My top five gardening podcasts
Podcasting stole my heart in 2015. After bingeing on Serial and discovering a whole host of brilliant internet radio shows, I had the honour of presenting an award-winning gardening podcast for the Guardian with my colleague Alys Fowler, called Sow, Grow, Repeat. It was so much fun, I learned a lot and I realised that podcasting is a way of reaching a whole new audience.
Sadly Sow, Grow, Repeat doesn't look likely to return (feel free to let the Guardian know if this irks you), so I decided to start a podcast of my very own.
It's called On The Ledge, and it's all about indoor gardening, from growing chillies on a windowsill to that venus fly trap you killed to the spider plant in your kitchen that refuses to die. All the episodes will be available via this site, here, and you can find the first episode on terrariums here. If you prefer to subscribe, you can find On The Ledge on all the usual podcatchers, including iTunes and Stitcher - if it isn't on your podcatcher of choice, let me know and I'll sort it out, pronto. You can also keep up to date by liking my Facebook page.
I am hoping that it'll be a huge hit, of course, but my main message is just this - PODCASTS ROCK! The fact is there are still disappointingly few podcasts about gardening out there. There are a few I'd definitely recommend subscribing to, though. And given that March is #trypod month - a campaign from NPR in the US to encourage podcasters and podcast listeners to spread the word about their favourite listens - I thought I'd point you in the direction of the other gardening podcasts I love.
1. The Sod Show
Peter Donegan must work bloody hard - he manages to work full time as a garden designer, and put out a weekly podcast of the finest calibre.
The Sod Show isn't a practical gardening show - you won't find out how to prune your plums. I have a theory that Peter's thing is origin stories. Every week there's a guest with some kind of horticultural back story, and Peter draws out their tale of their first childhood experiences growing tomato plants or whatever.
It's like sitting in a bar with someone you've just met, shooting the breeze over your beverage of choice (in Peter's case, probably a Guinness as he's Irish). You'll learn something, you'll laugh, you'll be occasionally be baffled, but you'll definitely want to keep listening.
This podcast is a recent add to my subscribe list: it's not a bells-and-whistles affair - no theme music or the like - but it is packed with fascinating interviews and insights about plants of all kinds, all hosted by the affable American Matt.
I don't think I can sum it up better than this podcast's Twitter description: "From the smallest duckweed to the tallest redwood, the botanical world is full of amazing evolutionary stories. In Defense of Plants is here to tell them."
This podcast fronted by Alan Power, garden and estate manager at NT Stourhead in Wiltshire, is as slick as you'd expect from such a big organisation. There are shorter episodes called Garden Cuttings, which cover practical tips for particular plants, plus longer episodes that focus on individual gardens.
Alan's got a confident voice and carries it all off with great aplomb. I think this was an experiment by the National Trust, dipping their toes into the waters of podcasts to see how they go down with their members and others. I for one am looking forward to some more episodes in 2017, right National Trust?
This podcast promises to "bring the Culture to Horticulture", which is music to my ears. Hosts Alice Marcus Krieg and Carmen Devito are garden designers in New York, and they cover a broad range of topics, from gardening practices of the High Line to plant hardiness zones.
This show comes from the Heritage Radio Network, which calls itself "the world’s pioneer food radio station". I'm a new listener to this one but I'm already dipping into the back catalogue with great excitement.
5. Growing Wild
This podcast isn't strictly about gardening, but covers all kinds of ground that gardeners will love, from the impact of neonics on pollinators to foraging.
The presenter Charlotte Petts is a natural and holds the show together really well. Unusually this show also goes out on the radio too, as it's a part of Brighton's Radio Reverb, a not-for-profit radio station.
I hope at least one of these will become a regular fixture in your earbuds, but if I've missed out your favourite gardening podcast, let me know in the comments, or tweet me @janeperrone.