EP 11 - BioChar with Craig Sams of Carbon Gold
30:42

This episode, I’m talking BioChar with Craig Sams, the co-founder of Carbon Gold, a company that produces a range of BioChar products for the garden but also for agricultural use. I interviewed Craig in his beautiful garden in Hastings, so please excuse the cries of the seagulls who tried to get in on the act around halfway through the interview.

 

We discuss:

- What is biochar?

- Why did people start to produce biochar? What are its origins?

- How is it produced?

- Does it matter what kind of biomass goes into the kiln to make the biochar? Do the end results vary depending on the input?

- What is the difference between biochar and simple BBQ charcoal? Won’t BBQ charcoal be almost as good?

- What does it actually ‘do’ – how does it help plants?

- Is there a rule of thumb regarding which soils and which types of crops it works best on? 

- How is it best to apply?

- Can you apply too much?

- Is it for application on new plantings only – or is it also good for mature specimens?

 

About Craig: Before this interview, I probably knew more about Craig than about his product, because he’s a legend in many fields, not least in food and growing. He founded the first macrobiotic restaurant in London in 1967 and went on to start Harmony Foods, which later became Whole Earth Foods. He and his friends provided the food for the first ever Glastonbury Festival in 1972. In 1991, he and his wife Josephine Fairley founded Green and Black’s. He was Chair of the Soil Association from 2001-2007 and is the author of four books, including the seminal text ‘About Macrobiotics’. 

 

Craig’s website is www.craigsams.com

 

To read more about/buy BioChar products, go to www.carbongold.com

 

To read more about the CarbonGold Tree Rescue and to nominate a tree, visit https://www.carbongold.com/save-a-veteran-tree-for-free/ 

 

Follow CarbonGold on Twitter: @carbongold

Like on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CarbonGold 

 

Further Resources

 

The Greenhouse Gas Removal Report https://royalsociety.org/~/media/policy/projects/greenhouse-gas-removal/royal-society-greenhouse-gas-removal-report-2018.pdf 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Nov 20, 2018
Budcast - Garden Jobs
09:36

Sarah shares tips from 3 experts about what you can be doing in the garden this week

If you want to find out the best early flowering narcissus, which raspberries varieties taste the sweetest and how to look after your terracotta pots, then listen in...

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Nov 13, 2018
EP 10 - Aesthetic Ecology with Toby Diggens
35:38

Have you ever noticed how natural landscapes always seem to work? The colours, shapes, scale and textures of a natural landscape appear pleasing to the eye despite little or no human input. It’s this sense of innate beauty in nature, speaking to us on an almost subconscious level, that interests today’s guest Toby Diggens. 

We speak about naturalistic and ecological gardens which incorporate elements of nature that gardeners have traditionally sought to keep out. Key talking points were:

  • Naturalistic planting and designing – elaborating on what Toby refers to as Aesthetic Ecology 
  • The importance of plants as food for invertebrates
  • Unpopular plants that are actually good for wildlife
  • The best wildflowers/weeds for wildlife
  • Wildflowers that are too badly behaved for the garden
  • Ornamentals that work well in naturalistic gardens
  • Resources for those interested in practicing wild gardening
  • Toby’s top tips for wild gardeners

About Toby: Toby Diggens runs Digg & Co., a design studio focussing on ecological landscape design and architecture. His style is one which brings ecological science into the design process, and marries this with the aesthetic and artistic practice of design. Toby studied Landscape Architecture at the University of Gloucestershire and received distinctions in both Post Graduate Diploma and Masters. His masters work, entitled Second Nature explores how wild life can be brought back into our cities and towns through the understanding of ecology as a function rather than only an aesthetic. A great lover of plants, he sees the opportunity of beautiful landscape design, touched by a hint of the wild, as a moving way to rekindle the human passion for the natural world, and hopes that his work, regardless of scale, adds both drama and beauty, but importantly nature back into the gardens and parks of the UK and beyond. 

To contact Toby his email is below: You can also request a copy of his Masters work.

toby@diggandco.co.uk 

Or Follow his Instagram 

@diggandco

 

Further Resources

Emorsgate Seeds – www.wildseed.co.uk 

 

Books

The Wild Garden – William Robinson

The Dynamic Landscape: Design, Ecology and Management of Naturalistic Urban Planting – Dunnett & Hitchmough

Meadows – Christopher Lloyd

Sowing Beauty – James Hitchmough

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk 

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall 

Nov 06, 2018
Budcast - Houseplant Update
10:46

This week is all about plant pests and diseases, maintenance and planting. Sarah reads an excerpt from fellow Hastings plant-lover Marianne North's diary to mark Marianne's 188th birthday. 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Oct 30, 2018
EP 09 - Terry Woods - Fox-A-Gon
24:15

Do you welcome foxes into your garden or are they the bane of your life when it comes to growing plants and keeping a clean and tidy plot? Foxes can be a joy to watch but a pain when they’re digging up your plants! In this episode, I speak to animal behaviour expert and fox aficionado Terry Woods. Terry is co-founder of Fox-A-Gon, a company which offers organic and ethical solutions in situations where foxes may be unwelcome visitors. 

We discuss common problems that can occur when sharing our gardens with foxes and Terry dispels some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding these occasionally maligned animals. Terry offers a refreshing and common-sense perspective to living alongside wildlife based on his decades of experience and observation. 

The Fox-a-Gon website is a fantastic resource if you’d like to find out more about co-existing with foxes. It also provides solutions to dissuade them from visiting your plot, should you need them. Their FAQ page is comprehensive and no-nonsense; I highly recommend it as your first port of call if you need even general advice about foxes, it really does provide some brilliant information.

 

Points of interest;

The Law as it relates to fox control/removal in the UK

Feeding foxes

Why foxes dig up plants

Foxes and cats

Foxes and humans

Urban foxes

Injured foxes

 

Guest follow up;

Terry Woods founded Fox-A-Gon alongside Graham Le Blond. The company is based in the South East, however they work all over the UK.

www.fox-a-gon.co.uk

Telephone: 0208 925 9639

Mobile: 07768 903 043 / 07973 414 935

 

Further useful resources;

The Fox Project – www.foxproject.org.uk

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Oct 23, 2018
Budcast - Listener Questions
11:04

Sarah fields listener questions about herbaceous border maintenance in October and when to prune pieris. She reports back on her visit to the Great Dixter Plant Fair and there's a little bit of housekeeping too.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Oct 16, 2018
EP 08 - Alliums with Jackie Currie
26:02

Alliums have to be one of our most well-loved, contemporary perennials. They’re relatively pest and disease free, pollinators love them, they look good in flower and also in skeletonised form during the winter. However, if you thought growing alliums was as straightforward as bunging some bulbs in the ground and enjoying them year after year, you may be surprised…

After losing some alliums in my own garden, I was determined to find out a bit more about what these plants need to succeed in the garden. Jackie Currie has held the National Collection of Alliums for the past 4 years and I surmised that if anyone could help me on my quest to make my alliums happy, she could.

Since she started studying alliums in earnest, Jackie has learned many things that might surprise even the most seasoned grower and it appears she may be re-writing the rule book on alliums as we know it. Listen to the episode to find out which alliums truly act as perennials, coming back year after year. Also find out which alliums to treat as annuals, what to feed them, where to grow them and the answers to many other questions about alliums you didn’t even realise you should be asking!

 

Points of interest;

Ideal soil conditions for alliums 

Alliums that are easy to grow

Alliums that are tricky

Potential diseases 

What to plant them with

Feeding

How to propagate them

 

Guest follow up;

Jackie Currie has run Euphorbia Design in partnership with Lorraine Cooke for the past 15 years.

www.euphorbia-design.co.uk

info@euphorbia-design.co.uk

Jackie and her alliums can often be found exhibiting at RHS Flower Shows Hampton Court & Chelsea, where she is a multiple medal-winner.

 

Further useful research;

There is none! Jackie doesn’t recommend any books or websites as useful resources for information on Alliums and I must say that having a poke around on the internet reveals common advice mainly conflicts with Jackie’s findings. Perhaps if you have any experience of alliums that may be useful you can email them to me podcast@rootsandall.co.uk and I will can pass them on to Jackie and I will find a way to share them online with listeners. 

 

Allium names, in order of mention;

Allium

atropurpureum

‘Silver Spring’

ampeloprasum

‘Purple Sensation’

wallichii

altissimum

christophii

sphaerocephalon

senescens

lusitanicum

giganteum

‘Ambassador’

schubertii

caeruleum

caesium

‘Eros’

‘Mount Everest’

‘Mont Blanc’

‘Globemaster’

nigrum

‘Gladiotor’

paradoxum var. normale 

siculum

litvinovii

angulosum

fistulosum

‘Early Emperor’

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Oct 09, 2018
Budcast - National Collections and Overdue Jobs
08:58

Sarah talks about jobs she should have done two weeks ago (same old same old) and about how National Collections work and why you may be able to have one if you so desire it.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Oct 02, 2018
Budcast - An Introduction to Vegan Gardening
09:23

The first ever Vegan Garden Festival was held at Hortus Loci Plant Centre in Hampshire on Sept 15th 2018. Sarah reviews the event and her discovery that she may be more than just a vegan who gardens.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Sep 25, 2018
EP 07 - Trees
36:52

Selecting and planting trees can be a minefield. Never fear though, help is on hand as ‘legend in the world of trees’, Kew-trained, Peter Thurman is here to provide straight-forward advice about what to do and what not to do when buying a tree and planting it out.

Peter’s CV is suitably impressive. He is a landscape designer and plantsman and holds chartered status in arboriculture, horticulture, forestry and the environment. He is a fellow of both the Arboricultural Association and the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and it doesn’t end there. Find out more about Peter and his passion for all things tree related in this episode. 

Discover how to select the right tree for your garden’s soil type and which species of tree will help you create the effect you are targeting. Learn how pleached trees can become an attractive alternative to fencing, just beware of the High Hedges Act! Does it pay to have patience when growing your tree, or is it easier to have instant impact? 

Pick up some valuable tips and tricks on the planting process. From deciding which food you should feed your prized specimen with, to mulching and watering, your questions are sure to be addressed in this informative episode. 

 

Points of interest; 

Soil conditions when planting a tree 

Choosing the right trees for your garden 

The process of planting a tree

Round vs square hole 

Tree food

How to deal with planting a tree in clay soil

Watering your tree

Staking your tree

The importance of mulching

Ideal trees for small or large gardens

Trees for; privacy/scent/flowers/autumn colours/the ultimate seaside garden 

 

FAQs answered; 

When is the best time of year to plant a tree?

Should I take the hessian off a field grown tree before planting?

When shopping for my tree, should I buy the biggest one possible?

Are soil Testing kits a good idea?

What do I need to put at the base of my newly planted tree?

How do I deal with leaders?

Which type of stake should I use? 

 

Guest follow up; 

Peter Thurman 

Email: ThurmanConsultancy@btinternet.com 

www.thurmanconsultancy.co.uk  - Peter Thurman Consultancy, Landscape

www.lcgd.org.co.uk  - London College of Garden Design 

 

Further useful research; 

www.kew.org - Visit The Royal Botanical Grades at Kew 

www.reading.ac.uk - Dr Glynn Percival

www.biochar.co.uk - Tree food

Rigel-G - Tree food product 

 

Trees in order of mention, Botanical name followed by UK common name;

Kolreuteria paniculata fastigiata – Pride of India

Quercos phellos – Willow Oak

Lime trees AKA Tilia species:

Tilia tomentosa – Silver Lime

Tilia T. henryana – Henry’s Lime

Taxus baccata – Yew 

Ginkgo biloba – Maidenhair Tree

Cordyline australis – Cabbage Palm

Pterostyrax hispida – Epaulette Tree

Liriodendron tulipifera – Tulip Tree

Liquidambar styraciflua - Sweetgum 

Parrotia persica – Persian Ironwood

Tamarix species - Tamarisk

Quercus ilex - Holm Oak

Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore

Cedrus libani – Cedar of Lebanon

 

Get in touch;

Email: podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website: www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter: @rootsandall

Instagram: rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

 

 

 

 

Sep 18, 2018
Budcast - Carnivorous Plants
16:59

If you want to know the answers to why your carnivorous plant may look dead but isn't and why none of them can eat greenfly, listen in... 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Sep 11, 2018
Budcast - August? Meh!
09:20

Sarah is surprised to find that August is not the most popular month with gardeners and explores some ways in which the month can be made a little more bearable. She also talks about thrips on houseplants.

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Sep 04, 2018
EP 06 - Houseplants
30:40

Houseplants have come a long way since your mum’s Swiss cheese plant from the 1970s. However, successfully cultivating one of the myriad of varieties available today, is not as simple as wedging your chosen species into the barren corner of the living room in a once redundant terracotta pot. From nurturing your first cactus at university to transforming your home into an indoor sanctuary full of orchids, bringing the outside in has always had its challenges but also its benefits.

Discover why, as Sarah places her partner Jason Stevens in the hot seat to grill him on his knowledge and passion for houseplants. Jason served 16 years in the Army leaving in 2016 for medical reasons, after which he undertook a period of rehabilitation. During his recovery he noticed what a positive effect gardening had and chose to follow this up by embarking on a garden design diploma. Eventually he narrowed his focus to sourcing and caring for indoor houseplants.

Jason chats about numerous varieties of houseplants, from easy care perennials such as ferns and aspidistra to trickier specimens such as selaginella. He discusses the potential health benefits some may provide and offers some great tips on general plant care. Whether you know your bonsai from your begonia, there is plenty of useful information to ensure you can achieve your indoor zen.

*Listen today to find out the winner of the review competition.

 

Points of interest;

Easiest and most difficult houseplants

Sunny spots and shady spots

Bathroom plants

Bedroom plants

Hanging pots

Tips on the procedure of buying plants

General plant maintenance

Rain water Vs distilled water

Top 5 common pests and diseases

 

FAQs answered;

Do I need to repot a plant once I get it home?

How do I tell if my plant needs watering?

How often should I water my plants?

Should I give my plants food?

Which plants need misting?

Should I use leaf shine?

 

Guest follow up;

www.simplygarden.org 

Jason Stephens Instagram simply_garden

Facebook @simplygardensw 

 

Further useful research;

Plant names mentioned:

Aspidistra elatior

Sansevieria trifasciata – Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

Calathea

Nephrolepis exaltata – Boston Fern 

Ficus elastica – Rubber Plant

Ficus benjamina – Weeping Fig

Spathiphyllum – Peace Lily

Ceropegia woodii – String of Hearts

Selaginella species

Echinocactus grusonii – Mother-in-Law’s Seat

 

Brand names:

House Plant Focus

SB Plant Invigorator

 

Pests:

Aphids

Fungus gnats

Mealy bugs

Spider mites

Thrips

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk 

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Aug 28, 2018
Budcast - Terrariums and Tulips
09:22

Beth Otway AKA Pumpkin Beth has turned terrarium gardening into a perfectly balanced combination of science and art. Sarah reads excerpts from her interview with Beth and also talks about when to order your tulips and offers some suggestions for ones to look out for.

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Aug 21, 2018
Budcast - Letting You in on a Secret
08:41

Sarah starts by pondering how come the roses seem to be having 2 distinct flushes this year and gets no nearer to an answer. She also discusses when to trim your box bushes and talks about the intriguing houseplant du jour, the Crocodile Fern. The Budcast finishes with an unexpected confession... 

 

Get in touch;

Email podcast@rootsandall.co.uk

Website www.rootsandall.co.uk

Twitter @rootsandall

Instagram rootsandallpod

 

Patreon Link;

Help us keep the podcast free & independent! Donate as much or as little as you like at https://www.patreon.com/rootsandall

Aug 14, 2018
EP 05 - Allotments Part 1
28:33