The Garden Podcast

The Garden Podcast

A frond farewell

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In the final edition of The Garden Podcast, Chris is joined by garden writer and podcast regular Melissa Mabbitt for a look back at the highlights of the programme in 2020, an extraordinary year in gardening. Including an interview with a new RHS President with perhaps the best name ever; a discussion on garden-making with Rachel de Thame and a celebration of an unsung veg garden hero with food writer Mark Diacono. Plus we talk to a Wisley-based horticulturist who's also called Chris Young about the delights of growing indoor ferns as houseplants.

This is the final programme of the series. Thank you so much for listening, and we hope you'll join us on our main podcast feed – Gardening with the RHS – where we'll continue to feature content from our award-winning magazine for RHS members, The Garden. Please see links in the show notes.

Homegrown Christmas decorations, city garden design and gardens for wellbeing

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Renowned florist Simon Lycett offers tips on what you can pick from your garden to make homegrown floral displays this Christmas. Designer Adolfo Harrison reveals the thought processes behind a joyful and striking small urban garden featured in the magazine this month. Plus columnist Lia Leendertz shares her thoughts on the value of gardens for health and wellbeing.

Grasses, John Evelyn and mad for mangaves

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This month, Chris speaks to one of Britain’s foremost ornamental grass experts, Neil Lucas – proprietor of Knoll Gardens. From tiny seslerias to towering miscanthus, Neil shares tips on choosing and using grasses in a variety of situations. Historian Ambra Edwards discusses the legacy of legendary 17th-century plantsman and polymath John Evelyn. And finally, broadcaster Michael Perry talks about an unusual new plant on the block that’s as good outdoors as it is as a houseplant – the exotic-looking and drought-tolerant mangave*.

*Please note, the naming of these plants is a controversial topic; botanically they are listed variously as Agave, × Mangave and Mangave.

Pears, asters and tulip trees

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How do you pick the perfect pear? Food writer and grower Mark Diacono shares tips on growing, storing and eating this most delicious of autumn fruits. Dr Andrew Ward of Norwell Nurseries gives tips on growing asters and Peter Jones of RHS Garden Wisley takes an expert look at tulip trees (Liriodendron).

Welcoming a new president, gardening careers, pineapple lilies

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Chris talks to incoming RHS President Keith Weed about what he hopes to achieve in his new role. Writer and Wisley graduate Holly Farrell extols the virtues of learning your trade with an RHS Diploma in Practical Horticulture, highlighting some of the incredible opportunities that this iconic course can open up. Plus Alan Street of Avon Bulbs shares his love of an unusual late summer flower: Eucomis or pineapple lily.

Cucumbers, cacti and crickets

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Life-long vegetable grower and cucumber connoisseur Sue Stickland shares her secrets of success for growing cucumbers outdoors. Garden designer Paul Spracklin encourages us to brave the prickly pleasures of outdoor cacti. His Essex garden (in the driest part of the country) contains dozens of species normally seen only under glass. Plus RHS Entomologist Andy Salisbury encourages us to take a closer look at some of summer's finest songsters; crickets and grasshoppers.

Sour pleasures, authors' gardens, urban design

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What do salsas, sauces for sea bass and knickerbocker glories all have in common? They're all good uses for the humble redcurrant of course! Food writer Mark Diacono shares his love of redcurrants, along with their white and pink cousins; plus interviews on famous authors' gardens with Daisy Johnson and urban garden design with Bradley Viljoen.

Herb secrets with Jekka, mad about moths, through a plantsman's window

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Jersey tiger, vapourer, Mother Shipton... this month we flutter into the weird and wonderful world of day-flying moths with RHS scientist Dr Stephanie Bird. Back on the ground, multiple award-winning herb grower Jekka McVicar shares wisdom gained from a lifetime of working with, growing, cooking and preserving aromatic plants. Plus legendary plantsman Roy Lancaster takes us on a voyage to far-off lands through the exotic plants growing in his garden.

A new look at nasturtiums and what does it really mean to be green?

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This month, Chris talks to broadcaster, industry insider and lover of all things brazen, Mr Plant Geek (aka Michael Perry) about an undeservedly neglected but hardworking plant, the nasturtium. Michael shares growing tips and outlines some of its many different and wonderful varieties.

David Ware of pioneering eco-friendly nursery Edibleculture describes how the company has managed to not only go peat free but is now attempting to eliminate plastic waste too, as part of an ongoing quest to 'green' its entire business. Plus a behind-the-scenes look at how The Garden magazine team are coping with lockdown.

Gardening for wellbeing, gin botanicals and The Plant Review

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Did you know that growing plants can boost your mental health and wellbeing - and even help boost your immunity? Chris talks to Alistair Griffiths, RHS Director of Science, about his new book 'Your Wellbeing Garden', co-authored with award-winning garden designer Matt Keightley.

Also this month, garden writer Naomi Slade explores the sparklingly fragrant world of home-grown gin botanicals, offering lots of suggestions of how to take your G&T to the next level, with everything from zingy lemon balm to floral cornflowers and many more. Plus an editors' tête à tête with James Armitage who shares a peek inside this month's The Plant Review with delicious yellow snowdrops, tales of garden-making Princesses and plant hunting in far-off lands.

About this podcast

A peek behind the scenes at The Garden magazine with exclusive interviews, gardening advice and more.

Come behind the scenes with editor Chris Young as we meet the people behind the stories and articles featured in the UK's biggest gardening magazine, The Garden.

Each month we'll be delving a little deeper into a range of horticultural topics, meeting garden designers, wildlife experts, nurserymen and women and other luminaries of the gardening world.
For more information see

by Royal Horticultural Society


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