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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Season 1, Episode 6: So you think you know...

Siberian irises, hostas, gladiolus... you think you know these plants. Think again, there is a LOT of really cool new breeding and diversity in these groups from fragrant glads to ginger colored siberian irises to hostas with thumbs.

Thanks to Kelly Norris for letting me use this stunning image of the Siberian iris Pomegranate Punch!

Bob Hollingworth's recommended siberian irises:

Hello Yellow
Just Cruising
Laugh Out Loud

Ginger Twist
Humors of Whiskey

Big (tetraploid) flowers:
Blueberry Fair
Shall We Dance
Ruffles and Flourishes
Simon Says

Small, delicate flowers:
White Amber
Banish Misfortune
Here Be Dragons

Double flowers:
Imperial Opal

Six Falls:
Roku Oji

Early Flowering:
China Spring
Who's on First

Exceptionally vigorous:
Swans in Flight

Sources for great Siberian irises:
Ensata Gardens
Joe Pye Weed's Garden
Schreiner's Iris Gardens
Salmon Creek Garden

Mike Shadrack's recommended hostas:
Foxfire Palm Sunday
Lakeside Paisley Print
All the Blue Mouse Ears sports
Dragon Wings

Sources for great hostas:
Naylor Creek

Jacob Van Patten's recommended gladiolus:

Huron Dream
Art Show
Cut Above
Bold Heart
New Millennium

Sources for great glads:
Noweta Gardens
Peeters Enterprises

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Season 1, Episode 5: Getting Savvy!

Jessica Walliser, Niki Jabbour, Tara Nolan, and Amy Andrychowicz are four of the smartest, most fun gardeners I know... so when I heard they were starting a new group blog together called Savvy Gardening, I knew I needed to use that as an excuse to get them all on the podcast together.

It was a blast! We talked everything from strategies for getting through the winter, to growing plants to attract beneficial insects, to ways to keep your mother-in-law from eating all your artichokes.

Thanks for listening! Next week is an off week, so come back in two weeks for the next episode. In the mean time, there is lots more info about the Savvy Gardeners and all their various projects (NOT, as it turns out, including instagram) on their website www.savvygardening.com.

Oh, and I almost forgot: This is the picture of a VERY CUTE baby turtle that Amy thought looked like a dead rat...

Though in her defense, she was seeing a pretty small thumb nail image of this. But cute, right? Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks baby turtles are cute.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Season one, episode four: Taxonomists Talk Back!

Gardeners LOVE to complain about taxonomists changing the scientific names of plants. I even went so far as to make a stupid music video complaining about it. But today the taxonomists get to give their side of the story: MaartenChristenhusz, a Kew botanist who has named abunch of species and has even has one named after him, and Tony Reznicek, a botanist at the Univeristy of Michigan who is the man behind the Michigan Flora, and an expert on sedge systematics.

Here are some of the key things I learned from this episode:
One, there is no official body or organization who accepts or declines new plant names – one scientist proposes a change, and if other scientists think it is good, they start using it. If not, they don't.
Which explains why it can be so hard for gardeners to keep up with what the latest names are – both Tony and Maarten agreed there is no easy answer, but recommended some websites where you can check and see what the state of the name of plants are: Kew Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Tropicos, USDA Plants, and efloras.
Then: It isn't your imagination that names are changing a LOT lately. New DNA technology has resulted in some major reshuffling of all sorts of taxonomic groups, sometimes resulting in new names.
And, it also isn't your imagination, there is a REASON it seems like the new names are always longer and harder than the old ones (Aster to Symphyotrichum anyone?)
And finally, there IS some good news: Though there have been a lot of major name changes lately thanks to new DNA sequencing technology, both agreed that newer name changes are likely to stand, and that there are likely to be fewer new name changes in the future as the new technology works its way through the system!

Oh, and finally, new, better plant taxonomies is giving us some exciting new plants out of the process, like this cool Franklinia hybrid that Tony mentioned.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Season 1, episode 3: Making the Cut!

This week we're talking growing cool cutting gardens, and getting creative with making beautiful cut flower arrangements.

Two announcements to start off:
One, the podcast is now listed on itunes for you apple lovers
Two, There will not be a podcast next week, I'm taking a week off, so episode 4 will run in two weeks
Oh, and I forgot: HUGE thanks to my guest Riz for letting me use this image of his gorgeous arrangement for this episode.

I've got three great guests this week:

Matt Mattus has a terrific blog, Growing With Plants
You'll want to check out his excellent post on growing glorious sweet peas
And the great snapdragons (along with many other GREAT cut flower varieties) are available from Johnny's Selected Seeds
If you want to try dying plants, here's a source I found for commercial florist's dye.

Riz Reyes website and blog are well worth checking out, and the stunning arrangement he co-designed for the NW Flower and Garden Show is the image in the logo for this week's episode. Thank you Riz for letting me use it!

Debra Prinzing's website has all the info on her gorgeous books, her soon-to-come website directory of local and sustainable flowers is slowflowers.com, and she also has a weekly podcast where she does interviews with all sorts of people within the slow flowers movement.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Season 1, episode 2: Grow THIS!

My idea for this episode was to get four very different gardeners and ask them to recommend a couple plants they really love. I got John Grimshaw, Ivette Solar, Doug Oster, and Mr. Subjunctive on the line and... well, I got a lot of great plant recommendations, but I also had some fascinating discussions about choosing good plants, the fashions of horticulture, growing produce all winter long... it was all over the place, and a lot of fun. So tune in for all that, and check out below the actual plants we talked about.

Aloe marlothii
Juniperus scopulorum 'Moonglow' (Note, though most junipers are great everywhere, this species does poorly in humid areas in the Eastern US. My favorite alternative for a similar look here in Michigan is Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Van Pelts')
Juniperus pfitzeriana 'Aurea'

Limbaugh Legacy Potato Top Tomato (source)
Tatsoi (source)

Cyclamen hederifolium (source)
Galanthus 'S. Arnott' (source note that most US sources incorrectly list this as 'Sam Arnott')
Crocus tommasinianus (Any fall bulb catalog will have it)

Mr. Subjunctive
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Season 1, episode 1: Behind the (green) scenes

There is a lot that happens to get beautiful plants ready and waiting for you to buy at the nursery. This episode, we're going behind the scenes with a little bit of that whole complex known as the horticulture industry with two people who know it well.

Rick Schoellhorn was, until 2012, new products director for Proven Winners meaning he was the guy out traveling the world looking for new plant varieties to add to their line up.

Julia Hofley is currently a free-lance garden writer and speaker, and worked for a decade as the manager and buyer for Goldner Walsh, a great garden center in Michigan

People like Julia and Rick are the ones deciding what plants you are going to see and have the chance to purchase each spring. Listen to hear how those decisions get made, and a little taste of what is like on the other side of the greenhouse.

Huge thanks to Rick and Julia for being my guests on this episode, and to Gamma10 for kindly allowing me to use his song 'Tomorrow' as the theme music for the podcast.

Check in next week for episode two when we'll be talking to four great gardeners about plants they love and why.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Introducing Grow ALL the Plants, Season One!

My new podcast is gearing up to go live... First full episode launches February 15th. Get a brief taste of what it is all about now with Episode 1.0, the introduction!