#33 ADRIAN BLOOM -FOGGY BOTTOM - a garden to share
38:52In this episode Joff talks to Adrian Bloom about his new book FOGGY BOTTOM - A GARDEN to SHARE. From breaking turf in an empty meadow in 1966, to its near maturity in 2023 it is the story of a garden and its plants. That’s a 56-year-old garden with stories to tell. More important in Adrian’s view is what the Foggy Bottom Garden represents today and how many more can benefit from sharing it. He shows and describes changes in weather and habitats, dramatic seasonal changes shown through the diversity of many worthwhile plants. How to keep a balance between design and ‘right plant’, ‘right place’ and need for change as the garden grows and develops. Adrian has continually adapted his garden as the once empty windswept meadow became sheltered and shaded. Flooding still happens from time to time, spring frosts seek out early flowers, occasional gale blows the tops out of trees. Joff discovers Adrian's early passion for speed skating, how a seed brought back from his adventures is now a 100 foot Redwood tree, the fashion for conifers and the changing markets. The early days of Foggy Bottom from a stark new-build bungalow with a small garden to a six acre garden planted as a test ground for perrenials and conifers. To have a look at the books and it's contents or to purchase go to the Foggy Bottom website here.
#32 DEREK GOW - straight talking rewilder-farmer-turned-ecologist
35:15Derek Gow is a farmer and nature conservationist. Born in Dundee in 1965, he left school when he was 17 and worked in agriculture for five years. Inspired by the writing of Gerald Durrell, all of whose books he has read - thoroughly - he jumped at the chance to manage a European wildlife park in central Scotland in the late 1990s before moving on to develop two nature centres in England. He now lives with his two children on a 300-acre farm on the Devon/Cornwall border which he is in the process of rewilding. Derek has played a significant role in the reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver, the water vole and the white stork in England. He is currently working on a reintroduction project for the wildcat. I ask Derek about his transition from Scottish farm to Scottish wildlife park to a 300 acre rewilding project in Devon. We talk extremes from huge water buffalo to tiny harvest mice and from Heck cattle whose sole aim in life seems to be to kill you to water voles and white storks. Derek is a straight talker with a dislike for commitees much prefering to be hands on getting jobs done while others continue to discuss and debate. If you like what you hear you can stay on Derek's farm to see for yourself what he's getting up to. Go to www.rewildingcoombeshead.co.uk
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#31 LIZ ZORAB with her book THE SEASONED GARDENER
38:50Liz Zorab is author of the bestselling 'Grounded – A Gardener's Journey to Abundance and Self-Sufficiency'. She spent more than 20 years working with specialist housing charities and in community development, with an emphasis on innovative volunteering practices. An award-winning gardener, she gained an RHS Silver Medal for a community-led garden featured on BBC's 'Gardeners World Live' in 2002. A health crisis led Liz to turn to her life-long passion for gardening and growing food as a career. Liz spent several years transforming her 0.8 acre plot in Monmouthshire into an abundant smallholding. She is now regenerating a tired and over-grazed 4.5 acre site using permaculture practices. On less than an acre, she grows most of the food and drink her family enjoy each year, giving them food security, resilience and increased self-reliance. She enjoys spending time with Mr J (her husband) and her family, watching rugby and creative handicrafts, and has a distinct dislike of housework. Liz regularly writes for Permaculture Magazine, teaches gardening and self-sufficiency skills and encourages thousands of people to take up their trowels and live their dreams through a vibrant YouTube Channel, Liz Zorab – Byther Farm. If you want to dig deeper into the processes of growing your own organic food, self-sufficiency practitioner, Liz Zorab, offers insights to the rhythm and patterns of her gardening year. In this personal gardening journey, she explores seasonal harvests and how the vegetable garden sits within the wider context of the gardening landscape – including weather, microclimates, water cycles, light levels, seasons and the gardener’s personal tastes and preferences. Liz’s salt of the earth approach to life and to the garden and her gentle humour makes The Seasoned Gardener an easily digestible read. She provides hundreds of practical tips, including how-to guides, observations and inspiration for both the beginner and practiced gardener alike. Unlike many gardening books that run from January to December, this book starts in the autumn when harvesting is at its peak. Most of the fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers highlighted in this book are grouped according to when we enjoy them most – at the point of harvest. The Seasoned Gardener will show you how to: Enjoy the abundance of each month of the year Decide which plants are best to grow in your garden Find pleasure in your growing space year-round Avoid the pitfalls of doing too much at once Be creative with your garden resources Make the most of your time and energy Celebrate nature’s productivity as much as your own. This is a journey of experiment and learning that will inspire you to grow tastier food and savour the experience.
#30 THE GARDEN PRESS EVENT 2023 - Islington, London. U.K.
43:34In this episode sponsored by Genus Gardenwear Joff Elphick takes his annual pilgrimage up to the big smoke where he visitis the old horticultural halls - now known as The Business Design Centre - to meet horticutlural businesses for The garden Press Event. He speaks to Simon for Hydrialife who tells us about his self contained award winning water fountain kit with rechargeable batteries and a programmable timer. Great for indoors or out. Kate from Capi-Europe has a great range of pots and water butts produced in a CO2 neutral factory and made completely from discarded fishing nets. Karen Abbott is with Spear and Jackson a company with 260 years of experience producing garden tools. A long handled trowel, a pruning saw, a cape cod weeder, and a mini spade ideal for splitting perennials is new to their range for 2023. Adrian Bloom a well known name in the plant world is from bressingham gardens. His new book Foggy Bottom - a gardeners share will be available in september 2023. Old friends of the show Haws Watering Cans were at the show and Josh explained teir new concept in 'the art of watering'. He also explains the process and huge amount of work that goes into their British made cans. Sarah Gerard-Jones Is from The Plant Clinic. Sarah explains how her business saves plants, the potting medium, and the pots from going ito landfill through the use of her Pkant Rescue Boxes. It's an ingenious concept that is currently being trialled by The RHS at their centre in Wisley. Sean Kelly is from Fauna Bird a Dutch company that have worked with Tetra pak to come up with the technology to removed the plastic fim from inside cartons and then turn them into garden bird feeders. They also offer a complimentary range of bamboo and ceramic feeders and nest boxes. Tea Francis loves spiders so much she has them tatooed onto her body. Tea is an arachnologist who wants us to appreciate the role that spiders play in our homes and gardens.
#29 The Generous Gardener - garden lectures and specialist plant sales
21:22The Generous Gardener ran by Sarah Biddulph and Sarah Rivett- Carnac offer a series of garden lectures throughout the year in Rodmarton Manor a beautiful arts and craft property located in Gloucestershire between Cirencester and Tetbury. Lectures in 2023 are being delivered by a brilliantly curated set of speakers most of whom are well known to keen gardeners and people in the world of horticulture. Speakers include Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Richard Miers, James Alexander Sinclair, Pippa Greenwood, Lulu Urquart and Adam Hunt, Jimi Blake, Niff barnes, Jinny Blom, Clive Nichols, and Georgie Newbury. Plant Sales are ran from Charlton Farm near the historic market town of Malmesbury have some well know nurseries and growers attending including hardy's Cottage Garden Plants, Riverside Bulbs, Tortworth Plants, Harry's Honey, Malcolm Allinson Plants, Tom's Yard, Exedera Plants, Old Court Nursery, Chris Cooke, Sparrow Plant Supports, Kitchen Garden Plants, Malvern Salvias, and Special Plants Nursery. The entry fee includes a donation to The Simon Rivett-Carnac Trust. The 8 acre garden at Rodmarton is famed for it's snowdrops and is open for visits at the start of February as well as other times of the year.
#28 Chris Baines - THE RHS COMPANION TO WILDLIFE GARDENING - How to make a wildlife garden
48:29In this episdoe sponsored by Genus Gardenwear Joff talks to wildlife expert Chris Baines about his book THE RHS COMPANION TO WILDLIFE GARDENING - how to make a wildlif garden. First published in 1985 this book has now been fully updated and revised by Chris with new illustrations and highlights the changes in garden wildlife over the last 30 years. It incorporates the latest RHS research and updated best practice. Chris talks about his days on BBC Gardeners World in the late 80's with Peter Seabrook and his time at BBC pebble Mill in the 80's. This book was first released at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 1985 where Chris built a groundbreakingwildlife garden that caught the nation's imagination. Chis also discusses why to make a wildlife garden in the first place. What different habitats you can create, and what to expect to see - quite a lot for those with the time and patience to sit and observe. An oxymoron? A wild vegetable garden? Chris was instrumental in setting up National Nest Box Week and International Dawn Chorus Day. This book from Quarto/Frances Lincoln is being released on 16th February 2023.
#27 Barbara Segall - SECRET GARDENS OF THE SOUTH-EAST
25:26In this episode sponsored by Genus gardenwear Joff Elphick talks to Barbara Segall about her new book GARDENS of the SOUTH-EAST published by Frances Lincoln. Within its 144 pages are 20 gardens many of which often remain overlooked but all of which display the passion of the owners or gardeners that look after them. It's a fascinating talk with not just the gardens, but many names of people involved in horticulture scattered throughout the episode for one reason or another. Jane perrone, Alys Fowler, Peter Donegan, Rocky Coles, Marcus Harper, Fergus Garrett, Clive Boursnell,Beth Chatto, Christopher LLoyd, Tom Coward,William Robinson, John Brookes, and Gertrude Jekyll all get a mention. The publisher says: A tour of some of the UK's most beguiling gardens in the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey, the counties that exemplify 'the garden of England'. In these three counties a wealth of history and horticulture has combined with geography in the shape of rolling landscapes, wooded valleys and meandering waterways, to provide an attractive and fascinating collection. They are in villages and towns, as well as in deep countryside, and all are privately owned. Some have been in the possession of the same family for many generations, while others have recently been transformed by new owners. Some open for the National Garden Scheme, while others are open privately and in some cases for just the occasional day for charity. The stunning gardens explored in this visually rich guide include: Arundel Castle, Denmans, Gravetye Manor, Munstead Wood and Sussex Prairie Garden. The book also includes a gazetteer of other important gardens in the area with location advice, to enable readers to plan a more elaborate tour of this fertile garden area. Filled with stunning, specially commissioned photographs by Clive Boursnell, Secret Gardens of the South East is a unique guide that opens the gates to the most intriguing gardens in this part of England.
#26 Michael Perry - Mr Plant Geek- HORTUS CURIOUS
42:18In this episode sponsored by Genus Gardenwear Joff Elphick talks to Michael Perry aka Mr Plant Geek about his career in horticulture and his new book Hortus Curious - discover the worlds most weird and wonderful plants and fungi. We talk about his work with Thompson and Morgan where he worked on plants like the Tom-tato and the Egg and chips plant. His TV work with Channel 4's Steph's Packed Lunch and QVC. His latest book Hortus Curious covers a wide range of the world's most fascinating plants and fungi and we talk about Venus Flytraps, the origins of coffee, Miracle Berries, Wollemi pines, The Vulva Vine - Clitoria ternatea, peanuts (they're not a nut!), and the pyromaniac plant Dictamnus albus var purpureus.
#25 Harriet Rycroft - POTS -a Bloom Gardeners Guide
37:35In this episode sponsored by Genus Gardenwear Joff Elphick travels to the north of the Cotswolds to visit Harriet Rycroft, a garden speaker, consultant, writer, and an expert in container gardening. They talk about her book 'POTS' and wander around Harriet's back garden, home to nearly 800 pots. The book has 4 chapters - Learn - Plan - Grow - Care Harriet's advice is right plant, right place, and right pot, but at the same time do experiment and have fun. A few pests and how to manage them without resorting to chemicals Drainage, watering feeding. Irrigation Pot materials and the question of pot feet We talk about a few specific plants. Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty'. Oxalis 'Iron Cros'. Begonia carolineifolia. Begonia sizemoreae. Amicia zygomeris. The ' Honka' dahlias. Coleus 'Henna'. Canna 'Russian Red'. Abutilon 'Canary Bird'. Climbing plants in pots.
#24 The Malvern Autumn Show 2022
27:31In this episode sponsored by the amazing Genus Gardenwear Joff talks to a number of the interesting exhibitors that can be found at The Malvern Autumn Show. Andie from Dahlia Beach tells us how her company, the first cut-your-own Dahlia farm in the UK came about. She also telss us about her plans to open the farm for 'dig your own' dDahlia plants at the thend of October. (It's a secret at the moment. keep it to yourself!!) David Whittaker is from the National Hedge Laying Society and with his superb mobile trailer of bonsai'd hawthorn hedges explains all the different styles of hedge laying in the country. Clive Saunders is a passionate private collector of early 20th century free standing engines that were often used on farms and in workshops where belt drivenn tools were employed. It's a fascination subject that can become very addictive. Clive tells us that no-one ever has just one machine despite their best intentions.