A WAY TO GARDEN was recommended as a top-5 garden podcast in “The Guardian” newspaper last week, citing recent updates to the format of my weekly public-radio show. Hooray! But since I started hosting the program last month, the tradition of a monthly question-and-answer segment, featuring your best questions, got lost. Asking and answering questions all alone, out loud, seemed like something best reserved for the privacy of my own home. Solution: The Q&A feature was revived this week with the help of my sister, Marion Roach Smith, originator of the Urgent Garden Question, who joined me on air. How to get your question answered next time (and more on “The Guardian” piece): [read more…]
Margaret's free weekly public-radio garden podcast, from WHDD in Sharon, CT, the smallest NPR station in the nation.
PANIC ATTACK MATERIAL. In a year when the snow didn’t melt till the final days of March, that’s how I’d describe April 2013’s garden chore list: worthy of a panic attack. How can we stay focused and calm in the face of cleanup and seed-sowing, pruning and planting, dividing and compost-screening—all of it perhaps crunched into a shorter-than-ideal timeframe if your spring is unfolding like mine—too wet or cold or frozen to have gotten an early start? Think triage ward—and also think about starting right near the house. Here’s why, and what to do when, in print or a podcast. [read more…]
WANT TO SUCCEED with blueberries? Ask the guy with a Ph.D. in the subject, author of all the best books on home-garden fruit growing: Lee Reich, the guest on my latest public-radio show—and the speaker at the May 11 Open Day here at my Hudson Valley, New York, garden. That’s Lee’s blueberry “gazebo” up top. All the delicious details…along with how to grow blueberries (in print or the podcast) and two chances to win Lee’s book “Grow Fruit Naturally.” [read more…]
HAS A JUICY, PLENTIFUL HARVEST of melons eluded you—perhaps because your growing season feels too short up North, or because powdery mildew attacked your plants in high summer, a challenge even in Southern, longer-season areas? How to grow melons: tips for success, in print and on my latest podcast, too, with Tom Stearns of High Mowing Organic Seeds. [read more…]
ONE OF MY FAVORITE lines ever in a garden book: vintage Christopher Lloyd, the late daring plantsman of Great Dixter in England, in his Clematis manual. “An unpruned Clematis looks like a disemboweled mattress—a painful sight,” he wrote. Indeed. Yet so many of us go into denial and paralysis mode when approaching our beloved vines during spring cleanup. “Now what was I supposed to do with this one?” we say, scratching our heads while not-so-accidentally turning away to some other task, and leaving the botanical sprung mattress innards just hanging there. Boing! I asked Dan Long of Brushwood Nursery, a.k.a. gardenvines.com, to help me (us!) get past our “pruning fears and misconceptions,” as he calls them. The story, plus pruning diagrams and a podcast full of more vine-growing tips. [read more…]