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MARGARET ROACH A WAY TO GARDEN
26 minutes | Oct 18, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – October 18, 2021 – Ken Druse on Monocots
"What do you want to talk about when we tape our next podcast segment, I asked Ken Druse the other day, and his answer was succinct. "Monocots," he said. To which I said, "What?" "I want to talk about monocotyledons," he said, using the unabbreviated name of one of the two groups that all flowering plants fit into, the other being dicots. And so we will. And yes, it's geeky, but also a lot more revealing than you'd imagine. And also a hint that seemingly esoteric facts like the taxonomic relationships between plants can make for fun themes for a plant collection, or even a concept for a bed or border or display of grouped containers. Ken Druse is an old friend and a garden writer with 20 books to his credit, and most recently, one about fragrance called “The Scentual Garden,” and another called “The New Shade Garden.” He made a visit the other day to Wave Hill, the renowned public garden in New York City, where they have a whole monocot border that was in its glory, and hence our topic today: plants that are monocots and why to care.
26 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – October 11, 2021 – Cary Oshins on Composting Tips
Have you made room in the compost heap for all that incoming organic material about to be created during your fall cleanup? Compost is today's topic with Associate Director Cary Oshins of the US Composting Council. And we'll talk about everything from best how-to practices to improve your results, to all those claims about compostable plastic bags and devices promising to make instant compost. Cary Oshins is a life-long backyard composter, besides his day job at the composting industry group that was founded in 1990 to promote compost utilization and recycling of organic materials to benefit its members, society, and the environment. He lent some of his insights at this key moment in our composting year.
27 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – October 4, 2021 – Marc Wolf on Native Shrubs
I'm always looking for more places to tuck native plantings, and my current mission is along my property edges, where I'm adding a more complex layer of shrubs and small trees adjacent to the big old canopy-level ones to increase habitat for beneficial insects and birds, in particular. I've been turning to today's guest for suggestions, and now we want to share some of our ideas with you for garden-sized native woody plants to enhance the diversity of your landscape. Marc Wolf is director of Mountain Top Arboretum in the Catskills of New York, 178-acre public garden that's open every day of the year, and where managing native plant communities is the focus. Marc has a particular appreciation for small native trees that we too often overlook, and we'll talk about some of his favorites and also a palette of native shrubs to delight you and the bees and the birds.
26 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – September 27, 2021 – Ken Druse on Dividing Perennials
I've been scouting around in my garden for orphaned plants, ones that used to be in visually pleasing clumps or masses, but because of expanding shade or a naughty vole or who knows what, aren't looking as good as they used to. Over in New Jersey, Ken Druse has been digging and dividing some perennials, too, but for different reasons. And that's our topic today: what and when and why and how to dig and divide. Ken Druse is author of 20 garden books, and gardens on a small island in a river in New Jersey, which sometimes backfires as it did recently during Hurricane Ida, when the place flooded. He's no longer under water, and he's here to help us learn to dig and divide our way to a better garden.
25 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – September 20, 2021 – Heather McCargo on Natives From Seed
Today we're going to get a lesson in winter sowing, sowing seeds in fall and early winter outside in a protected spot, a sort of easy DIY home nursery for making more plants. What we'll learn to propagate that way are specifically seeds of native plants—both meadow perennials, like asters and Joe Pye weed, and also various shrubs and even trees. My guest is Heather McCargo, who founded the nonprofit Wild Seed Project in Maine in 2014 and has been growing natives from seed for 35 years. Native plants’ wild populations have shrunk alarmingly in that time. The mission of Heather’s Wild Seed Project is to inspire and teach more of us to grow natives and use them to repopulate the landscape, whether our home gardens or maybe a community project, like at a park or school or beyond.
26 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – September 13, 2021 – Darryl Cheng on Light for Houseplants
The days are getting shorter, and in my Northern garden, they're growing cooler, too. I know my houseplants will be screaming soon to come back inside, and then screaming all winter about the less-than-ideal conditions I'm offering, and how they'd like me to do better, please. Darryl Cheng does better, using all the technical insights he can to make more than 100 houseplants feel at home in his Toronto condominium. But he also accepts that his place is not a conservatory or commercial greenhouse. It's not perfect. Darryl Cheng is better known on Instagram as @houseplantjournal, and as one of his 620,000 followers, I can say I enjoy being treated to his frequent posts, showing off his latest insights from ambitiously growing a condo-full of diverse houseplants. He began sharing his earliest houseplant adventures on Tumblr in 2013, and has grown his audience and more, more, more houseplants exponentially ever since. He's the author of the book “The New Plant Parent,” and creates the popular website, houseplantjournal.com.
26 minutes | Sep 6, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – September 6, 2021 – Julie Janoski Gives a Caterpillar Clinic
Today's guest answers even more Urgent Garden Questions each year than I do, in her role as plant clinic manager at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois—including lots each summer and fall about caterpillars galore, from bagworms to gypsy moths and fall webworms. Besides being an arboretum and public garden, The Morton is a world-class 1,700-acre research center, conservation and education organization, and it's preparing to mark its centennial in 2022. Last year, 17,000 questions arrived by phone, email, or in person at the plant clinic, questions representing consumers from 48 states. Julie is a former landscape designer who has managed the arboretum's free plant clinic for three years, after volunteering there for five years before that. Julie and I talked about the most common questions we each get from gardeners, including ones about Magnolia scale and about all those hungry caterpillars and what to do to limit them next year.
25 minutes | Aug 30, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – August 30, 2021 – Meg McGrath on Vegetable Diseases
Here's how my head, which is always lost in the garden, I guess, works: The first thing I thought about when the pandemic started—when we got news of a new pathogen in the world—was how many plant pathogens I've written about in my career, and the trajectories of each of them. Dr. Margaret McGrath is a longtime vegetable pathologist for Cornell University, whom I've turned to over and again to better understand many such plant diseases. Meg, in turn, turns to backyard gardeners, like us, to help her learn more about basil downy mildew and late blight in tomatoes and, now, cucurbit downy mildew too. It's true, she wants to know what we're seeing in our backyards. We can help her and vice versa. Besides her role as a scientist at Cornell's Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead, New York, Meg McGrath is a keen gardener. Her applied research aims to improve the management of important vegetable diseases, and develop effective components for integrated pest management programs.
26 minutes | Aug 20, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – August 16, 2021 – Ken Druse on Texture and Variegation
Texture and Variegation With Ken Druse - A Way to Garden With Margaret Roach - August 16, 2021 Ken Druse called the other day to say that he and his garden have the August lulls. The sort of annual dog days experience when it's way past spring, and still way before fall color, when maybe even some of the annuals you potted up or put into your beds in May for summer color might be starting to look less perky, too. "What holds the garden together in such a moment?" he asked as we chatted, and as he looked out the window. Texture, primarily we agreed, and at Ken's, especially some refreshing splashes of variegation and definitely the freshness of some white flowers. Using all of those effectively is our topic today. You all know Ken Druse as a regular visitor to my podcast, and author of 20 garden books and longtime friend. When he's not managing the antics of two troublemaking but gorgeous canines, he manages his extensive garden in New Jersey.
26 minutes | Aug 20, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – August 23, 2021 – Toshi Yano on Editing and Dividing Perennials
Maybe you, like I do, have certain perennial beds that could use editing and some particular plants that need dividing in the process. That's just one focus of today's guest, Toshi Yano, in his role as director of horticulture at Wethersfield, a former private estate turned public garden in the Hudson Valley of New York, He'll tell us the how-to, and also about visiting this special place. Toshi is in his third year as director of horticulture at the former estate called Wethersfield garden in Dutchess County, New York, with its 3-acre formal gardens plus 7 acres of wilderness garden and commanding views of the Catskills and Berkshire Mountains. Toshi and his team are bringing the gardens back to life, and he told me about the place, and specifically about the tasks of editing and dividing that every perennial gardener needs to do, whatever their garden scale.
27 minutes | Aug 9, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – July 9, 2021 – Noelle Orloff on Horticultural Vinegar –
In a recent industry newsletter, I saw a link to a story about the herbicide called horticultural vinegar, and clicked on it. And then, realizing how little I knew about this product that I see prominently displayed in every garden center I visit, I wrote to the story’s authors at Montana State University to ask them to tell me more. In our subsequent series of conversations, I learned a lot about these high-concentration vinegars, and most of all about reading product labels to be a smarter, safer consumer. Noelle Orloff is the Weed and Invasive Plant Identification Diagnostician at Montana State's Schutter Diagnostic Lab, where she identifies plants submitted by growers, ranchers and homeowners, and provides management recommendations if needed. She's also a passionate home gardener, and I'm so glad to continue our conversation out loud here today with all of you listening.
26 minutes | Aug 2, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – Uli Lorimer on Propagating Ferns – August 2, 2021
By the time we hit August, some plants in the garden are a little beat up—or have at least needed deadheading, or even wholesale cutting back, perhaps. As delicate as they might look texturally from the moment of their first emergence in spring, though, the ones that always startle me by their incredible toughness are the ferns. That's our topic today, ferns—and specifically native ones—with Uli Lorimer of Native Plant Trust, who will tell us some fern lore and some fern care, and even how they reproduce so we can propagate more of them ourselves. Uli Lorimer has made a career of working with native plants. He was longtime curator of the Native Flora Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. And in 2019 became Director of Horticulture at Native Plant Trust, the former New England Wild Flower Society, and America's oldest plant conservation organization, founded in 1900.
26 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – July 26, 2021 – Ken Druse on Mint Relatives
Don't answer this question too quickly; take your time and think it over. How many mints are you growing in your garden? When Ken Druse suggested the other day to me that we talk about mints on the show. I thought, "Spearmint, peppermint, what?" But then I thought a moment longer and looked around and realized there were mint family relatives all over the garden, even unintentionally among the lawn weeds. So the many faces of mints is our topic today, but first these messages. You all know Ken Druse, a regular visitor to the show and author of 20 garden books and also a longtime friend. When he's not managing the antics of two troublemaking but gorgeous canines, he manages his extensive garden in New Jersey.
27 minutes | Jul 19, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – July 19, 2021 – Marianne Willburn on Tropicals
I was at the local garden center the other day, when a truck full of tropical plants was being unloaded. And in the heat of a summer day, they looked like just the right choice to bring home to liven up the place. But which ones among the many choices could become what Marianne Willburn calls “best friends,” and carry over year to year without too much fuss? Marianne Willburn, author of the new book, “Tropical Plants and How to Love Them,” is a regular contributor to “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine, and to the popular multi-author garden website, Garden Rant dot com. She gardens in Northern Virginia and yes, a lot of the non-hardy things we call tropicals are among her faithful garden companions.
27 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – July 12, 2021 – Chris Leahy on Birdpedia
How many bird species are there in the world and how many individual birds? And how do you even try to count? Do bird sweat, and how is their eyesight or sense of smell? What makes some eggs solid blue and others speckled brown, or are any two species’eggs the same size and shape and color? Well, these are just a tiny fraction of the disparate and fascinating questions answered in the new book called “Birdpedia” by today's guest, Christopher Leahy. Christopher Leahy retired in June 2017 from a 45-year career as a professional conservationist with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and was for 16 years director of its Center for Biological Conservation. He's the author of numerous books, most recently, “Birdpedia: A Brief Compendium of Avian Lore,” our topic today.
27 minutes | Jul 5, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – July 5, 2021 – Patrick McMillan on Natural Communities
I've been looking forward to connecting with Patrick McMillan, who last October took over as director of the exceptional plant collection and astonishing landscape that is Heronswood Garden in Kingston, Washington. Besides wanting to know what's next there at a place that's been known for a long time for its influence on American gardeners, Patrick has a personal passion I'm very curious about. It's what he calls “natural community gardening,” as in taking our cues from habitats or plant communities in nature to guide how we design and care for our gardens. Patrick came to Heronswood last fall from Clemson University in South Carolina, where he ran the South Carolina Botanical Garden and was a professor in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. He also hosted a PBS series called “Expeditions with Patrick McMillan,” and led the development of the botanical garden’s Natural Heritage Garden. His motto, in his words: “No matter how large a garden space is, no matter what you're doing, you try to make your passion come to life on your piece of ground.”
26 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – Nate Kleinman on Monkey Puzzle Trees – June 28, 2021
I have a fascination for seeds of unusual edibles from around the world, and the other day on Instagram, I saw maybe the oddest one of all: What about growing a monkey puzzle tree from Chile from seed? And who even knew that tree produced edible nuts? O.K., so maybe that wasn't on the top of your list, but how about carrots that are gorgeous purple inside or a diversity of textural kales from far off places for your fall garden? Those and more to tempt you are our topic today, but first these messages. It was Nate Kleinman who caught my attention with his social-media post about seed for that unusual conifer, the monkey puzzle tree. Nate is co-founder of Experimental Farm Network , a nonprofit cooperative of growers, whose mission includes the core belief that agriculture can and should be used to help build a better world. I love browsing their online seed catalog for its many distinctive possibilities, including some you can sow in these next weeks for late-season harvests.
26 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – June 21, 2021 – Brian Campbell on Radicchio and More
A story I wrote recently for my “New York Times” column took me on a fascinating, deep dive into the world of radicchio and put me back in touch with today's guest, organic seed farmer Brian Campbell of Uprising Seeds. Radicchio, with its long heritage in Northern Italy, isn't the only crop with Italian roots that the Uprising team is crazy about, so today we're going to meet leaf broccoli and cardoon, and some traditional Italian beans and beets, too, that would be just as at home in your vegetable garden. Brian Campbell, with his partner Crystine Goldberg, owns Uprising Seeds just north of Bellingham, Washington, which was the state's first certified organic seed company and features an assortment of exceptional vegetables and flowers. This year, they added the new Gusto Italiano Project to their lineup, a collection of radicchios and brassicas straight from Italy, and we talked about growing some of those selections and more.
27 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – June 14, 2021 – Ken Druse on Shrub Propagation
Today we're going to do some multiplication, as in: make more shrubs, thanks to a lesson in propagating favorites like Hydrangea or elderberry or Physocarpus and more, courtesy of our friend and regular guest, Ken Druse. Ready to learn the basics of shrub propagation and have plants to share or to repeat in your own garden? You all know my old friend, Ken Druse, author of 20 garden books. So rather than repeat the rest of his bio, I'll share some news. Ken's being honored the evening of June 17th, 2021 by Rutgers Gardens, the botanical garden of Rutgers University in New Jersey. And I'll have information with the transcript of this show on awaytogarden.com on how to buy a ticket for that virtual event, which of course I would not miss. The celebratory evening includes a video tour of his garden at peak bloom, and also a live Q&A session.
27 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach – May 31, 2021 – Jon Drori on ‘Around the World in 80 Plants’
Environmentalist and best-selling author, Jonathan Drori, says that for him, plant science is fascinating, but it's truly enlivened when it's entwined with human history and culture. In his new book, “Around the World in 80 Plants,” the followup to his hit “Around the World in 80 Trees,” he does just that. He enlivens plants both obscure and as familiar as the common potato. There are many plants we may not know at all, so everything about them is a surprise, of course, when we first come across them, but even commonplace plants like the dandelion have untold stories to share. Dandelions and 79 others are profiled in Jonathan Drori's new book, “Around the World in 80 Plants.” Jonathan, a former BBC documentarian who for nine years was a trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is on the board of Cambridge University Botanic Garden, a trustee of the World Wildlife Fund, a fellow of the Linnaean Society and more.
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