my radio show praised in ‘the guardian,’ plus your urgent garden questions answered

The Guardian newspaper garden blog logoA 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):

Marion (with an impressive cabbage, below), is like her older sister and our parents a writerly type. Decades ago she began leaving voicemails that always started with, “I’ve got an Urgent Garden Question,” and then revealed her latest horticultural crisis.  In the early years, I suspected she was just trying to come up with an ice-breaker, and didn’t really need advice.

Marion Roach Smith with a cabbage from farm market


We’d had some rough patches, as sisters do, and I knew she had a Master Gardener certificate—so why did she need my help? But it gave us a reason to speak, and get past things that had been in the way. For that I thank her (as I did in this 1989 essay and have been doing ever since). And I thank her for helping me solve my “how to do Q&A on the air” question, too.

listen to this week’s podcast

have a question to ask?

WE’LL PUT OUT A CALL for your latest questions on Facebook before each Q&A edition of the radio show, and you can also ask here on the blog anytime. Each month I’ll gather the best ones—best as in likely to be most helpful to others—and answer them on the air.

a way to garden praised in ‘the guardian’

WRITER SHEILA AVERBUCH named A Way to Garden, the radio show and podcast produced with Robin Hood Radio (the smallest NPR station in the nation), as one of her top-5 garden shows last week. The astonishing thing: the others on the list! Four were BBC-produced, and one’s from the Royal Horticultural Society–meaning I had better get my act together (and perhaps adopt a proper accent for speaking English?) or else a fall from grace is certainly just ahead. Find all five shows to enjoy in this story from “The Guardian.”

Categoriesradio podcasts
    1. margaret says:

      Good question, Carol. I love my “border fork” and a “border spade” (D-grip handle, not too big in either case), my pruners, a strong trowel and a “claw” for cultivation, my long-handled round-point shovel, a bamboo rake…and a hori-hori knife for digging in cracks.

  1. Laurie Lewis says:

    Hi Margaret–my question is what to plant this year in place of impatiens??I had the wilt last year in a big way.It is my understanding that I should wait 5 years before planting them again.I will Really miss that punch of color.

    Here on Nantucket we are probably zone 6b–7a.

    Thank you.

  2. Janet says:

    Margaret, many thanks for the Guardian link with yours as one of the five favorite gardening podcasts. Quite an honor! I was happy to add a few of the others to my gardening podcast lists too…..living in Seattle our climate is very similar to most parts of the British Isles, and I will enjoy the discussions from their angle. You can never have too many garden podcasts!

  3. Irena says:

    For quite some time (half a year, maybe?), I’m not able to enjoy your podcasts, because when streaming from Robin Hood radio, the show starts, but then some kind of “bug” kicks in and it starts repeating, so the show never goes past the first ten minutes of recording – keeps repeating and repeating. Who knew a broken record concept still lives in these digital times? And when I click on the play button (all this from the archives site with the list of all your shows), on the next screen I should be able to see and click on the play icon, but it doesn’t show. I use iPad and iPhone, and haven’t had any luck on both:(.

  4. Margaret- I enjoyed the talk this am in Bridgewater. Where if anyplace can I get some Hylomecon? Great looking plant

    Even though I have professionally designed gardens for years I learned new things today. Thanks!

  5. alison adams-weinberg says:

    I have an umbrella pine, live in copake falls,n.y. and it has developed a vertical line of brown leaves and branches. I had some in the beginning of spring and I thought it was from the rough winter. I trimmed them out of the tree but it has reappeared. It is 6-8 inches in width and the full length of the tree. Any sugguestions or does anyone know what I need to do? I love my tree and I have had it about 3 years.

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