99 episodes

The podcast for people who love plants—but not always the same ones.

Brought to you by the editors of Fine Gardening, this fun, informative podcast tackles all things topical in gardening. You’ll listen to the insights (and arguments) of Editor-in-Chief Steve Aitken and Senior Editor Danielle Sherry as they discuss various horticultural subjects on a deeper level. You will also hear from today’s leading horticultural minds who will offer their wisdom and opinions about what you might want to grow in your garden. We guarantee you’ll be entertained and feel like a better gardener.

Let's Argue About Plants Fine Gardening Magazine

    • Leisure
    • 4.5 • 364 Ratings

The podcast for people who love plants—but not always the same ones.

Brought to you by the editors of Fine Gardening, this fun, informative podcast tackles all things topical in gardening. You’ll listen to the insights (and arguments) of Editor-in-Chief Steve Aitken and Senior Editor Danielle Sherry as they discuss various horticultural subjects on a deeper level. You will also hear from today’s leading horticultural minds who will offer their wisdom and opinions about what you might want to grow in your garden. We guarantee you’ll be entertained and feel like a better gardener.

    Episode 143: Best Of LAAP: Our Favorite Guests

    Episode 143: Best Of LAAP: Our Favorite Guests

    We’re nearing our 150th episode mark and for us, that has meant a lot of plants discussed. But it’s also meant a lot of great guest appearances. As you know, each episode we ask an expert from the field of horticulture to lend us their brains and weigh-in on some great plant choices for the topic at hand. We’ve had guests who made us laugh, think twice about a much-maligned perennial, or even come to realize that there are far better options out there for our gardens. Who was our funniest guest? The one that made us seriously reconsider our planting choices? Or the one who made us grip the steering wheel with white knuckles (yes—that did actually happen)? Tune in now to find out and listen to our favorite guest segments.
    Featured guests:
    ·       Riz Reyes, a horticulturist and floral designer based in Seattle.
    ·       Richard Hawke is the director of ornamental plant research at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois.
    ·       Irvin Etienne is curator of herbaceous plants and seasonal garden design for The Garden at Newfields in Indianapolis.
    ·       Sabrena Schweyer and her husband, Samuel Salsbury, own and manage Salsbury-Schweyer Inc., a sustainable landscape design and development group based in Akron, Ohio. Read her latest article here: https://www.finegardening.com/article/replace-a-front-lawn-with-a-beautiful-eco-friendly-garden
    Irvin Etienne’s Upgraded Classics
    Classic: ‘Flamenco’ red-hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria ‘Flamenco’, Zones 5–9) Photo: David J. Stang, via Wikimedia Commons
    Upgrade: ‘Mango Popsicle’ red-hot poker (Kniphofia ‘Mango Popsicle’, Zones 6–9) Photo: Irvin Etienne
    Classic: ‘Fireball’ hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus ‘Fireball’, Zones 5–9) Photo: courtesy of David J. Stang, via Wikimedia Commons
    Upgrade: ‘Holy Grail’ hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus ‘Holy Grail’, Zones 4–9)
    Classic: ‘Storm Cloud’ lily of the Nile (Agapanthus ‘Storm Cloud’, Zones 7b–10) Photo: ©Armitage/Hip Labels, LLC
    Upgrade: ‘Galaxy Blue’ lily of the Nile (Agapanthus ‘Galaxy Blue’, Zones 6–10) Photo: Irvin Etienne
    Classic: ‘Black Knight’ butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’, Zones 5–9)
    Upgrade: ‘Grand Cascade’ butterfly bush (Buddleia ‘Grand Cascade’, Zones 5–10) Photo: Irvin Etienne
    Classic: Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin, Zones 6–9) Photo: Simon Garbutt, via Wikimedia Commons
    Upgrade: ‘Summer Chocolate’ mimosa (Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’, Zones 6–9)
    Richard Hawke’s Favorite Vines (original episode #37)
    'Guernsey Cream' clematis (Clematis 'Guernsey Cream', Zones 4-9)
    Rüütel™ clematis (Clematis 'Kiviruut', Zones 4-9)
    'Madame Julia Correvon' clematis (Clematis 'Madame Julia Correvon', Zones 4-9)
    'Princess Diana' clematis (Clematis 'Princess Diana', Zones 4-8)
    ‘Prince Charles’ clematis (Clematis ‘Prince Charles’, Zones 4-8)
    Variegated kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta, Zones 4-8)
    Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris, Zones 4-8)
    Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides, Zones 6-9)
    Chinese Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus henryana, Zones 7-9) credit: Doreen Wynja
    American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens, Zones 5-8)
    Sabrena Schweyer’s Problem-Solving Perennials
    Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica, Zones 3–8)
    ‘Eastern Star’ white wood aster (Eurybia divaricata ‘Eastern Star’, Zones 3–8)
    Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana, Zones 3–9)
    Short-toothed mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum, Zones 4–8)
    Riz Reyes’ Favorite Container Plants (original episode # 86)
    'Kiwi Fern' coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides ‘Kiwi Fern’, Zones 10-11)
    Aeonium (Aeonium spp. and cvs., Zones 9-11)
    Shearer's felt fern (Pyrrosia sheareri, Zones 7-10)
    ‘Dancing Queen’ hosta (Hosta 'Dancing Queen', Zones 3-8)

    • 41 min
    Episode 142: Fall Natives

    Episode 142: Fall Natives

    It’s time to grab that sweatshirt and dig out those heavier socks—fall has arrived! Although it’s sad to see summer go, we’re getting super excited for the new season around here. The native plants in New England (where our podcast is based) are starting to look especially lovely so we’ve dedicated this show to them. We’ve got an array of native woodies that bloom or color up in autumn (Danielle) and a few perennials that save their best for September (Carol). Don’t worry—we’re not just featuring plants native to the eastern seaboard either, we’ve got some Midwest wonders and even some Southern charmers in the mix as well. Looking for some native plants that please the local ecology and look beautiful doing it? We’ve got you covered on this latest episode.   
    Expert guest: Brent Horvath is the owner of and head plant breeder/developer at Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, a wholesale nursery in Hebron, Illinois.
    Danielle’s Plants
    Northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin, Zones 4-9)
    Lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium, Zones 2-8)
    Sassafras (Sassafras albidum, Zones 4-9)
    Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia, Zones 3-9)
    Carol’s Plants
    Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum, Zones 4-9)
    Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea, Zones 3-8)
    Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia, Zones 5-9)
    ‘Iron Butterfly’ ironweed (Vernonia lettermannii 'Iron Butterfly', Zones 4-9)
    Expert’s Plants
     Eastern bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana  and cvs., Zones 3-9)
    Threadleaf bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii and cvs., Zones 5-8)
    Ozark bluestar (Amsonia illustris and cvs., Zones 5-9)
    Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium and cvs., Zones 3-10)

    • 49 min
    Episode 141: Summer Color

    Episode 141: Summer Color

    Around here we’re not fans of the f-word. No, not that f-word. We’re talking about FALL. In our minds that cooler weather is still a long way off, so we’ve decided to celebrate the dog days of summer by talking about plants that really put on a show in August. When much of the garden is looking tired and bedraggled, these plants add a colorful punch to the scene. Some unexpected perennials and shrubs dominate our lists and for those who have been demanding it—Peter is back with his take on the end of summer. In true Peter fashion though, he’ll be discussing ice cream and…the solar system? Well, his segment will be entertaining, that’s for sure.
    Expert guest: Cheyenne Wine is a writer and photographer at Rare Roots Nursery in Virginia, and a regular contributor to Fine Gardening’s Southeast regional reports.
    Danielle’s Plants
    Sombrero® Granada Gold coneflower (Echinacea 'Balsomold', Zones 4-9)
    Scarlet rose mallow (Hibiscus coccineus, Zones 6-9)
    Coral Crème Drop™ garden phlox (Phlox paniculata 'Ditomdre', Zones 3-8)
    Quick Fire® panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Bulk', Zones 4-8)
    Carol’s Plants
    ‘Dark Knight’ blue mist shrub (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Dark Knight’, Zones 5-9)
    Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia, annual)
    Small yellow baptisia (Baptisia tinctoria, Zones 3-9)
    ‘Purple Supreme’ smoke bush (Cotinus ‘Purple Supreme’, Zones 5-8)
    Expert’s Plants
    'Cherry Choco Latte' rose mallow (Hibiscus x moscheutos 'Cherry Choco Latte', Zones 4-9)
    Blue cardinal flower (Lobelia siphilitica, Zones 4-9)
    'Ham and Eggs' lantana (Lantana camara 'Ham and Eggs', Zones 7b-11)
    Vanilla Strawberry panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Renhy', Zones 3-8)

    • 54 min
    Episode 140: Listener Q & A

    Episode 140: Listener Q & A

    It’s that time of year again! The much-anticipated listener question and answer episode. Carol and Danielle look forward to this special episode (sometimes TWO episodes) because it allows them to offer real-life advice for the plant and garden design issues that are troubling all of you out there in the podcast universe. This time, we got a slew of great questions via email and social media and we’re going to do our best to get through as many as possible. The inquiries included advice on planting under trees, attracting hummingbirds, and info about what garden tasks we’re tackling during the dog days of summer. Tune in to see if we fielded your question, or if someone else’s problem spot is something you can relate to.
    Photos for Danielle’s Questions
    Cardinal climber (Ipomoea × sloteri, annual)
    Earlybird™ Red White columbine (Aquilegia 'PAS1258484', Zones 4-9)
    Gatsby Gal® oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Brenhill', Zones 5-9)
    ‘Perry’s Gold’ Norway spruce (Picea abies ‘Perry’s Gold’, Zones 3–9)
    'Stoplights' epimedium (Epimedium 'Stoplights', Zones 4-9)
    'Spanish Flare' hellebore (Helleborus 'Spanish Flare', Zones 4-9)
    Photos for Carol’s Questions
    Forest planting in India using the Miyawaki method
    Miyawaki forest 9 months after planting
    Northern red oak (Quercis rubra, Zones 4-8)
    Reminiscent® Pink rose (Rosa x 'BOZFRA021', Zones 4-8)
    Deadheaded flowers in Kielian DeWitt’s Montana garden
    Recently mulched section of Carol’s garden

    • 53 min
    Episode 139: Favorite Succulents

    Episode 139: Favorite Succulents

    Quirky, collectible, and water-wise, succulents will add eye-catching texture to any garden bed or container display. There are some succulents that are cold hardy, while others will need to be brought indoors for the winter in colder regions. Join Danielle, Carol and guest Amanda Thomsen as they share some of their favorite succulents, including a few unforgettable “oddballs”.
    Expert guest: Amanda Thomsen is a garden designer, garden shop owner, and author based in suburban Chicago.
    Danielle’s Plants
    Variegated fox tail agave (Agave attenuata 'Variegata', Zones 9-12)
    Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla, Zones 9-12)
    Red mistletoe cactus (Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa, Zones 9-11)
    ‘Frosted Fire’ sedum (Sedum ‘Frosted Fire’, Zones 3-9)
    Carol’s Plants
    'Red Velvet’ plush plant (Echeveria pulvinata 'Red Velvet', Zones 9-11)
    ‘Christmas Carol’ aloe (Aloe ‘Christmas Carol’, Zones 9-11)
    Gold moss sedum (Sedum acre, Zones 3-8)
    ‘Matrona’ sedum (Hylotelephium telephium 'Matrona', Zones 3-9)
    Expert’s Plants
    Pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucali, Zones 10-12)
    Bundle of sticks plant (Cynanchum marnierianum, Zones 10-11)
    ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ albuca (Albuca spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’, Zones 8-10)
    ‘Nerds’ sedum (Sedum album ‘Nerds’, Zones 3-8)

    • 49 min
    Episode 138: Water-Wise Perennials

    Episode 138: Water-Wise Perennials

    Drought has become synonymous with gardening in the past several years. It seems like regardless of where you live, you will experience some sort of dry conditions in summer. This has led many of us to reevaluate our plant choices. Perennials we once relied on to fill our beds and borders may flag in July and August—or shrivel up and die altogether. In anticipation of drier conditions in the future, we’re talking about plants that thrive in drought. These selections have built in traits that allow them to sail through long periods of no rain, and/or soils that have little-to-no moisture retentive properties. And we’re not just talking about succulents and cacti here! Listen now to hear about an array of lush, floriferous perennials that thrive in desert-like environments.
    Expert guest: Ed Lyon is Director of the Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa.
    Danielle’s Plants
    'Drops of Jupiter' oregano (Origanum 'Drops of Jupiter', Zone 4-9)
    Sandpaper bush (Mortonia scabrella, Zones 8b-11)
    'Pink Champagne' epimedium (Epimedium 'Pink Champagne', Zones 5-8)
    'Blue Paradise' little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium 'Blue Paradise', Zones 3-9)
    Carol’s Plants
    ‘Pink Diamonds’ alpine bleeding heart (Dicentra ‘Pink Diamonds’, Zones 3-9)
    ‘Caradonna’ meadow sage (Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna', Zones 4-8)
    Bearded iris (Iris germanica cvs., Zones 3-9)
    Undaunted® ruby muhly grass (Muhlenbergia reverchonii ‘PUND01S’, Zones 5-9)
    Expert’s Plants
    Epimedium (Epimedium  spp. and cvs., Zones 4-9)
    Baptisia (Baptisia spp. and cvs., Zones 4-9)
    ‘Blackhawks’ big blue stem (Andropogon gerardii 'Blackhawks', Zones 3-9)
    Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa and cvs., Zones 3-9)
    Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea, Zones 3-8)

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
364 Ratings

364 Ratings

BrookeAnne P. ,

Get my Garden On

How I love Let’s Argue About Plants! I have been listening for several years now. I think I can blame you for my garden addiction. I never realized that you can start to garden, make mistakes and learn. Since the pandemic, that is what I do and I love it more even when digging up enormous rocks hiding in my New Hampshire earth. I want each and every plant that you talk about. And you have contributed to my knowledge and desire to increase my native species. Is there anyway that in the magazine/podcast/website includesinformation about natives alternatives? Maybe I have missed that. For example, I now want a leatherleaf viburnum. I have Brandywine viburnum that I just planted last fall. But should I have more native viburnums in the mix? I want to make sure that I balance my local ecosystem if I can. Thank you so much for your delightful show and magazine.

Logophile Z ,

Still Missing Steve

I like Carol a lot and still enjoy the podcast, but I do miss the interplay between Steve and Danielle. There’s no one now to correct Danielle’s egregious botanical mispronunciations and frequent misuse of words. Please, I beg you…Anemone is pronounced An-e-MONEY, not An-ENEMY!

LauraKB12 ,

A must listen!

I am a newbie gardener and this podcast has been so educational. It’s a really fun format. Can’t wait to see what they come up with in 2023!

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