Episodes
Did you know that bumblebees have a 75% higher metabolic rate than hummingbirds? These furry insects need a lot of energy! And your neighbourhood could help fuel our native bumblebees to fly 1 million miles. The secret is plants. We speak to RHS wildlife expert Helen Bostock and the pollinator team at RHS Science who have designed three planters that will give bees, and people, a real boost. Podcast hosts Guy Barter and Gareth Richards discuss companion planting, and Lucy Bellamy shares some...
Published 05/19/22
This week we're heading out into the darkness to meet some surprising garden friends – bats. These furry night fliers are surprising garden helpers, hoovering up all kinds of mosquitos and midges that might otherwise be biting us instead. Shirley Thompson MBE has been at the forefront of UK bat conservation for almost 40 years and she offers advice to gardeners on how we can all play our part in helping keep bat numbers strong. Did you know that some cacti grow on trees and bloom at night?...
Published 05/12/22
Published 05/12/22
This week we meet Michael Marriott, one of the UK’s foremost rosarians. Michael shares his expertise from a lifetime of rose growing, which is distilled into his new book, RHS Roses: An Inspirational Guide to Choosing and Growing the Best Roses. Plus troubleshooting tips on rose growing from the RHS Gardening Advice team. Matthew Oliver, horticulturist and veg grower extraordinaire continues our greenhouse growing mini-series with a piece from the beautiful glasshouse at the heart of RHS...
Published 05/05/22
Join us as we celebrate 200 years of spreading gardening knowledge with RHS educational programmes. Whether you want to travel the world on botanical adventures for a Master of Horticulture qualification, or for your children to learn how to plant seeds, we are there for you. An RHS course can open the door to a fantastic career in gardening, and we hear from students past and present who share their stories. Study & learn with the RHS
Published 04/28/22
Out of more than 200 gardens nationwide, only one can take the coveted crown of RHS Partner Garden of the Year. The 2021 winner has just been announced as Larch Cottage Nurseries in Cumbria's Eden Valley – we meet owner Peter Stott to find out the story behind his piece of horticultural heaven. Back at RHS Garden Wisley, horticultural advisors James Lawrence, Nikki Barker and Julie Henderson get together to answer queries on compost-making, wildflower growing and how to get year-round...
Published 04/21/22
Today we're taking a trip back in time with Dr Chris Thorogood, Head of Science at Oxford Botanic Garden. Enter long-forgotten worlds of the weird and wonderful plants which flourished before, during and after the age of dinosaurs, and discover their descendants that still flourish today. Ferns are among these 'living fossils', and RHS Gardening Advisor James Lawrence shares some favourite varieties to grow in the garden* in discussion with colleagues Nikki Barker and Julie Henderson. Plus,...
Published 04/14/22
In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster Tayshan Hayden-Smith brought a traumatised community together through gardening. In almost exactly 5 years his gardening journey has taken him from neglected London street-side spaces to a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It's a tale of resilience, resourcefulness and horticultural heroism – and homage to the bravery of 1970s activists whose legacy lives on today.  There's bravery in admitting your mistakes too, as BBC Gardeners' World...
Published 04/07/22
To celebrate the publication of his new book, The Creative Gardener, Adam Frost joins us this week to share some of his favourite creative outdoor projects. From simple yet stylish benches to a planted coffee table, there's a host of wonderful features you can make with very little cash.  Meanwhile at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, horticulturist Aimee-Beth Browning explains how having wet or boggy ground can open up a whole world of planting possibilities. Plus a look at how to up your gardening...
Published 03/31/22
Welcome to the contrary and fascinating world of one of the biggest plant families on Earth. 'Orchids are plants of great contradiction but always astonishing beauty' - says James Armitage, botanist and Editor of The Orchid Review magazine, who shares insight into what draws people to these strange and wonderful plants.  Historian Abra Lee tells the tale of a young enslaved man in Reunion who solved the riddle of how to pollinate vanilla - the only orchid out of 25,000-plus species that's...
Published 03/24/22
Our Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter wanders into Hampton Court Palace's historic yew maze to meet Gardens Manager Graham Dillamore. Once haunt of kings and queens, this 300 year old spread of tortuous topiary now welcomes thousands of visitors and contains valuable lessons for modern-day gardeners too. Guy offers hedge planting and maintenance advice before handing over to Dr Stephanie Bird who shares the latest thinking on box tree moth, a recent arrival to Britain that can devastate...
Published 03/17/22
This week’s programme is all about being kinder to the earth and the creatures we share it with. Guy Barter meets the founder of Riverford Organic Farmers, Guy Singh-Watson, to discover how he turned a family dairy farm into a byword for sustainable food. Dave Goulson, author of Silent Earth – Averting the Insect Apocalypse shares his thoughts on how gardeners can be more active in the fight to save our bees, butterflies and all manner of threatened insects. Plus RHS Gardening Advisor Nikki...
Published 03/10/22
Plant names and their pronunciation can be a vexed business. If you’re overwhelmed by long Latin plant names, take heart: botanist and author James Wong comes to the rescue and explains why the botanical names matter and how a little knowledge of them can give us clues as to how plants look and perform.  He explains that since Latin is a dead language, there’s no-one around to correct your pronunciation – so just go ahead and have a go! When familiar plant names are changed, it can be a...
Published 03/03/22
Swifts... their screaming calls are the sound of summer, yet these aerial acrobats are in trouble. Their UK population has declined by almost 60% over the last two decades. This week we meet John Stimpson, the man on a mission to reverse the decline of this much-loved bird. Does garden size matter when it comes to providing food for pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies? New research from the RHS along with the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff and Northumbria shows that even tiny...
Published 02/24/22
This week we visit Yorkshire to talk to allotmenteer and YouTuber Mothin Ali (MyFamilyGarden), to find out how he's preparing for the growing season ahead. Including tips on chillies, tomatoes and green manures (also known as cover crops). RHS Gardening Advisor Nikki Barker shares expert tips on how to garden on chalky soil. Gareth Richards has an ode to an 'allotment workhorse' – a fragrant shrub with abundant crops of healthy berries – the blackcurrant. Useful links RHS Grow Your Own...
Published 02/17/22
Wild gardening might be all the rage right now but it's not as new as you might think. In this programme we examine the legacy of pioneering Irish gardener and writer William Robinson. He shook up the horticultural world in the late 1800s, bringing in new approaches to planting that still resonate today. Plus, Guy Barter has a 'love letter' to snowdrops and we speak to Peter Moore, the British plant breeder behind some of the most successful plant introductions of the past few...
Published 02/10/22
The number of people renting houses has doubled in the past 10 years. But how do you make a garden when you're faced with blank concrete paving or the prospect of having to move home in just a few months? Luckily we have barrowloads of fantastic advice from Matthew Pottage, Curator of RHS Garden Wisley and long-term renter of a house in southwest London. His new book, 'How to Garden When You Rent' is published today. Hear him discuss some of the tips and tricks he's learned from a decade...
Published 02/03/22
From Sussex to South Carolina, this week we're exploring what happens when plants take over. What do you get if you mix poor quality farmland, a passion for wildlife and a biodiversity crisis? The answer is a pioneering rewilding project that has stunned ecologists and revolutionised ideas about nature conservation in Britain. We head to Knepp Estate in Sussex to meet Isabella Tree and find out more.  Bill Finch is a naturalist who grew up in the Deep South of the USA. Here he witnessed a...
Published 01/27/22
This week's programme is dedicated to vegetable growing. You can grow veg almost anywhere - as New Yorker Kofi Thomas proves with his inspirational story of how he created The Good Life Garden from a former dumping ground in the heart of Brooklyn. It's a project that has improved the lives of thousands of Long Island residents and has distributed literally tons of fresh homegrown fruit and veg to people in need. Regular presenters Guy Barter and Verity Battyll of RHS Garden Wisley offer...
Published 01/20/22
This week we're working with plants through time and across the world. Author and previous guest on the show Jonathan Drori explores more incredible plants from across the globe, including Tillandsia (Spanish moss) from the American Deep South. It's a mysterious relative of the pineapple plant that has almost no roots yet is woven into the history and culture of the southern states. Historian Fiona Davison tells the story of Thomas Fairchild, a London man who made the first ever intentional...
Published 01/13/22
Happy New Year from the RHS podcast team! This week's programme is all about looking forward to a green and pleasant 2022. Wisley’s Guy Barter and Verity Battyll discuss their 5 winter must-have plants, while gardening advisor James Lawrence shares his top 5 seasonal jobs. Plus RHS editor and allotmenteer Gareth Richards offers advice on how to grow fruit and veg in a sustainable way. For links to more information please see our show notes or visit rhs.org.uk/podcast
Published 01/06/22
What a year 2021 has been for gardening! We've had weird weather, an autumn Chelsea Flower Show, a peat ban, RHS Bridgewater opening... the list goes on. This week we're looking back to some of our podcast highlights, including delving into the tiny but terrifying world of parasitic wasps with RHS Wisley scientist Magdalena Boshoff who explains how these insects do an amazing job destroying garden pests. Zehra Zaidi tells the story of how she helped name a rose after a trailblazing black...
Published 12/30/21
This week's programme is bursting with seasonal greenery. Award-winning writer and RHS blogger Graham Rice explains how to grow a Yuletide favourite and one of our most mysterious native plants – mistletoe. Then we hop 'over the pond' for the latest in our Hidden Horticulturists series to explore the life of one of the 20th century's greatest botanists: holly expert Dr Shiu-Ying Hu. Meanwhile back at RHS Garden Wisley, Verity Batyll describes her favourite plants to brighten up winter...
Published 12/23/21
When a successful lawyer suffered a debilitating stroke, it turned her life upside down. Meet Bhupinder Sohanpal as she explains how she rebuilt herself through gardening with the help of the Wisley Community Allotments programme. The Horticultural Therapy Trust is a charity which uses gardening to help support people facing long-term mental health issues and brain injuries: its Project Manager Deb Hoskin tells the stories of some of the people who've benefitted. Plus, organic food grower...
Published 12/16/21
Cold winter nights are the perfect time to get reading, so this week’s podcast is a celebration of gardening books and garden writing. Writer and BAFTA award-winning TV producer Jonathan Drori takes us around the world in 80 plants while RHS authors Fiona Davison and Gareth Richards discuss their favourite books of the year. Plus a look at how gardening newsletters are bringing fresh ideas to the horticultural world. Books mentioned in this programme: Around the World in 80 Plants – Jonathan...
Published 12/09/21