Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden

Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The essential connections between nature, our gardens, and our places in both: I’m Jennifer Jewell and this is Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden a weekly public radio program and podcast that explores what we mean when we garden.

Through thoughtful conversations with growers, gardeners, naturalists, scientists, artists and thinkers, Cultivating Place illustrates the many ways in which gardens and gardening are integral to our natural and cultural literacy. It celebrates how these interconnections support the places we cultivate, how they nourish our bodies and feed our spirits. Take a listen.

A co-production of North State Public Radio (KCHO 91.7 FM in Chico, CA and KFPR 88.9 FM in Redding, CA) and CultivatingPlace.comCultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden airs Thursdays at 10:00 AM and again Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM PST. The program is created and hosted by Jennifer Jewell; produced and engineered by Sarah Bohannon. Our communications coordinator is Kacey Gardner. Music by Matt Shilts.

Cultivating Place is based on two beliefs: The first, that horticulture (“the art of garden cultivation or management” according to the Oxford English Dictionary) is a foundational element of our cultural literacy — on par with art, music, architecture, history, geography, social studies and literature. The second, that gardens and gardening provide a unique, and uniquely beautiful, bridge connecting us to our larger environments — culturally and botanically.

Weekly interviews explore the many different ways people come to and bring to life what garden and gardening mean. They celebrate how gardening encourages a direct relationship with the dynamic processes of the plants, animals, soils, seasons and climatic factors that come to bear on a garden.

Cultivating Place builds on and deepens the conversations begun in 8 years of creating, writing and hosting the regionally focused In a North State Garden: Celebrating the Art, Craft and Science of Gardening in Northern California, which aired on North State Public Radio from January of 2008 - January of 2016.

The show is available as a podcast on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher

Calre Cooper Marcus

  

The healing power of gardens and nature is well known to almost anyone who gardens and has been recorded by gardeners, landscape designers and medical practitioners as far back as antiquity. This week on Cultivating Place we’re joined by Dr. Clare Cooper Marcus, a leader in the field of evidence based research, education and design of what are alternatively known as healing gardens and therapeutic landscapes. Join us!

In the realm of gardenways and traditional garden design being inextricably interwoven with a culture, for me the garden design and techniques, and gardens associated with Japanese culture stand out. This week on Cultivating Place, we’re joined by Leslie Buck whose new book, “Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto,” recounts her experience during a three-month intensive apprenticeship with one of the most prestigious landscape and design firms in the storied city of Kyoto learning about her garden art form of aesthetic pruning, while at the same time learning much more about herself. Join us! 

When you hear the phrase "gardens of the wild, wild west," what comes to mind? For gardener, author and radio host Mary Ann Newcomer of Boise, Idaho, there’s a long history of intrepid plants, gardens and gardeners that come before her — from the first peoples to the settlers who traveled West as pioneers in the 1800s. On Cultivating Place this week, Mary Ann (AKA The Dirt Diva on the Boise radio waves) shares some of the lessons that we might learn from these histories of plants and plants people no matter where we garden. Join us!

Leslie Bennett is a garden designer of both English and Jamaican descent working out of Oakland, CA. With a Jamaican-born husband, a two year old son, and knowledgeable, passionate views about the importance of cultural heritage, on cultivating Place this week, Leslie shares her journey navigating the marriage of beauty, function, cultural property and the radical activism of gardening. Join us!

Late summer is fire season in the American West. A part of life.

This week Cultivating Place speaks with Gary Ferguson, author of "Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West," a collection of scientific lectures about wildfire, which at their best serve as a window into the larger issue of our relationship to the natural world.

In my experience, no home and garden are just perfect. And yet, they are just right if we bring the right perspective. Author and gardener Marianne Willburn shares this belief and she joins Cultivating Place this week to share more about her own gardening journey, and lessons learned from her book Big Dreams, Small Gardens. In this life, we might be tempted to wait to plant our garden until we think we are in just the right space, Marianne urges us to reconsider this and to just get out there and do it. Now. Plant your garden now, no matter where you are. Join us for this lively conversation about the human impulse to garden. 

This week on Cultivating Place we hear the next in our series of Dispatches from the Home Garden, this time from a north Seattle neighborhood where artist, gardener and aspiring vermicompost farmer Emily Wilkins tends to composting worms, awkward old maidens of shrubs. She starts and ends her days in the garden with in the company of family and some of her favorite friends – the plants, the worms and all manner of winged insects. Among them, she finds relief, satisfaction, joy and that at at the end of the day having your hands in the dirt is the very best part. Join us!

This week on Cultivating Place we’re joined by Uk based garden designer Jinny Blom, whose new book is entitled “The Thoughtful Gardener: an intelligent approach to garden design”. After 17 years and more than 250 gardens designed around the globe, Jinny shares with us her thoughtful, creative, musical and heartfelt perspective and process. Join us!

Courtesy Katharine Webster

There's something to be said for having deep and historic roots to one region – one gardening and natural history home. I have an admiration for gardeners who’ve been born and raised in the historic home territories of their families before them, who have been working their own gardens for 20, 40 or 60 years.

I have yet to live and work in the same garden for more than 7 years. And while I do envy these long tending one spot gardeners, I also see the benefits of having gardened in a wide variety of places, cultures, environments. I was born and raised at 8,000 feet in Colorado, but grew up regularly visiting extended family - and living myself - in a wide variety of environments across the country – from New York City and Boston, to the Adirondack Mountains of New York, the coast of Rhode Island, interior and coastal South Carolina, Northern Idaho, and the downtown's of Los Angeles, Seattle and St. Louis. You see my point. 

Jennifer Jewell

In life, there are generalists and there are specialists. This week on Cultivating Place, we’re speaking with botanist Dr. Ben Grady about his work with ornamental buckwheats and the upcoming Eriogonum Society conference in Weed, California.

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