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A WAY TO GARDEN is the horticultural incarnation of Margaret Roach
360 Episodes
Today we’re going to do some multiplication, as in: make more shrubs, thanks to a lesson in propagating favorites like Hydrangea or elderberry or Physocarpus and more, courtesy of our friend and regular guest, Ken Druse. Ready to learn the... Read More ›
  Looking around the garden as some of spring’s show off shrubs and perennials fade, I realized how glad I am that I made room for some garden-sized trees too. Not too big and not too small, and the best... Read More ›
Environmentalist and best-selling author, Jonathan Drori, says that for him, plant science is fascinating, but it’s truly enlivened when it’s entwined with human history and culture. In his new book, “Around the World in 80 Plants,” the followup to his... Read More ›
Ken Druse and I are putting a new spin on weeding by giving it a new name: treasure hunting. Maybe the incessant, relentless nature of all those naughty things that keep popping up around the garden beds will be softened... Read More ›
  One dimension of my friendship with today’s guest is a years-long ongoing barter. She shares her cooking expertise with me and my extended family, and I give Alexandra Stafford and her husband gardening advice. It’s a pretty sweet deal,... Read More ›
  I just read a book that filled me with wonder and awe. Now, would it startle you to hear that it was a book about wasps? Don’t cringe and turn away; listen as I talk to entomologist Eric Eaton,... Read More ›
It’s Trillium Week the first week of May at Garden In The Woods, the headquarters of Native Plant Trust in Framingham, Massachusetts, the nation’s oldest plant conservation organization with more than a century of history. Well, with a little help... Read More ›
  I watched a Zoom lecture the other day that really put into words a lot of the ways my own deepening understanding of ecology is shaking up the way I practice horticulture—from spring cleanup, right on to the last... Read More ›
There’s the so-called language of flowers, as in the symbolism or sentiment attributed to a rose versus a pansy or a daisy. And then there’s the actual language of flowers in botany, as in what’s a sepal or a tepal... Read More ›
They’re among the most popular and good-for-you vegetables, but brassicas—broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the like—can also be a little tricky to grow unless you start with the right variety, get the timing right, and have a preemptive action... Read More ›
Every time over the years that I’ve spoken to today’s guest, one word comes up: oak. If entomologist and University of Delaware Professor Doug Tallamy sounds a little fixated on native oaks, it’s because they are the most powerful plant... Read More ›
  Roses are ancient plants with a 35-million-year history on planet earth, so maybe it’s no surprise then that they have been a fixture in nearly every culture and many religions, too. In his recent book, “Rosa: The Story of... Read More ›
I met today’s guest, Helen O’Donnell, at a plant sale a couple of springs ago, before the pandemic scuttled most such big public events. Spring sales like that, where multiple small growers of unusual specialty plants gather, are my favorite... Read More ›
Do you remember your very earliest gardening books—the ones that transported you into the world of plants, whether that was last year or years ago? Or other books that have earned a permanent spot on your bookshelf as old trusted... Read More ›
You’ve heard the expression “companion planting,” as in: What plants supposedly “love” growing alongside what other plants? But how many such pairings are folklore, and how many stand up to research?  In her new book, “Plant Partners,” Jessica Walliser looks... Read More ›
Any gardener shopping at a local nursery or paging through perennial plant catalogs can’t help but notice there are a lot of Echinacea, or coneflowers, on the market—more every year, including in unexpected colors and some with extra-showy double flowers. ... Read More ›
On the website of Far Reaches Farm rare plant nursery, shoppers can filter the plant listings by the usual expected things, like shrub or fern, or shade or sun, or hardiness zone. But there’s also a filter for “shop by... Read More ›
The subtitle of Ellen Ecker Ogden’s latest book, “The New Heirloom Garden,” tells it all. “Designs, Recipes, and Heirloom Plants for Cooks Who Love to Garden,” is how it reads. Throughout her career of writing, and lecturing, and teaching about... Read More ›
Facing a forecast of heaps of snow the other day, Ken Druse and I got to dreaming on the phone together of more colorful times ahead. Of the emergence, not so very long in the future, of spring’s first woodland... Read More ›
How do you build a better carrot for organic farms and gardens, and how do you grow one for the best results? I discussed those topics with longtime carrot breeder Dr. Phil Simon, who shared a fascinating little carrot history,... Read More ›
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