We are doing some spring cleaning!
If you are looking for this weeks episode...Which you should be, it is over on our blogs page.
Welcome to the Plants and Me podcast. A weekly podcast where we talk to the people behind the plants who share their experiences and tips. Each week we speak to gardeners, horticulturalists, designers, product makers and everything in between.
Episode 40. The Plants and Me Podcast with Rob from 7 Pot Club
Happy New Year everyone and welcome to our first episode of 2020! Joining us this week is Rob Coleman from 7 Pot Club and like myself, Rob has a passion for chillies and has loved hot food from a young age. In this episode you’ll learn about how Rob’s passion for chillies began, the variety of chillies he grows in his front yard and how he preserves chillies and makes his own chilli sauces.
Learn more about Rob and 7 Pot Club by visiting:
YouTube: 7 Pot Club
Episode 39. The Plants and Me Podcast with Jan from Organic Edible Garden
Joining us on our last episode of 2019 is Jan McIntosh from Organic Edible Garden and she joins us all the way from New Zealand. Jan created ‘The Palmers Garden Show’ which is a long-running television series in prime-time, and we discuss about her experiences as a television director and producer as well as her experiences in horticulture and organic gardening.
Learn more about Jan and Organic Edible Garden by visiting:
Episode 38. The Plants and Me Podcast with John from Backyard Eden
Joining us on our last episode before Christmas is John from Backyard Eden and John discusses about his small urban farm and his inspirations for growing as much as he can. John runs the Backyard Eden blog where he shares experiences growing on his urban homestead, along with some great tips to inspire others to grow their own food.
Learn more about John and his homestead experiences by visiting:
YouTube: Backyard Eden
I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who continuously listen to The Plants and Me Podcast each week. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year!
Episode 37. The Plants and Me Podcast with Plant Daddy
On the podcast this week we’re joined by avid house plant growers, Matthew and Stephen from Seattle who run the Plant Daddy Podcast. We had a great discussion about their passion for house plants and they share some great advice about how to get into growing house plants and caring for them. This is a brilliant episode for house plant lovers and for those who are keen to start growing them.
Learn more about Plant Daddy and their great podcast by visiting:
Episode 36. The Plants and Me Podcast with Richard from Sharpen Your Spades
Richard Chivers joins us this week and we had a brilliant chat about his passion for growing fruit and vegetables on his family allotment and he also shares some brilliant tips on how best to approach an overgrown allotment you’ve taken on. Richard runs his blog, Sharpen Your Spades where he writes about his allotment progress, his gardening knowledge and his passion for food and cooking. This is a great episode for anyone who’s keen to take on an allotment or is passionate about growing fruit and vegetables.
Learn more about Richard by visiting:
YouTube: Sharpen Your Spades
Episode 35. The Plants and Me Podcast with Debra Lee Baldwin
We chat about all things succulents with the succulent expert, Debra Lee Baldwin. An author of three bestselling books, Debra has contributed to various garden magazines, including Sunset, Better Homes & Gardens Garden Design and is a presenter at a range of venues such as the Epcot Centre, the Cactus and Succulent Society of America convention, botanical gardens, universities and horticultural groups across America. In this episode you’ll learn about Debra’s experiences writing for Sunset magazine, how to grow succulents outdoors and she shares some brilliant tips on growing and collecting succulents.
Learn more about Debra by visiting:
YouTube: Debra Lee Baldwin
Episode 34. The Plants and Me Podcast with Scott Wilson
Gardening is a brilliant outdoor activity and encouraging children to get into gardening can be an enjoyable hobby filled with education and creativity. Scott Wilson joins us on the podcast this week to discuss about his life in horticulture and his experiences in teaching children how to garden.
Learn more about Scott by visiting:
YouTube: Gardener Scott
Episode 33. The Plants and Me Podcast with Ross Minton
Joining us this week is Ross Minton from Grow Your Own Life. Ross vlogs about disability and his allotment growing and in this episode, Ross discusses how gardening has made a positive impact on his life and how it can do the same to others. You’ll also learn how to make the most of gardening and being in touch with nature if you have a small garden, or no garden at all. I really enjoyed chatting with Ross and I hope you enjoy listening to this episode.
You can learn more about Ross by visiting:
YouTube: Grow Your Own Life
Episode 32. The Plants and Me Podcast with Simeon from Swedish Homestead
I chat to Simeon from Swedish Homestead who discusses his homesteading journey with us and shares his advice for people who want to become a homesteader. Simeon also talks about how Joel Salatin inspired him and how he even went out to Virginia to visit Joel to spend some time with him on his farm. Joel Salatin is a farmer from Polyface Farm in Virginia, and you can learn more about Joel here.
If you’re interested in homesteading, you don’t want to miss Simeon’s tips on where to start for beginners in this episode! Check out Simeon’s videos and his homesteading journey by visiting:
YouTube: Swedish Homestead
Episode 31. The Plants and Me Podcast with George Williams
We get all techy this week with George Williams, the CEO of SmartPlant. SmartPlant is a plant identification & care app which identifies plants with a photo and provides simple monthly care advice to ensure your plants stay green and healthy. In this episode you’ll learn how SmartPlant began, how it works, why it’s a must-have app for all plant lovers and how it is helping the plant retail ecosystem.
Learn more about SmartPlant by visiting:
Episode 30. The Plants and Me Podcast with Rob Woodhouse
This week we chat about all things landscaping with Rob Woodhouse, the managing director of Solent Garden Services. The business was set up by his dad and Rob discusses the history of the business and explains his experiences in working with gardens and how they have interestingly evolved over the years. We even come onto the very controversial subject about artificial grass…
Learn more about Rob and Solent Garden Services by visiting:
Episode 29. The Plants and Me Podcast with Mark Valencia
Joining us on the podcast is Mark Valencia from Self Sufficient Me. Mark has always had a passion for self-sufficiency and it wasn’t until he retired from his military career that he decided to start a more self-sufficient, healthier lifestyle by growing as much produce as possible to supplement a single income.
Mark encourages people to become more self-sufficient through his blog where he teaches people about organic gardening and realistic self-sufficient living and focuses on growing our own produce, looking after our mental and physical health and our environmental footprint.
Learn more about Mark and his self-sufficient living by visiting:
YouTube: Self-Sufficient Me
Episode 28. The Plants and Me Podcast with Lizzie Dean
Lizzie Dean joins us this week to share her allotment journey and how she lives zero waste, not only throughout her home but also in her allotment. If you’re not sure what zero waste means, it’s using products that are recyclable, renewable and creates minimal waste for landfills. She also discusses about accessible gardening and shares her tips on how to make gardening possible when living with a disability.
When she’s not busy in her allotment, Lizzie spends her time making how-to videos on her YouTube channel where she shares some great life hacks and tips to living zero waste.
Learn more about Lizzie by visiting
YouTube: Lizzie Dean Makes
Episode 27. The Plants and Me Podcast with Michael Perry
We’re very excited to have Michael Perry, also known as Mr Plant Geek, join us this week. Michael has been in the horticultural industry for many years, previously working at Thompson and Morgan and helping them win a range of awards, as well as getting involved with TV and radio having appeared on QVC, This Morning, The Alan Titchmarsh Show and The One Show.
Michael has introduced hundreds of plants to the UK and this has been one of his main activities during his career. Some of these plants include Climbing Pelargoniums, Ground Cover Lilies, TomTato and was also involved in getting the UK to grow Goji berries.
Learn more about Michael and check out his awesome social media pages:
Episode 26. The Plants and Me Podcast with Daniel from Home Gardens
Are you looking to optimise the size of your garden? This week we’re joined by Daniel from Home Gardens who uses his YouTube channel show you what you can achieve in a small garden. Perfect for those who are in need of some gardening inspiration! This is useful for so many of us now that gardens are unfortunately getting smaller and smaller and Daniel demonstrates what can be achieved for many gardeners with a small space, mainly focusing on fruit and vegetable growing.
Learn more about Daniel and check out his videos by visiting:
YouTube: Home Gardens
Episode 25. The Plants and Me Podcast with Hellah Sidibe
Hellah Sidibe joins us on the podcast to discuss his vegan diet and how it has changed his life. Hellah is a vegan athlete who has ran every day since 13th May 2017 (and is still going!) and he explains how his plant-based diet has made this possible, as well as sharing some tips on where people should start if they want to become vegan.
Hellah shares his running progress on his YouTube channel and shares many running tips where he aims to inspire and change people’s lives. Such an inspiring episode and it’s a great listen for those who enjoy running and sports, or for those who are thinking of becoming vegan.
Learn more about Hellah by visiting:
Episode 24. The Plants and Me Podcast with Joe Lamp'l
This week we’re joined by Joe Lamp'l, also known as Joe Gardener, all the way from Atlanta. Joe is an organic gardener and has a passion for teaching people how to garden. He has been teaching people everything you need to know about gardening as a TV host on 3 national gardening shows and is currently the host of the national television show, Growing a Greener World.
As well as his TV shows, Joe enjoys teaching people how to garden through his YouTube channel where he teaches about organic gardening and how to be a better, smarter gardener. You can learn something new each week with Joe’s very helpful how-to videos.
Learn more about Joe and his gardening videos by visiting:
Episode 23. The Plants and Me Podcast with Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson from Any Pond joins us this week to discuss all things pond related and shares more about his passion for ponds and wildlife, specifically aquatic wildlife. Any Pond is a water garden design specialist company based in the Midlands and Mark and his team have travelled across the globe to help other pond contractors, including Europe, North America and Mexico.
To Learn more about Mark check out the links below.
Youtube: The Pond Advisor
Instagram : @thepondadvisor
Episode 22. The Plants and Me Podcast with Kaye Kittrell
This week on the podcast we’re joined by Kaye Kittrell, an actress, photographer and gardener. Kaye has performed in theatre, film and TV including Cheers, Gilmore Girls and Saturday Night Live. As well as featuring in over 100 commercials, Kaye has also written and directed two award-winning short films.
In 2012 Kaye created Late Bloomer, which is an award-winning urban garden web show where you can learn how to grow food from her Los Angeles garden, as well as learn some useful organic gardening tips. Kaye loves nothing more than to visit fans across the globe and she shares these journeys on her Late Bloomer show. She embarked on a trip to Europe a couple of years ago where she garden hopped in the UK, Netherlands and Germany, before attending the Die Seriale Web Fast in Giessen where Late Bloomer was a nominee. You can watch these videos here.
To learn more about Kaye and to check out her Late Bloomer show, visit the links below:
YouTube: Kaye Kittrell
Episode 21. The Plants and Me Podcast with Gary Pilarchik
This week we’re joined by Gary Pilarchik from The Rusted Garden all the way from Maryland, America. Gary is a keen tomato and vegetable gardener, which he dedicates his YouTube channel to. For the past 6 years Gary has also been using his YouTube channel to teach gardening to people. Not only will you learn about vegetable growing, you can also learn about the construction of the whole garden, which consists of planting, seed starting, harvesting, disease and pest management, as well as different ways to cook.
Check out Gary’s YouTube channel and learn more about him by visiting:
YouTube: Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden)
Episode 20. The Plants and Me Podcast with Mark Lang
Mark Lang from Thrive joins us on the podcast this week to talk about how Thrive uses gardening to help bring positive change to people’s lives. Thrive is a charity and for 40 years they have been using social therapeutic horticulture and gardening to support and work with a range of people, such as people with ill health and disabilities, by using plants and gardens to improve their physical and mental health, communication and thinking skills.
Thrive work across their three sites in London, Reading and Birmingham and have a brilliant volunteering programme, with over 250 volunteers working across their sites and are always looking for people to get involved. If you’re interested in volunteering for Thrive, you can contact them at email@example.com
Learn more about Thrive and how you can help by visiting:
YouTube: Thrive Charity
Episode 19. The Plants and Me Podcast with Gary the Gardener
This week we’re joined by Sharon from Gary the Gardener, which is a children’s entertainment, inspirational and educational YouTube channel. Sharon and her brother, John come from an entertainment background and they both created the Gary the Gardener character when they were touring around schools to promote healthy eating to children.
Last month, Sharon and John launched the Gary the Gardener YouTube channel to continue to promote healthy eating and educate children about fruit and vegetables, as well teaching them letters, numbers, shapes and colours whilst interacting with plants. This has already been a huge success as they’ve received 10,000 views in their first month!
To learn more about Sharon and Gary the Gardener, check out the links below:
YouTube: Gary the Gardener
Episode 18. The Plants and Me Podcast with Kevin Dutton
Joining us this week is Kevin Dutton, a photographer who produces photographic prints of plants and flowers grown in his garden and allotment. This week Kevin won a gold medal at the RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show at the RHS Lindley Hall in London. He also recently displayed his work at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show and has had his work displayed at art shows in Stockholm, Manchester, London and New York.
During his photography career Kevin has worked for The RHS, Observer, Independent on Sunday, BBC, Channel 4 and many more. Earlier this year Kevin ran a botanical photography workshop at the Victoria and Albert Museum and if this is something you’d be interested in doing, then check out his weekend course at West Dean College, Sussex from 30th August to 1st September.
If you’d like to learn more about Kevin and check out his work, visit his website and social media below. We highly recommend you check out his galleries!
Episode 17. The Plants and Me Podcast with Alexandra Campbell
An author, journalist and an avid blogger for The Middle-Sized Garden. An award-winning UK top 10 Garden Blog, The Middle-Sized Garden blog provides useful information and inspiration for other middle-size garden owners and writes about everything from low maintenance garden pots to garden trends.
Alexandra also provides blogging/writing coaching by providing one-to-ones and workshops. She has also helped people get started as authors and in the last year, three of the people who Alexandra coached have had their books published by mainstream publishers.
Take a look at some of Alexandra’s fantastic advice and get some inspiration for your middle-sized garden by visiting:
YouTube: The Middle-Sized Garden
Episode 16. The Plants and Me Podcast with Tanya Anderson
Tanya Anderson is an organic gardener; soap maker and beekeeper and she joins us on the podcast this week to discuss all things skincare with her soap making and plant-based beauty products she makes.
Born in America but now living in the Isle of Man, Tanya runs a blog called Lovely Greens where she shares gardening tips, plant-based beauty and soap recipes and DIY projects you can do at home. She sells her products direct as well to various local shops on the Isle of Man and has a very popular bees wax lip balm which she sends all over the world.
Tanya will be featuring on Gardener’s World this week and if you’re watching it at the moment, you’ll know that Francis has a new allotment and has been visiting allotments around the country to get inspiration for her own space and she takes a visit to Tanya as she’s very interested in growing plants for skincare and medicine.
Check out Tanya’s amazing blogs and learn more about her by visiting:
YouTube: Lovely Greens
Episode 15. The Plants and Me Podcast with Charles Dowding
This week we’re joined by Charles Dowding, an author, vegetable grower and the guru of no dig gardening. Charles’ gardening journey began when he left university in 1981 and by 1982, he was creating a 6000m2 market garden and since then has established and run four market gardens in two countries, all of which use the no dig approach.
Charles has featured on the Gardeners’ World programme and frequently provides talks to individuals and groups, as well as providing courses where you can learn how to grow all kinds of fruits and vegetables with less effort.
With his expertise in no dig, Charles has written nine books on no dig and regularly writes for national and international magazines, as well as appearing on TV and radio. Take a listen to this episode to learn more about his weed free no dig methods and achieve amazing and time saving results.
Learn more about Charles and no dig by visiting:
YouTube: Charles Dowding
Facebook: Charles Dowding
Episode 14. The Plants and Me Podcast with Chillichump
Joining us this week is chilli grower Shaun, AKA Chillichump. Shaun first started growing chillies in his home country in South Africa and his craze started in 2006 when the ghost pepper was making headlines. Shaun also makes his own chilli sauces and is always experimenting with different recipes, which he shares on his YouTube channel by recording the process. Shaun combines his love of technology with his gardening and you’ll learn all about how he automates the drip irrigation, air circulation and heating/cooling and more on his YouTube channel.
This is a great episode for all you chilli lovers! Check out Chillichump by visiting:
Episode 13. The Plants and Me Podcast with Lisa Cutcliffe
Lisa runs Edulis Wild Food (which means edible in Latin) where she runs wild food walks and a range of foraging courses including identifying, using, fermenting, preserving and cooking. With 15 years’ experience of picking wild fungi, fruits, flowers and foliage, Lisa has impressively taught herself all her foraging knowledge.
Her whole journey as a wild food specialist started by finding out one tiny fact… porcini mushrooms grow in the UK. Lisa was totally amazed as she had bought a pack the day before and thought they were a fancy mushroom from Italy. Since then she has been on some *ahem* wild adventures discovering and learning about wild foods.
If you want to see what Lisa gets up to on her foraging adventures, check her out at:
Episode 12. The Plants and Me Podcast with Gennaro Brooks-Church
Gennaro is an American green builder and artist living in New York City. Led by Gennaro is the artistic green contracting and design firm, Eco Brooklyn which is recognised by the National Association of Green Builders and LEED AP. Gennaro uses his firm to turn New York green by creating living walls which not only enhances the aesthetics of living spaces, but also improves the environment and the quality of life of all living creatures. Living walls are a great way for people to grow plants, including fruit and vegetables, up a wall as opposed to in the ground.
The Eco Brooklyn Team have handled many green buildings, including green roofs, natural swimming pools and a large range of projects using salvaged non-toxic materials. They also specialise in soil remediation which they do mostly for brownstone owners who have high lead levels in their gardens, therefore, helping to make New York a greener and healthier place.
We really recommend you check out Gennaro’s pages just for the visuals! Learn more about Gennaro and Eco Brooklyn below:
Episode 11. The Plants and Me Podcast with Jane Perrone
A lover of all things house plants, Jane is a presenter and producer of indoor gardener podcast On The Ledge and a freelance journalist who specialises in plants and gardening. She writes for a range of publications and regularly has her work published in The Guardian, The Financial Times, Gardens Illustrated and Garden Design Journal.
Jane’s background in news journalism started when she worked in local newspapers for more than 20 years, then joined The Guardian as a reporter online and worked her way up to an online news desk editor. Soon after she became the gardening editor at The Guardian and left in 2017 to become fully freelance.
In between her writing and producing, Jane regularly gives talks to gardening groups and societies and gives interviews on radio and gardening podcasts.
This is a great episode if you’re a house plant lover like Jane. Learn more about Jane by visiting:
Episode 10. The Plants and Me Podcast with Iulia Barta
Growing up in Romania, Iulia Barta has always had a passion for learning about nature and the positive effects that medicinal plants can have on people’s lives. Natural remedies are a huge part of the Romanian culture and she explains in this episode how she was a sick child and talks about her first experience of being treated by a medical herbalist. Naturally, this led to her moving to the UK to study Western herbal medicine at the University of Westminster.
Since then, Iulia has helped and treated a number of people suffering with a range of conditions. She has also joined The National Institute of Medical Herbalists, which is the UK’s leading professional body representing herbal practitioners.
This is a great episode for those who want to learn more about medicinal herbs or for those who are seeking a medical herbalist.
Click here to view Iulia’s Golden Paste recipe mentioned in this episode.
Learn more about Iulia:
Episode 9. The Plants and Me Podcast with David Hurrion
David has become a popular figure in the horticultural world and is well respected for his knowledge by nurserymen, professional gardeners, journalists and the gardening public. Discovering his love of gardening as a child, David has now been growing plants for more than 40 years.
Growing on a range of different soils and regions in the country, David has worked in many gardens and nurseries and has discovered different plants and gardens around the world. In fact, he has travelled to every continent except for Antarctica.
After training as a teacher, David has taught a range of subjects, including botany, soil science, garden design and plant identification. He currently teaches courses and masterclasses around the UK and is also a very popular speaker with local gardening groups.
David has also spent over 20 years writing and editing for the nation’s crop of garden magazines and websites and most recently, the Deputy and then Associate Editor for BBC’s Gardener’s World Magazine.
Check out the below links to learn more about David:
YouTube: David Hurrion
Episode 8. The Plants and Me Podcast with Ellen Mary
Recently listed in the Top 5 Women Influencers in Horticulture by Grow Your Own Magazine, Ellen has had a passion for gardening since she was child where she enjoyed her parents’ Norfolk kitchen garden and learning organic gardening methods from her uncle.
Since then she’s been busy writing gardening content, hosting a horticultural radio show on Future Radio, as well as TV presenting and travelling the world providing talks about gardening and growing your own food where she aims to promote how nature and gardening can benefit our well-being. And not to mention having also appearing on BBC Countryfile, Mustard TV and has filmed with the Royal Horticultural Society.
In between all of that, Ellen runs many events across the country for Grapes Hill Community Garden and is also the Horticultural Co-Ordinator for the Royal Norfolk Show, Patron of Filby Gardening Club and found of No Fear Gardening.
The Plant Based Podcast is Ellen’s latest project which she hosts with Michael (Mr Plant Geek). You can listen to this podcast fortnightly via iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube and other platforms by visiting www.theplantbasedpodcast.net
Learn more about Ellen by visiting:
Episode 7. The Plants and Me Podcast with Lee Connelly
Joining us on the podcast this week is Lee Connelly, also known as The Skinny Jean Gardener. Specialising in children’s gardening, Lee is the co-founder of The Skinny Jean Gardener and is best known for his work as the CBBC Blue Peter Gardener.
Lee’s interest in garden started in 2014 when he began gardening on a local allotment with his brother, learning his new hobby through social media. Later, he moved onto TV’s Jimmy Doherty’s farm to build a new kitchen garden for his restaurant and during this time he got involved with Jamie Oliver’s food revolution.
Back in 2015, a year later he discovered his new hobby, Lee travelled to Japan to build a Kids Show Garden. Since then Lee enjoys getting involved with designing and building children’s gardens and his ideas incorporated in the design have been tried and tested by his daughter.
To learn more about Lee, visit:
Facebook: Lee Connelly
YouTube: Skinny Jean Gardener
Episode 6. The Plants and Me Podcast with David Stevens
In this episode we’re joined by David Stevens who’s a garden designer with over 40 years’ experience. David has worked on a wide range of gardens around the world, including the legendary Bobbie Moore’s garden and has become one of the best-known designers around.
David originally trained as a landscape architect and went on to be offered the first Chair of Garden Design at Middlesex University. He then pioneered garden design on the BBC television series Gardens by Design, followed by Gardenwise and continues to broadcast around the world.
Since then David has grabbed an impressive collection of medals including 26 medals and 3 Best Garden in Show awards at the Chelsea Flower Show, 3 gold medals at the Hampton Court International Flower Show and Best Garden in Show Awards at Shizuoka and Hamamatsu in Japan, just to name a few.
If you want to learn more about landscape and garden design, David is the person to go to! His amazing knowledge has led him to become an author of 21 books and contributes to a wide range of publications at home and abroad.
To learn more about David please visit:
Episode 5. The Plants and Me Podcast with Catherine Chenery.
On this weeks episode I am joined by Catherine Chenery an award wining garden designer and we chat all things garden design.
P.S this is a fab episode if you have a small garden and aren't sure where to start with from a design point of view.
A Bit about Catherine Chenery.
Catherine is a garden designer and botanical stylist. She has a history in art, as well as a life long love for plants and gardening. In 2013 Catherine graduated from the London College of Garden Design with a distinction.
Catherine designs her gardens with a holistic approach. Having a strong focus on the demands of the space and the needs of the client. Her design style is soft planting contrasted with contemporary landscaping. She pays special attention to how her clients garden will be used and the styles they enjoy. The aim is to create a garden that is both beautiful and practical, making it an excellent addition to the clients home.
Catherine has worked on a range of different gardens that come in all sizes. Everything from urban roof terraces to large country gardens. Every garden needs a specific approach to create the desired outcome.
At the RHS Hampton Court Palace flower show in 2015, Catherine was awarded the People’s Choice Award. She collaborated with horticulturist Barbara Harfleet to create a show garden for the Rare Chromosome Disorder Society.
If you want to find out more about Catherine and her work check out these links:
Episode 4. The Plants and Me Podcast with Jay and Dave from the Clifton Chilli Club
On today's podcast I am joined by Jay and Dave from the Clifton Chilli Club. We chat all things chilli.
As I mention in the intro I had a few technical issues during the interview but we can hear Jay and Dave with no issues at all which is the most important bit.
A Bit about the Clifton Chilli Club
Created during 2009 and is a not for profit organisation based in Bristol, UK. It began with four friends who enjoy chillies. After they visited Sea Spring Seeds in Dorset, UK. They were amazed at the variety of chillies that are grown there.
Since 2009, the chilli club has gained a huge following. They have travelled the world and taken part in many chilli events across the UK, Europe and the USA. Clifton Chilli club is well known for running chilli eating contests across the UK. Their contests have taken place in front of crowds of up to 20,000 people. They are also so popular that many of the contests have bookings of up to a year or more in advance.
Social media has been a great outlet for the club, as they now have 340,000+ subscribes on YouTube and tens of thousands of followers across Facebook, Instagram and twitter. The guys say social media has help them grow so much. They frequently release videos, images and information on chillies, the club and their competitions.
Make sure you follow them for all things chilli and check out there website too.
Episode 3. The Plants and Me podcast with Tom from Abi & Tom's Garden Plants
A bit about Tom and Abi & Tom's Garden Plants
Abi started propagating plants in her parents' Cumbrian garden from a young age and clearly had a flair for working with seedlings or cuttings and cajoling them into pots where they would flourish. The growing of our plants is down to Abi and her team. Abi will constantly scour plant catalogues and look out for exciting new introductions that she feels the nursery and garden should include.
Tom also started working with plants in his parents' garden but working in a traditional Cumbrian nursery galvanised this passion. He formally trained at Edinburgh and Kew before taking on formal head gardener posts in the Lake District and Lancashire. After a short spell lecturing at Newton Rigg College in Penrith and at the Lakeland Horticultural Society in Ambleside, the opportunity to take on the site at Halecat with Abi presented itself. Tom runs the design side of the business and jointly manages the garden and display areas with Abi. Tom writes regularly for the Westmorland Gazette, Cumbria Life and Living Magazine. He has written for the Garden Design Journal, The Garden (RHS) and Gardens Illustrated.
If you wish to find out more information about Helen’s and Stuart’s Elder Farm then please visit:
Episode 2. The Plants and Me podcast with Helen from Elder Farm
This week on the Plants and Me podcast we are joined by Helen Kearney from Elder Farm. As a Medical Herbalist Helen gives a fascinating insight into what both her and Stuart (Helen’s Husband) do and what exactly a Medical Herbalist is!
Plus, Helen gives you another good reason (besides the obvious) to be digging dandelions out of your lawn.
A bit about Helen and Elder Farm
Helen lives with her husband Stuart at Elder Farm which they moved to in 2015. The farm is located in Devon and is approximately 5 and half acres in size. Elder Farm is organic and is the Ecological Co-operative’s first UK site. The farm is mainly used for growing medicinal herbs which is achieved by permaculture principles, this year they will also be making their own honey. The farm has a wide range of learning opportunities for visitors in the UK and abroad. Helen is a medical herbalist that trained at the University of East London and graduated in 2012 with a BSc, this qualification is very similar to a medical degree but all medication prescribed is plant based. She has been in practice since then.
Helen first became interested in growing and using herbs medicinally and being outside from her grandmother. Helen has two clinic spaces in the local towns to her farm, which is in Wellington, Somerset and Tiverton, Devon. Plenty of pharmaceutical medication started off originally as herbs. For example Fox Glove, Digitalis and Willow. Aspirin was first discovered in Willow by scientists. A medical herbalist can treat a wide range of problems naturally such as sleeplessness, raise blood pressure, shingles, digestive issues and many more. Everything prescribed by Helen and Stuart is plant based, which can come in forms like liquids, creams and teas, they also make cold pressed soaps. They will work alongside any medications that a patient may be taking.
Both Helen and Stuart are trained to look at possible interactions between plant based medication and pharmaceutical medication and vice versa. Elder Farm has a Summer school that takes place in June, where people can come and learn how to make herbal medicines for themselves. They also do other courses throughout the year. This year they are doing an open day with their two neighbours, this allows any visitors to view three plots on one trip. The date for this is to be confirmed. The Summer school is 5 days a week, Monday to Friday from the 24th June to 28th June. They teach you about cultivated and wild herbs and what different medicines you can make with them. They also do natural cream and soap making. By the time you leave you will have all the knowledge and skills to make your own herbal first aid kit. This school can be pre booked.
If you wish to find out more information about Helen’s and Stuart’s Elder Farm then please visit:
Episode 1 The Plants and Me Podcast with Kevin Espiritu
Our first guest on the Plants&Me Podcast is Kevin Espiritu from Epic Gardening, based in San Diego, USA. I first discovered Kevin through his Instagram account (@epicgardening) which has over 100k followers. Through his social media platforms, Kevin gives an excellent range of different gardening tips.
Kevin began gardening as a hobby in 2011 at the age of roughly 23 and began his website around the same time. Since that time, Epic Gardening has reached millions of people, over 100 countries and inspired many gardeners of all levels. His next goal is to help 10 million people around the world learn how to grow plants!
Epic Gardening is a great place if you want to learn about both edible and ornamental plants. There is plenty of information on growing your own food, gardening techniques such as hydroponic and aquaponic, how to prevent killing houseplants and removing garden pests, diseases and problems.
Kevin is very interested in urban gardening techniques. He first set up was a hydroponics at his then small condo. He says that back then he didn’t have the space for a soil garden, so he had to improvise. He built all different types of hydroponic systems as he became ever more intrigued about gardening. Ultimately his friends and family became very interested in how Kevin was able to grow edible and ornamental plants in such a small space. He soon realised the lack of information on gardening/plants out there was frustrating, so he decided to change that. He aims to put out the highest quality information and tips for anyone interested.
Kevin and Epic Gardening have some exciting months ahead in 2019. On May 7th of this year they will be releasing their first book! Its called ‘Field Guide to Urban Gardening’. The book contains a whole plethora of gardening techniques such as Green Thumb Basics, 6 different gardening methods, growing problems, indoor edibles and more. If you are a beginner then this book has so much knowledge to help you get started! You can now pre-order this book and for UK customers, Kevin will also send you a free digital version. The book can be found at https://www.epicgardening.com/book/.
If you wish to learn more about Epic Gardening and Kevin’s journey you can visit:
YouTube: Epic Gardening
Click here to listen to Kevin’s Podcast
Episode 0 The Plants and Me podcast. Welcome along.
The Plants and Me podcast is presented to you by Alan Lodge from Newlands Nursery.
This is going to be a weekly podcast where Alan will discuss plants and gardening topics with various guest speakers.
This podcast is going to be about the people and their passion for plants. People who make a living from growing plants, gardening and using plants for their product.
Alan has been involved with plants all his life. Newlands Nursery was founded over 65 years ago by his grandparents. The nursery has been in the Lodge family since it's creation and Alan began taking part when he was about 20 years old.
During our weekly episodes we hope to bring you plenty of tips and tricks about plant growing and gardening.
As well as discussing plant topics with the people on our show, we will also be discussing the lead up to flower shows such as the Chelsea Flower Show. We will discuss what has gone right, wrong and everything in between here at Newlands Nursery to the lead up of these shows.
This brief episode is to introduce you to our new podcast. Next week we will have a first guest speaker.
We would love you to subscribe to our podcast. We can not wait to hear your thoughts and if we need to improve on anything.
There are plenty of ways to contact us on the links below.