235 episodes

Do you want to know how to grow plants and get the best out of your outdoor space? Do you find traditional gardening media baffling and/or boring? Then you’re in the right place, because the Roots and All podcast is here to dig deep into how to create a successful garden.

If you want honest information and insider knowledge about how to get results, join irreverent horticulturist Sarah Wilson as she chats to the best people from the world of plants and gardens. Sarah is on a mission to help you create your own beautiful green environment, with a focus on saving resources and working with nature.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure you don’t miss an episode.

Roots and All - Gardening Podcast Sarah Wilson

    • Leisure
    • 4.7 • 32 Ratings

Do you want to know how to grow plants and get the best out of your outdoor space? Do you find traditional gardening media baffling and/or boring? Then you’re in the right place, because the Roots and All podcast is here to dig deep into how to create a successful garden.

If you want honest information and insider knowledge about how to get results, join irreverent horticulturist Sarah Wilson as she chats to the best people from the world of plants and gardens. Sarah is on a mission to help you create your own beautiful green environment, with a focus on saving resources and working with nature.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast to make sure you don’t miss an episode.

    Sky Gardening

    Sky Gardening

    My guest this episode is the super-talented and creative gardener and designer Brent Purtell and we’re talking about the Capitaspring Rooftop Garden in Singapore, which shares the ‘2nd highest’ building ranking along with 3 other buildings, all the same height. There are 3 gardens on the building, covering an area of 10,000 square feet and containing a mixture of ornamentals and edibles, all growing at dizzying heights. Brent was involved on the build and design side before he became the Head Gardener, overseeing the maintenance of Capitaspring Rooftop Garden. 
    Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Stinky pigs
    What We Talk About
    What is the Capitaspring Rooftop Garden and where is it located? How much growing space is there in total?
    The kind of things which grow in the garden
    How productive a rooftop edible can forest be
    How the produce is used
    The challenges of growing edibles on a rooftop
    Who visits the garden? 
    About the Capitaspring Building & Gardens
    The Capitaspring building was completed in early 2022. At 280m high, it shares the ‘2nd highest’ building ranking along with 3 other buildings, all the same height. This is due to Singapore having a cap of 280m on any new building. It's owned by Capitaland, a major property developer in Singapore and the region. Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, and Carlo Ratti, it is very much a flagship building for the company and Singapore in general, with the relatively unique use of planting throughout the building. Current tenants are the big investment house JPMorgan, for example. 
    An article about the building
    Within the tower are three restaurants. These are:
    ‘Sol and Luna’ on level 17 - a casual latin inspired theme
    ‘Kaarla’ on level 51 - Fine dining coastal Australian
    ‘Oumi’ on level 51 - Fine dining Japanese
    Originally there was no concept of a ‘food forest’ or similar from the architects, and indeed, the chef's garden only takes up 50% of the overall rooftop space, with the other 50% planted in typical ornamental, low maintenance fashion. Rather, the addition of the edible section came from 1 Group, who reached out to a local company, Edible Garden City Pte Ltd to help with the design and installation.
    www.ediblegardencity.com
    Edible Garden City was started in 2012 with the aim of ‘helping Singaporeans grow their own food’. It has 3 pillars to the business, one being food production at 2 ‘urban farms’, which supplies produce to many restaurants through the city, including many Michelin starred. The second pillar is education, which runs workshops for the public at the aforementioned urban farm, along with onsite workshops for teachers in schools across the city. Thirdly, they design and build edible gardens, with over 260 built to date. The majority of these are gardens built within schools so that the students have access to a working garden, however many gardens have been built for commercial/hospitality venues, including the famous ParkRoyal Hotel, Marina Bay Sands etc. The remaining founder Bjorn Low, is a very recognised figure within Singapore for his environmental efforts.
    The garden was opened in Feb/march 2022 and so is still quite new and produces approx 70 - 80 kgs of produce a month. For example, here is a breakdown for October:
    Apple mint 200gm
    Brazilian Spinach 19.6kg
    Fame Flower 1kg
    Lemon Balm 800gm
    Lemon Myrtle 1.5kg
    Moringa leaves 10gm
    Kaarla Salad mix 12kg
    Purslane 3.1kg
    Rosemary 280gm
    Thyme 50gm
    Wasabina Mustard 1.5kg
    Wild Water Cress 15.5kg
    Mizuna Mustard 1.5kg
    Komatsuna 1kg
    Oyster Leaf 500gm
    Wild Pepper 500gm
    Pumpkin x 3
    Edible flowers 2kg
    And here are a few of the ways the kitchen use them all:
    KAARLA CLOSED LOOP SALAD - ROOF TOP LEAVES AND FLOWERS, TIGER NUT CURD, DAIKON WESTERN PRAWNS, GERALDTON WAX, NATIVE TAMARIND ARDEN GROWN TIGER NUT ICE CREAM, TIGERNUT NOUGATINE, WHITE CHITOSE CORN, CALAMANSI JELLY, POACHED ORANGES AUSTRALIAN MARKET OYSTER, FIG LEAF AND OYSTER PLANT VI

    • 30 min
    The Gardener's Almanac

    The Gardener's Almanac

    To book-end the winter break, I’m sort of picking up where we left off by talking about a way to mark the passing of the year and the seasons and to ground yourself and your gardening endeavours in the natural patterns that govern them. My guest is Lia Leendertz, author of the annual The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide and she starts by talking about the origins of her almanac.
    Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Winter in the veg garden
    What We Talk About
    The history of Lia’s Almanac
    How Lia intends for people to use the Almanac throughout the year
    The importance connecting with traditions, celebrations and rituals
    The monthly list of gardening jobs
    Gardening by the phases of the moon
    Underlying themes of the Almanac; the pond and the zodiac
    A discussion of Lia’s line about the month of August, “Your ancestors would be proud to see how far you have come, sipping a glass of cold wine and laughing in the sun.”
    About Lia Leendertz
    Lia is an award-winning garden and food writer based in Bristol. Her reinvention of the traditional rural almanac has become an annual must-have for readers eager to connect with the seasons, appreciate the outdoors and discover ways to mark and celebrate each month.
    Links
    The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2023 by Lia Leendertz - Octopus Publishing Group, September 2022
    Lia’s Website
    Lia on Instagram
    Lia on Twitter 
    Other episodes if you liked this one:
    The Wheel of the Year with Dr Rebecca Beattie
    Garden Roots with Lulah Ellender
    Patreon Membership

    • 24 min
    The Wheel of the Year

    The Wheel of the Year

    My guest this week is Dr Rebecca Beattie. Rebecca has just released a book called ‘The Wheel of the Year’, which is a look at what is happening in nature and in ourselves as the seasons move from one to the other. She suggests tools and rituals to rediscover and appreciate each seasonal festival, giving you a chance to pause, reflect and connect you to the wheel of your own life. As this is the last episode of 2022 and the winter solstice is just 2 days away, I thought this would be a perfect way to wrap up the year and to encourage you to take time to appreciate, well time, as it passes and as things shift from one state of being to another. Christmas can be a frenetic time so I hope you can take half an hour out of your schedule to sit down and listen to Rebecca and to contemplate your place in the wheel of the year.
    Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Lycaenidae butterflies
    What We Talk About
    What is the wheel of the year?
    The origins of the events and customs you find at the sabbats
    In our secular society, are we beginning to realise the importance of connecting back to a framework that makes sense of time and our place in the world?
    Useful hints for people to make sure they remember to mark the passing of seasons at appropriate times
    Advantages gardeners have in terms of being connected to the wheel of the year
    Our own annual wheel of the year and how this connect to those that occur in nature 
    How our unsettled seasons might affect how we celebrate the sabbats
    About Rebecca Beattie
    Dr Rebecca Beattie is a Wiccan Priestess with a PhD in Creative Writing. Rebecca grew up on Dartmoor, which gave her an early appreciation of the power and joys of nature. She has been practising solitary witchcraft for twenty years and an initiate of the Gardnerian Wiccan tradition for fifteen. She is acclaimed for her highly informed teaching of witchcraft subjects at Treadwell’s Books in Bloomsbury. By day she is a professional in a major charity, with advanced degrees in Literature and Creative writing.
    Links
    The Wheel of the Year by Rebecca Beattie - Elliott & Thompson Ltd, October 2022
    Catherine Heatherington Designs
    Other episodes if you liked this one:
    Sacred Woodlands with Simon Leadbeater
    Sensory Herbalism with Karen Lawton
    Patreon Membership

    • 31 min
    Creating Natural Habitats in the Garden

    Creating Natural Habitats in the Garden

    • 24 min
    Composting & Bokashi

    Composting & Bokashi

    This week’s guest is Martyn Richards who is the Home & Garden Manager for Agriton UK, part of a large European group of companies who manufacture products to help commercial and domestic users deal with the ‘soil, crop, animal waste cycle’. Martyn contacted me to see if I would be interested in speaking to him about their bokashi composting system and I thought, yes, I would, because I didn’t really understand the process. So my first question to Martyn was, just what is bokashi? Listen now and all will be revealed…
    What We Talk About
    What is bokashi compost? 
    How bokashi systems are different to traditional composting methods
    What can you compost? Is there anything you can’t?
    Do you need to add anything for the process to work?
    What are Bokashi organisms? Where do they originate from?
    Is it expensive to set up?
    Does it work at any scale?
    Does what you put in affect what comes out in terms of nutrient value?
    What is Bokashi bran?
    Links
    Agriton’s Bokashi Brochure 
    www.agriton.co.uk
    Other episodes if you liked this one:
    The Composting Process
    Feeding Your Soil with Humanure
    Patreon Membership

    • 31 min
    Korean Natural Farming

    Korean Natural Farming

    This week, my guest is David O’Carroll. David runs an 11 acre agroforestry learning centre in Totnes, Devon where he teaches natural farming methods, based on the techniques around Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO) and Korean Natural Farming (KNF). He focuses on building healthy soil to produce healthy plants and is both generous with his time and knowledge as he aims to share the details of his techniques to help other growers.
    What We Talk About
    What is Korean Natural Farming?
    What is IMO? How do you make it? Why do you need it?
    What is LAB? How does it help plants?
    Is KNF as useful for ornamental plants as it is for edibles?
    Do you need a lot of space to make the KNF preparations?
    Preparations for home gardeners to try 
    Links
    www.ballaghbotanicals.co.uk
    www.zerosoap.info 
    Other episodes if you liked this one:
    Mycorrhizal Fungi with Jeff Lowenfels
    Garden Amendments with Nigel Palmer
    Patreon Membership

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

Old-New Gardener ,

Informative and thought-provoking

Making a career change and returning to a field I studied long ago, I’m hungry for a wide variety of gardening information. This podcast is just what I need and one of the best I’ve found so far! It’s catching me up on the latest and the topics are highly interesting to me. Listening is helping me find my way, and along the way I’m learning a lot. Thank you and keep up the good work!

Dfsteed ,

Great show

This is a great podcast. Such a diverse range of subjects and guests. It is always filled with little gems of information. Many of the authors Sarah has had on have written really great books that I may otherwise not heard about. I look forward to listening every week.

Kurt in NWCT ,

Fascinating and practical

Sarah interviews the most diverse range of guests! Topics are useful and can be applied by home gardeners. I love this podcast.

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