Summary: Gardens are more than collections of plants. Gardens and Gardeners are intersectional spaces and agents for positive change in our world. Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden is a weekly public radio program & podcast exploring what we mean when we garden. Through thoughtful conversations with growers, gardeners, naturalists, scientists, artists and thinkers, Cultivating Place illustrates the many ways in which gardens are integral to our natural and cultural literacy. These conversations celebrate how these interconnections support the places we cultivate, how they nourish our bodies, and feed our spirits. They change the world, for the better. Take a listen.
The healing power of gardens and nature is well known to almost anyone who gardens and has been recorded by gardeners, landscape designers and medical practitioners as far back as antiquity. This week on Cultivating Place we’re joined by Dr. Clare Cooper Marcus, a leader in the field of evidence based research, education and design of what are alternatively known as healing gardens and therapeutic landscapes. For photos visit cultivatingplace.com.
This week on Cultivating Place, we talk land and water with Hunter Ten Broeck of WaterWise Landscapes Inc. in Albuquerque, NM. No matter where we live, or how differently our land and our water supplies and sources may look, our gardens and our nature love are wholly interdependent with these two much larger elemental forces. For 25 years Hunter has been working in his garden design, garden crafting and educational advocacy to improve people’s relationship to and understanding of their own land and water. February 22 and 23, Hunter will be part of a the annual Land and Water Summit, produced by the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico. This year the theme is: The Ripple Effect - Stormwater and Tree Canopy. There’s lessons here for all of us, no matter where we live. Join us!
Danger! Home gardener, garden communicator and blogger Loree Bohl, loves a garden with stand-out foliage and bold form. But pay attention to where you’re going, or as her mail carrier and her little dog Lila both know - it can be dangerous out there! As Loree writes on her blog: "Nice plants are boring – my love is for plants that can hurt you. Agave, yucca, anything with a spike or spur!” Join us this week for the next in our series of Dispatches from the Home Garden on Cultivating Place.
Last week we talked "Little House on the Prairie" and this week we visit the grassland prairies and plains of Kansas. According to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas and the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower center in Texas, Tallgrass prairie once covered between 170 to 250 million acres of North America – making it the largest ecosystem in the country. By 1860, the vast majority was developed and plowed under. Today less than 4% remains, mostly in the Kansas Flint Hills. We’re joined in conversation by Brad Guhr, education coordinator and prairie restoration ecologist for the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston, Kansas. To learn more about this inspiring ecosystem based landscape. Join us.
This week on Cultivating Place, we’re celebrating the February 7th birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder with Author and historian Marta McDowell. Her newest book is: "The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books” (Timber Press, 2017) – a surprising plant and environmental journey. Laura Ingalls Wilder is a name familiar to most Americans born and raised in the 20th century. Her “Little House on the Prairie” series of children's books released from 1932 to 1943 were works of fiction based on her childhood in a settler and pioneer family, in a time of rapid Westward Expansion and white settlement. The books were incredibly popular in their day and when they were made into a well-loved television series in the 1970s and 1980s they caught the imaginations of a whole new generation of readers. Certainly if you were a girl born in the second half of the 1900s in the US, you knew exactly who Ma, Pa, Mary, Carrie and Laura were. What you might not have been as aware of as a reader of the books in your formative years, was just how much ecological, agricultural and gardening information and history your were receiving wrapped up in these engaging human stories. Marta McDowell is an historian and author. Her books include “Emily Dickinson’s Gardens” and “Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life”, as well as “All the Presidents’ Gardens”. Her most recent book is “The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books”. An historical and ecological exploration of a very specific time and place in American History, the book was published by Timber Press in 2017. On February 7th, Laura Ingalls Wilder would be 151. Join us!
This week on Cultivating Place our next in the occasional series of Dispatches from the Home Garden - this time through the lens of a regional newspaper's gardening columnist. Every region needs a paper and at least 1 regionally knowledgeable gardening columnist - Laura Christman was that person in Redding, California for the many years of her long career. "Perhaps you are familiar with the term "gardening." It is a tangle of weirdness. Turns out there's more to it than growing a lovely lawn or prolific pepper plant. Planet Pomegranate is a collection of columns written by journalist Laura Christman for the Home & Garden section of the Record Searchlight, the daily newspaper in Redding, California. The pieces are a mix of conversations, observation, reflections and frustrations…..and pomegranates." Join us!
This week on Cultivating Place we start off the new year with some thoughts on life and our gardens as feasts for the senses, with an eye toward life-long learning and encouraging our own senses of adventure - with purpose. Sarah Statham of Simply by Arrangement has a passion for bringing fine seasonal flowers (grown, arranged and photographed) to the North of England – and the world. She shares with us her thoughts on process, on resolutions and on enjoying at least a short season of rest if you can. Join us.
Georgia O’Keeffe is known as the innovative mother of modernism in the art world. She was also a gardener. O’Keeffe's garden in Abiquiu, NM has always moved me as a visionary, gardener’s garden - one of those gardens of the mind, the hands, the heart and a place. To end 2017 with a flourish, exploring the nature of this human gardening impulse, and entering our own next turns on this great globe, we visit this visionary woman’s beloved garden. Join us.
This week on Cultivating Place, a lesson in garden history seen through the lens of holiday decorations and traditions from seasons past when we’re joined by Laura Viancor, Head of Horticulture, from historic Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia. Join us for the greens and other festive things. Happy holidays.
This week before the Winter Solstice, Cultivating Place is exploring and appreciating the many benefits and beauty of winter’s bountiful darkness – in our gardens and in our wildlands. Join us to listen to the conversation with Keith Ashley and Amanda Gormley of the International Dark-Sky Association, two passionate people within a global organization working to protect natural darkness as the precious natural resource it is.
This week on Cultivating Place we’re joined by gardener, author, activist and entomologist, Doug Tallamy. Ten years ago, his first book "Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in our Gardens," made clear how important our own home gardens and landscapes COULD be to improving the outlook for insects, birds and all other wildlife – indeed for the very future and health of our planet. Join us.
As we knock on the door of December, and the garden and its greenery call out to us in very different ways than they do in other seasons of the year, this week on Cultivating Place, we speak with British Gardener, Horticulturist and Floral designer Thomas Broom-Hughes of Thomas Bloom floristry and Petersham Nurseries. He has garden-gathered visions of luxurious winter beauty and traditions to share. Join us.
The late autumn into winter months – from the Harvest Moon rising in October to the Winter Solstice on December 21st and through the beginning of the new calendar year, mark traditional seasons of gratitude, of giving thanks, and of offerings of generous service. For me, my garden itself and my gardening practice are my very best, most consistent acts of both gratitude and service to the world – and I know many other gardeners and cultivators who feel the same. The garden – very much like the grace that writer and thinker Anne Lamott references — rises to meet many gardeners where we are and — sometimes — it does not leave us where we started, but nurtures us along further than we believed was possible. This week on Cultivating Place I am so excited to offer you our first ever seasonal special celebrating this SEASON of harvest, of taking stock, of giving back, of deep GRATITUDE and of preparing for the restorative dark of winter ahead. In this one hour of gratitude and gardening practice and celebration, gardeners from around the world share with us what gratitude in the garden looks like to them. And, our central conversation will be with earth artist Day Schildkret, who makes meaning and beauty with his daily practice of Morning Altars.
The right tools can make all the difference in our lives and in our work. This is as true in gardening as in all other aspects of life. This week on Cultivating Place we’re joined by Dorian Winslow, president of Womanswork, a 35-year-old company which almost 33 years ago now introduced the first work and garden gloves designed specifically for women. Join us.
Among the garden ways that intrigue me – from my earliest memories to now, are those gardening ways we know about from the first peoples of the world. On Cultivating Place this week we’re joined by with Nick Hernandez, also known as Nick Hummingbird, an indigenous plantsman, educator and advocate from Southern California. His is a strong voice for the seasonal cycles of plants, peoples, and landscapes — for their food, utility, meaning and spirit. Join us!