Podcast - Let's argue about plants

Presented by Carol and Danielle, the editors of the American gardening magazine, Fine Gardening, this in-depth horticultural podcast is lively and informative.

A recent episode on growing spring greens will whet your appetite to get sowing.  The presenters are great on the finer detail of buying, sowing and harvesting as well as varieties to grow.  We’re reminded of the beautiful colours that chard varieties come in, from white to red and orange to fuchsia pink.  Carol also recommends not leaving it too late to sow chard as they prefer cooler conditions while they’re getting established.  Another suggestion is the more unusual Chinese cabbage,Tokyo bekana, which you can plant successionally throughout the summer as it’s fast maturing and can be eaten at various stages of growth.  Recent shows also include upbeat chats on early spring-flowering plants and scented spring plants, highlighting apricots, great for early pink blossom; trout lilies, dog toothed violets, and white forsythia (Abeliophyllum dictichum)

Other episodes include Carol and Danielle discussing sharing seeds and cuttings of plants, such as  dogwood, orchid, Iris sibirica and roses, a show focussing on unusual plants, and one on ‘summer superstars’ including their recommendations of Baptisia ‘Midnight’, a huge gorgeous perennial with pea-like foliage; Hydrangea paniculata ‘Quick Fire’ and Canna x generalis.  They also praise Cotinus with its glowing amber smoky inflorescences and the pair remind us that while coppicing encourages better foliage colour, doing this too early will cause the sap to run making the plant more vulnerable to disease.  Drought-tolerant plants such as junipers, sea buckthorn and deutzia also feature on another interesting episode.

The presenters exude enthusiasm and knowledge about plants with lots and lots of specific examples.  Each episode ends with a list of the presenter’s suggested plants accompanied by photos.  As an American show, some of the plants might not be available or suitable to UK climates, but it also offers a new perspective and ideas that you might not have thought of, so give it a go!