22 episodes

If you could create your dream garden from pieces of all of your favourite places, and if you could grow any plants in the world, what would you choose? Who would you have as your imaginary head gardener, or garden designer?

In Talking Gardens, the podcast from the team behind Gardens Illustrated, host Stephanie Mahon asks the great and the good of the gardening world to construct their ultimate fantasy growing space.

Tune in to hear what Great Dixter’s head gardener Fergus Garrett, world-renowned garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith and garden writer Alice Vincent choose for their dream gardens.

Discover why head gardener Troy Scott-Smith is no longer watering the borders at Sissinghurst; why herb expert Jekka McVicar loves a moon gate; and how gardening saved the life of Charlie Harpur, head gardener at Knepp Castle Walled Garden.

We also learn what ethnobotanist James Wong’s imaginary Eden would look like, and what garden designer Sarah Price would never allow in her garden.

Follow now so you never miss an episode.

Talking Gardens Our Media

    • Leisure
    • 4.9 • 17 Ratings

If you could create your dream garden from pieces of all of your favourite places, and if you could grow any plants in the world, what would you choose? Who would you have as your imaginary head gardener, or garden designer?

In Talking Gardens, the podcast from the team behind Gardens Illustrated, host Stephanie Mahon asks the great and the good of the gardening world to construct their ultimate fantasy growing space.

Tune in to hear what Great Dixter’s head gardener Fergus Garrett, world-renowned garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith and garden writer Alice Vincent choose for their dream gardens.

Discover why head gardener Troy Scott-Smith is no longer watering the borders at Sissinghurst; why herb expert Jekka McVicar loves a moon gate; and how gardening saved the life of Charlie Harpur, head gardener at Knepp Castle Walled Garden.

We also learn what ethnobotanist James Wong’s imaginary Eden would look like, and what garden designer Sarah Price would never allow in her garden.

Follow now so you never miss an episode.

    Nigel Slater

    Nigel Slater

    In this episode, cook, food writer and passionate home gardener Nigel Slater talks to Stephanie Mahon about what he would include in his dream garden, from the inspirational spaces of Japan to the stars in the sky, and from soft green moss to bright bronze azaleas. Find out how he stole his front garden, how he went to war with foxes and lost, and the reason that fairies and soft serve ice-cream would have to be part of his fantasy garden. Discover how he managed to get Dan Pearson and Monty Don to design his own back garden, and the one gardening trend that really winds him up.

    Talking Gardens is created by the team at Gardens Illustrated magazine. Find lots more great garden inspiration and planting ideas, and subscribe, at www.gardensillustrated.com

    Enjoyed this episode? Tell a friend, make sure to leave a review or comment, and let us know who you would next like to hear talking about their dream garden.
    Follow now so you never miss an episode.
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    • 38 min
    Marian Boswall

    Marian Boswall

    Landscape designer Marian Boswall constructs her fantasy garden, the first important ingredient of which would be love. Find out why Marian wants to experience the garden from the perspective of a bug and a bird, as well as in slo-mo and fast-mo, and how being ‘invisible’ is helpful when out beaver spotting. Discover what the secret of quick composting is, how she learned to love yellow… and why she wants a pair of wolves in her dream garden.

    Talking Gardens is created by the team at Gardens Illustrated magazine. Find lots more great garden inspiration and planting ideas, and subscribe, at www.gardensillustrated.com

    Discover Marian Boswall’s top tips on creating a sustainable garden; see a beautiful low-maintenance garden she designed; and learn more about her favourite plants with medicinal qualities.

    Enjoying this podcast? Why not tell a friend to listen too? Make sure to leave a review, or a comment to let us know who you would most like to hear talking about their dream garden. Follow now so you never miss an episode.

    Show notes
    Books

    Terry Pratchett book Reaper Man


    Laline Paull book The Bees


    Merlin Sheldrake book Entangled Life 



    People


    42 Acres, nature reserve and wellbeing centre, founded by Lara and Seth Tabatznik


    Thich Nhat Hanh, dubbed the ‘father of mindfulness’


    Satish Kumar, peace activist

    Dr Elaine Inghams Soil Food Web


    Nicole Masters Integrity Soils



    Ideas


    Rewilding (beavers) 

    The Great Dixter Biodiversity Audit 

    Making compost


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    • 39 min
    Errol Reuben Fernandes

    Errol Reuben Fernandes

    In this episode, Errol Reuben Fernandes, head of horticulture at the Horniman Museum & Gardens, chooses all the elements he would like in his fantasy garden, from the wonder of Trebah Garden in Cornwall and the sense of discovery exploring a wonderful wasteland near his childhood home, to a swimming pond with jetty and a giant sculpture by Richard Serra. Discover his top picks of shade-loving plants and tips on how to make a microforest, and find out which garden visitors would be banned from his dream space.

    Talking Gardens is created by the team at Gardens Illustrated magazine. Find out more about Errol and the Horniman Museum Gardens, as well as more great garden inspiration and planting ideas at www.gardensillustrated.com

    Enjoying this podcast? Tell a friend, make sure to like, leave a review or comment, and let us know who you would like to hear talking about their dream garden. You can also follow us so you never miss an episode.

    Show notes
    Trebah Garden, Cornwall
    Brownfield gardens
    Plant pick: Hydrangea aspera ‘Koki’ 
    Artist Richard Serra
    Photographer Juergen Teller 
    Artist Joan Mitchell
    Fulham Palace Garden
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    • 36 min
    Piet Oudolf

    Piet Oudolf

    In this episode, world-renowned planting designer Piet Oudolf talks to Stephanie about the projects that have shaped his career and why he has never had time to dream . Discover why he enjoys creating gardens in the public realm more than private spaces, why he closed his nursery and garden and what he has planned for exciting upcoming projects, including the reimagining of his borders at RHS Garden Wisley. 

    Talking Gardens is created by the team at Gardens Illustrated magazine. Find lots more great garden inspiration and planting ideas, and subscribe, at www.gardensillustrated.com 

    Enjoyed this episode? Tell a friend, make sure to leave a review or comment, and let us know who you would next like to hear talking about their dream garden. Follow now so you never miss an episode. 

    Show notes
    Piet Oudolf at Work book 
    Piet Oudolf and Henk Gerritsen’s book Planting the Natural Garden - read our review here.
    Lurie Garden, Chicago
    The High Line, New York City
    RHS Wisley Glasshouse borders being replanted
    Camden Highline, London
    Future Plants
    New plant selected by Cassian Schmidt and Piet at Hermannshof is Schizachyrium scoparium 'Ha Ha Tonka'
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    • 49 min
    Arthur Parkinson

    Arthur Parkinson

    In this episode, gardener and writer Arthur Parkinson describes his dream of a walled garden with orangery, and all manner of plants and birds. Hear about his fantasy lagoon filled with flamingos, his orchard meadow and why even in his dream space he would have to have practical elements such as a gate for plant and pot deliveries - but would never allow a windchime to pass the threshold. 

    Enjoying this podcast? Tell a friend, make sure to leave a review or comment, and let us know who you would like to hear talking about their dream garden. Follow now so you never miss an episode. 

    Talking Gardens is created by the team at Gardens Illustrated magazine. Find lots more great garden inspiration and planting ideas, and subscribe, at www.gardensillustrated.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 34 min
    Isabel Bannerman

    Isabel Bannerman

    In this episode, designer and gardener Isabel Bannerman - whose projects include the private garden of King Charles at Highgrove, and Arundel Castle - describes what she would have to include in her dream garden, from a woodland stream setting and scented shrubs such as mock orange, to elm trees and rambling roses, a place to sit and a greenhouse. Discover why she thinks naturalistic planting looks like hard work, how she is no good at growing vegetables and where she would go in a time machine.

    Talking Gardens is created by the team at Gardens Illustrated magazine. Find lots more great garden inspiration and ideas, including Isabel and husband Julian’s top garden books, and subscribe at www.gardensillustrated.com 

    Enjoyed this episode? Tell a friend, make sure to leave a review or comment, and let us know who you would like to hear talking about their dream garden. Follow now so you never miss an episode. 

    Show notes:
    Ribes odoratum
    Mock orange Philadelphus ‘Manteau d'Hermine’ 
    Rosa ‘The Garland’
    Gravetye Manor garden - William Robinson
    Ninfa Gardens
    Giverny, Monet’s garden
    Louise Dowding’s Yews Tree Farm garden
    Highgrove
    Keder Greenhouse polytunnel 
    Arundel Castle garden
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    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

Vero Rabbit Foot ,

Love it!

Finally an inspiring gardening podcast! What a pleasure to hear from so many gardening masters. The host is lovely, and so clearly knowledgeable. She brings her own depth of expertise and keeps the speakers on task. A nice companion to wintry runs, when your mind runs to spring and its infinite possibilities on its own.

red queen on square one ,

host talks

someone said this already. i agree.

LPOregon ,

Suggestion: the host should speak less

Excellent podcast but host sometimes reacts to everything and speaks too much.

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