Podcast #5 – Selling Sustainability

Everyone (including me) hates how the word “sustainability” has been overused and misused. Yet there are some good concepts associated with the word that can help gardeners make rational decisions about products and practices. This week’s podcast deconstructs sustainability into specific actions that gardeners can easily follow:

  • Discovering and nurturing the natural processes that keep your gardens and landscapes healthy and functional
  • Choosing plants and products wisely to conserve natural resources
  • Creating gardens and landscapes that don’t require constant inputs of packaged fertilizers and pesticides

The podcast illustrates each of these points.  First, there’s a research article that demonstrates the benefits of polyculture in growing vegetables.  Next, there’s a critical look at a website presenting a “Sustainable Garden Starter Kit: 10 Must-Have Products for the New Green Grower.” Lastly I dispel the myth of “instant landscaping”, which is code for “long term disaster.”

The interview this week is on building your own garden pond. Dr. Jim Scott (PhD in horticulture), turns his talents to the plumbing, electrical work, and aesthetic disguises needed to build a really great garden water feature. Lucky for me, he also happens to be my spouse!

Jim and Linda try to figure out how many years it took to do a week long project


…cleverly disguise pump system…

…and filter system

Seasonal guests

Permanent residents (the little orange guys in water)

Please let me know what you think of the podcast; you can email me directly or post a comment on the blog. Suggestions for future podcasts are most welcome!

3 thoughts on “Podcast #5 – Selling Sustainability”

  1. Great podcast. I’m a landscape designer and gardening coach, and I sooooo totally agree that the word sustainability has been overused and misused.

    Yes, I use that word in my practice, but I try to educate about what it REALLY means. And I use words to describe my version of sustainability which are almost almost identical to those you have presented in this podcast.

    I teach a class called ‘Successful Gardening’ which emphasizes some of the same points you made in this podcast, such as:
    do planning and research BEFORE planting (or even buying) the first plant; and being concerned with plants living a long
    time rather than just a short while.

    Boy was I overjoyed to hear you say many of the same things I say!

    And I, too, have issues with these design shows that preach (and seem to demonstrate) that you can have it all… instantly.

    In the garden, short-term gratification rarely leads to long-term satisfaction… IMHO. And don’t even get me going about doing maintenance!!!

    From a fellow WA state Master Gardener (Clark County), thanks for the good work you do.

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