Episodes
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
Did you know that there are 30 different species of worm in the UK? Or that fungi can actually help create habitats for wildlife? This week we're exploring the roles played these crucial but often overlooked garden residents. Back indoors we meet a hidden hero of horticulture - ‘likely the most prolific botanical explorer of the early 20th century’. Staff from RHS Garden Wisley and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh join forces to tell his story. For links please visit our show notes or...
Published 12/02/21
Learn how to grow winter veg staple (and superfood) kale with RHS expert Guy Barter, who recommends the best varieties and explains how to keep problems at bay. There's also great advice on when and how to protect tender plants from the winter cold, and chef Mark Diacono tells us how to make delicious and warming sloe gin from the fruit of the blackthorn bush.
Published 11/25/21
Kuda Chimbudzi is a superstar gardener, growing healthy fruit and veg for the Premier League footballers at Tottenham Hotspur FC. Our resident gardening guru Guy Barter heads to north London to check out his award-winning kitchen garden at the club's grounds. Plus we meet Lucy Vincent of Food Behind Bars – a charity that's trying to improve the lives and diets of prisoners through growing food; and Greig Robertson from Edible Estates in Edinburgh, an organisation creating neighbourhood plots...
Published 11/18/21
From smuggled wealth hidden in the pockets of 17th-century refugees to imperial beheadings and long treks up freezing, desolate mountainsides... there's more to the humble tulip than you might think. And as the nights draw in, now is the perfect time to get planting these spring favourites. Garden designer Humaira Ikram shares her favourite varieties and ways of using them, and we head to Cambridge University Botanic Garden to discover a unique collection of species tulips and talk about...
Published 11/11/21
You might think of gardening as an intrinsically green activity, but our verdant hedges and lush lawns can cause some very dirty habits. In an eye-opening interview, low-carbon gardening expert Sally Nex gives the lowdown on how ditching petrol power tools is important for the health of both gardeners and our planet. Plus we head to COP26 host city Glasgow to discover a pioneering urban seed library that helps create resilience in local food systems. And in Cornwall we meet artist Dr...
Published 11/04/21
This week we meet Harriet Thompson, who's spearheading an eco-friendly revolution in houseplant growing. RHS scientist Jassy Drakulic explains the latest thinking on an extremely common garden problem, honey fungus. Plus Will Rogers of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia shares his unique approach to conserving the fabulous native flora of the Southeastern USA. For links to more information see www.rhs.org.uk/podcast
Published 10/28/21
It's almost a year since Zehra Zaidi told us the remarkable story of John Ystumllyn, an 18th century African gardener in North Wales, as part of our Hidden Horticulturists series. This week she's back with the joyful news of a new rose that has just been launched to commemorate his life. It's believed to be the first rose named after an ethnic minority Briton. Author Simon Morley tells how a fusion of Chinese and European rose species created the repeat-flowering garden roses we know and...
Published 10/21/21
Discover the brilliant berries you can grow at home. RHS Editor Gareth Richards talks to Guy Barter about his experiences growing exciting novelties such as Chilean guavas and juneberries, while allotmenteer Kirsty Ward offers first-hand advice on growing blueberries. Anna Greenland is a cook and gardener to Michelin-starred chefs; she shares favourite berry-based recipes and her star varieties of strawberry. Plus RHS historian Fiona Davison explores the fascinating history of British...
Published 10/14/21
Rakes and rhinestones, wigs and water butts... Daisy Desire the Drag Queen Gardener explains how she's bringing a touch of glamour to the potting shed and hopes to attract new audiences to gardening. Back at Wisley, RHS Gardening Advisors Chris Taylor and Michaela Freed give a seasonal update on how to get your garden looking great for the season ahead. Plus our resident history expert Fiona Davison tells the story of the mysterious Miss Harrisson, a horticultural high-achiever who, over a...
Published 10/07/21
Dr Amy Jane Beer explores the marvels of all things arboreal – from the world's loneliest tree that also helped define our current geological era to the 400 year-old apple tree that inspired Newton's theory of gravity. Plus she takes a look at trees' wellbeing benefits too. Curator Matt Pottage explores the concept of Champion Trees, highlighting some of the magnificent specimens to be found at RHS Garden Wisley. And did you know that some conifers are deciduous and offer fabulous autumn...
Published 09/30/21
Join us for an inspiring delve into this Chelsea one-off - the year the famous flower show took place in September. This year the show has some unique aspects to explore, including the gorgeous houseplant studios and the brand new balcony and container gardens. Find out how to create pure garden escapism in even the smallest of spaces with designer Martha Krempel and hear how landscape architect James Smith made his balcony into a green oasis of calm. Designer of the tiny Pocket Forest...
Published 09/23/21
It's time to get your flower bulbs in the ground, and RHS expert Nikki Barker shares her top tips on what to plant and how to plant it for beautiful and long-lasting spring displays. In an intimate conversation packed with gardening tips, author, broadcaster and kitchen garden guru Sarah Raven talks Arthur Parkinson, discussing everything from how their gardening friendship grew, to the edible and visual late-season glories of the ornamental kitchen garden. Plus Fiona Davison tells the tale...
Published 09/16/21
If you’re looking for a sustainable way to control garden pests, delve into this episode on the weird and wonderful world of biological controls. RHS expert entomologist Andy Salisbury explores the fascinating history of how certain bugs and beasties were introduced as pest controls (with many successes... and some disasters), and food and nature writer Eugenia Bone explains how fungi have a potentially vital role. Plus, RHS scientist Magdelena Boshoff explains how to successfully apply...
Published 09/09/21
How do you get the best displays of autumn colour in your garden? Which flowers can you sow now for extra early displays next year? Are there any crops you can sow in September for late autumn harvests? Tune in for answers to these questions and many more in this a bumper edition of seasonal gardening advice from RHS experts. Plus Wisley horticulturist Alex Young shares tips on propagating houseplants.   Useful links: ►Find out more about growing trees and shrubs  ►Houseplants ►Sowing hardy...
Published 09/02/21
This week we're going wild for some of the daintiest, most airy and graceful plants out there - ornamental grasses. Author and RHS Editor Gareth Richards shares his favourites and offers tips on how to use them in the garden. Eminent expert and nurseryman Neil Lucas takes us on a tour of one of the best grass gardens in the country, Knoll Gardens in Dorset. Plus growing tips from RHS Gardening Advisor Nicky Barker, and we delve into the undergrowth to meet some grass-loving creatures -...
Published 08/26/21
We talk to Lucy Jones and Kenneth Greenway, authors of 'The Nature Seed – How to Raise Adventurous and Nurturing Kids' about ideas for how to engage your children in outdoor activities this summer. Author Abra Lee tells the story of Booker T. Washington, a leading African-American educator who brought horticultural learning opportunities to disenfranchised communities in the South in the late 19th century. Plus a look at picking the right houseplant with RHS Wisley's Alex Young and a guide on...
Published 08/19/21
This week we’re clambering for climbing plants, wading through wisteria and going eye-to-eye with one of the most contentious wall-huggers of the lot: ivy. Featuring barrow-loads of expert RHS advice on how to keep your climbers happy and full of flowers, plus tips on how to use them in your garden. Featuring Matt Pottage (Curator of RHS Garden Wisley), garden designer Flo Headlam, RHS Gardening Advisor Becky Mealey and author Gareth Richards. **Plants mentioned** - Cobaea scandens -...
Published 08/12/21
This week we're all about growing your own fruit and veg in a programme dedicated to allotments and the green-fingered people who tend them. We meet the 'Veg King', retired fisherman Gerald Stratford (@GeraldStrafor3) – who became an overnight internet sensation, bringing giant veg growing to the attention of a worldwide audience and even starring in a fashion campaign by Gucci. Allotmenteer and YouTuber Mothin Ali (My Family Garden) shares top tips on growing potatoes while Kirsty Ward...
Published 08/05/21
Enjoy a tour around RHS Garden Wisley’s Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden with its 4,500 roses and find out how to keep yours blooming until autumn. We discover how this iconic plant became the favourite (and least loved) flower among the British with historian Simon Morley, then author Gareth Richards sings the praises of a rose relative, the bramble, ‘nature’s frontline defender against man’. Finally, find out about the pest-busting wasp you definitely need in your garden this summer.
Published 07/29/21