24 episodes

The Horticulturati is a biweekly-ish gardening talkshow cohosted by Austin-based landscape designers Leah Churner and Colleen Dieter. Join us for gossip, gripes, and fun plant facts!

The Horticulturati The Horticulturati

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 19 Ratings

The Horticulturati is a biweekly-ish gardening talkshow cohosted by Austin-based landscape designers Leah Churner and Colleen Dieter. Join us for gossip, gripes, and fun plant facts!

    Hothouse: Beyond Permaculture with Cassiopeia Farm

    Hothouse: Beyond Permaculture with Cassiopeia Farm

    Hey ya'll, check out this new episode of Leah's other podcast, Hothouse. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled Horticulturati programming soon. For now, welcome to Hothouse Season 2!
    If you follow any flower farmers on Instagram, the romance may be all too tempting: picture yourself quitting the city, fixing up an old farmhouse, and spending your days harvesting flowers and arranging bouquets on a ten-acre homestead. Now imagine doing that in a fire-prone, flood-prone, deer-pressured, rapidly developing portion of Austin without access to well water or an agricultural property tax exemption. Sam Eberhardt and Dan Poole are farming on the razor’s edge, doing everything the hard way, and still somehow managing to make the dream look absolutely fabulous.
    In this episode, we take a walk behind the scenes of Cassiopeia, a flower farm and orchard dedicated to ethical land stewardship, wildlife conservation, and “beyond organic” principles. Sam and Dan discuss the structural obstacles faced by small farms, their commitment to regenerative agriculture, and their “shotgun approach” to rolling with the punches of climate change. 
    Check out Cassiopeia Farm's farm-to-table CSA, the Best Buds Club, find their flowers at Austin Flower Company, Salt and Time, and Confituras, and follow them on Instagram.
    This interview was recorded in February 2019. Drop me a line! Music by Moonsicles.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Saga of the American Chestnut

    Saga of the American Chestnut

    Chestnuts roasting in an ideological fire! Colleen shares the history of Castanea dentata, a once ubiquitous, now virtually extinct species that has become an unlikely sticking point in the controversy over genetically modified organisms.
    But first, we talk about late season burnout, and COLLEEN’S FORTHCOMING BOOK! (Stay tuned for news about book release!)
    PS. Leah will be presenting a free lecture to the Native Plant Society of Williamson County, “Landscaping with Native Plants: Ten Design Principles for Home Gardeners” on June 10 at 7pm, via Zoom. Sign up and learn more here.
    Support us by joining our Patreon! And drop us a line at www.horticulturati.com 
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Akiva Silver; The Sierra Club’s paper on Chestnuts; Truth Out’s article by Anne Petermann; The Genetic Literacy Project’s podcast on biotech and chestnuts; SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status for Blight-Tolerant Darling 58 American Chestnut; and the American Chestnut Foundation.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    The Secret Life of Owls

    The Secret Life of Owls

    Springtime is owl time. Owlets be hatching. Fledglings be fledging. Owl cams be streaming. Enter, with us, the kingdom of the night, as we celebrate these mysterious and beautiful birds.
    Drop us a line at www.horticulturati.com or call the Hotline at 347-WAP-HORT. Please join our Patreon! 
    Merlin and Minerva's website, Instagram, and live Twitch stream; Austin Birds on Facebook; “Why is the owl considered a wise bird in the West and a symbol of foolishness in India?” (Times of India, Oct 3, 2004); “All About Owls” online presentation from the Austin Nature and Science Center by Mary Beck (Nov 14, 2020 -- ALSO please excuse us for calling it the Austin Science and Nature Center, that was incorrect); Athena the Great Horned Owl at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Owl Shack screech owl boxes. 

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Hot Takes on Cold Hardiness

    Hot Takes on Cold Hardiness

    We're live from Zone 8b with a tell-all about the "epistemological quandary" that is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. What is hardiness? How is it quantifiable? And how useful is the USDA's classification system for gardeners grappling with extreme weather? Listen to find out. 
    First up, some tree news -- some of it shady. Last but not least, we get our first-ever call to the Horticulturati Hotline! Thank you Misti from The Garden Path Podcast for your sharing your Big Tree journeys. 
    Visit us at horticulturati.com and check out our NEW Patreon! 
    Mentioned in this episode: 
    "History of Plant Hardiness Zone Maps" (Plant Delights Nursery); The American Horticultural Society's Plant Heat-Zone Map; Famous Trees of Texas by Gretchen Riley and Peter D. Smith

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Thawing Out

    Thawing Out

    We return from hiatus with tales of the Snowpocalypse -- or  Snowmageddon, Snowvid, whatever you want to call it -- to document the record-breaking winter weather that broke Texas' electric grid and ushered in a scary new climate reality for the plants and people of the Lone Star State. Your hosts discuss personal trauma, a jumble of conflicting post-freeze plant advice, and a bunch of anecdotes about what worked and what didn't in preparing our gardens and ourselves for an unprecedented 144 consecutive hours of below-freezing temps in Austin. 
    Visit us at horticulturati.com 
    Subscribe to our PATREON! 
    Mentioned in this episode: 
    Aggie Horticulture Facebook page videos; City Council Member Greg Casar; Resolution Gardens

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Virtual Flora & “Tree Lady” Margret Hofmann

    Virtual Flora & “Tree Lady” Margret Hofmann

    On this episode, we discuss virtual foliage, time travel, and big trees. Colleen looks into how video games might play a role in curing plant blindness, and Leah shines a light on the remarkable life and legacy of Margret Hofmann (1925-2012), whose 1970s “Think Trees” campaign introduced Austinites to a majestic urban forest hidden in plain sight. 
    Leave us a voicemail at 347-WAP-HORT or drop us a line at horticulturati.com! 
    Mentioned in this episode: 
    The Greenberg Turkey plant explosion; “A Video Game Garden: The Delights of Virtual Botany” (The Guardian); Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture; Video Game Foliage (Tumblr); the iNaturalist app; Myst; Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut; A Key To Survival by Margaret Hoffmann; The 1976 Tree Registry; Hofmann’s archive at the Austin History Center; The Secret Life of Plants documentary; Photo by Alan Pogue of Hofmann in 1975 with a historical marker at the site of a 700-year-old live oak at I-35 and Braker Lane (see the tree on Google Street View).

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

lego512 ,

My Gardening BFFs

I always learn so much from, laugh with, and relate to Colleen and Leah. Best Texas gardening podcast!

Misti L. ,

Lots of Great Info!

I love listening to these two and they have a lot of pertinent hort (and pop culture) advice for Texans and gardeners in general!

STL in ATX ,


Colleen helped with our yard layout and love hearing her knowledge on plants!

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