The Plant Based Podcast review

Today a new gardening podcast came on the air. I was excited for the release of this as the two presenters Michael “Mr Plantgeek” Perry and Ellen Mary have always come across as knowledgeable and likeable people through their various outputs. Both push the boundaries of gardening in exciting directions. I’m also confident between them they will have many interesting connections to get guests on the show. It sounds like they’ll be looking to try and cover different ground to existing media and I reckon they will have a few surprises in store.

My love of gardening podcasts has been discussed on the blog before. It’s a format which surprisingly works well for something people would associate as being very visual.

The first three podcasts have all been launched together. In the first podcast, the duo interviewed Beverley Glover of Cambridge Botanic Garden. There was a good discussion on how we can help bees. I was reminded of the need to stick to single forms of most flowers to help bees. I generally don’t select double forms and do try to choose pollinator friendly forms. It was this desire to help wildlife that led to me having mass ox-eye daisies in the garden this year. They ended up spilling all over the border but I was rewarded with many visitors.

The second podcast was with vegan bodybuilder Paul Kerton. While I’m not about to go vegan with my low blood pressure and dietary problems a lot of interesting points were made. Most of all the need for people to see other peoples points of view.

The third podcast with Liz Browne from Urban Jungle Nursery. This covered a lot of topics that have been done to death in the gardening media recently. The return of the houseplant is all over the place. But the three of them together made for good listening. There was a nice shout out for Will Giles known for his exotic garden and books on the subject.

They went on a tangent to discuss how much of the gardening media is out of touch with younger gardeners. While I enjoy watching much of the traditional gardening shows. We aren’t all Monty with space for multiple garden areas. In the words of the Smiths, “Because the music that they constantly play. It says nothing to me about my life“.

Then a little discussion about taking houseplants outside in Summer to use as an alternative to traditional bedding plants. This is just what I’ve been planning to do with several spider pups and string of hearts cuttings destined for outside. I want to try a few more adventurous options on the patio. The aspidistra can have its Summer vacation as well.

All in all a very good start for a new podcast. Three episodes with very interesting podcasts. They kept my attention while I listened back to back cooking dinner. Three different but engaging guests. My only criticism is the volume went up and down during interviews but this is a common podcast problem.

The podcast is available through iPlayer and podcast player. There were quite a few named plant-based podcast but a search for plant-based podcast and Perry brought it up. Though I’m sure it will go up the rankings fast with popularity. Well worth checking out and I’m looking forward to seeing who else they interview.

Link to site.

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Six on a Saturday- podcasts to fill the void

So last weekend saw the final episode of Gardener’s World for this year. This left many twitterers asking what now? How do we get through the next part of the year with no Monty jobs for the weekend? The garden doesn’t go into shut down. So this week I’m suggesting six podcasts to fill the void left by Gardener’s World over the winter.

Then because I have no photos to go with podcasts, a photo of my mp3 player wouldn’t be that exciting, you are getting random photos of my little helper to go with each podcast. I dislike writing text heavy blogs.

If you fancy joining the six on Saturday gang check out the participants guide. A lovely gardening community.

1. The sodshow

The sodshow is presented by Peter Donegan. Peter is an award winning landscape designer and a member of the gardening media guild. The show has been running for almost 400 episodes and is pretty well polished by now. Potentialy one of the longest running weekly gardening podcasts. The show features many guests with top gardening names getting interviewed. Recently enjoyed the episode on an inside view of the Dutch bulb industries. As an amateur gardener it gives insights into aspects of the industry I don’t normally consider. Peter can ramble a bit and go off in random directions with conversations, but it makes for entertaining listening. Lots of music links are made with Beatles references, punk and post punk bands combined with a rock intro.

The tongue of concentration

2. Gardens weeds and words

From a well established podcast to a newcomer. From Andrew O’Brian this podcast has only had two episodes so far, but two very enjoyable and informative episodes. Often it takes new podcasters a while to get going, sort out reasonable production and work out how they want the podcast to be. But this has the feeling of a podcast that has been going longer. The last episode had Celia Hart on discussing how she ended up as an illustrator for Gardens illustrated. I hope Andrew carries on putting them out.

More tongue of concentration

3. Skinny Jean Gardener

This podcast is quite an upbeat one. It’s one for the drive into work, not before bed. Lee Connely adds lots of humour to his podcasts. There is an excellent list of top former guests. Recently enjoyed Jack Wallington, Toby Buckland and Adam Frost, but going back there is a long list of top garden names. Lee’s worked a lot on getting young people into gardening. Great passion and enthusiasm for his topics.

Alliums are good for hitting with.

4. Gardener’s question time

Technically not a podcast, but a radio show broadcasted in podcast form. This long running radio main stay didn’t used to make much sense to me. However, as my gardening knowledge expands I get more and more from listening. Basic concept of the show is that a panel of experts answer gardening questions. Most weeks I find there are a couple of seasonal questions relevant to my own garden. This is lovely easy listening and usually has good humour between panellists. For some this might be a bit of a stuffy old institution, but I rather like it as it’s nice hearing about other people’s fungus problems, pruning disasters, etc to know everyone has issues in their gardens. It’s the correspondant episode coming up where you can send in questions. Tempted to send some in for the minor thrill of getting it called out on air.

5. Roots and all

Another relatively new podcast. It’s just starting to find it’s feet. Hosted by Sarah Wilson, an horticulturist, it features a mix of episodes. Some are interviews, while others cover specific topics such as trees and houseplants. Sarah has called on a number of different guests from different parts of the industry. Much like the sodshow, I like that I get insights into aspects of professional gardening I don’t consider with my little garden.

Smelling the verbena

6. On the ledge

This podcast, from Jane Perrone, focuses on houseplants. If you go through the archives you’ll find a great list of guests. Alongside the podcast is an active Facebook group. Then there is the #houseplanthour every two weeks on twitter. I’ve learnt so much from working my way through these podcasts. House plants to me have more of the feel of the Victorian plant collector than my more relaxed outdoor gardening. Most of my garden plants will tolerate neglect for periods. Whereas the houseplants are that bit more exotic and need more botanic knowledge for them to thrive. This show has improved my knowledge enormously. Although it does come with a wallet warning as it may lead to new purchases.

It has good fresh feel to it and being on houseplants takes into account that many people want to grow plants, but not many people can afford their own gardens, or they rent and move around. The definition of gardening is expanding.

On the ledge-the houseplant guide in podcast form

Hope these help tide you over through the cold winter months. There are others I listen to, but for this post I will be good and stick to the six format. Are there any you’d recommend? Half term holiday for me now, so a chance to catch up on weeding. I promise next week will be out in the garden again.

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30 days wild: day 20-tree charter

I started today with my breakfast in the kitchen with the patio doors open. Today was a more pleasant tune than day 18. The goldfinches were singing on the houses opposite and the pigeons sat silent.

While having breakfast I listened to the BBC Natural History podcast. The episode was on adders in Scotland. This was interesting as you generally associate snakes with the warmer climates of the South.

In work I was on outdoor duty this afternoon at school. With the heat I got the kids to give the garden a good water. We also filled the water bath up. With the heat we’re having it’s important to look after the birds and prevent dehydration.

Then this evening added my name to the tree charter. Led by the woodland trust the charter is looking to give protection to trees. The principles are to protect habitats, land for them will future, celebrate the cultural role of trees, encourage a thriving forest industry, better protection for trees and woods, better new developments, understanding the use and benefits of trees, ¬†addressing threats to trees, access of trees to all and strengthening landscapes. All worthy ideas and worth adding a digital signature too. I certainly appreciate the trees around me. WIthout them I wouldn’t see half the species I currently do.