Cultivating Place

When you hear the phrase "gardens of the wild, wild west," what comes to mind? For gardener, author and radio host Mary Ann Newcomer of Boise, Idaho, there’s a long history of intrepid plants, gardens and gardeners that come before her — from the first peoples to the settlers who traveled West as pioneers in the 1800s. On Cultivating Place this week, Mary Ann (AKA The Dirt Diva on the Boise radio waves) shares some of the lessons that we might learn from these histories of plants and plants people no matter where we garden. Join us!

Leslie Bennett is a garden designer of both English and Jamaican descent working out of Oakland, CA. With a Jamaican-born husband, a two year old son, and knowledgeable, passionate views about the importance of cultural heritage, on cultivating Place this week, Leslie shares her journey navigating the marriage of beauty, function, cultural property and the radical activism of gardening. Join us!

Late summer is fire season in the American West. A part of life.

This week Cultivating Place speaks with Gary Ferguson, author of "Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West," a collection of scientific lectures about wildfire, which at their best serve as a window into the larger issue of our relationship to the natural world.

In my experience, no home and garden are just perfect. And yet, they are just right if we bring the right perspective. Author and gardener Marianne Willburn shares this belief and she joins Cultivating Place this week to share more about her own gardening journey, and lessons learned from her book Big Dreams, Small Gardens. In this life, we might be tempted to wait to plant our garden until we think we are in just the right space, Marianne urges us to reconsider this and to just get out there and do it. Now. Plant your garden now, no matter where you are. Join us for this lively conversation about the human impulse to garden. 

This week on Cultivating Place we hear the next in our series of Dispatches from the Home Garden, this time from a north Seattle neighborhood where artist, gardener and aspiring vermicompost farmer Emily Wilkins tends to composting worms, awkward old maidens of shrubs. She starts and ends her days in the garden with in the company of family and some of her favorite friends – the plants, the worms and all manner of winged insects. Among them, she finds relief, satisfaction, joy and that at at the end of the day having your hands in the dirt is the very best part. Join us!

This week on Cultivating Place we’re joined by Uk based garden designer Jinny Blom, whose new book is entitled “The Thoughtful Gardener: an intelligent approach to garden design”. After 17 years and more than 250 gardens designed around the globe, Jinny shares with us her thoughtful, creative, musical and heartfelt perspective and process. Join us!

Jennifer Jewell

In life, there are generalists and there are specialists. This week on Cultivating Place, we’re speaking with botanist Dr. Ben Grady about his work with ornamental buckwheats and the upcoming Eriogonum Society conference in Weed, California.

It is full on summer. Perhaps you are in the very middle of summer holidays here at mid-July. If you are like me, there is a special anticipation to the books of summer we choose to companion us on holiday, at least one of which has to be a garden book. The world of garden writing includes lushly photographed coffee table books, how-to books and garden literature, among others. 

This week on Cultivating Place, a conversation with a home gardener who has moved not just gardens, but continents and hemispheres. As we just reached the height of sunlight with our summer solstice, she eased into her winter. She shares a gardening story of learning, community and adaptability. Pen Pender is a gardener, mother, wife, voracious reader, community activist, bee keeper, cook and novice potter living near Mt. Macedon in Victoria, Australia.

Photos courtesy of Floret Flower Farm.

 

Next week – June 28 to July 4 – our country is celebrating American Flowers Week, celebrating American-grown flowers in 50 states. In celebration, Debra Prinzing, the founder of what’s known as the Slow Flowers LLC — who we interviewed last July — has organized a Slow Flowers Summit in Seattle, Washington on Sunday, July 2. There will be speakers and activities – shared food, shared flowers and shared philosophy. It’s been called a TED Talk day for flower lovers. For more information on the summit, please visit Jewellgarden.com for links. 

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