Podcast #6 – Garden Hocus Pocus

Forgive my tardy posting – I spent yesterday traveling from Indianapolis back to Seattle.  I was in Indianapolis for the Garden Writers Association annual meeting and gave a talk on “evidence based garden information.”  It was encouraging to see how many garden writers DO want reliable sources of good gardening science.  And I got to meet Joseph Tychonievich, a frequent commenter on this blog and a PhD student at Michigan State.

Anyway, on to this week’s podcast. The theme is “Garden Hocus Pocus” which just opens the door for so many topics!  I settled on opening with the ancient Greek Doctrine of Signatures and how it’s being used today.  Then I discuss the function of plant alkaloids a bit, since they have historical use in magic and witchcraft.  And the myth of the week is quite similar to the talk I gave at GWA – specifically, how to separate the science from the snake oil.

My interview this week is with plantsman Riz Reyes, who works at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture and collects plants and has a landscaping business and blogs….and he’s not even 30 yet!  My daughter Charlotte came along and took some great photos of Riz’s garden.  (Thanks, Riz, for identifying all the plants here!)


Riz with Cardiocrinum giganteum var. yunnanense at Kew Gardens


Dahlia ‘Weston Spanish Dancer’


Left to Right: Lilium ‘Miss Lucy’, Petasites x hybridus, and Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’


Lilium ‘Magic Star’


Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’


Linda interviewing Riz out of the rain

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!

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors Books: http://www.sustainablelandscapesandgardens.com

5 thoughts on “Podcast #6 – Garden Hocus Pocus”

  1. Glad (and envious) that you got to meet Joseph! He seems like a really cool guy. I love checking in on his blog.

    Thanks for coming by, Linda! It was fun! I’m so thrilled to be a part of a podcast for the very first time.

    Here’s what Charlotte photographed:

    1. Me with Cardiocrinum giganteum var. yunnanense at Kew Gardens.

    2. Dahlia ‘Weston Spanish Dancer’

    3. Left to Right: Lilium ‘Miss Lucy’, Petasites x hybridus, and Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’

    4. Lilium ‘Magic Star’

    5. Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’

    For photos of those two Scheffleras we mentioned, do a search on my

    Flickr Page

  2. Great post with a young and adventurous gardener!
    Always love the information you provide; only science works if you want to try it yourself!

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