In his excellent podcast, Genus Head Gardener, horticulturalist and garden speaker, Joff Elphick, speaks to an interesting range of people in the horticultural world, from gardeners to designers and writers.
Joff was drawn into podcasting though an interest in wildlife sound recording, so it’s no surprise he dedicates an episode to butterflies, talking to experts who share their tips on how to create the right habitat for these insects with long grass and suggested plants for nectar all through the season. Those interested in wildlife will enjoy the fascinating interview with Chris Baines who has been at the forefront of wildlife gardening from his early involvement with urban environments and his ground breaking wildlife garden at Chelsea in 1985. His book The RHS Companion to Wildlife Gardening has been updated with all the latest thinking and Chris has plenty of ideas about how we can all introduce more wildlife into our gardens – a thoroughly recommended episode. And there’s a wonderful episode on the subject of wildlife with poet, comedian and national treasure, Pam Ayres – whose garden Joff happens to look after. Pam tells Joff about her little book The Last Hedgehog which started as a poem inspired by the fact hedgehogs are disappearing at a terrible rate. Listeners are treated to a recital of the poem which is both humorous and poignant, and the pair discuss tips on how to encourage more prickly friends into our gardens.
In a recent episode we hear from the two Sarahs (Biddulph and Rivett-Carnac) who have taken on The Generous Gardener programme of lectures by high profile designers and horticultural experts. These take place at Sarah Biddulph’s home Rodmarton Manor, a beautiful Arts and Crafts property with wonderful gardens open to the public at various times in the year. They also run plant sales from Charlton Farm with well-known nurseries.
Writer Barbara Segall talks about her books Secret Gardens of the South-East, where we get a glimpse into some wonderful lesser-known gardens. And those interested in container gardening will enjoy the interview with Harriet Rycroft who talks about all things pot related with tips on everything from growing mediums to dealing with pests – she’s a fount of knowledge.
Joff is often on location chatting to the experts in situ and gets out and at about to various shows including The RHS Malvern Spring Festival, and Glee at the NEC. Though Joff is horticultural expert himself as well as a garden speaker, he very much lets his impressive line-up of interviewees do the speaking, gently guiding them to reveal all. There really is something for everyone in this highly recommended podcast.