The Plants and Me Podcast

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 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

Learn more about Ellen by visiting:
Facebook: @ellenmarygardening1
Instagram: @ellenmarygardening
Twitter: @EllenMaryGarden


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:


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 GazetteCumbria Life and Living Magazine. He has written for the Garden Design JournalThe 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:



Twitter: @elderfarm

Instagram: @elder_farm


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

If you wish to learn more about Epic Gardening and Kevin’s journey you can visit:



Instagram: @epicgardening


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.


Facebook: newlandsplants

Instagram: @newlandsnursery

Twitter: @newlandsplants