Totally tulips (11/11/21)
From smuggled wealth hidden in the pockets of 17th century refugees, to imperial beheadings and long treks up freezing, desolate mountainsides... there's more to the humble tulip than you might think. And as the nights draw in, now is the perfect time to get planting these spring favourites.
Garden designer Humaira Ikram shares her favourite varieties and ways of using them, and we head to Cambridge University Botanic Garden to discover a unique collection of species tulips and talk about their origins. Plus historian Fiona Davison tells the tale of how tulip mania shaped the history of Europe and gripped the Ottoman Empire to deadly effect.
Selected varieties mentioned: 'Florosa', 'Evergreen', 'Apricot Beauty', 'Angelique', 'Queen of Night', 'Abu Hassan', 'Black Hero'. Species tulips: Tulipa turkestanica, T. linifolia, T. cornuta (also known as T. acuminata and T. gesneriana), T. bakeri.
How green is your garden? (4/11/21)
You might think of gardening as an intrinsically green activity, but our verdant hedges and lush lawns can cause some very dirty habits. In an eye-opening interview, low-carbon gardening expert Sally Nex gives the lowdown on how ditching petrol power tools is important for the health of both gardeners and our planet.
Plus we head to COP26 host city Glasgow to discover a pioneering urban seed library that helps create resilience in local food systems. And in Cornwall we meet artist Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg who's created an inter-species installation using an algorithm to create gardens designed from the perspective of pollinating insects, rather than humans.
Peat-free houseplants and unearthing the secret identities of honey fungus (28/10/21)
This week we meet Harriet Thompson, who's spearheading an eco-friendly revolution in houseplant growing. RHS scientist Jassy Drakulic explains the latest thinking on an extremely common garden problem, honey fungus. Plus Will Rogers of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia shares his unique approach to conserving the fabulous native flora of the Southeastern USA.
The legacy of the rose (21/10/21)
It's almost a year since Zehra Zaidi told us the remarkable story of John Ystumllyn, an 18th century African gardener in North Wales, as part of our Hidden Horticulturists series. This week she's back with the joyful news of a new rose that has just been launched to commemorate his life. It's believed to be the first rose named after an ethnic minority Briton.
Author Simon Morley tells how a fusion of Chinese and European rose species created the repeat-flowering garden roses we know and love today, and Julia Bridger of Keyneston Mill in Dorset explains the history and selection of roses grown for fragrance.
Grow a taste sensation! Berries special (14/10/21)
Discover the brilliant berries you can grow at home. RHS Editor Gareth Richards talks to Guy Barter about his experiences growing exciting novelties such as Chilean guavas and juneberries, while allotmenteer Kirsty Ward offers first-hand advice on growing blueberries.
Anna Greenland is a cook and gardener to Michelin-starred chefs; she shares favourite berry-based recipes and her star varieties of strawberry. Plus RHS historian Fiona Davison explores the fascinating history of British gooseberry growing.
Selected plants mentioned: ►Juneberries (Amelanchier alnifolia, A. lamarckii and others) ►Chilean guavas (Ugni molinae) ► Elaeagnus multiflora, E. umbellata ►Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa, A. x prunifolia) ►Strawberries 'Gariguette', 'Malling Centenary', 'Malwina' ►Alpine strawberries 'Mignonette', 'White Soul', 'Alexandria' ►Gooseberries 'Captivator' and 'Xenia'
Daring to be different (06/10/21)
Rakes and rhinestones, wigs and water butts… Daisy Desire the Drag Queen Gardener explains how she's bringing a touch of glamour to the potting shed and hopes to attract new audiences to gardening.
Back at Wisley, RHS Gardening Advisors Chris Taylor and Michaela Freed give a seasonal update on how to get your garden looking great for the season ahead. Plus our resident history expert Fiona Davison tells the story of the mysterious Miss Harrisson, a horticultural high-achiever who, over a century ago, helped pave the way for women to break through into the world of professional gardening.
The wonder of trees (30/09/21)
Dr Amy Jane Beer explores the marvels of all things arboreal – from the world's loneliest tree that also helped define our current geological era to the 400 year-old apple tree that inspired Newton's theory of gravity. Plus she takes a look at trees' wellbeing benefits too.
Curator Matt Pottage explores the concept of Champion Trees, highlighting some of the magnificent specimens to be found at RHS Garden Wisley. And did you know that some conifers are deciduous and offer fabulous autumn colour? Matt is a conifer fanatic and shares some suggestions to light up your autumn garden.
And finally... there's a call for citizen scientists as we're on the hunt for a new tree pest with RHS scientist Jassy Draculik. Her 'Check a sweet chestnut' campaign seeks to track the spread of a recent arrival to Britain, the Oriental chestnut gall wasp. Tune in to find out how you can help protect our precious chestnut trees.
Selected plants mentioned:
►Cercidiphyllum japonicum (katsura or candyfloss tree) ►Liquidambar styraciflua 'Wisley King' ►Pinus coulteri (Coulter pine) ►Pseudolarix amabilis
Chelsea Flower Show special (23/09/21)
Join us for an inspiring delve into this Chelsea one-off - the year the famous flower show took place in September. This year the show has some unique aspects to explore, including the gorgeous houseplant studios and the brand new balcony and container gardens.
Plus an in-depth interview with Arit Anderson on how her show garden will go on to have a special life after Chelsea, and a look into the RHS COP26 Garden that focuses on how gardeners can respond to climate change.
Bulb planting, Sarah Raven & Arthur Parkinson, solving an arty plant puzzle (16/09/21)
It's time to get your flower bulbs in the ground, and RHS expert Nikki Barker shares her top tips on what to plant and how to plant it for beautiful and long-lasting spring displays.
In an intimate conversation packed with gardening tips, author, broadcaster and kitchen garden guru Sarah Raven talks Arthur Parkinson, discussing everything from how their gardening friendship grew, to the edible and visual late-season glories of the ornamental kitchen garden.
Plus Fiona Davison tells the tale of how a perplexing 19th-century botanical art mystery was solved.
Biological control special (09/09/21)
If you’re looking for a sustainable way to control garden pests, delve into this week's episode on the weird and wonderful world of biological controls. RHS expert entomologist Andy Salisbury explores the fascinating history of how certain bugs and beasties were introduced as pest controls (with many successes... and some disasters), and food and nature writer Eugenia Bone explains how fungi have a potentially vital role. Plus, RHS scientist Magdelena Boshoff explains how to successfully apply nematodes to control pests in your garden.
Autumn advice special (01/09/21)
How do you get the best displays of autumn colour in your garden? Which flowers can you sow now for extra early displays next year? Are there any crops you can sow in September for late autumn harvests? Tune in for answers to these questions and many more in this a bumper edition of seasonal gardening advice from RHS experts. Plus Wisley horticulturist Alex Young shares tips on propagating houseplants.
Plants mentioned: Hydrangea quercifolia, Abelia grandiflora, Ceanothus 'Autumnal Blue', Gingko biloba, Sorbus 'Josph Rock', Parrotia persica 'Persian Spire', jewel orchids (Ludisia discolor and Macodes sanderianus), hardy annuals (Calendula officinalis, Nigella damascena, Cerinthe major), yellow rattle (Rhinanthus major/minor)
Grasses special (26/08/21)
This week we're going wild for some of the daintiest, most airy and graceful plants out there - ornamental grasses. Author and RHS editor Gareth Richards shares his favourites and offers tips on how to use them in the garden. Eminent expert and nurseryman Neil Lucas takes us on a tour of one of the best grass gardens in the country, Knoll Gardens in Dorset.
Plus growing advice from RHS Gardening Advisor Nicky Barker, and we delve into the undergrowth to meet some grass-loving creatures - conehead crickets - with Brian Eversham of The Wildlife Trusts. In our houseplant series, Wisley Horticulturist Alex Young tackles repotting.
Grasses mentioned: Deschampsia, Hakonechloa macra, Calamagrostis, Pennisetum, Arundo donax, Carex oshimensis Evercolor Series, Molinia, Stipa gigantea, Panicum, Miscanthus, Festuca glauca, Poa, Sporolobus, Miscanthus 'Cindy' & 'Starlight', Miscanthus giganteus; Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra', Milium effusum 'Aureum', Festuca 'Elijah Blue'
Growing escapades and more (19/08/21)
We talk to Lucy Jones and Kenneth Greenway, authors of The Nature Seed – How to Raise Adventurous and Nurturing Kids about ideas for how to engage your children in outdoor activities this summer. Author Abra Lee tells the story of Booker T. Washington, a leading African-American educator who brought horticultural learning opportunities to disenfranchised communities in the South in the late 19th century. Plus a look at picking the right houseplant with RHS Wisley's Alex Young and a guide to drying flowers at home with Raymond Gordon.
Climbers special (12/08/21)
This week we’re clambering for climbing plants, wading through wisteria and going eye-to-eye with one of the most contentious wall-huggers of the lot: ivy. Featuring barrow-loads of expert RHS advice on how to keep your climbers happy and full of flowers, plus tips on how to use them in your garden.
Featuring Matt Pottage (Curator of RHS Garden Wisley), garden designer Flo Headlam, RHS Gardening Advisor Becky Mealey and author Gareth Richards. Presented by Verity Bradbury.
Allotment extravaganza (05/08/21)
This week we're all about growing your own fruit and veg in a programme dedicated to allotments and the green-fingered people who tend them. We meet the 'Veg King', retired fisherman Gerald Stratford (@GeraldStrafor3) – who became an overnight internet sensation, bringing giant veg growing to the attention of a worldwide audience and even starring in a fashion campaign by Gucci.
Allotmenteer and YouTuber Mothin Ali (My Family Garden) shares top tips on growing potatoes while Kirsty Ward (@mylitttleallotment) gives advice on engaging children with gardening. Plus RHS Garden Wisley's resident fruit guru Jim Arbury offers expert advice on choosing an apple tree for your garden.
Roses and other thorny issues (29/07/21)
Enjoy a tour around RHS Garden Wisley’s Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden with its 4,500 roses and find out how to keep yours blooming until autumn. We discover how this iconic plant became the favourite (and least loved) flower among the British with historian Simon Morley, then author Gareth Richards sings the praises of a rose relative, the bramble, ‘nature’s frontline defender against man’. Finally, find out about the pest-busting wasp you definitely need in your garden this summer.
RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2021 (22/07/21)
This week we're at the glorious Tatton Park in Cheshire, for a floral extravaganza like no other. From a rewilded garden taking inspiration from the wider Tatton Estate to beautifully designed small urban spaces full of clever ideas to save water, there's something for everyone. Plus top culinary tips from chef Sophie Gordon and food writer Mark Diacono who share ideas for homegrown feasts, full of unusual flavours.
Giant leaves and tiny trees (15/07/21)
From lush and leafy banana plants to the delicate charms of the tiniest trees of all, this week's show is all about planting with a difference. We explore the weird, wild and wonderful Exotic Garden at Wisley, which is packed full of tropical-looking plants and ideas to steal for your own backyard paradise.
Tayshan Hayden-Smith, footballer and founder of the non-profit Grow2Know tells the story of how he came to discover and love what's probably the most dramatic plant you can grow outdoors in Britain. And if you've ever wished you could grow a tree but don't have the space, think again, as we take a look at bonsai with RHS expert Peter Goodchild.
RHS Flower Shows are back! (08/07/21)
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival returns for 2021. And what a return it is! From world-class garden design talent to new ways of growing cabbages, there's something for everyone.
We explore the show's no-dig gardens, community allotments and experience some lively debates between horticultural experts in the talks theatre. Plus an interview with a cut-flower grower who overcame multiple tragedies in 2020 to bring a heartwarming and colourful garden to this year's show.
Art and the garden (01/07/21)
This week we’re exploring the relationship between art and gardens. Including an interview with award-winning designer Sarah Price who shares her experience of using art to inspire her RHS Chelsea gold medal winning gardens, and we visit a new David Hockney exhibition celebrating the arrival of spring in his garden in France. Plus plant-loving Instagrammers discuss how social media affects the way we garden and Curator of RHS Garden Wisley, Matthew Pottage, shares tips how to use sculpture in your home plot.
A great leap for gardening science (24/06/21)
In this week's programme we visit a brand new hotbed of horticultural research in the UK: RHS Hilltop – The home of gardening science. In the heart of RHS Garden Wisley, this state-of-the-art facility will house groundbreaking research into problems affecting real-life gardens, and offer visitors unique insights.
We meet award-winning designer Ann-Marie Powell who talks us through the stunning spaces surrounding the building, featuring an array of edibles and wildlife-friendly planting. Our resident history maven Fiona Davison shares the story of how Wisley ended up at the forefront of gardening science over a century ago. Plus a look at growing herbs with Sylvia Travers of RHS Garden Bridgewater.
Summer advice special (17/06/21)
This week we head to RHS Garden Wisley for a bumper edition of summer gardening advice. Our RHS experts guide you through everything you need to know to keep your blooms blooming and your crops cropping all summer long, and what you can do now to ensure good results next year too.
Welcome to RHS Garden Bridgewater! (10/06/21)
Join us as we visit this incredible 154-acre garden in Salford, Greater Manchester. RHS Garden Bridgewater has been the biggest hands-on horticultural project undertaken in Europe since it got the go-ahead back in 2017.
We go behind the scenes to meet the people who make it all happen, discovering horticultural gems galore as we go, including the unique Chinese Streamside garden.
Watering, sustainable edibles and community gardening (03/06/21)
How do you grow fruit and veg that doesn't cost the earth? Edible gardening guru Mark Diacono shares tips from his decades of experience growing all kinds of palatable plants as sustainably as possible.
RHS Gardening Advisor Leigh Hunt gives tips on how to use less water but still get brilliant results on your plot, and historian Fiona Davison shares her delight at putting together a new digital collection chronicling how gardeners come together to get through tough times. Plus researcher Advolly Richmond tells the forgotten story of 20th century gardening heroine, Norah Lindsay.
Pollinators and hidden heroes (27 May)
"Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away..." This week we're gardening with winged visitors in mind as we talk all things pollinator. However, there's more to pollinating insects than just bees, as the Natural History Museum's Senior Curator, Erica McAlister explains. "Having a cuppa tea and a chocolate brownie? You wouldn't be having any of that in your beautiful garden if it wasn't for the flies," she says. Who knew such humble creatures could be so important?
Garden designer Humaira Ikram shares tips on how to create a pollinator-friendly plot and in the latest part of our grow-your-own series, Sylvia Travers of RHS Garden Bridgewater offers tips on growing all kinds of beans. Plus, as part of our Hidden Horticulturists series, grower Abra Lee tells the inspirational story of Edmond Albius, a young slave boy who worked out one of the biggest botanical mysteries of his day – how to pollinate the vanilla orchid. As Abra says, "It's so empowering to hear these stories, and you're able to look at yourself and know you are capable of great things".
RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show (20/05/21)
It's a bumper year for 'The greatest flower show on earth' as 2021 sees not one but two RHS Chelseas! Join Shows Manager Katherine Potsides as she lifts the lid on this bubbling cauldron of gardening goodness. Including interviews with multi award-winning garden designer Sarah Eberle and clematis connoisseur Raymond Evison, who share their thoughts on the opportunities and challenges presented by an autumn show. Plus our weekly GYO slot with expert advice on a technique to really make the most of every square inch of your vegetable plot.
Gardening with a conscience (13/05/21)
This week we're talking about gardening as a force for good. We visit an inspiring hospital garden that has brought joy from tragedy, and meet Mothin Ali, founder of the Dig It Out campaign, which aims to tackle racism in the gardening world. Plus we learn how to encourage beneficial beetles in our plots and get GYO tips on growing kale and courgettes from Sylvia Travers of RHS Garden Bridgewater.
Plastic – not fantastic! (06/05/21)
We all like to think of our gardens as being green oases and gardening as a 'green' activity. Yet from plant pots to compost bags to watering cans and much more, most gardens are full of plastic, making them a potent potential source of pollution. In this week’s programme we examine how to go plastic-free on your plot. With contributions from RHS Editor Chris Young, industry insider Natalie Porter of Happy Plants nursery, RHS advisor Becky Mealey and eco-gardening expert Sally Nex.
Wildlife ponds, sweet peas, strawberries and going chemical-free (29/04/21)
This week we’re discussing wildlife ponds with author Kate Bradbury and growing sweet peas with top breeder Roger Parsons. In our weekly GYO feature, Dr Sylvia Travers of RHS Garden Bridgewater shares tips on strawberry cultivation. Plus garden writer and wildlife expert Jean Vernon gives advice on controlling pests without chemicals.
Pond plants mentioned – brooklime (Veronica beccabunga), water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides), hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum), curled pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)
Gardening with pets, meet our new Editor and crop rotation explained (22 April)
This week we're discovering how to garden the pet-friendly way. Whether that's making a dog-proof garden, keeping cats at bay or growing food for small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits – there's lots you can do to keep plants, people and pets all happy together. Author, dog lover and RHS Senior Horticultural Advisor Helen Bostock explains how.
Author and organic veg grower Claire Ratinon shares her love of chicken keeping and offers tips on how to keep birds and plants in happy balance. We meet the new Editor of The Garden magazine, Tom Howard, who offers a sneak peek into the upcoming May edition. RHS gardening advisor Leigh Hunt gives advice on crop rotation in the vegetable plot and we hop along to Leonardslee Gardens in Sussex to meet some rather unusual residents...
Alpines, terrariums and the gardener who changed British art (15/04/2021)
This week we're zooming in on gardening to appreciate some miniature marvels. James Wong shares his experiences creating miniature tropical worlds at home using terrariums, and Peter Goodchild of RHS Garden Wisley explores the colourful diversity of alpines.
Historian Wesley Kerr tells the story of a groundbreaking painting of a gardener that was a milestone in the representation of Black people in British art. Plus ideas of what to do with your children in the garden with RHS advisor Becky Mealey.
Love your lawn and garden design greats (07/04/2021)
Perfect green sward or flowery meadow? Or maybe a bit of both? RHS gardening advisor Nikki Barker gives advice on how to grow a lawn that works for both people and wildlife.
Editor-at-Large Chris Young talks to garden designer Arne Maynard about his design for a beautiful and unusual suburban garden, featured in this month's edition of The Garden magazine. And finally, historian Wesley Kerr sings the praises of another influential designer, 18th-century landscape architect William Kent, in the latest part of our 'Hidden Horticulturists' series.
Peat – the miracle beneath our feet (01/04/2021)
Did you know that you can help fight climate change and protect rare plants and animals simply by changing what type of compost you buy? Peat bogs hold more carbon than all the world’s forests combined, and incredibly, the UK is one of the world’s top 10 countries by peatland area.
Discover the amazing world of peat, and the part that gardeners can play to keep it in bogs, not bags, this spring. Featuring Sarah Johnson from the Lancashire Peat Partnership, botanist Joshua Styles, and an interview with Rebecca Pow MP, Minister for the Environment. Plus expert tips on peat free-growing from Propagation Team Leader Sam Gallivan at RHS Garden Wisley.
Spring into action: seasonal advice special (25/03/21)
This week's programme is jam-packed with great gardening advice from our RHS experts on a huge range of topics to get your garden off to a flying start, including how to smarten up your garden and plants for spring colour.
It's dahlia planting time and top dahlia breeder Dr Keith Hammett offers insight into the wonderful world of this most variable of garden flowers ('I like to call them the dogs of the plant world'!). Did you know you can propagate some houseplants by literally pulling the roots apart? And others can be grown from sections of leaf? RHS gardening advisor James Lawrence explains. Plus Chris Young with a preview of the latest issue of The Garden magazine.
Low-carbon gardening (18/03/21)
Did you know that running a petrol lawnmower for an hour can create the same carbon emissions as driving a car for 93 miles? Or that using peat-free compost in your garden is a great way to save wildlife and cut your carbon footprint?
This week's show is all about the ways we can all make a difference on our doorstep. Featuring Catherine Cutler from The Eden Project, author Sally Nex and no-dig gardening guru Charles Dowding. Plus the latest in our series celebrating the unsung heroes of horticulture: the inspirational story of George Washington Carver; born a slave, he overcame overwhelming obstacles to become one of the most eminent and forward-thinking scientists of his day.
The edible edition: Spring (11/03/21)
This week's programme is devoted to all things edible. Writer and podcaster Lucy Chamberlain shares expert tips on growing crops in small spaces and hot dry spots. Allotmenteer Ashley Nwokorie finds delight in growing a taste of her native Zimbabwe – covo or African kale.
In the latest part of our Hidden Horticulturists series we highlight the story of Robert Thompson, a Victorian writer who help make gardening accessible to the masses. Host Guy Barter shares tips on hedges for allotments and shares some of his growing fails, proving that even the experts sometimes get it wrong. And finally, award-winning food writer Mark Diacono reveals the Far Eastern spice you can grow in your garden.
How to be water-smart in your garden (04/03/21)
From winter floods to summer droughts, water is becoming ever-more of an issue for gardeners. This week, we talk to Janet Manning, the RHS's very own Water Scientist to discover clever ways we can all make the most of what we've got. The gardening advice team answers listeners' questions on plants that help prevent flooding, and those that tolerate both drought and waterlogging. Plus a look at the enduring legacy of pioneering plantswoman Beth Chatto's Dry Garden.
Daffodils – growing for gold (25/02/21)
Discover a world of daffodils; from their amazing cultivars, the forgotten story of a man who saved them from a dreaded pest to their modern uses in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, do you know the difference between a bulb, corm and a tuber? An RHS gardening advisor busts more botanical jargon.
Secrets of sowing seeds (18/02/21)
Growing plants from seed has to be one of gardening’s most profound pleasures, and now is the ideal time to start thinking about what you’re going to grow this year.
Today’s programme is jam-packed with great advice, including a surprising rule of thumb you may never have heard of from our resident allotment guru Guy Barter. Plus RHS Gardening Advisor James Lawrence gives tips on growing houseplants from seed and organic grower Claire Ratinon shares her love of tomatoes.
A love that grows (11/02/21)
Love is in the airwaves this week. We’re bewitched by witch hazels, exploring the amorous history of the rose and the forgotten love language of flowers. Hear growing advice on roses and a Valentine’s bloom you can pick from the garden on the day itself, the violet. Plus expert flower arranging tips from florists Putnam & Putnam.
Wildlife in winter (04/02/21)
Wildlife is a hugely important part of gardens, and one that we’ve come to appreciate all the more in the last year. This week we discover the secret winter lives of native butterflies, learn how to make a wildflower meadow, and unearth why moles can actually be good for gardens. Plus author and wildlife expert Kate Bradbury discusses wildlife in RHS Gardens with editor of The Garden magazine Chris Young, and reflects on how our animal neighbours are helping humans get through lockdown.
Permaculture special (28/01/21)
If you love nature and growing your own fruit and veg – but don't love digging – listen on! This week we're exploring permaculture, an environmentally-friendly way of growing that encompasses both edible, ornamental and wildlife-friendly plants in the same space. Including contributions from grower and forager Poppy Okotcha; Sylvia Travers, Team Leader in the Forest Garden at RHS Garden Bridgewater; and Vera Greutink, permaculturist and author of Edible Paradise.
Right plant, right place (21/01/21)
It's an often-repeated phrase in gardening but putting the 'right plant in the right place' really is a shortcut to growing success. So this week we're exploring how to match plants with places – both indoors and out – to get the absolute best out of your garden and house plants. RHS gardening advisor James Lawrence gives tips on picking the right houseplant for different rooms and garden designer Lee Burkhill shares tips on getting to know your plot. Plus designer and nursery grower Gerry Price offers advice on growing plants in coastal gardens.
Snowdrop special (14/01/21)
In this week’s episode we visit Cambo Gardens in Fife to meet snowdrop enthusiast Lady Catherine Erskine and her impressive collection of these iconic winter flowers. Plus contributions from nurserywoman Jane Rowlinson of Galanthus specialists Morlas Plants, and snowdrop growing tips from RHS gardening advisor Nikki Barker.
Looking forward to 2021 (07/01/2021)
As the new year begins, our outdoor spaces seem more important than ever. This week we're looking at how gardening can benefit the mind, body and soul. Grower and forager Poppy Okotcha shares the seasonal delights of winter purslane (Claytonia perfoliata) – a little-known salad plant that can provide fresh, healthy greens throughout the coldest months.
Award-winning garden designer Juliet Sargeant gives her thoughts on how the way we garden will change in 2021, and what she's doing on her own plot to encourage wildlife. Plus the RHS's first 'Wellbeing Fellow', Dr Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui details the results of a four-year scientific study onto how having a green front garden can reduce stress and improve your mental and physical health.
Christmas special (23 December)
Do you know why we kiss under the mistletoe, or why holly and ivy are associated with Christmas? Head of RHS Libraries Fiona Davison explores the ancient myth and magic of Christmas plants. How green is your Christmas tree? Hear our guide to making sure your festive focal point doesn't cost the earth. Plus a look at an unusual cactus that grows on trees (and on your windowsill).
Gardening in a changing climate (17 Dec)
From changing patterns of frost and rainfall to increasing risks of summer heatwaves, climate change presents a unique set of challenges – and some opportunities – for gardeners. This week’s show is all about our increasingly variable weather and what it means for gardens, gardeners and our wildlife. Featuring weatherman and BBC broadcaster Peter Gibbs, WWF Head of Climate Change Gareth Redmond-King and RHS Gardening Advisor Nikki Barker.
Books special 2020 (10/12/2020)
This year our expert RHS panel comprises Fiona Davison (Head of Libraries and Exhibitions), Chris Young (Editor of The Garden
magazine) and Guy Barter (Chief Horticulturist). They share their favourite gardening publications of 2020, and look forwards to some exciting new titles for 2021.
We also speak to award-winning author Robert Macfarlane, who, like many people, was dismayed to discover that many nature-related words such as 'bluebell', 'acorn' and 'jay' were being lost from children's dictionaries. Unwilling to sit by and watch nature slip from the consciousness of our young people, he wrote a book – The Lost Words
– which is now taught in schools across the country.
►See our dedicated Books podcasts page
for a full list of titles mentioned.
A blaze of colour in the dark (03/12/20)
Snakebark maples, winter-flowering camellias and a sacred Central American shrub that makes itself at home on our windowsills... there are many amazing plants that give us colour and interest in even the darkest months. We visit the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens* to discover an incredible range of hardy plants that look great all winter. Garden designer Juliet Sargeant gives her seasonal tips for adding interest to your garden at home and we uncover the surprising story of a perennial Christmas favourite, the poinsettia. Plus plantsman and nursery owner Claire Austin's ode to an unusual evergreen iris that flowers from December to March.
Selected plants mentioned: Callicarpa bodinieri (beauty berry), Acer griseum (paperbark maple), Acer rufinerve (snakebark maple), Iris unguicularis (Algerian iris)
Against the odds (25/11/20)
Hear the incredible story of EK Janaki Ammal, a pioneering scientist who overcame race, class and gender discrimination to become the first female botanist at RHS Garden Wisley. Dr Chris Thorogood of Oxford Botanic Garden shares insight into the weird world of mutualism – plants and animals cooperating in unexpected ways to make the most of tough conditions. Plus the RHS gardening advisors gather to answer questions on roses (can you grow them in shade and can you move them?), a passionflower that refuses to bloom and growing herbs in planters.
Selected plants mentioned: ►Roses 'A Shropshire Lad', 'Emily Brontë', 'Kew Gardens', Rosa rugosa ►Grasses Miscanthus 'Professor Richard Hansen', Panicum virgatum 'Northwind', Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster', Miscanthusmalepartus ►Passionflowers Passiflora caerulea, P. 'Constance Elliott' ►Rhododendron yakushimanum 'Koichiro Wada'
Flying high (19/11/20)
Andrew Forsyth of Weasdale Nurseries in Cumbria explains the challenges of gardening 850ft up in the hills of Cumbria, and shares tips on how to garden in cold and exposed situations. Kate Risely, head of pioneering research project Garden BirdWatch, explains what changes have been observed since the project launched in 1995. Plus RHS advisors share insight on epiphytic plants and how to encourage birds into your garden.
Gardening's best-kept secrets (12/11/20)
This week we're unwrapping lots of gardening goodness, from expert seasonal advice and untold stories to wildlife tips. Nursery owner and plantswoman Claire Austin shares inside information on what the people who produce plants for our gardens are doing at this time of year (it's much more than you might think!); Zehra Zaidi tells the little-known story of John Ystumllyn, an 18th century African gardener in North Wales and Helen Bostock heads into the undergrowth to share tips on how to help hedgehogs in your garden.
Looking forwards: houseplants, designing for scent & winter interest (5/11/20)
This week we're all about planning for the months ahead. RHS Gardening Advisor James Lawrence offers tips on how to keep your houseplants happy and healthy through the winter. We visit Holehird Gardens* in Cumbria for inspirational seasonal planting ideas. Plus garden designer Flo Headlam offers tips on how to really make the most of fragrant plants in your garden.
Halloween Special (29/10/20)
Join us on a Halloween spooktacular! Dr Chris Thorogood of Oxford Botanic Garden delves into the weird and wonderful world of parasitic 'vampire' plants including the rainforest giant Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world; to one you can grow at home. Plus RHS gardening advisors Leigh Hunt and Becky Mealey talk death in the garden, with a guide to telling if your plants are ill or just resting, and how to rescue them from a near-death experience. Sometimes Frankenstein-style surgery really is the way forward!
Tools and technology (22/10/20)
From Japanese digging knives to LED growing lights, tools and technology are transforming the way we garden. In this episode RHS experts share some unusual favourite gardening implements. We discuss how technology – from 19th century lawnmowers to 21st century sensors and apps – has changed and continues to change the face of gardening. Chelsea designer Hay Joung Hwang describes how she incorporates technology into her gardens. Paul Myers of Farm Urban explains how a zero-waste underground farm is bringing fresh year-round local food to the heart of Liverpool.
Going wild for weeds (15/10/20)
In week's programme we’re going wild for weeds. Author and designer Jack Wallington sings the praises of these much maligned plants and offers ideas for using them in gardens. RHS gardening advisor Nikki Barker offers insight on dealing with Japanese knotweed. California-based educator Indy Srinath shares her love of dandelions and writer Gareth Richards offers insight into the secrets of weeds’ success.
The forgotten kingdom: Fascinating fungi (08/10/20)
If you thought that fungi are just toadstools, think again. In this episode we discover how they make food, both help and hinder plants, and even inspire music. Featuring author and biologist Merlin Sheldrake, mushroom grower Ann Miller and RHS gardening experts.
Back to school special (1/10/20)
This week we're turning young fingers green in a programme dedicated to the gardeners of tomorrow. Alana Cama and RHS Young Ambassador George Hassall hear heartwarming stories of people involved with the RHS Campaign For School Gardening; including last year's School Gardening Champion of the Year, Michelle Jones. Plus Lee Connelly, aka the Skinny Jean Gardener shares tips on how to engage children in gardening.
Growing bulbs and organic gardening (24/09/20)
If you love spring bulbs but aren't sure where to start, we've got you covered. RHS Gardening Advisor Jenny Bowden gives her bulb planting 101 with lots of handy hints and tips; plus some lovely recommendations of which varieties to plant. Organic food grower and writer* Claire Ratinon tells the story of how she got into an ecologically-based way of gardening, and why it matters. Claire gives tips for organic growing in small spaces and containers. Plus garden designer Tom Massey's love letter to London's green lung, Richmond Park.
Thrifty gardening (17/09/20)
This week's show is all about saving. Jack Wallington is saving veg for the winter – who doesn't love being able to reach into the freezer or pantry for a quick taste of summer on a cold November day? RHS Water Scientist Janet Manning shares some expert tips on how to make the very best use of water and mulches in your garden, revealing some surprising facts along the way. And as ever our resident gardening guru Guy Barter is full of useful info and gardening tips too.
Autumn gardening advice special (10/09/20)
This week we've a bumper crop of help and advice to get your garden into shape for autumn. RHS experts give timely tips on everything from picking seasonal bedding plants, smartening up your plot, growing lemons and how to prune a purple-leaf elderberry. Horticulturist and TV presenter Flo Headlam gives a garden designer's take on how to get the best from your garden in autumn and shares her favourite plants for late-season impact.
Beautiful, useful, deadly... (03/09/20
This week we're exploring the weird, wild and wonderful world of foraging with activist Indy Srinath. Dr Chris Thorogood from Oxford Botanic Garden explains the deadly secrets of some of our most common plants and garden designer Juliet Sargeant shares her love of a particular hebe which has some really useful qualities in the garden.
The colourful world of cut flowers (27/08/20)
This week we’re exploring the colourful world of floral arrangements. We’re taking a journey from the field to the florist, starting with sustainable British grower Cel Robertson from Forever Green Flower Company. Then, we’re heading to one of the most famous floral centres in the world, New Covent Garden Market, to hear about its history.
We’re meeting florist to the stars Simon Lycett in LA as he shares some of his career highlights: from arranging royal wedding flowers, to film set bouquets. Plus we finish with some top tips from our advisory team on how to grow spectacular cut flowers at home.
Growing together, and why gardening is for everyone (20/08/2020)
The transformative power of gardening has never been more evident – or more necessary – than it is now. This week guest presenters TV gardener Danny Clarke and Alana Cama from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening explore communal urban gardens tackling inequality and food poverty in Los Angeles with activist Indy Srinath.
Closer to home we meet Tayshan Hayden-Smith. He's CEO of Grow2Know, a non-profit organisation born from the ashes of the Grenfell Tower disaster, that now empowers young people through horticulture. Tayshan talks about breaking through the barriers to make gardening and horticulture truly inclusive and sharing their amazing benefits for health and wellbeing with everyone. Plus a look at what the RHS is doing to promote community gardening across the country.
The Edible Edition part 2 (13 August)
To celebrate National Allotments Week, this week's show is a bountiful banquet of home-grown delights. RHS Hyde Hall's exotic veg gardener extraordinaire, Matthew Oliver, talks to gardening advisor Rebekah Mealey about aphids, how to time your seed sowing, and advice for veg-growing newbies. Katherine Potsides, Head of RHS Shows Development, shares her love of thyme and favourite ways to use it. Star chef David Zilber, co-author of The Noma Guide to Fermentation explains how to harness the power of microbes to preserve your homegrown harvests.
Summer gardening and the secrets of seeds (06 August)
Seed saving can be a powerful and life-affirming act – permaculture designer Poppy Okotcha shares her thoughts on how and why we should all be saving our own seeds. Resident gardening guru Leigh Hunt dispenses timely gardening advice with his top 10 jobs for August, and RHS advisors discuss rain gardens. Plus: how long can seeds and plants last? Dr Chris Thorogood of Oxford Botanic Garden reveals some surprising facts.
Beyond the garden gate (30 July)
Did you know that the lotus leaf inspired the creation of self-cleaning glass and paints? Or that some tropical carnivorous plants get so big they can eat shrews? Plant hunter and scientist Dr Chris Thorogood shares some of the incredible floral feats that made him fall in love with plants. Garden writer Pattie Barron recounts a meeting with plant that makes a fragrant waterfall of edible foliage with an unmistakeable Mediterranean ambience.
Terry Richardson (aka 'The Black Thumb') is a plant paramedic who rescues orchids from bins; hear his tips on turning trash plants into prize specimens. Plus the gardening advice team tackle questions on evergreen shrubs for pots, poorly-looking roses, growing indoor ferns, and how to make your pond water clear.
Tatton Park at Home (22 July)
This week we join in with Tatton Park at Home, as our much-loved Cheshire flower show heads online. Meet designers whose careers have been kickstarted by the show's Young Designer of the Year competition. Last year young designer Charlie Hartigan's 1 in 10 garden won the People's Choice award; hear her story and tips for aspiring designers. We speak to Ruth Bolam from English Country Gardeners to get advice for anyone starting a career as a professional gardener, and hear heuchera tips from the show's Master Growers, Plantagogo.
Fern frenzy (16 July)
This week's programme is dedicated to perhaps the quintessential foliage plant, the fern. Firstly, garden designer Danny Clarke (aka The Black Gardener) shares his love of the majestic tree fern, Dicksonia antarctica. Then we head into the dark and mysterious Stumpery at RHS Garden Rosemoor to meet a magnificent cast of ferns luxuriating in the cool, moist conditions there.
Author and journalist Richard Mabey explores a fern frenzy that swept Victorian Britain, the catchily-named Pteridomania. And finally, RHS horticultural advisor Jenny Bowden offers hints and tips on how to get the best out of ferns in your garden
What have plants ever done for us? (08 July)
Writer, broadcaster and houseplant obsessive James Wong encourages us to face our fear of killing plants and reap the incredible benefits of indoor gardening. There's never been a better time to think outside the (plant) pot, curating miniature worlds at home and getting creative with alternative planting spaces such as terrariums!
Head of RHS Libraries Fiona Davison explores the history of plant medicine prior to next week's launch of the Healing Garden online exhibition. Erin Lovell Verinder, author of Plants for the People: A Modern Guide to Plant Medicine shares some of the herbal remedies that might just be lurking in our own garden weeds. Plus therapeutic gardener Ozichi Brewster outlines her pioneering social prescribing project at RHS Garden Bridgewater near Manchester.
Gardening in the urban jungle (02 July)
This week we're gardening on barges, balconies and in bathrooms in a programme dedicated to urban gardening. Writer Alice Vincent dispenses tips on plants, pots and more from her London balcony garden 40ft above the ground. Freddie Blackett of Patch Plants talks about the changing ways we're buying and using houseplants, and permaculture designer Poppy Okotcha shares her experiences gardening on a houseboat in the heart of the city.
We're going on a plant holiday! (25 June)
Join us on a globetrotting plant extravaganza! Sally Miller from the Barbados Horticultural Society takes us on a totally tropical tour of her paradise island garden. Danny Clarke – aka The Black Gardener – offers trolley-fuls of advice and design tips for making a garden so gorgeous you'll never want to leave it.
Dr Chris Thorogood of Oxford Botanic Garden leads us into the steamy jungles of Borneo in search of the world's biggest flower, revealing some of its curious habits along the way. Plus author and columnist Pattie Barron shares her love of Mediterranean gardens and advice on how to give your garden a sun-drenched makeover in just a weekend.
The edibles edition (18 June)
This week we're talking all things edible with a programme entirely devoted to growing your own. Award-winning garden designer Juliet Sargeant shares veg garden wisdom in a piece that's a must-listen for anyone starting out on a homegrown journey. Allotment holder and Instagram gardener Kirsty Ward shares her life-long love of gooseberries, along with tips on how to grow them. Plus the RHS Gardening Advice Team answer listeners' questions on crop rotation, Florence fennel and growing veg in the shade.
All about oaks (11 June)
We celebrate grandfather of British native trees this week with an ode to oaks. Wisley Curator Matthew Pottage shares his personal love for Quercus, and wisdom on how to garden with them.
Professor Fiona Stafford from the University of Oxford, (author of The Long, Long Life of Trees) reveals their history and folklore. Plus Nikki Barker from the RHS Gardening Advice team offers extra advice on ways to use oaks in your garden.
Houseplants, green roofs, lily beetle (04 June)
This week we're talking green roofs with designer Ula Maria (past winner of the RHS Young Designer of the Year competition). We have part two of our chat about houseplants with biophilic designers and Virtual Chelsea exhibitors Studio Roco; plus the Gardening Advice team answer members' queries on dealing with lily beetle, groundcover shade planting and growing olives.
Olive-like plants: ►Phillyrea angustifolia ►Elaeagnus umbellata ►Maytenus boaria
The positive power of plants: gardening for wellbeing (28 May)
Plants might not seem like front-line weapons in our fight to stay healthy, but as our contributors to this week's programme show, green is good for everything from coronavirus to PTSD.
Kirsty Ward tells the story of how she used an allotment to help her rebuild her mental health after being diagnosed with PTSD following a traumatic childbirth experience. Nurse Kate Tantam (who cared for the 84-year-old explorer we featured in last week's show as he was recovering from Covid-19) explains how and why hospital gardens are so good for patients. Plus RHS Young Ambassador George Hassall shares his love of the Acer (Japanese maple).
Virtual Chelsea! (21 May)
Show Manager Katherine Potsides takes us on a tour of this year's virtual version of the 'Greatest Flower Show on Earth'. Featuring biophilic design from Studio Roco, who give houseplant tips and talk us through their inspiration from artist, film-maker and activist Derek Jarman's renowned seaside garden in Kent. Meanwhile, Fiona Davison, RHS Head of Libraries, explores the show's history and origins, including a look at how the gardens have changed over time.
Award-winning designer Tom Massey tells the tale of how unused Chelsea plants have brought joy from tragedy. After the show's cancellation was announced, they were planted in a hospital garden – with transformative results. One patient in particular felt the benefit: seeing this new garden literally gave Robin Hanbury-Tenison (an 84 year-old famous explorer) a new lease of life after his long battle with Covid-19.
Chelsea meets Zimbabwe, houseplants, hawthorn and cuttings (14 May)
This week Chelsea designer Jilayne Rickards and agricultural entrepreneur Beauty Gombana share the stories behind Jilayne's Zimbabwean-themed garden 'Giving Girls a Space to Grow', created for female education charity CAMFED. The advice team answers listeners' questions on subjects including taking cuttings, growing rubber plants and how to improve soil without buying compost. Plus designer Sarah Eberle's ode to the hawthorn tree.
Getting arty with weird and wonderful plants, lockdown veg part two (7 May)
Lots of us are drawing on creative pastimes as a way of getting through the current situation. This week we speak to artist, scientist, author and Deputy Director of the Oxford Botanic Garden, Dr Chris Thorogood. Chris shares his fascination with weird and wonderful plants and offers some expert tips on how to paint and draw them. Fiona Davison explores the history of botanical art at one of the world's biggest collections of plant paintings, the RHS Lindley Library.
Young RHS Ambassador George Hassall is also a fan of plants that bite back, and he tells us about his passion for the gruesomely beautiful pitcher plants, Nepenthes. And finally... our resident allotment guru Guy Barter talks to gardening advisor Leigh Hunt about cunning ways to beat seed shortages and grow your own at home.
Birdsong special (30 April 2020)
As we approach International Dawn Chorus Day this Sunday (3rd May), we've decided to dedicate an entire episode of the podcast to our feathered friends. We meet the RSPB's Adrian Thomas, who orchestrated a top 40-charting single composed entirely of birdsong; RHS wildlife guru Helen Bostock offers advice on how to make your garden bird-friendly, and Dr John Grimshaw of The Yorkshire Arboretum shares his love of peafowl. Plus an unforgettable rook impression from RHS Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter.
Michelin-star veg growing, monkey puzzles and gardening with children (23 April)
Anna Greenland, former Head Vegetable Gardener at Raymond Blanc's renowned restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons shares experiences gained from years of growing veg and herbs for use in Michelin-star meals. Meanwhile Wisley Curator Matthew Pottage muses on monkey puzzles and RHS Gardening Advisor Rebekah Mealey heads into the garden with her daughter Faye to get growing too.
Lawns, wellbeing, multi-dimensional garden design (16 April)
This week we've got seasonal lawncare tips galore, RHS entomologist Andy Salisbury shares his love of beetles, and award-winning designer Lee Burkhill explains how to use gardening to promote mental wellbeing. Plus design duo Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg discuss multi-dimensional design inspirations and storytelling in their creations both at RHS Garden Bridgewater and their garden that would have been at this year's Chelsea Flower Show
Behind a Chelsea garden, lockdown veg and watering tips (9 April 2020)
Award-winning designer Sarah Eberle gives us a virtual tour of the garden she designed for this year's Chelsea Flower Show. Plus we're feeling the love for allotments and sharing advice on quick-growing vegetables to provide speedy harvests during lockdown. RHS water scientist Janet Manning explores the results of an experiment to find out how much water hanging baskets really need.
Lockdown gardening tips, houseplants and herbs (2 April 2020)
April is always a busy month in the plant world, and despite lockdown, this year is no exception. So this week's show is full of ideas of how to grow when you've nowhere to go. Lee Burkhill, winner of an RHS Feel Good Garden competition, shares his personal guide on how to keep on gardening during lockdown. Plus we're talking houseplants: Wisley Curator Matt Pottage shares one of his all-time favourite plants, and gardening advisor Jenny Bowden offers seasonal care tips. Nikki Barker has some expert help for a listener who wants to keep their herbs in shape, and offers some handy hints on growing herbs indoors.
Ode to the dahlia, growing peat free and front garden tips (26 Mar 2020)
Our human world might've changed completely in the past few weeks but the joyful beauty of plants and flowers shines brighter than ever. This week, Rob Evans of Pheasant Acre Plants shares his love for one of the brightest stars of flower gardens everywhere, the dahlia. RHS Gardening Advisor Becky Mealey brings us back to earth with some timely advice on how to get the best from peat-free compost, and Jenny Bowden encourages us all to make the most of our front gardens, sharing design tips and planting ideas to make them bloom.
Growing tomatoes and patio strawberries (12 March 2020)
This week's show is a bulging barrowful of edible gardening advice. RHS Horticulturists Guy Barter and Lenka Cooke discuss how to grow tomatoes, recommended tomato varieties and ways to beat blight. The Gardening Advice team gather to debate the best strawberries to grow on a patio and how to get rid of scale insects on a lemon tree. Plus seasonal gardening jobs to do in March.
Selected recommended tomato varieties: 'Black Krim', 'Red Alert', 'Ferline', 'Sungold', 'Olivade', 'Shirley'
Selected recommended strawberry varieties: 'Hapil', 'Mara des Bois', 'Charlotte', 'Elsanta', 'Malling Centenary', 'Florence'
Gardening for wildlife; top plants, top tips & more (27 February 2020)
How do you make your garden wildlife friendly? What are the star plants for helping out the birds and the bees? Horticultural Advisors Jenny Bowden and James Lawrence discuss top tips for bringing nature to your plot.
Meanwhile Guy Barter and entomologist Andy Salisbury discuss the results of a pioneering RHS research project to discover whether native plants are better for bugs and Hayley Jones shares advice on what's hot and what's not when it comes to insect hotels. Plus an allotmenteer shares his love of bees.
Gardening Q&A, houseplant favourites (13 Feb 2020)
What flowers can you grow for a September wedding? How do you tame a wisteria that's got a bit too involved with an apple tree? What's the best way to propagate snowdrops? Can you save climbers when replacing a rotten fence? Our team of experts gathers together to solve your gardening questions.
Plus, growing cucumbers for pickling and advice on xylella, a major new plant disease. And finally; we continue our mini-series on houseplants as Jane Perrone, Matthew Pottage and Anne Swithinbank share their personal favourites and offer tips on how to care for them.
Houseplant takeover! (30 Jan 2020)
Wake up and smell the chlorophyll! In a special collaborative edition we're simulcasting with On the Ledge podcast, panellists Jane Perrone, Anne Swithinbank and Matthew Pottage discuss all things houseplant. From their first ever plants that sparked a love of greenery, to what they're growing now and fantasy houseplants for a fantasy house. Weird, wild and wonderful – full of interesting plant suggestions and practical tips on how to grow them.
Selected plants mentioned: ►Senecio articulatus (candle cactus) ►Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mexican hat plant) ►Ferocactus emoreyi (barrel cactus) ►Pelargonium crispum 'Variegatum' (variegated lemon-scented geranium) ►Begonia erythrophylla (beefsteak begonia) ►Huperzia squarrosa (clubmoss) ►Sansevieria trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation' (snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue) ►Licuala grandis (fan palm) ►Echinocactus grusonii ►Strongylodon macrobotrys (Jade vine).
Gardening trends for 2020, houseplants on the rampage and gardening with sight loss (Ep 172: 16 Jan 2020)
This week our resident gardening guru Guy Barter gazes into his crystal ball to make some predictions for the year ahead in horticulture, before heading to the Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley to come face to face with some very naughty houseplants. So naughty in fact that they've taken over an entire Victorian house, elbowing the human occupants aside in a verdant invasion that's sure to delight visitors. Garden Manager Emma Allen braves the bristling bromeliads and chess-playing cacti to take Guy round this quirky new attraction.
Plus part two of our visit to gardening charity Thrive, who help people with disabilities or ill health to keep on gardening. Training, Consultancy & Education Manager Damien Newman gives useful advice on ways to garden when sight loss becomes an issue.
Selected plants mentioned:
'Charlotte Russe' mulberry (also listed as 'Matsunaga'
, dwarf raspberry 'Ruby Beauty
, parlour palm
Highlights of 2019 (Ep 171: 2 Jan 2020)
A look back over the past year to some of the best bits of our gardening podcasts. In March we met the staff and inmates at HMP Hull to find out how an award-winning prison garden has helped transform lives behind bars. Plus garden writer Sally Nex charts her quest for a plastic-free plot, and we discover what curators, editors and other RHS staff members are most looking forward to horticulturally in 2020.
Life-changing gardening, homegrown Christmas decorations, houseplants and more (Ep 170: 19 Dec 2019)
This week we head to Reading to discover how gardening can bring positive life changes to people living with disabilities or ill health, thanks to the work of the charity Thrive. Plus RHS staff share their tips for homegrown Christmas decorations and Wisley's Curator Matthew Pottage shares some seasonal highlights to look out for and tips on houseplants.
2019 RHS books podcast (Ep 169: 05 Dec 2019)
Free yourself from everyday mundanities and dive into other worlds from the comfort of your own home... yes it's our annual books special! This year our literary committee share a huge range of favourites, including unusual and delightful books for gifts this Christmas, books to excite children and stimulate the minds of adults too.
Growing trees for the future and pet-proof planting (Ep 168: 21 Nov 2019)
With flooding, climate change and wellbeing becoming ever more important topics, planting trees has become a call to arms to anyone interested in making the future a brighter place.
We talk to Carol Honeybun-Kelly from the Woodland Trust about a nationwide tree-planting campaign, The Big Climate Fightback. Dr Andrew Hirons, Senior Lecturer in Arboriculture at University Centre Myerscough offers advice on the best trees for challenging urban situations, making some personal selections that should prove resilient in the face of climate change and increasing pest and disease threats.
Meanwhile, back at RHS Garden Wisley, our Gardening Advice teams offers tips on how to propagate bear's breeches (Acanthus) and shares advice on how to garden alongside cats and dogs.
Hedges, houseplants and houseleeks – and can you grow your own wasabi peas? (Ep 167: 7 Nov 2019)
What type of hedge is best for trapping pollution? Which hedging plants help mitigate flooding risks? And can you grow roses and clematis together to make a flowering hedge? We went to a recent 'Hedging Your Bets' event at RHS Garden Wisley to find out more. Plus the Gardening Advice team gathers to answer queries on houseplants for a shady bathroom, growing houseleeks and aeoniums, the secrets of making great compost – and whether you can grow your own wasabi peas?!
Seasonal veg gardening advice, growing healthy in Gateshead and help with honey fungus (Ep 166: 24 Oct 2019)
This week the Wisley teams share their wisdom on growing great veg and dealing with the sweet-sounding but deadly bane of many gardens: honey fungus. Pathologist Matthew Cromey shares the results of recent RHS research which shines new light on which plants are most resistant. Plus the heartwarming story of an unused church plot that was transformed with help from the RHS's Greening Grey Britain campaign into a garden to soothe and feed the mind, body and soul.
Growing apples & grapes, award-winning clematis, native trees from seed, hedgehog-friendly gardening and more (Ep 165: 10 Oct 2019)
Horticulturists Joe Olds and Bernard Boardman are in the orchard at Wisley, discussing how to get the best from apples and grapevines. Alex Hankey talks plant trials and Sabatino Urzo shares the results of a recent People's Choice vote to discover the favourite clematis from a trial of 28 varieties at RHS Garden Harlow Carr. Meanwhile, our gardening advice team gather to answer questions on growing British native trees from seed, making gardens hedgehog-friendly and pruning lavender and rosemary.
People's choice clematis award winners: 1 ) Clematis KINGFISHER = ‘Evipo037’, 2) Clematis 'Maria Skłodowska-Curie', 3) Clematis Zara = 'Evipo062', 4) Clematis BERNADINE = 'Evipo061', 5) Clematis CÉZANNE = 'Evipo023'
Yellow vs green – battle of the cellar slugs, autumn star plants at Wisley and a taste of the unexpected at Hyde Hall (Ep 164: 26 Sept 2019)
As autumn hits its stride we're at RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex to sample the exotic yet seasonal delights of the Global Growth Vegetable Garden with Matthew Oliver and Head Chef James Curtis. Meanwhile back at Wisley, Team Leader Verity Bradbury shares her favourite autumnal plants from the Equinox Borders and entomologist Imogen Cavadino has a call for gardeners to help research into a new(ish) slug on the block which seems to be elbowing out its relatives. (If a slug could elbow!)
Back to nature with the Duchess, seasonal gardening tips and dreamy daffodils (Ep 163: 12 Sept 2019)
This week we return to Wisley for a very special event as HRH The Duchess of Cambridge opens the new Back to Nature Garden, which was inspired by show gardens co-designed by HRH alongside landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White at the Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace flower shows. It's a place for families and friends to have fun in nature, while hopefully igniting a love for gardening and growing plants.
Plus seasonal gardening advice from entomologist Hayley Jones who offers timely tips on dealing with bugs, Mark Tuson who's busy planting bulbs at Wisley and we meet master daffodil grower Ron Scamp.
Top tips for beautiful chrysanthemums and luscious lawns, an RHS magazine re-launches, joyful gardening memories (Ep 162: 29 August 2019)
As autumn approaches and a new generation of gardeners re-discovers the late-season charms of chrysanthemums, we get expert advice on how to grow them from RHS Master Grower Martyn Fish of Chrysanthemums Direct. We talk to James Armitage, editor of The Plantsman, who shares some exciting news about this magazine for plant lovers ahead of its September re-launch. Plus seasonal lawn-care advice from David Hedges-Gower and joyful garden memories from Chelsea gold medal-winning designers Jilayne Rickards and Miki Sato.
New RHS gardens in the making; gardening health and safety; joyful garden memories (Ep 161: 15 August 2019)
This week we discover two fantastic new gardens – RHS Bridgewater near Manchester, which is gearing up to open its doors in 2020; and the Cool Garden which is already becoming a horticultural highlight at RHS Rosemoor in Devon. As peak hedge-cutting season approaches, hand surgeon Grey Giddins gives some timely advice on gardening health and safety. Plus joyful garden memories from Chelsea designers Andy Sturgeon and Taina Suonio.
Summer gardening advice galore, seasonal stars at Wisley and joyful gardening memories (Ep 160: 01 August 2019)
This week we're at RHS Wisley where we meet garden managers Peter Jones and Emma Allen who share seasonal horticultural highlights and tips on what to do now. The Gardening Advice team deal with a bulging post bag of queries on a range of topics including lining hanging baskets, feeding tomatoes, summer lawn care, growing plants in pots and more. Plus we have joyful garden memories from designers Sarah Eberle and Chris Beardshaw.
RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (Ep 159: 18 July 2019)
At the last major RHS flower show of the year we're talking bugs, slugs and lawns and visiting the show's Bridgewater garden, which is inspired by the new RHS site that will open in Salford next year. Plus we meet the winner of the Young Designer competition, whose garden aims to raise awareness of some important plant health issues that gardeners need to be aware of this summer.
RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (Ep 158: 4 July 2019)
This week we're going back to nature at the world's biggest annual flower show. Designer Jo Thompson explains how she's gone wild with the BBC Springwatch Garden, Dave Green shares his meditative spaces in the Stop and Pause Garden and Matthew Childs contemplates new approaches to energy use in the Smart Meter Garden.
Plus we visit the RHS Back to Nature Garden (co-designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, Andrée Davies and Adam White), discover a drought-tolerant garden in memory of horticultural hero Beth Chatto, meet community allotmenteers and hear a surprising botanical cocktail recipe from food writer Mark Diacono.
Discovering hidden horticulturists, meeting the people in purple and fabulous floral art (Ep 157: 20 June 2019)
This week we uncover untold histories of 19th-century gardeners with Fiona Davison, author and Head of Libraries and Collections at the RHS. Then we head out into the Chelsea crowds to meet Sue and Steve Hall who are part of our purple-clad cadre of volunteers; un-sung modern day gardening heroes who help run the RHS Flower Shows – they share what volunteering means to them. Plus a look at the incredible floral art from the National Association of Flower Arranging Societies (NAFAS) as the organisation celebrates its 70th year.
Live from RHS Chatsworth Flower Show (Ep 156: 6 June 2019)
In this edition we're at the newest RHS Flower Show on the block in the stunning estate of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. We explore the power of trees, get dazzled by dahlias and inspired by the innovative gardens and plants galore. Plus a live recording of a question and answer session where an expert panel helps showgoers with their thorny gardening questions.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 (Ep 155: 23 May 2019)
This week we're at the world's premier floral extravaganza in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. We meet garden designers, celebrities and plantspeople to discover the stories behind the gardens and plants that make the show so special.
Secrets of houseplant success, acers, cauliflowers, going wild for ponds and A Nation in Bloom (Ep 154: 9 May 2019)
Our gardening advisors gather to help RHS members with their horticultural queries, including propagating peperomias and repotting aloe veras, growing cauliflowers successfully and when to plant an acer. Plus Wisley horticulturist Bernard Boardman offers seasonal tips on garden ponds and broadcaster Matthew Biggs shares insights from his new book, A Nation in Bloom
RHS Gardening Podcast on Tour: Cardiff flower show (Ep 153: 25 Apr 2019)
This week we head across the Severn Bridge to the RHS Flower Show Cardiff. Guest presenter James Alexander-Sinclair chairs a panel of gardening experts – Rob Evans from Pheasant Acre Plants, Jane Linsday from Tynings Climbers and Chairman of RHS South West in Bloom Jon Wheatley – who answer a bumper crop of show-goers' queries. Topics covered include which plants to grow with children in a community garden, which plants give you most return for your effort, how to get a bougainvillea to flower, dealing with overgrown trees in pots, and more. We also hear from some of the plant exhibitors and garden designers.
Selected plants mentioned: Verbena bonariensis, bougainvillea, Edgeworthia chrysantha (paperbush), Trachelospermum (star jasmine)
Live from RHS Flower Show Cardiff (13 April 2019)
In this mini-edition of the RHS Gardening Podcast, James Alexander-Sinclair chairs a panel of experts who answer show-goers' plant puzzles on the first day of the show. A full version of the Question and Answer session will be broadcast on 25 April.
Replacing a failing apple tree, blackspot-resistant roses and which plants are Bambi-proof? Plus: plant rant (Ep 152: 4 April 2019)
Our trusty advisors gather to help RHS members with their gardening problems including what to do about an apple tree that produces nasty apples, which are the most blackspot resistant roses and how to stop your peace lilies going brown. Garden writer Melissa Mabbitt and Deputy editor of The Garden magazine Phil Clayton debate this month's hot topic – whether forcing plants out of season is an acceptable sales tactic. And finally, Jenny Bowden reveals the results of a nationwide survey into which plants are most deer resistant.
Selected blackspot-resistant roses: Rosa rugosa , 'Roseraie de l'Hay', 'Blanche Double de Coubert', 'Shepherdess'
Green power: how gardening changes lives behind bars, top 10 plant diseases and a new order at Wisley (Ep 151: 22 Mar 2019)
This week we meet the staff and inmates at HMP Hull and discover how a prison garden has helped transform lives behind bars. Last year the prison's horticultural achievements won them the coveted Windlesham Trophy, an RHS award for the best prison garden. Meanwhile back at RHS Garden Wisley we meet pathologist Matthew Cromey who shares advice on the top 10 plant diseases reported to our gardening advice service last year. And finally, entomologist Andy Salisbury introduces a new kind of insect that marks the first new 'order' to be found in the UK in over a century.
Top 10 pests revealed, life after slug pellets, children's gardening questions answered, dealing with box problems and more (Ep 150: 8 March 2019)
As the annual Hit Parade of garden nasties is revealed, Entomologist Andy Salisbury shares the results and offers advice on how to deal with them. Meanwhile the Gardening Advice team gathers to debate questions sent in from young gardeners at St Patrick's School in Stratford, including whether you can grow flowers from flowers and how to tell a good caterpillar from a bad one. And following the recent announcement of a forthcoming ban on metaldehyde-based slug pellets, our resident gastropod guru Dr Hayley Jones offers research-based advice on slug and snail control. Plus questions from members on box problems, growing your own dye plants and dealing with blackfly.
Discovering Darwin's potato, pressing matters at the Herbarium, Cardiff flower show, beating blight (Ep 149: 21 Feb 2019)
This week we lift the lid on the RHS Herbarium, a unique collection of dried plant material from around the world that's used by scientists, researchers and artists. We learn how and why samples are prepared for inclusion – and share the recent discovery of a very special part of the collection: a potato that was brought back from the voyage of HMS Beagle by Charles Darwin. Plus, plant pathologist Matthew Cromey shares tips with Guy Barter on how gardeners can avoid potato blight and Chris Young gets an insider's view on what visitors can expect at this year's RHS Flower Show Cardiff.
Growing new plants and new gardeners, gardens to visit for free, solving courgette queries and replacing overgrown shrubs (Ep 148: 7 Feb 2019)
We visit Wisley to discover the new plant propagation facilities and what they mean for the gardeners there. And it's not just plants that the RHS is cultivating: as we look to the next generation of horticulturists there's still time to enter the Young School Gardener of the Year competition. Plus an exploration of our Partner Gardens, 200 glorious gardens nationwide that open their gates for free to RHS members at selected times throughout the year; and our advice team troubleshoots a poor courgette harvest and offers suggestions on replacing an overgrown shrub border.
Following royal gardening footsteps in Islington, discovering horticultural histories and the spawning glories of ponds in late winter (Ep 147: 24 Jan 2019)
This week we follow in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cambridge who recently visited King Henry’s Walk Garden in Islington, an RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood group, to meet the community gardeners. Meanwhile back at our horticultural HQ, we meet Fiona Davison, Head of Libraries and Collections, who shares details of an exciting programme of upcoming exhibitions on hidden horticulturists, digging for victory and more. Plus a look into the murky waters of garden ponds to discover the difference between frog, toad and newt spawn and get advice on how to protect these valuable garden amphibians.
A bumper crop of gardening questions answered, how did the 2018 drought affect gardens and a sneak peek at upcoming flower shows (Ep 146: 10 Jan 2019)
What can you plant for winter colour - that's not a dogwood? Should you remove the yellow leaves on sprouts? Tune in and find out the answers to these and lots more seasonal gardening questions. We talk to pest and disease experts to find out how the wild weather of 2018 affected plants and gardens. Plus a look at what's coming up at RHS Flower Shows this year.
Highlights of 2018 - a year in gardening
As 2018 draws to a close, here's a look back at some of our favourite moments of the year. From the energy and dynamism of the Chelsea Flower Show, interviews with luminaries of the gardening world such as Fergus Garrett and Beth Chatto, to an exploration of the tranquil streamside plantings at Harlow Carr, join us on a leisurely stroll through the audio annals of 2018 - a year in gardening.
Seasonal gardening questions solved and Christmas presents for gardeners (Ep 145: 20 Dec 2018)
The Gardening Advice team gathers together for a bumper question-and-answer session, sorting out enquiries ranging from whether you can grow your own vine leaves, which figs grow best in the UK, using an old hot water tank as a pond, how to get rid of those pesky little compost flies in your houseplants, and more. Plus ideas for last-minute Christmas presents and a look at 2018's changes at RHS Garden Wisley
How to help winter wildlife, unusual street trees and are glittered plants a crime against nature? (Ep 144: 6 Dec 2018)
Wildlife expert Kate Bradbury shares her top tips on what to do now to help garden wildlife through the winter. Author Paul Wood discusses the past, present and future of street trees, and shares some of his discoveries of the more unusual botanical residents of our towns and cities. Meanwhile back at RHS HQ, our magazine team debates the pros and cons of the 'novelty' plants - painted, bejewelled with glitter and more - that seem to pop up everywhere at this time of year.
Go west! Rosemoor under the spotlight (Ep 143: 22 Nov 2018)
Nestled in a Devon valley, RHS Garden Rosemoor blends formal and informal plantings to magical effect. From delightful cottage gardens to orchards, vegetables and peaceful woodland plantings, there's something for everyone, at any time of year. Join us as we go behind the scenes, meeting the people who make it all happen and uncovering the garden's history along the way.
Weird, wild and wonderful - urban gardens as you've never seen them (Ep 142: 08 Nov 2018)
A visit to the recent RHS Urban Garden show uncovers an ultraviolet garden, dancing plants, terrariums and much more. Plus a delve into dahlias and gardening advice on preventing pot plants suffering in summer heat, what to do with an abundant grape harvest and smaller, slug-resistant sunflowers.
Uncovering the mysterious Miss Harrisson, plants on trial and hats off to begonias (Ep 141: 25 Oct 2018)
This week's podcast is all about gardening winners - from Edwardian trailblazer who ruffled feathers by daring to win a nationwide horticultural competition while being a woman - to brilliant begonias, which won the RHS People's Choice Award last year on the Wisley trials field. Plus a look at how RHS Plant Trials are conducted and what the Awards of Garden Merit they produce mean for gardeners.
New shoots - growing the next generation of gardeners (12 Oct 2018)
The RHS Campaign for School Gardening touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of children throughout the UK, providing children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills while boosting their development and wellbeing. We meet the people behind the campaign as well as the winners of its recent School Gardening Awards.
It's harvest time! Celebrating homegrown produce and seasonal GYO advice (Ep 140: 10 Oct 2018)
This week's episode is jam-packed with helpful info on growing your own fruit and veg, including pumpkins and squashes, courgettes, garlic, pears, French and runner beans and more. Plus the Garden Advisors discuss banishing an over-enthusiastic Virginia creeper and growing cut flowers for a wedding.
Varieties mentioned: Squash/pumpkin: 'Crown Prince', 'Potimarron', 'Galeux d'Eysines', 'Black Futsu', 'Rouge Vif d'Etampes', 'Goosebumps'.
Gardening for good, repairing lawns, tips on growing dahlias, roses, damsons and more (Ep 139: 27 Sept 2018)
If you go down to the shops today, you're in for a big surprise. If you live in Sheerwater, Surrey, that is - where a new community garden is taking root as a result of an innovative new partnership between the RHS, community groups, local councils and the HLF*. Plus our Gardening Advice team gather to untangle a postbag bulging with horticultural heartaches including questions on dahlias, damsons, roses, hydrangeas, sweetcorn and more.
Get RHS cash to fund your gardening adventure, a Wisley walkabout, helping hedgehogs and more (Ep 138)
Have you ever dreamed of travelling to distant lands to see and study plants in their native habitats? Or perhaps you'd like to grow your knowledge in other ways? An RHS bursary may be able to help. Past recipients share their stories of travels to Portugal and the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Closer to home, Matt Pottage gives an update on the latest in RHS Garden Wisley's multimillion-pound redevelopment, we head to Harlow Carr for tips on helping hedgehogs. Plus news on the Big Soup Share from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.
A plant-lover's paradise: exploring RHS Garden Harlow Carr (Ep 137)
From iconic blue Himalayan poppies and drifts of streamside primulas to subtropical borders and precious alpines, Harlow Carr is a paradise for plant lovers. In this episode we meet the gardeners who share their favourite plants and parts of the most northerly RHS Garden.
Behind the scenes science, Wisley dahlia competition and what to do about wasps (Ep 136)
We head behind the scenes at Wisley to find out what RHS scientists are studying in their ongoing work to keep our beloved garden plants safe and healthy. And with just a few weeks to go until the ever-popular People's Dahlia Competition at the Wisley Flower Show, we get some top tips on how to get the best from these colourful flowers. Back in the science department, Dr Hayley Jones shares some wisdom on wasps and pathologist Matthew Cromey gives an update on ash dieback and what gardeners can do about it.
Hyde Hall re-born (Ep 135)
Join us on a journey through a Floral Fantasia and around the world in 80 veg... As our easternmost garden reaches the end of a multi-million pound investment programme, we visit a revitalised site that's bursting with colourful flowers and exotic edibles, discover what's new for visitors and find out how it has become more environmentally sustainable.
Live from Tatton (Ep 134)
This week we're at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park in Cheshire, revelling in this floral extravaganza in the glorious Cheshire countryside. We explore some of the show highlights before heading into 'The Beehive' with author and broadcaster Matthew Biggs who chairs a live question and answer session with gardening experts Mark Diacono, Lia Leendertz and Tony Dickerson.
Live from Hampton Court (Ep 133)
Join us at the largest annual flower show on earth! We meet horticultural hero Piet Oudolf, chef and home-grown veg champion Raymond Blanc, RHS Master Grower Matt Soper of Hampshire Carnivorous Plants, among others in this whistle-stop tour of just a few of the highlights of this incredible show. Plus garden designer and TV presenter Ann-Marie Powell gives a guided tour of Countryfile's 30th Anniversary Garden.
Hampton Court Shorts (3/3) Celebrating 30 years of Countryfile
Designer Ann-Marie Powell explains the ideas behind her garden celebrating 30 years of BBC’s Countryfile, which aims to inspire and reconnect visitors with nature. The space explores a critically important world residing on our doorsteps as well as the wider countryside.
Hampton Court Shorts (2/3) Growing communities
This year at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show there's a real feeling of coming together and growing communities alongside delicious, healthy food. We meet the people behind these transformational gardens that promise to be a treat for the mind, body and soul.
Hampton Court Shorts (1/3) Lifestyle Gardens
To mark the centenary of the first female suffrage in the UK, the RHS asked four female designers, all aged under 30, to create gardens to resonate with different lifestyles and reflect the owner's personality and way of life. It's the ideal category for visitors wanting ideas to create a garden at home that they can fall in love with, as Show Manager Gemma Lake and designer Lilly Gomm explain.
Summer gardens to visit, coping with carrot fly and learning to love wasps (Ep 132)
As new plantings emerge from the dust and hubbub of the redevelopments at Wisley, we explore the Wisteria Walk and Heather Landscape. Plus a round-up of RHS partner gardens to visit this summer, results of a two-year science research project into how gardeners can best deal with carrot fly and wildlife writer Kate Bradbury rallies gardeners in defence of some suprising allies - wasps!
Live from Chatsworth (Ep 131)
This week we're at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in Derbyshire, revelling in this floral extravaganza in the heart of the Peak District. Florist Jonathan Moseley reveals the UK's largest ever orchid display and James Alexander-Sinclair chairs a live question and answer session with leading gardening experts including Martin Fish, Leigh Hunt and Helen Bainbridge.
Dear Mrs Chatto (May 2018)
One of the greatest gardeners of the 20th century, Beth Chatto, recently died at the age of 94. Beth was admired and loved by family, friends and gardeners around the world. One of those friends was another legendary plantsman, Roy Lancaster. He visited the garden in Essex she created with her late husband, Andrew, to discuss the development of what she described as a "horticultural and ecological experiment". Hear Beth and Roy in an interview which was to become an article, Dear Mrs Chatto, in the January 2010 issue of The Garden magazine.
Live from Chelsea (Ep 130)
Garden designer, TV presenter and RHS flower show judge James Alexander-Sinclair takes us on a journey into the heart and soul of the Chelsea Flower Show, exploring top-end design, incredible plants and planting, and meeting the people who make it all happen and the celebrities who turn out in force to soak up the Chelsea buzz. Find out about feel-good gardens, exciting new plants and garden products, and get design tips for your garden. This year's show also shows the power of gardening as a force for good. We meet the creator of The Lemon Tree Trust Garden, inspired by the gardens of Domiz refugee camp in Iraq. It's a heartwarming tale of human spirit and triump over adversity, and the RHS is proud to have been able to support the Trust in its work. We also speak to Baroness Floella Benjamin and singer and actress Beverley Knight about Birmingham City Council's display celebrating 70 years since the Empire Windrush arrived in Britain, marking the beginning of a new chapter in our nation's history.
Chelsea Shorts - Growing happiness (3 of 3)
In the final part of our exclusive behind-the-scenes Chelsea preview podcasts, we meet designer Matt Keightley who's in the process of creating a trailblazing health and wellbeing garden - the RHS Feel Good Garden - which will live on after the show as a permanent garden at the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.
Chelsea Shorts - Hero Plants of Chelsea (2 of 3)
Get an exclusive peek behind the scenes of the greatest flower show on earth. Today we celebrate the real stars of the show – the plants! Designers Chris Beardshaw, Bunny Guinness and Kate Gould share their insights into the planting in this year’s show gardens and Show Manager Katherine Potsides outlines some of the other plant highlights to look out for.
Chelsea Shorts - Space to Grow (1 of 3)
Get an exclusive peek behind the scenes of the greatest flower show on earth! Join us as we discover what's in store in our new 'Space to Grow' garden category, meeting designer Kate Gould who shares the trials, triumphs and tribulations that are all part and parcel of the Chelsea experience, along with a healthy dose of tips and hints for making the most of small, urban gardens.
Countdown to Chelsea, Great British Bee Count, seasonal vegetable growing advice and more (Ep 129)
Hear behind the scenes interviews with award-winning garden designer Jo Thompson and Show Manager Katherine Potsides, who give a tantalising preview of the show and explore the increasing presence of women at Chelsea from designers to engineers and planting teams. Wildlife gardening expert Kate Bradbury shares a call to arms for gardeners to get involved in the Great British Bee Count, and we get timely advice from RHS experts on growing your vegetables – including how to avoid blossom end rot on tomatoes and how to grow a giant beanstalk!
Reshaping the future of gardening; plastics part II; advice on cats, clay soil and lawns (Ep 128)
Garden designer and television presenter James Alexander-Sinclair meets Sue Biggs, RHS Director General to discuss the Society's plans to invest millions of pounds in the future of gardening - revolutionising our gardens and horticultural research. Plus advice on restoring damaged lawns, coping with cats in the garden and suggestions on shrubs for clay soil.
How to grow beautiful orchids, Britain in Bloom on the BBC, and is honey fungus top of the rots? (Ep 127)
We speak to orchid experts at the recent RHS London Orchid Show and Plant Fair to get top tips on how to grow these most alluring of houseplants. Author and naturalist Jon Dunn shares his love of the native orchids that grow across the British Isles. Plus we talk to the people behind the incredible orchid displays planned for this year's RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Chris Bavin, presenter of BBC's Britain in Bloom shares his experiences in filming the series, and we continue our countdown of the top garden problems from last year; this time it's over to diseases - will honey fungus stay top of the rots?
Gardeners' hit list - top 10 pests revealed, plastic not fantastic and growing berries in pots (Ep 126)
The results are in! A gruesome lineup of slugs, bugs and other garden baddies has been compiled in our annual round-up of the most troublesome garden pests. We head to the Laboratory to find out who's on the list and how to deal with them, and then out into the garden to see what's going on in the beds and borders at Wisley. Plus we open the postbag to discuss RHS members' enquiries on growing fruit in pots, whether you can grow your own edamame beans and how to minimise plastic and peat use in the garden.
Should gardeners worry about sepsis? Plus seasonal tips, how to get wildlife on your side and a new campaign for school gardening (Ep 125)
Hear timely tips on what to do now if you want to grow fruit this year, plus we meet Wisley's plant propagation team and scientist Hayley Jones shares hints on how to get wildlife on side to help against common garden pests. And should gardeners be worried about sepsis? We get expert advice on this and other gardening health and safety issues. Plus news on our I Can Grow campaign and botanist James Armitage unearths more horticultural histories in his latest Wisley Plant Encounter.
Plants for pets, learning to love the Mother in law's tongue and Wisley gets a wisteria walk (Ep 124)
Can houseplants be dangerous for pets? And what is the new plant disease Xylella and how can gardeners avoid it? The Gardening Advice team discusses these and other enquiries, while Wisley Curator Matthew Pottage shares his love of houseplants, focusing on one old favourite in particular. Plus we hear about an exciting new garden feature planned for Wisley later this year.
Springing into shows season: Snowdrops, houseplants, cyclamen and Master Growers (Ep 123)
The RHS Shows season got off to a flying start with the Early Spring Plant Fair last week. We went along to marvel at the hanging snowdrop extravaganza and meet the growers and celebrity experts who make it all happen - including Alys Fowler who gives seasonal houseplant tips and the team from Birmingham Botanical Gardens who share insight into the wonderful world of cyclamen. Plus a look at the RHS Master Grower Scheme, which is now in its third season.
Step into the indoor jungle - Houseplants special (aka 'how not to kill a Venus flytrap')
Discover the benefits and pleasures of growing indoor plants, and get some expert tips on how to make yours flourish. Experts pick their favourite houseplants and share tips on common pitfalls to avoid. Plus we discuss the findings of ongoing RHS research into the health benefits of growing indoor greenery, and get an insider's guide on how to keep your flytraps happy.
Banishing bunnies, sleuthing slugs, Valentines gifts for plant lovers, upcoming London Shows highlights and horticultural competitions (Ep 122)
As we begin the slow ascent to spring, the advice team shares wisdom on how to tackle rabbits eating bulbs, organic slug control, and whether you can grow the seaside plant samphire in Birmingham among other queries. Plus discover what's in store at our upcoming London Shows and how you can enter your favourite plants into one of the many RHS horticultural competitions.
Exclusive Chelsea preview, plant encounters and seasonal advice (Ep121: Jan 2018)
We visit the press launch for 2018's Chelsea Flower Show to discover the exciting gardens in store this year. Our trusty team of gardening experts answers questions on how to dig safely, keeping potted Christmas trees alive, whether you can grow houseplants in dark rooms, and what to do about a lawn that keeps dying. Plus botanist James Armitage unearths more horticultural histories in his latest Wisley Plant Encounter ( see www.rhs.org.uk/wisleyplantencounters).
Plant fanatics club together, birds in your garden part two. (Ep 120: Jan 2018)
Are you dotty about dahlias, fanatical about ferns or ardent about alpines? Then why not join a plant society? In this episode we meet a band of enthusiasts who are keen to share a love of plants with others and help new gardeners grow their favourite plants. Plus part two of our mini-series on attracting birds to your garden.
Special episode: Highlights of 2017
We look back at the best bits of 2017 including 'feel good' gardens at Chelsea, a brand new flower show at Chatsworth and groundbreaking RHS research on gardening in a changing climate. Plus botanist James Armitage meets an incredibly ancient plant in his latest Wisley Plant Encounter. See www.rhs.org.uk/wisleyplantencounters
Episode 119: Seasonal help and advice, winter bird watching and Wisley's great Laboratory is reborn
The gardening advisors gather to solve queries on what you can prune now, whether you can plant trees in winter and how to protect bay trees from cold weather. Resident wildlife expert Helen Bostock meets Adrian Thomas from the RSPB to find out which birds come to Britain in winter and how gardeners can encourage our feathered friends. Plus a look at the incredible transformation happening to Wisley's iconic Laboratory building, and the science team discusses two emerging threats to a traditional Christmas favourite, the chestnut.
Episode 118: Episode 118 - Incredible Edible Dunstable and re-inventing the conifer
We visit a thriving community garden in an unlikely spot close to the M1 in Bedfordshire, and speak to local residents and volunteers who say it has changed their lives. Meanwhile, Wisley's curator Matt Pottage meets life-long conifer fan Adrian Bloom who encourages gardeners to take another look at these much-maligned plants.
Episode 117: Honey what's that fungus? Fruity dilemmas, gardens to visit and Plant Encounters
Our trusty team of gardening experts answers questions on growing rhubarb, pears and strawberries. Plus we hear about a new RHS study on honey fungus and botanist James Armitage unearths more horticultural histories in his latest Wisley Plant Encounter. Listen out too for some of the seasonal highlights from our hundreds of partner gardens, as selected by Garden Visits Editor Sian Thomas.
Episode 116: An indoor forest, all about avocados and Bill Oddie's wild gardening adventures
We visit the RHS London Autumn Garden Show to hear expert advice on growing an edible forest garden, growing avocado plants and some imaginative ideas on floristry from the RHS Floral Artist in Residence. We’re also joined by bird and wildlife enthusiast Bill Oddie who recalls memories of the gardens of his youth and how they inspired his love of birds.
Episode 115: Curator's tips, grow your own gourmet garlic and Wisley Plant Encounters
Wisley's Curator Matthew Pottage shares seasonal gardening tips and gives us an update on all the exciting new developments that are transforming RHS Garden Wisley. We visit the RHS London Harvest Festival Show to hear growing tips and fascinating ideas for uses of garlic. Plus, botanist James Armitage unearths an ancient larch tree with a mysterious past in his latest Wisley Plant Encounter.
Episode 114: Get the jungle look! Wisley's new Exotic Garden, going wild for wildlife in winter and incredible history of apples at the RHS
We visit Wisley's stunning new Exotic Garden to discover the plants that give it such a tropical ambience, and get tips of how to get the look at home. Wildlife expert Kate Bradbury makes the case for being relaxed about autumn tidy-ups to provide habitats for overwintering wildlife. Meanwhile at the Lindley Library, we discover an exhibition of the RHS's remarkable 200-year project to protect heritage apples.
FREE ACCESS: RHS Members' Podcast – Bees Special
Episode 113: Strawberry, apple and lilac problems solved, wonderful wildlife at Hyde Hall and plant encounters
Episode 112: Exotic vegetables take root in Essex, seasonal gardening tasks, and are native plants better for wildlife?
Episode 111: Hyde Hall's mega meadow; questions on fuchsias, roses, tulips & whitefly; Wisley plant encounters
Episode 110: What's occurring at Wisley, Wild About Gardening, orchid experts share their tips
Episode 109: Slugs - are they all bad? Gardening with children and tips on courgettes and pruning wisteria
Episode 108: Hairy Bikers at Hampton, incredibly edible show gardens, going wild and going green
Episode 107: Chatsworth Flower Show highlights, weird and wonderful plants at Wisley
RHS Podcast Special Edition: Grow your knowledge – Adult education with the RHS
Episode 106: Chelsea's unsung heroes, Show Garden goes to Wales and RHS Photographic Competition
Episode 105: Jo Malone at Chelsea, misbehaving wisteria, tomato questions answered
Episode 104: A peony with a rocky past, disappearing plants and gardening in a changing climate
RHS Flower Shows Special 2017
Episode 103: BBC Radio 2 at Chelsea; seasonal advice, a celebration of the RHS Plant Finder and Plant Encounters part 2
Episode 102: Easter treats, Angell Town revisited, Wisley under the (jack) hammer and win a Chelsea garden!
Episode 101: What to do now in the veg garden, top 10 diseases, how to help British butterflies, and the strange case of the purple toothwort
Episode 100: You are not alone... gardeners' top pests and how to deal with them
Question and answer special - Growing in pots and containers
Episode 99: Help for hedgehogs and hellebores; how to go pro with gardening
Episode 98: Joys of winter at Wisley, beautiful butterflies and perfect ponds
Episode 97: Explaining the changes at Wisley; advice on composting, African violets and scale insects
Highlights of 2016 - Chelsea designers speak, interview with a Baroness and gardening in Angell Town
Episode 96: Fruit and festivities; RHS podcast wins award
Books Special: Experts pick favourites old and new, the joy of books, and books for Christmas presents
FREE ACCESS: Members' episode 38: RHS Ambassador Baroness Floella Benjamin shares her love of gardening; and listeners' questions
Episode 95: Columnar plants for vertical structure, seasonal advice on sprouts, lawn care and much more
Episode 94 - Expert picks for autumn colour, and RHS Ambassador Floella Benjamin shares her passion for gardening
Episode 93: Badgers in the garden and Angell Town community gardeners visit Wisley
Episode 92: Glories of the Harvest Festival, giant pumpkins and get snapping
Episode 91: Lowdown on lily beetle, brightening up spring gardens with clever bulb combos and a visit to the Wisley Flower Show
Episode 90: A rose garden fit for a queen, coping with critters and knowing your onions
Episode 89: How to grow camellias in pots, dealing with trees near to buildings, growing apples and taking cuttings
Episode 88: Tatton calling! Tips from expert growers; young designers' inspirations and more
Episode 87 - Gardening Q&A including pond algae, growing potatoes for Christmas & box tree moth; Wisley's big plans for the future
Episode 86: A day at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Episode 85: Pipping pests at the post, the RHS on Tour, and looking forward to the 2017 Chatsworth Flower Show
Episode 84: Seasonal fruit tips, coping with caterpillars, bamboo control and Chelsea designers' secrets of moving plants
Episode 83: It's showtime! Fresh from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, design inspirations and women making their mark
Episode 82: Expert tips on growing vegetables and climbers, and a look at the RHS Community Allotment Programme
Episode 81: Know your N-P-K, 150 years of 'The Garden' magazine and seasonal tips for growing your own
Episode 80: Springing into action, seasonal tasks and Jekka McVicar talks gardening for health and happiness
RHS SCIENCE SPECIAL - examining the new RHS Science Strategy
Episode 79: Growing healthily, National Gardening Week and all change at the Lindley Library
Episode 78: Expert hacks from the Horticultural Halls, gardening questions answered and a guide to composting
Episode 77: Rose Special - Growing beautiful blooms with spectacular scent
Episode 76: Dividing snowdrops, seasonal rose care, fruit & veg in small spaces and houseplant inspiration
Episode 75: Dealing with extreme weather, vibrant stems for winter colour and turning Blue Mondays green
Episode 74: Advice for the new year, quick screening plants and RHS Garden Holidays
Episode 73: Walking in a Wisley wonderland, poinsettia tips and how to grow your own cranberries
Episode 71: Drought and flood advice and lessons from great gardeners
Episode 70: How to get your garden ready for winter, gardening Q&As and planting bare-root trees
Episode 69: Autumn Harvests - expert talks on edibles to plant now, how to eat nettles and veg storage
Episode 68: The RHS London Harvest Show & hidden gems of the Wisley Glasshouse
Episode 67: Seasonal advice for growing fruit & vegetables, plus glasshouse essentials
Episode 66: Expert tips on dahlias, apples and more; plus a guide to garden ponds
Episode 65: Good bugs, bad, bugs; how to beat weeds and seasonal gardening questions answered
Episode 64: Cold blooded killers under the microscope, foliage plants & fruit-growing essentials
Episode 63: Masterclasses on fuchsias & more, plus in-depth advice on strawberries & tomatoes
Episode 62: Insider's guide to RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2015 & tips on pruning tools for the fruit garden
Episode 61: Highlights from the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and news on how you can get involved in a major new RHS campaign Greening Grey Britain
Episode 60: Summer watering, lawn care and the best plants for June as well as suggestions of Award of Garden Merit Plants for the month
Episode 59: Seasonal jobs, an essential guide to weeding & a focus on the 25th anniversary of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Episode 58: A plants special – plant combinations from award-winning Chelsea gardens and the best garden performers
Episode 57: We look at the not-so-humble umbel, and answer seasonal questions
Episode 56: We preview the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015
Episode 55: A comprehensive guide to orchids, plus gardening essentials
Episode 54: Spring lawn care and expert seasonal advice
Episode 53: Top 10 pest enquiries and RHS Partner Gardens looking good in spring
Episode 52: RHS Seed Scheme and Butterflies in the Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey
Episode 51: Growing your own herbs and caring for snowdrops
Episode 50: Celebratory clips from Alan Titchmarsh, Mary Berry and Colin Crosbie, plus pruning wisteria and winter tips
Episode 49: Tackling problem areas of dry shade and growing chillies successfully
Episode 48: Gardening bestsellers and expert advice to start the new year
Episode 47: Best-selling books, help our research and looking after birds this winter
Episode 46: Controlling pests in winter and looking at plants with a bad reputation in a new light
Episode 45: Seasonal advice, troubleshooting plant diseases and choosing gardening gifts for Christmas
Episode 44: What to do now, plus tips on how to get better fruit & veg next year
Episode 43: Container-growing for winter interest and crops for the kitchen table
Episode 42: Harvest delights and great plants to attract pollinators
Episode 41: Managing microclimates - making the weather work for you in your garden.
Episode 40: Expert plant advice from the RHS Plant Day, Cotswold Wildlife Park
Episode 39: Mary Berry opens the Wisley Flower Show 2014 and your gardening questions answered
Episode 38: James Wong's guide to growing flavour-filled fruit and veg, plus a focus on carnivorous plants
Episode 37: Bonsai, dragon quests and your gardening questions answered
Episode 36: Allotment advice and inspiration, and great high-summer flowering plants to try in your garden
Episode 35: A focus on the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Episode 34: Top performing plants, pond care and tips from the kitchen garden
Episode 33: Improving borders and your gardening questions answered
Episode 32: Top performing seasonal plants and an expert guide to conifers
Episode 31: Lots of seasonal advice and a focus on growing beans and peas
Episode 30: How to make your garden wildlife-friendly and the best performing seasonal plants
Episode 29: Seasonal and expert plant advice from the RHS Great London Plant Fair
Episode 28: Perfect potatoes and pest prevention
Episode 27: Garden design for small spaces and seasonal tips from the RHS London Plant & Design Show and the RHS Gardening Advice team
Episode 26: Preparing the vegetable garden, garden design and the RHS Seed Scheme
Episode 25: A winter walk at RHS Garden Wisley, pond care and your gardening questions answered
Episode 24: Seasonal jobs, shrub selection and gardening stories from the RHS Lindley Library
Episode 23: Repairs caused by extreme weather, seasonal gardening questions and butterflies at Wisley
Episode 22: Seasonal advice, our choice of new seeds, and visiting winter gardens around the UK
Episode 21: Inspirational books, expert seasonal advice and Christmas events at our gardens
Episode 20: Christmas plants, presents and preparation
Episode 19: Foraging, plus preparing for winter and other seasonal advice from the RHS
Episode 18: Autumn colour and seasonal advice at the RHS London Shades of Autumn Show
Episode 17: Celebrate the autumn harvest
Episode 16: Preparing the vegetable plot for next year and gardening ideas for this autumn
Episode 15: Inspirational grasses, autumn lawn care, and more jobs to do right now
Episode 14: September at RHS Wisley
Episode 13: Summer highlights from stunning RHS Garden Rosemoor
Episode 12: Advice on small trees for the garden, plus choosing and caring for houseplants
Episode 11: Late summer colour at Tatton Park show, plus planting autumn bulbs, pest control and pruning wisteria
Episode 10: 'Escape' to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013Gardening for all the family, summer flower arrangements, GYO tips, and seasonal advice from Wisley
Episode 9: Gardening for all the family, summer flower arrangements, GYO tips, and seasonal advice from Wisley
Episode 8: Summer at Wisley, caring for fruit and veg, and the RHS Advisory Team
Episode 7: Plants for Scent, how plant displays win an RHS gold medal, and seasonal advice from RHS Garden Wisley
Episode 6: RHS Edible Britain campaign, Chef Raymond Blanc discusses GYO veg, plus climbers for scent, fighting Lily Beetle, and wildflowers for containers
Episode 5: Spotlight on RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Grow Your Own tips, rose care and tackling weeds
Episode 4: Spring tasks, Grow Your Own, National Gardening Week, and the RHS Advisory Team
Episode 3: Orchids, spring plants and seasonal advice
Episode 2: Slugs, potatoes and strawberries
Episode 1: Problem-solving from RHS Garden, Wisley in Surrey