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Waiting for Springtime

Nature's Own Snow Seeding:

Birch seeds undergo cold stratification after being blown into a track left in the snow.


Now while my gardens are caked in ice and snow, the possibility of doing some actual gardening seems so far off. My remedy is to listen to podcasts while I am cooking or doing chores that don’t take all of my attention. These may appeal to you, too.

Two great podcasts are In Defense of Native Plants and The Native Plant Podcast. I found In Defense of Plants first, so have listened to more episodes. The host, Matt, is so enthusiastic about native plants and about learning that it is contagious. In each episode he interviews someone who is either studying, growing, or using natives, mainly from the US, but not exclusively. The discussion can be a little academic at times. A good episode to start with is #133 where he interviews Sarah Bergmann about her Pollinator Pathway project At the conclusion of each episode I appreciate how important it is to continue learning!

The two hosts of The Native Plant Podcast, John Magee and Preston Montague have been involved in the native plant movement for most of their careers. They often interview guests with an equal amount of experience from all over the country. A recent episode I recommend starting with is where they interview Ian Caton of Wood Thrush Natives about his experience starting and growing a native plant nursery business. There may be some Latin names flying around, but in general this podcast tends to be less academic than the one listed above. Even if all the plants they talk about are not native to Maine, I still find myself wanting to know more about them.

Nancy Lawson, who recently published the Humane Gardener, has been in the media a lot lately. She is a lovely guest, and was recently interviewed by Colleen Patrick Goudreau on her Food for Thought Podcast “Compassion for All Creatures Great and Small: In Conversation with Nancy Lawson, author of The Humane Gardener”. Lawson’s compassion for all living things is the basis of her gardening practice and she will have you thinking about how you manage your own garden. I will stop right there with the description as you really need to take a listen. Visit Lawson’s excellent website and blog at for more information and audio files.

Another person who will have you contemplating your gardening practices is Elaine Ingham. She has been studying soil and plant organisms during her long career and I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to describe her as a soil rock-star. In this interview with Philip Watt she summarizes many years of research in a very accessible way Dr. Ingham has many more talks available on line, but I thought this was a good summary of her work. Although on YouTube, it can be listened to like a podcast with a conversation that is stimulating and enlightening.

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