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 91: Drought-Tolerant Plants
It pretty much seems like drought is the norm these days. No matter where you live—East Coast, West Coast, or anywhere in between—periods of no rain are commonplace. Some gardeners out there have been dealing with droughty conditions for decades while others are just starting to learn what a “real” drought-tolerant plant is. After a record-breaking dry spell last summer (and it looks like we’re shaping up to have much of the same this year), Steve and Danielle decided to highlight some of their favorite plants for dry conditions. Some are East Coast favorites (after all, that’s where we garden) but others are West Coast stunners and there’s even a Colorado native plant that has proven itself useful in gardens around the country.
Expert testimony: Leslie Harris is the owner of LH Gardens, a firm in Charlottesville, Virginia, that designs, installs, and maintains gardens.
Episode 89: Just Four Perennials
Do you ever find yourself recommending the same handful of plants to friends and neighbors? We do. These might not being the splashiest of plants, or even the ones that you’d base an entire design around. But, these are fantastic herbaceous perennials—the meat and potatoes of the garden. To make things even more interesting, we limited ourselves down to choosing just four of these go-to plants. Our choices have multiple seasons of interest, thrive under less-than-ideal conditions, and in our minds, are essential in any great garden.
Expert testimony: Susan Morrison is a garden designer in Concord, California.
Episode 88: Memory Plants
Episode 87: Plants to Build a Bed Around
For those who are a little confused by this episode’s theme let us try to explain. Yes, all garden beds are built with plants. But, there are certain plants that are such solid performers that they are the perfect jumping off point for building a bed. These are not the dramatic focal points that catch everyone’s attention, nor are they the stoic bones of the garden that just play a background role. These are the perfectly chicken tenders, around which the rest of the meal comes together. Steve would’ve preferred a baked goods analogy here, but you don’t always get what you want. Looking to start a new garden and need ideas of where to start? Or, need more solid performers to round out a bed that is lacking something, but you don’t know what? These plants could help.
Expert testimony: Richie Steffen is executive director of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle.
Episode 86: Favorite Container Plants
Spring has long ago sprung and now that all the pruning, dividing, and mulching is done we’re ready to plant up our containers. Like many of you, we are tempted to try something new every year and sometimes end up with a plant that is worthwhile. But we always make sure to incorporate a few tried-and–true container plants. These are selections that never let us down, and if you were to show up on our doorstep tomorrow, you’d likely see them filling in our pots (just call ahead, we want to be sure to pick up a little bit before your arrival). We’ve got fillers, thrillers, and even some spillers on the list, so be sure to listen for some sure-fire options.
Expert testimony: Riz Reyes, a horticulturist and floral designer based in Seattle, Washington.
Episode 85: Fragrant Plants
Alternate titles for this episode: Plants That Stink or Smell This Episode. Kidding aside, lovely smelling plants are a bonus that every garden deserves. We all spend so much time on making sure our gardens look good, we seldom think about how they smell. And we’re not just talking roses here people. On today’s episode we feature a plethora of perennials and even a couple of shrubs that make us think of root beer, vanilla, and all sorts of sugary confections. Steve got hungry halfway through, so please forgive the few minutes of dead air while he tracked down the nearest donut.
Expert testimony: Julie Lane Gay is a garden designer and former nursery owner in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Informative and fun!
I have planted both sun king aralia and Amsonia hubrichtii because of this podcast, and my garden is far better for it! And I appreciate the recent effort to name each plant before and after describing it - very helpful so I don’t have to rewind all the time thinking “that sounds great but what was it called again?”
Love this Podcast
I usually don't know about the cultivars Danielle and Steve are talking about, but the podcast is still fun because of their banter and stories. Very pleasant listening! And sometimes I wind up ordering a plant because of it.
Is this about plants?
We are lifelong gardeners, have subscribed to Fine Gardening, and are always interested in learning more. On the other hand, we listened to this podcast, which is largely about a narcissistic senior editor and her life, with minimal short entries from a deferential editor in chief. We listened to the episode about small trees because we’re going to be planting some small trees, but what we learned about were little bits about some of the small trees our presenters chose for their own homes. The contents were largely self-referential, lame jokes mixed with personal anecdotes and “playful” and pointless repartee. However, I did learn something. Of necessity, I learned to reconfigure the equalizer to make the female editor’s voice at least a little less annoying. I thought we would really enjoy this, but I’m still stunned with how terrible this supposed “fine gardening” podcast was. Ugh!