Jennifer Jewell

Host, Cultivating Place

Jennifer Jewell is a professional garden writer and avid home gardener based in Northern California, where she lives and gardens with her husband, two daughters and two dogs. Her writing about gardens and gardeners around the world has been featured in Edible Shasta-Butte, Gardens Illustrated, House & Garden, Natural Home, Old House Journal, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles and mountainliving.com. She is a member of the Garden Writers Association. She is the host of Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden. That program, and more of Jennifer's work, can be found at Jewellgarden.com.

This week on Cultivating Place we hear the story of the first 15 years of the Edible Communities – the umbrella name of the many publishers who bring you the edible communities publications across the US and Canada. Fifteen years ago, two women who cared about food, Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, published a 16-page, one-color newsletter to help connect the farmers in their area to the food-lovers in their area.

Melissa Keyser and copyright sweetbeegarden.com 2017

Gardening is a specifically human endeavor. It is a characterizing feature of our species, fairly well documented throughout our evolution. Which fascinates me. And each of us come to this endeavor for our own reasons and needs – sometimes very practical, sometimes very esthetic, sometimes spiritual. Our gardens are like some larger version of our very fingerprints.

What do we mean when we use the word “wild” and why does it matter? In 2017, the New York City urban landscape commonly known as The High Line celebrates its official 5th birthday. This milestone is being marked by the publication of a new book entitled "Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes" (Timber Press, 2017), coauthored by plantsmen Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke, with graphic design by Lorraine Ferguson.

Melinda Benson-Valavanis is a floral designer and owner of MCreations in Chico, CA. She recently committed her business to participating in a project called re-bloom – in which she accepts the flowers from a wedding or other large event after the event is over and and re-purposes them for distribution to people and communities who might need a bit of floral energy and cheer in their lives.

This week on Cultivating Place, we’re joined by Jan Johnsen – a gardener, landscape designer and author of the books "Heaven is a Garden" and "The Spirit of Stone,” both published by St.

 


Spring is a time of awakening and full sensory immersion in the world around us - even if we aren’t gardeners or nature lovers. It is hard to avoid, ignore or miss Spring’s reckless abundance and generosity. It is the perfect counterpoint to the winter’s restful, healing darkness and dormancy. In appreciation for all of spring’s growing energy, I am pleased to be joined this week by Dr. Raymond Barnett, author of “Earth Wisdom: John Muir, Accidental Taoist, Charts Humanity’s Only Future on a Changing Planet,” which he published in 2016.

photographed by Tessa Traeger, all rights reserved and used by permission of the artist and Quadrille Press.

Close to 21 years ago, a Cordon Bleu trained chef and business woman named Jane Scotter left a busy city life in London and bought a farm. She was joined not long after by another professional chef, Harry Astley. Together the two have taken their 16 idyllic acres in Herefordshire, England and crafted a life fully integrated and interdependent with the land, its plants and animals, their food, their own sense of purpose and the energetic cycles of the moon and the seasons. 

courtesy of Dennis Mudd. All Rights Reserved.

It is California Native Plant Week this week. Officially designated by the California Native Plant Society in 2010, this year the festivities and educational and awareness activities are scheduled all week April 15–23.

In celebration of this and in honor of the many native landscapes I love, and native plants that bring beauty, life and a deep sense of place to my home garden, this week I am pleased to welcome Dennis Mudd to Cultivating Place. Dennis is a retired tech industry CEO and developer of such things as MusicMatch and Slacker Radio. He is also an avid native plant home gardener in Poway – near San Diego. 

“Useful, with a pleasant degree of humor” — that is the tag line for the Old Farmer’s Almanac, an annual handbook for American growers, farmers and gardeners — celebrating its 225th year in publication this year. Every year for the past 225 years, farmers, gardeners, landholders and growers of all kinds have been consulting the Old Farmer’s Almanac for weather predictions, growing suggestions and important dates based on — among other things — astronomy.

Laura Wilson

If you’re like me, you love getting out into your own garden, but visiting someone else’s garden is almost as good — there’s just less weeding required. The end of March/beginning of April is also the unofficial kick off of garden-visiting season, with garden tours and open garden days on local, regional and national levels, and of all shapes and sizes, getting started now and running right through to November in some parts of the country.

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