Podcast - Loving Your Garden by Rod Whiting

Originally a Facebook group, this informative podcast presented by broadcaster Rod Whiting and co-hosted by experienced horticultural expert John Stirland offers an excellent mixture of gardening and design advice.

There’s a weekly section on seasonal jobs and answering readers’ questions.  In a recent episode they discuss winter feed for lawns and suggest leaving winter prunings for insects to climb into the hollow stems.  There are also episodes with plant suggestions for winter interest including Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’, with advice on how to prune it right back in February as the most colourful stems are on one-year-old wood.  They also have a good chat about their favourite ferns such as Dryopteris erythrosa and aspleniums.

Guests include the RHS gold medal winner designer David Stevens, who reminds us of the importance of good planning in garden design, getting each stage right before you move on to the next and ensuring the services for lighting and water features are factored in early on.  He also recommends creating generous borders, but not overplanting and checking the soil.  In another episode David discusses how to use colour in planting.

Musician-turned-garden designer Michelle MacDonald, talks about how to design a smaller garden in relation to her tiny show garden at Belvoir Castle.  Her tips include creating a journey as she did in this garden by building it on the diagonal and using staggered stepping stones made of wood blocks.  As well as small trees such as amelanchier with spring, summer and autumn interest, she recommends using shrubs such as Euonymous alata pruned to make a mini tree, as well as playing with the scale, restricting the number of plants and using verticals such as the white potato vine Solanum laxum.

Other episodes cover houseplants tips with Joe Bagley, dealing with pests, climate change and lawn care.  It’s an excellent podcast bringing together horticultural experts from gardeners to designers.