Keeping cozy with the latest podcast

Gardeners are spending more time indoors than out this time of year, so this week’s podcast features an interview with Dr. Rita Hummel. Dr. Hummel teaches a course on interior plantscaping and is also an expert on plant cold hardiness.  Here she combines both areas to explain chilling injury on tropical houseplants.


The greenhouse that this plant lives in lost its heating system and is now showing signs of chilling injury.

Comparison of three leaves on the same plant.  In the back is a healthy leaf; in the middle is one with initial signs of damage (bronzed areas on leaf), and in front is a severely injured leaf that has already begun to turn yellow.

The podcast also has a couple of interesting news items on compost safety and treating disease with thermotherapy, and finally a discussion about the wisdom of wound sealants.

Enjoy!  And keep warm!

Last minute advice about Christmas trees and other fun stuff

The next podcast is up and running for your listening pleasure.  I’ve got an interview with Dr. Gary Chastagner, WSU’s Christmas tree expert.  He’ll tell you about his latest research and share some tips for keeping your tree happy and your carpet needle-free.

Here are some photos from Gary’s “dungeon” where he’s been comparing needle retention with some new promising conifer species from other parts of the world:


In the dungeon with Gary Chastagner


What dungeon would be complete without a rack or two?


I know which one I’d choose…

If you are really hard core, here’s a link to some of Dr. Chastagner’s research.  Just look for the Christmas tree heading and click on it.

Winter winners podcast

I got so excited about our live tree hunt (posted yesterday) that I forgot to put up the podcast!  So here it is…Winter Winners.

The interview of the week is at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, with Director Dr. Sarah Reichard.  We visited the Winter Garden, where she (wearing her taxonomy hat) picked out her favorite plants.  They include paperbark maple (Acer griseum)…


(the sun shining through the bark is incredible)

…and contorted hazelnut (Corylus contorta)…


(hard to see, but love the bare twigs)

…and Garrya x issaquahensis

Sierra Exif JPEG
(these most amazing catkins get longer and longer)

…and Rhododendron strigillosum with the coolest bristly petioles:


(a very tidy rhododendron)

As always, I would love questions and suggestions for future podcasts!

Yet another fine podcast

We’re popping out the podcasts like crazy!  This week the theme is “Gifts that keep on giving.” Along with the news tidbits and myth busting, I had a lot of fun interviewing shoppers at some Seattle nurseries.  I started out with two relatively simple questions about gardening gifts, and you’ll enjoy hearing the responses.  There are some great ideas out there! 

As always, feel free to let me know if you’ve got suggestions for future topics.  We’re halfway through Season 2, and I’m collecting spring ideas for Season 3.

Another podcast to chew on along with Thanksgiving leftovers

While our US readers enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays, you can all enjoy this week’s podcast, entitled “Leftovers.”  We discuss good leftovers (transforming orange peels into useful chemicals) and bad leftovers (fertilizer runoff), and then take a trip to an innovative company (Recovery 1) that recycles building demolition materials:


Huge piles of wood, wallboard, and other materials left over from demolition.

The initial sorting process – metals like nails are pulled out, wallboard is separated into components, and wood continues…

…to the end, where it’s chipped into different sizes to create a recycled mulch product.

Discarded carpet awaits separation into components that might eventually be used to help mop up marine oil spills.

All surface water from the site ends up in this detention pond, where it’s filtered and tested before it’s released to the environment.

Be sure to let me know if you have questions about the podcast, or even better if you have ideas for future topics and/or interviewees.

A Thanksgiving Podcast

Round two of Season 2 is up and running!  In keeping with the season, this episode is called “Real Turkeys.”  I talk about some of my least favorite garden products and why they’re on my “turkey” list.

We’ve also brought back Riz Reyes, who’s wearing his horticultural consultant hat in advising my podcasting engineer Shelli at Sky Nursery.  Riz has some great ideas for container gardens that look great during the winter and keep performing the rest of the year, too.

If you haven’t seen it before, be sure to check out Riz’s web page.  There’s a link to some great container gardens that he’s put together.

Please let me know if you’ve got comments or suggestions for future topics and/or interviews.  I can even do Skype interviews, so living in Seattle is not a requirement!