Episode 70: OTL at the RHS London Urban Garden Show

Rob Stacewicz’s bioluminescence installation at the RHS London Urban Garden Show.

Rob Stacewicz’s bioluminescence installation at the RHS London Urban Garden Show.

I normally record On The ledge in my pyjamas with an unwashed face and a mug of tea at ten o’clock at night, so last Friday it was rather a novelty to be at the RHS halls inLondon, it’s rather a fully dressed and mostly clean, with a cocktail in my hand, recording an episode of On The Ledge in front of a live audience.

My guests were Alys Fowler, Birmingham-based gardener, garden writer and author of houseplant book Plant Love, and London-based horticulturist and garden designer Rob Stacewicz, both fellow plant addicts: I talked to Rob about his incredible UV Garden installation at the show showcasing, and finding out what’s on Alys’s plant Christmas list and taking questions from the audience.

Here’s a list of the plants and topics we cover to check out as you listen:

  • In case you are worried: my Begonia luxurians is ok (I think…) but I am going to take some stem cuttings as an insurance policy.

  • The ‘helter skelter’ cactus Alys refers to is Cereus forbesii cv. Spiralis.

  • If you’re not familiar with the chimney pots Alys refers to using as plant stands, check these out.

  • Check out IKEA grow lights here.

  • Here’s that variegated jasmine we talk about - decide for yourself!

  • Rob mentions a bioluminescent plant you can grow as a houseplant - peacock spikemoss, Selaginella uncinata.

  • Begonia maculata ‘Wightii’ is thought to mimic leaf miner damage with its silver spots. What do you think?

  • Rob suggested grouping plants together and underplanting specimen plants, such as a Ficus lyrata with loads of asparagus ferns, and a Philodendron selloum underplanted with bromeliads, Tradescantias and ferns. 

  • My copper watering can is a vintage one from Guernsey Copper Craft dated 1979 but Haws do a modern equivalent.

  • Alys mentioned she is president of the Herb Society - find out more about this here.

  • The air plant seller Rob refers to is Andy’s Air Plants.

Thanks so much to Dario Spagnoli and the RHS for hosting On The Ledge, to my sound person Lisa Hack, to Laeticia Maklouf of the Virgin gardener podcast for working the microphone during the Q&A and to everyone who came along to listen in person.

Question of the week

Anne Wareham wanted to know how the UV filter on her conservatory glass was affecting her houseplants. Texas-based horticulturist Leslie Halleck was on hand to provide an answer.

Want to ask me a question? Tweet @janeperrone, leave a message on my Facebook page or email ontheledgepodcast@gmail.com.

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This week's show featured Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy Drops, An Instrument The Boy Called Happy Day Gokarna and Oh Mallory by Josh Woodward, all licensed under Creative Commons.