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More Recent Episodes

April 11, 2024


Impatiens walleriana, a.k.a. busy lizzies


Most gardeners I know find it convenient to buy this easy-care annual for their pots and shade beds each spring, and delight in growing such undemanding annuals.


April 4, 2024


White dogwood tree

Cherry Blossoms

The cherry tree that A. E. Housman wrote about in this poem is commonly known as bird cherry, which alas does not grow well for us in zone 6. A white tree that is a lovely substitute is the white dogwood.


March 28, 2024


Easter lilies in a garden

Planting Easter Lilies

Each year millions of Easter lilies are forced in greenhouses so that they bloom early to meet the retail demands of the Easter season. This is obviously hard on the lily, so the plant won't bloom again that summer at its normal summer bloom time.


March 21, 2024


Shoveling clay soil

The Benefits of Clay

Clay soil is heavy and hard to dig compared to sandy soil, but it is also more moisture and nutrient retentive.


March 14, 2024


Goats beard plant in bloom

Usually Deer Proof

Timing is a factor in what deer eat. I have found that in the early spring when there are plenty of fresh green leafy plants in my beds, the deer avoid my hosta, but in July, they eat every one of them to the ground.


March 7, 2024


Pruning a currant bush

Pruning Flowering Shrubs

Pruning woody plants keeps them vigorous and healthy, as well as improving their shape.


February 29, 2024


Pinched snapdragon seedling

Cutting Back

Cutting back plants, even small ones, helps to stimulate growth. But don't cut off all of the leaves!

February 22, 2024


Blue 'Spiky' clematis vine

Climbing Clematis

A Greek botanist cultivated clematis as early as 50 A.D. The name is from the Greek word "klema" meaning vine.

February 15, 2024


forcing flowering branches in water


In late winter, after months without garden flowers, we are eager to see flowers in our homes. However, there is a wonderful feeling we get when we force branches of early spring-blooming trees and shrubs.

February 8, 2024


Antique floral wallpaper design

Roses From the Past

All of the poems I will read today are about roses and all are from times long past.

February 1, 2024


St. Brigid, stained-glass window at St. Mary of the Rosary in County Mayo, Ireland.

February Saints

The flowers associated with St. Valentine's Day were, in Roman times, the yellow crocus and the tricolor viola that both bloom in the early spring in our gardens today. But there are also other saints associated with February...

January 25, 2024


British garden designer Christopher Lloyd

Christo's Final Years

Christopher Lloyd and head gardener Fergus Garrett set up the Great Dixter National Trust so that the garden could continue in perpetuity. Christo died in 2006, but the garden continues to evolve, showcasing unusual plants and unorthodox combinations under Fergus's leadership.

January 18, 2024


Great Dixter Garden's long border

The Long Border

Christopher Lloyd enlarged the border at Great Dixter to encompass a length of 200 feet and a depth of 15 feet. At the back were small trees, with flowering shrubs in the middle and low edging plants in front.

January 11, 2024


Great Dixter house and gardens

The Great Dixter

One of Britain's most celebrated gardens, Great Dixter is a magnificent place where one can learn and be inspired. A trip there should be on every gardener's bucket list.

January 4, 2024


Man carrying turnips, Tacuinum Sanitatis, c.1450

Medieval Gardens

In AD 830, St. Benedict said that gardening was appropriate manual labor for monks and that all monasteries should have a psychic garden, kitchen garden, cellar garden, an orchard, and a private garden for monks of high office.

December 28, 2023


Bancroft Roman Villa aerial image

1st Century Gardens

The Romans were the first to create pleasure gardens in Britain.

December 21, 2023


Low sun of the winter solstice

The Winter Solstice

This winter solstice marks the day with the fewest hours of sunshine in the year.

December 14, 2023


'Stargazer' lily


Bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects used to be the only creatures who transferred pollen from flower to flower. Nowadays, it is often a person with a fine brush.

December 7, 2023


Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine brought the idea of private pleasure gardens to England during the Middle Ages.

November 30, 2023


Plant with sticky tag to catch gnats

Gnats: Pesky Little Devils!

Most of us occasionally get little black flies that look a bit like fruit flies around our houseplants. They're fungus gnats and are essentially harmless, mostly...

November 22, 2023


William Robinson

Wild William Robinson

Horticulturalist William Robinson was one of the first to promote the idea of a wild garden. His informal cottage style approach became popular, especially with British gardeners who were influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement.

November 16, 2023


Baptisia seeds

Garden Cleanup

Fall is a great time to collect the seed pods from shrubs like baptisia and hardy hibiscus and store them in paper envelopes indoors until next spring.

November 9, 2023


Houseplants on windowsill

Houseplants That Bloom

Houseplants that bloom help us to get through winter while awaiting next year's flowers in the garden. But often houseplants suffer from problems that we must address promptly to save a plant's life.

November 2, 2023


Tree of Heaven junk tree

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty Smith is the author of the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn about a young girl who is inspired by a tree. Unfortunately, the tree happens to be an invasive species.

October 26, 2023


Mimosa tree seed pods

The Mimosa Tree

You do not want this junk tree anywhere near your garden, as it self-seeds aggressively and many people are highly allergic to its pollen.

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