gardening

Photo used courtesy of Vincent Bellino

Happy California Native Plant Week! The California Floristic Province is home to on the order of 6,500 native plant species and there are those among us who love and want to ensure the long life of the genetics and habitats of every single one. Today, in celebration of California Native Plant Week, we’re hearing from a selection of those voices, including Native Plant Home Gardener Vincent Bellino. Join us!

Photo used courtesy of Monticello

On April 13th, Statesman and third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, would be 275 years old. He was also an avid and curious and acquisitive gardener and plant lover. His historic home and garden, Monticello, is an UNESCO Heritage sight, and Jefferson began designing and building Monticello at just 26 years old. With Virginia’s Historic Garden week just around the corner on April 21st - 28th, we’re joined this week on Cultivating Place by two members of Monticello’s horticultural staff, Peggy Cornett, curator of plants and Eleanor Gould, curator of gardens. We’ll explore the legacy of the gardens in all their complexity, depth and scope. Join us!

Photo courtesy of Blanca Diaz

Nurturing – that’s what comes to mind when I think of the work of Blanca Diaz also known as Mama Maiz. Blanca is a practicing doula and herbalist whose work takes her around the country teaching and practicing plant based healing. She nurtures new mothers as they prepare to bring new life into our world, and she nurtures plants for their wisdom, healing and beauty. She nurtures community from the ground up sharing, as she says: “what she has been called and given permission to share.”

Photo used courtesy of Maria Failla

Maria Failla is the host of Bloom & Grow Radio – a unique podcast from New York City designed specifically for indoor plant people, urban jungle dwellers, houseplant enthusiasts and succulent killers alike. This week on Cultivating Place Maria shares her journey of learning more about the care and keeping of her plants and herself. Join us! 

Photo courtesy of Claire Bandfield

Most gardeners - of the indoor or outdoor variety - love (and covet) a good pot. For house plants, for focal points, for cut arrangements, for … well, just for the love of them. We might even be known to over-collect, over-indulge, over-spend, and overly adore the best of our pots. And I am a gardener taken with the handcrafted pots of Claire Bandfield, a self-taught artist living in Camas, Washington. 

Photo used courtesy of Clare 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.

Photo courtesy Hunter Ten Broeck

This week on Cultivating Place, we talk land and water with Hunter Ten Broeck of WaterWise Landscapes Inc. in Albuquerque, NM. No matter where we live, or how differently our land and our water supplies and sources may look, our gardens and our nature love are wholly interdependent with these two much larger elemental forces.

Photo courtesy of Eliot Coleman

It is mid-January. It is deep mid-winter, even in my relatively mild USDA zone 9, Sunset zone 8. While I am fortunate enough to have a year-round Saturday farmer’s market available to me, my own home garden is looking spare. Which is at it should be this time of year, but it could be looking a little less spare while still remaining seasonally appropriate. One of MY New Year’s resolutions is to strive to do a little better on this front. After the calendar year 2016, I would like to feel a little more self-reliant.

Clarkson Potter, 2014

The term “herbal” refers to far more than a soothing tea or tasty spice. An herbal is a book or otherwise codified collection of knowledge about the use of plants for food or medicine. Dating back as far as ancient Egypt, Sumer and China, there are more herbals published every year. On Cultivating Place this week, I’m joined by Stephen Orr, editor-in-chief of Better Homes & Gardens and author of "The New American Herbal," published by Clarkson Potter/Random House in 2014. 

As we enter a traditional two-month period marked by celebrations of giving thanks, this week on Cultivating Place we’re joined by Qayyum Johnson, farm manager of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin, CA.  Practicing in the Zen Buddhist tradition and farming 7 acres of cool season crops, Qayyum explores with us the connection between the back breaking physical labor of farming and the cultivation of awareness, generosity and thanksgiving in our minds and spirits. Join us! 

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