In this episode I’m mulling over good gardening writing that reinforces our own opinions, and struggling with when it doesn’t. For me, that means alstroemerias.
“Ask a busy person”, they say, if you want something done. And since I wanted to talk about how our gardens join together to form something more than the sum of their parts, who better to ask than garden designer Jo Thompson, whose Springwatch garden at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival was a celebration of just that.
A rambling, rainy midsummer wander through the garden, and a trail for the next full episode.
Have you ever noticed that everything tastes a bit better outdoors? Wouldn’t it be great if we could move seemlessly from our houses to our outdoor space, pulling food straight from the garden, preparing it and even cooking it outdoors? I talk to garden designer Victoria Wade about how she makes this possible for her clients.
What do you do when you realise you’ve been living with someone else’s garden? In discussion with landscape architect Marian Boswall, we discuss intention and purpose in garden design, the place of the landscape, and who the client really is.
Gardening has something to offer everyone – but there’s a danger it can come across either as a slightly exclusive club with its own language, or even an irrelevance. I’m joined by Sara Venn, the woman behind Incredible Edible Bristol, to talk about access, representation, and just who gardening is for.
Having a fascination with the relationship between gardens, words and language, I was delighted when garden designer and poet Sean Swallow agreed to appear on the podcast. In this episode we talk about his garden at Scatterford, his poetry, and the relationship between the two.
Each day now the sound of birdsong gets louder – spring is in the air, but we wait on the threshold, wondering if winter’s quite done with us yet. I can think of noone better to discuss seasonal living with than gardening writer Lia Leendertz, author of the hugely successful Almanac, a seasonal guide to 2019, and was delighted she could join me for this episode.
Looking at the garden in January, it’s easy to feel you really should dive out there and get stuck in, but there’s a lot to be said for taking a considered approach. In this episode I talk to British sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon about how she’s borrowing techniques from her artwork to create intimate spaces in her garden, and just how much time she spends standing about and staring at nothing much.
For episode 5 of the Gardens, weeds & words podcast, I’m joined by Kate Bradbury, author of Wildlfe Gardening and The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, to talk about the wildlife in our gardens, and our relationship to it. There’s the usual seasonal garden sountrack, a micro review of two more of my favourite gardening books, and some really bad piano playing. So, all in all, a fitting way to see out the year. I do hope you’ll join me.
It’s not every day you get to share a podcast episode with a furry critter, which is probably what the Telegraph's Alice Vincent thought when I appeared in her Skype app. It’s definitely what I thought when squirrels began to throw themselves upon the plants on Alice’s balcony as we recorded – perfectly timed to demonstrate just some of the tribulations of gardening 60 feet up.
Episode 3 of the Gardens, weeds & words podcast is out and, as the clocks go back and we head into darkness, I’m talking to food and lifestyle photographer Ros Atkinson about the part light has to play in her beautiful images. And trying to get to the bottom of her love affair with vegetables.
As the leaves fall, we begin to see our gardens in their wider context, which makes it a perfect time to consider how they relate to the surrounding landscape. In this episode I’m joined by the artist Celia Hart, who discusses her earliest plant memories, and the role that her local Suffolk landscape has upon her work.
Have you ever wondered why we make gardens? I have. How do we choose to surround ourselves with plants? How do we incorporate them into our lives? Our relationship as a species with plants is something that fascinates me, and these are just the kind of questions the new podcast is creating space to explore – albeit in a fairly relaxed manner. The first episode was promised in early autumn...and it’s almost time.
Do we need another gardening podcast? The question is moot – we’re getting one anyway, and I’m afraid it’s all my fault. With a blend of slow radio and garden musings, the Gardens, weeds & words podcast will offer a soundtrack to this blog, with the first episode due in early Autumn.