7 Episode results for "Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center"
Andrea DeLong-Amaya, Women Working In The World Plants #2
"This is cultivating place conversations on natural history and the human impulse to garden from nor state public radio in northern California. I'm Jennifer Joel. Were now well into women's history month and International Women's Day was this last Sunday march eighth as we continue cultivating places. Women's history month interviews. Were joined this week by Andrea Delong Amaya director of horticulture for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas. At Austin it is also the botanic garden for the State of Texas Andrea has been on staff for over twenty years and has more than thirty years of experience in horticulture. She Guides fifteen staff members in the design and management of nine acres of Native Plant Gardens. Two hundred and seventy five acres of natural areas and in native plant nursery. She teaches classes in native plant horticulture and writes and presents on her passion for the field widely. She spoke with US late. Last autumn to share more about the history and work of the centre including it. Being the legacy of another extraordinary woman ladybird Johnson Andrea shares. Her own enthusiasm for this field of work. Welcome Andrea Hi. How you doing? I'm great how are you wonderful? I'd love for you to start by describing describe the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as visually as you can for listeners. Who may not have been there. And then we'll talk a little bit about your specific work there Andrea Sherr so we are in a South Austin and in the middle of Texas. We're in a part of the state that we refer to as Texas El country or the Edwards Plateau which is a beautiful beautiful part of the state. Of course Texans will say every part of the state is beautiful but I WANNA say text. The central Texas area is particularly beautiful especially in the spring were really renowned for having excellent wildflower displays including the Texas blue on it which occurs all over the state but the central Texas areas particularly flora for us in the spring. And so we are like I said in Austin and the site that were on is a public garden where about two hundred and eighty five acres. I think we actually added a little bit more In the last year or so and it's a public garden where we feature plants that are native to the state of Texas. That's the site now. The organization is bigger than that But the gardens here. We're demonstrating hell different. Native plants can be used in different kinds of landscapes different kinds of styles. We have collections of plants. From different parts of the State we are the Botanic Garden Texas. So we're trying to increase our collections to represent other parts of the state as well as the central Texas area so we have about nine acres of cultivated gardens and then we have a sixteen Acre Texas Arboretum of trees So those are the horticultural areas in then. We have natural areas in The other parts of the the property And that the natural areas also include some research areas. We have some Areas where we're doing Land Management prescribed fire treatments and different kinds of land-management to see how that influences the vegetation. Yeah we can talk more about that. If you're if you like definitely definitely I will i. I would love to get into some of the specifics of each of those areas you just described but before we get there. Describe your your your job there what it entails and may be the trajectory of your twenty years there. Andrea. Yeah well. I started as a gardener appropriately and really enjoy working outside. I mean I've always been interested in being outdoors and that goes way back to my childhood is probably most people who have an affinity for the natural world That usually starts childhood so I grew up doing things outdoors with my parents particularly with my dad. We'd go camping or canoeing. And I remember having a field guide of of wildflowers weeds that surrounded our area where we lived and that was great. Fun everything from astronomy to birds and lizards and insects. Just everything is so interesting And I just find that the more I learn about things the more I'm fascinated and in awe of the natural world so that's just started early but it's just been a long a lifelong interest in learning more and observing more. I mean I laugh. We have a big picture window at our dining room table. And that's our TV. We don't have an actual electronics of the Inter House. It's overlooking a garden and pond and we just sit there and watch the animal antics and what's blooming and it's great fun and it's a nice way to slow down in our fast paced world That's a that's a big part of what I think. Nature does for me and for a lot of people So you started as a gardener. What year was that Andrea and then tell us about the progression of your rules at the Center Which clearly you progressed in because of your deepening curiosity and ever expanding knowledge base. Yes so I started in December of nine hundred ninety eight and Worked as a gardener I've guarded in most of the areas that we have in Under cultivation over the years and at some point we had Position of gardens manager was available so I moved into that and then I don't know maybe fifteen years ago I transitioned into the direct report culture and Unfortunately that means a little bit less guarding than I used to do. But it also gets me in a higher level of designing decision making which is very exciting and allows me to have more influence over some of the bigger picture things that are happening And then overseeing the natural areas arboretum and the nurseries also been pretty pretty fun and adds different interest to what what I'm looking at. Yeah so talk about Before we get into the specifics of some of the programmatic areas and display areas there and then the research give listeners. A history of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center when it started what it's original mission in scope was of course the wonderful woman for whom it is named and by whom it was founded in its original iteration and So that that people have an understanding of just how much bigger is then. A Garden appreciating wildflowers. Because that is a fabulous mission but it's it is much bigger than that so we're very blessed to have had the visionary Labor Johnson as founder. She founded the wildflower center. Initially as the wildflower research center. The National Welfare Research Center and that was an endeavor that she took on with her friend and actress. Helen Hayes which a lot of people don't remember that part of of the history but it's Kinda Funny Mrs Johnson didn't feel like she had enough name. Recognition Systems of Helen Hayes. And so her mission right from the beginning was to really try to understand an unlocked the secrets of wildfires in native plants and understand how they grow and that was the original research. The the wildflower center did at that time and so that was a nineteen eighty two so the organization started back. Then we moved to our current site as a public garden Before it was more just a research site with some portables but it didn't really have botanical garden kind of exhibits. Someone moved to Our current site in one thousand nine hundred ninety five that was really a big focus of making the space Amenable to guests and having exhibits that people can interact with and having educational programming and really elaborating on that when she first started it. Why we'll just remind listeners? She was of course the first lady of the United States and she Had A as firstly. She had some remarkable initiatives to beautify. I think was the word that was used then. roads and highways across the country and she was taken by the wildflower diversity there in her home state for good reason. Because it's a pretty remarkable native flora. Will you talk a little bit about that? And and why people thought this was not just a pretty project but was worthy of deep research. Even at that time so yeah. Mrs Johnson grew up in a rural setting and without siblings so she was a long time so her best friend is. A child was outside Just the outdoors and I think that was what what instilled upon in her the scrape passion for the for the natural world and then as she became first lady She really had a great influence on President Johnson in terms of Passing legislation one of the things he's known for is the beautification. Act The highway beautification. Act and getting billboards off of the roadsides and cleaning up roadsides and planting wildflowers and the way I understand it you know we talk about it is being beautification and she knew at the time. She was very savvy that at the time. She knew that that was a word that would engage people. The public secretly I. I've heard that she felt like that was actually kind of a word and that it is she. I think she understood. It was deeper than just beautification was away to connect people with the idea that she had the native flora of Texas. Talk about the diversity you have there. And how the diversity of Texas which is not which is an enormous place with a lot of micro climates and But talk about that. Diversity is then valuable as a kind of proto type for researching and understanding diversity anywhere Andrea. The State is a big state. And because of that. We're really blessed with many different Eka regions and vegetation zones. We have depending on how you look at it. We might we have about a dozen different vegetation zones and it's kind of a funnel you if you look at how the the geography of North America As things migrate and flow back and forth from north to South America it goes through Central America and through the funnel of Texas so we get plants and animals coming through there that over millennia have really made it for very rich environment which is Super Fun to be exploring and studying and and gardening with those plants and gardening for wildlife the diversity of wildlife that we have what is your current number of sort of native plants in Texas. We have thousands Maybe five thousand native plant species or tax in the state of Texas. But I would have to confirm that number on our site. We have about nine hundred species of native tax on our property here and tax would include species and sometimes subspecies right. I think one of the things. It's really interesting to me. And part of what makes Native Plant Research. So interesting is that You know it's that Great John Muir quote of you can't pull on one thread in the universe without tugging on the whole of the universe but the native plant as you were describing that idea of Texas being this fabulous funnel in migration patterns and and water like large watersheds scope. You get this sense of the complexity and history of that interrelationship between climatic patterns geology. The tectonic plates of our continent and how plants and animals are interrelated with all of that. And it's all co evolved into this fabulous beautiful soup that you know in your region is the big beautiful state of Texas Talk. About how over time the different display areas have evolved there at the center and what they're kind of individual purposes are from the perspective of not only engaging the public but also providing laboratories for research end data and information collection. The gardens themselves have not been The subject of actual research study. I mean informally as gardeners. Were all every time we garden? It's always an experiment you but we do have more of our. Formal research is happening in the natural areas primarily with a land-management research. I would like to progress as we move forward to doing more plant trials and other more formal kinds of horticultural research but just demonstrating these plants. in having them in a garden setting where we can somewhat control conditions. Some plants obviously are pretty malleable and while adjusts to horticultural kind of settings others We found not well suited for gardens. They may be beautiful plants but they may be tricky or they may be really specific in the kinds of areas and conditions that they want to grow and people love. There's a little plant called Mountain. Pink which is super cute. It's Maybe a foot tall and it looks like this. Perfect bouquet of flowers with hot pink balsams on it and they bloom in the summer. They grow in road cuts where it's just basically solid rock almost just COLUCCI and people love them and they want to grow them in their garden. You try to grow them and they rot Because they really don't like the richer soils they don't compete well with bigger plants that you know would be more robust and bully them out so a lot of what. I'm trying to do and what we're trying to demonstrate and our gardens is that pick the right place the right conditions. That's that's a complicated thing. And that's you know a lot of what we're trying to do is is make. That information is easy for people to access as possible because every individual plant might have Their own conditions that they require to thrive. Yeah and a lot of what we're doing is garden with plants that have never been in horticultural setting in we have our onsite nursery which makes it really easy to propagate things we can collect seeds sometimes we'll take cuttings or divisions and then use them in the gardens and see what they do and try them in different soil types and in different watering regimes and different light conditions. And see what happens. So but that's really just the gardening part of it and then I know that there are several different display areas. Could you walk us through those? Yeah so probably what most people think of as the main garden area is what we call our demonstration gardens or the theme gardens which is an area that we have a bunch of different separated beds there in squares. We have twenty. Three of those in each one has a different story to tell which makes it a great fun. You know each one is designed to demonstrate plants. That are attractive to hummingbirds. Or maybe this one is a genus. Salvia that we're highlighting or the grass family. One of my favorites is the botanist bed. Which is plants that are selected because they have their after important botanists? Who did work in Texas Linda? Heimer Ferdinand Hammer is the father of Texas Botany and he has the most plants named after him so he gets the biggest box. So it's a little history lesson as well as a botanical display. We have another area that we call the taste of place garden and that is highlighting native plants that are used for different purposes so chilly bikinis little hot chili pepper. That is the prototype for most of our peppers like It's capsicum annual the botanical name. And that's the same species as our bell. Peppers are Serano and our Jalapenos So these little chilly bikinis are hot. Tiny little fruits but they are powerful and I love to be able to share those with with our guests. There are other things. Like Aga- Rita's that have a really nice sweet fruit to them on kind of tart sweet fruit. So that's been a lot of fun as to show people that a lot of our native plants could be used in a garden setting. There's been over the last ten or fifteen years. A lot of interest in cultivating edible landscapes at homes but people are usually thinking you know tomatoes peppers that kind of stuff which is great but to be able to incorporate native plants many of which are perennials. And don't need to be replanted every year. They also are adapted to our climate. So they're going to be heat tolerant or cold tolerance and thrive under the watering conditions. That we have then they're also providing wildlife habitat. Yeah so I'm interested about that. Proto Hot Pepper. That you were describing. That's a native plant. There animals eat that. Is that a valuable food source for birds or it is one of the common names as bird pepper. It's really favored by mocking birds. And you know if you've seen like Parrot Food A lot of times. We'll have DR peppers in it and there are just some birds really really like to eat them really adopted to the spicy food you have to get the mocking birds off of them if you want to enjoy them but most people are happy to share them with their birds. I'm Jennifer Jewel. And this is cultivating place Andrea Delong. Amaya is the director of horticulture for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin. We'll be back for more with Andrea after break. Stay with us. Hey as we continue these conversations with women featured in the earth in her hands. I continue as well to give you some additional background into my process for the book. If you didn't hear my interview with sibling program host Dave Slome of Blue Dot just a few weeks ago. Make sure to look for a link to that audio. In this week's show notes. It was a lovely interview some of the primary threads of inquiry while I was researching and writing this book. We're into how the plant world is improved as a result of being more representative not only allowing for more women to excel but also nurturing a much greater diversity of women how the field is far more viable and creative and innovative a career path for women than ever before and how this plant work world is demonstrating greater social and environmental responsibility in large part due to women's contributions and finally on how our human engagement with plants connects us to the natural world stewardship to our communities and to ourselves on powerful intellectual physical and spiritual levels Andrea Delong Amaya works in the metaphorical soil fed by the legacy of another great woman in the horticultural world. Not A horticulturalist herself. But a plant lover Ladybird Johnson. These are good women to learn about in women's history month now back to our conversation with Andrea Delong Amaya. This is cultivating place conversations on natural history and the human impulse to garden. In the second week of women's history month we're speaking with a native plant conservationist and advocate Andrea Delong Amaya director of horticulture for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas. At Austin. I remember visiting. I WANNA say four or five years ago now and just being really impressed with The beauty of the gardens the caretaking of the gardens and how much native plant and aesthetic gardening information. You Got Altogether. Thank you yeah Certainly as part is important because we would love for people to embrace these plants and use them at home most not all of them but most them but then we also use the research that we've done an incorporate those into demonstrations so we've done in the past We've done a lot of work with green roofs as you walk around. You'll see a number of green roofs that Demonstrate different kinds of settings that native plants could could be part of part of the research was to develop a planting media that is designed to work with our hot dry climates and then not just planting succulents and seems which I think most being roofs have. We're incorporating grasses and wildflowers into those areas too so that's one of the things that we have on demonstration green walls where we have screens that will provide some shade two buildings and all different kinds of sustainable practices that we able to incorporate into our landscapes here obviously just using native plants is helpful we have the E N Lucy Family Garden. Yes which is a fairly new addition to our gardens. It's about five and a half years old when we built it though we were designing it to be certified under the sustainable sites initiative that's set of criteria that people can follow voluntarily if you want to go through the system the ranking system and then depending on what kinds of things you incorporate into your landscape and the kinds of sustainable features that you include you can get a rating similar to leads for architecture are familiar with that So we do things like using native materials not bringing things in from a far distance in the construction that helps reduce the carbon footprint that you would have if you're bringing things in from other parts of the country or even other parts of the world incorporating materials that don't have toxins in them so a lot of the metal that we used we didn't use any zinc for example and all the hardware and we're trying to use the for Stewardship Council certified wood products using mulches that are recycled. One of the things that Is a big highlight for kids especially but adults are interested in who is we used crushed glass which the city of Austin collects from our recycling bins. You can crush it and tumble. It's it's not sharp and then use it as a as a mulch like mineral mulch and it has all different colors in it. Because you're mixing all those glass pieces in you have C. You have seagrass beds all over the garden and then maybe not see glass recycled glass. I guess you'd call it rather than sea glass so I have one question about the you mentioned which I think is Kind of a part of the sustainable materials work you're doing when you were doing the research to develop the media for the green roofs of course by which you mean the what you plant. The seeds in on top of that roof. What would did you use what? What was the media you ultimately developed Andrea Actually? The actual recipe is proprietary. And I don't actually even know what's in it It is all recycled and locally sourced materials which is one of the criteria that we're looking at when we developed it then. I know that. They experimented with several different materials. To see what would be both lightweight but also get draining and would hold moisture but not too much you know allowing for the drainage to happen and what's also important to understand that a lot of green roofs are actually not that sustainable. They're using materials. That are brought in from far distances. They May Have Peat Moss in them which is not millions dateable material. So it's really important for us to make sure that we were using materials that were renewable and locally sourced as well as being functional right and. I believe that they're just like here in interior northern California. It's a slightly different climate. But you run up against some very similar issues such as Water Resource Management Both as a run off and as a A precious resource during many months of the year. Talk about your some of your water. catchment and distribution methods in order to use that resource as wisely as possible when the wildfire center was initially built. We had the largest rainwater harvesting system in the country We can harvest to almost seventy thousand gallons of rainwater in store it Which is wonderful that we're able to use that on the landscape it's superior to city water anyway. So that's always been an important piece for us and yes you're right. Water conservation is a huge thing in our community as well. And that's been a really big selling point for promoting native plants because they are adopted to our climate and generally they're gonNA use less additional water in a in a landscape in addition to that one of the other features that we have in the Family Garden. That was site certified. We have a series of rain gardens. And they're all connected so when one fills up it feel flows into the other one the idea of these rain gardens. Is that when you get a lot of rain? The water is directed into these depressed areas. That have a planting medium has soil. That is well draining and so it helps percolate the water into the ground. So it's not just running off but it also directed in stores it long enough so that some of it will go into the ground and then if we get really a lot of rain it'll slow into the next one but we're able to capture more water. Instead of contributing to flooding downstream for example and all the soil will help filtration filter out. Impurities which is probably more important if you were in a parking lot or on the side of the road or something. Not so much the garden. We don't have toxins in here but but that's another function that rain garden one has and it's a fantastic model for the people who are visiting I don't know I I know you have millions of visitors. In a year and in all likelihood many of them are coming from urban areas. Where run off onto urban hard scape that goes directly into open surface water and disturbs the the balance of the water the quality of the water the habitat for all of the aquatic life. Both animal and plant is it becoming more and more important in our world of increasing urbanization. Absolutely filtering out. The toxins is is critical. Not using toxins. To begin with in your landscape is helpful. But there's certain things that roadsides were still driving so we're we're going to have run off using rain gardens and filtration ponds can be a great way to mitigate that it also provides its own amenity a lot of our native plants we think of as being very drought tolerant but some of these plants that grow on along creek sides are very adapted to wetter situations so having a rain garden gives you another place to put some of those species that might like a little bit extra water. Yeah now you are there in Austin. What what zone are you? And what do you know your annual precipitation on average Andrea? We get about thirty five inches of rain per year. The problem is that we get all at once rate might easily five inch rain Within a twenty four hour period so that we're really endanger flash flooding in our area. So all of these water issues that we've been talking about manage how to manage. Water is really important for us. Yeah and What what zone is that? So the Garden Zone that we're in is eight. Be Okay but I also think it's important to look at Because I think that just talks about what the temperature is but we're looking at cold and heat in the summer. A lot of the plants that people bring in from other places to grow in Texas if they're not from Texas they're going to have a hard time adapting to our heat that Safa something but then there's also the water issue and right right and go into that. Yes yes that learning to garden with. Your climate is such an interesting when when I first moved here to Northern California I thought Oh well a lot of my same beloved plants from Colorado should do fine and on paper. They might do fine but in fact they don't love the wet winter. That doesn't freeze quite as hard and they often wrought as you are describing in your Dry but sometimes humid summer conditions. Like it's it's a reminder to all of us that gardening in our place Is Most successful if you use. Plants adapted to the conditions of that place or similar from around the globe so the and that really is is our mission native plants wherever they are and by using native plants. You're doing a lot of things you're not adding extra water If you cited the plants you may not have to add soil amendments and I have air quotes around the word amendments. You're providing habitat mural so enhancing your sense of place. You know that you have plants that are that look like your area. That was something that Mrs Johnson would say. She wanted main to look like Maine in Texas to look like Texas and California to look like California and to really help fighting against that homogenization of the American landscape where you can go to different places throughout the country and look at a landscape and you have no idea where you are. The plants do not do not tell you anything about the region or the culture of the space or the natural history of the Of the region so those are definitely important pieces of what we're trying to do so then let's move to the conservation arm end while you indicated that not a lot of research is directly developed for the display gardens. Clearly they are the recipient of the a lot of the lessons learned from the research and they are sending a lot of models out into the public who visits them talk about the conservation works specifically around the natural areas and the forestry part of the the center so some of the research When we moved to the current Our current location. We shifted away from doing research on individual species figuring out how to grow bluebonnets for example When we moved to this location we have more space and so our research also shifted then to larger scale landscape management studies so we have maybe about fifty acres twenty Acre and a half plots and they get different land-management treatment so some of them get burned in the summer. Some of them get winterbourne's we might know some of them. We have Control areas that we don't manage D- Actively at all and then we compare them. We do vegetation studies and see how the landscape is responding to those different kinds of treatments and then that helps inform us to Make recommendations on you know if you want more grasses. This is a good way to do it. If you want more flowering plants or wildflowers. Do this if you're trying to manage certain invasive species there different things that you can do though it help with that. So that's been a research project that we've been working on here for about twenty years and we're going to be publishing that information hopefully pretty soon in the next year or two. Then we also done other studies where we've housed endangered species. We had a the endangered Tarbush Fishhook. Cactus that was rescued from a site. That was going to be under construction and then we took advantage of that opportunity and house them in our greenhouses and then did fecundity studies where we're looking to see how successful these plants were to reproduce. Oh how much they flowered at. What stage did they flower those kinds of things and then one of the things that we've done more recently that Has had a lot of interest is developing best practices for growing milk weeds. People are really really inspired to plant mill Queens to support monarchs and one of the things is that it's It's a real challenge to find native milk weeds. There are the Mexican milk. Wade's that are more readily available. That we encourage people not us. But that's what you can find so we have been really actively trying to not just provide native. Milk means to Texans but also to get local gene types. So we're collecting from different parts of the state and then providing those proper gills to local growers can then make them available to their constituents and trying to get local genetics and local species in those different areas. So that's been a lot of fun and very interesting work. And how many different needs species of milkweed are there in Texas off the top of my head? I would say maybe a dozen or so. What are some of the ones that are the most The most widely known or Available for people in our area. The bigger more populous ones. We have an antelope. Barnes milkweed a sleepiest ESPINOLA. We have green. Milkweed asleep. Veritas we have Yoruba deshazo tastes which is a sleepiest thyroid these Those are probably some of the more common ones A little further east in sandy soils. You'll find the butterfly milkweed with the orange flowers sleepiest Barrosa and is a sleepiest. Specie Osa or specie is awesome The showy milkweed. That's pretty ubiquitous across the country. But is that they're pretty widely. Yeah we we do have Species is in Texas not so much in central Texas spoke. It does occur in other parts of the state and do monarchs tend to. Lake them equally. That's very interesting question. No they do prefer Some species over others The ones that I just mentioned the Zota's green milkweed and the antelope horns in our region seems to be. They seem to be the more favored. I'm Jennifer Jewel. And this is cultivating place Andrea Delong. Amaya is the director of horticulture for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin Texas is an enormous state and has an amazing diversity of native plants. It also clearly has a great history for strong women working in horticulture. We'll be back for more after a break with Andrea stay with us So thinking out loud here. What does it even mean to be a woman in plants? It's not exactly a plants woman. Though many of the women in the book are that to be sure but working with this diverse group of women who have tangential relationship to plants has been something akin to mapping my seal pathways in the soil of a forest it is sometimes fragmented but still in connection and in communication. These women in the book have learned from each other. They riff off of each other. All the time reacting and responding exploring identifying narrowing down ways in which these women have been extending the territory of what working with an in and four plants does end. Doesn't mean has been powerful almost unanimously. These seventy five women in the book. Feel that at least culturally. Women tend to hold important abilities to collaborate nurture unto think holistically and that women tend to employ systems thinking which is related to a multitasking mentality. But across the board another of the really interesting things about these women was their own wariness at the constraints of binary thinking and reverse bias. They all see and hope that more women of all kinds in all fields of study will forge greater balance and how we approach lifestyle changes in community now back to our conversation with Andrea Delong. Amaya whose work at the legendary Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center outside of Austin Texas is building community and supporting it there. This is cultivating place conversations on natural history and the human impulse to garden in the second week of women's history month. We're speaking with native. Plant Conservationist Gardiner advocate and plant introducer. Andre Delong Amaya director horticulture for the Lady Bird Johnson wildflower center native plants are such a wonderful resource but that lag between gardeners wanting them and the industry being able to successfully supply them. There's a disconnect leg there. Yeah one of the things that we're trying to do time back to supporting monarchs and pollinators. In general Is to provide a nice selection of plants that bloom in the fall because because of our geography we get the migration as the monarch Sir migrating from North Back Down to Mexico. They come through here and it's a long journey and they are hungry. So what's more important in? Our area than Milkweed is actually to provide a lot of nectar plants. So that's been a really important thing for us to promote and as I mentioned we're growing a lot of things that we can click see from you know natural areas so we we really can experiment with growing anything we want to and we can benefit from the great help of our many many volunteers that help make it economically feasible to do that. Because that's a lot of work And then it's been fun over the years to see how the nursery the local nursery industry has been picking up some of these plants that we've been able to make available and you see them more and more in gardens In the Austin area and central Texas would love to continue seeing more of them out there trying to promote the things that we found to be the easiest to grow in the most successful that we think people will appreciate having in their own landscapes. Give us some examples of some of those full flowering plants that you've been working to propagate and gets introduced into the public that are particularly useful for. I'm sure not just the migrating monarchs but that is a fantastic signature creature to supply for so plants that are in the sunflower family in the Rabin. Family tend to be some of the best. Also the men family So just you're straight sunflowers fabulous for providing nectar to butterflies of different species and other pollinators. Two BS love them. It's one of my favorite is a plant called shelby bone set which has a kind of a fuzzy white flour and when they are in full bloom in the fall it is covered with monarchs and Queen Butterflies also. And it's just a powerful view like the whole thing is just swarming with creatures. It's it's infested with butterflies. The Queen of course is a relative of the monarch and is beautiful butterfly. We don't see them much ear. But interestingly enough we had one on my Partners property just maybe two weeks ago three weeks ago and one of our great butterfly. Experts here are Shapiro. Down in Davis said he hadn't seen one in our region in forty eight years. Wow that's interesting. Took US quite a while to identify this but the fact that it was on the Milkweed Was Interesting because of course very few creatures are co evolved to be able to metabolize the milkweed so it was really interesting and I think you have a lot more of them there. So The sun flowers okay so straight some flowers. What other fall. Blooming plants are really successful there so for being a family was another one that I mentioned. We have Texas Lantana. Now you can go to garden centers and by all different kinds of Land Tana's but our local native one has a nice orange slower to it And you don't have to worry about it. Becoming invasive on a landscape scale because it's native although that opens up a whole nother discussion native plants. Whether not they can be invasive. There are some thugs. There's no two ways about it was down to land manage but the Texas Lantana is a beautiful shrubbery. Very drought resistant. Very heat tolerant plant. That is a great nectar source for all kinds of beautiful creatures and It's deer resistant to people love. But that's another one that blooms and fall and spring and this is a great actor source and then an an example of a plant that we're promoting that you don't see very commonly available for for gardening is a plant called frost. We'd it's a ver- BESINA. And it has a cluster of white flowers. It's also favorite for the monarchs But other pollinators as well and what's interesting about it is it's A lot of people think of it is is being a weed because you see it in wild areas but it has a nice big coarse textured leaf and a kind of a lime green color. And it's a plant. That does very well. I in the shade and we're always looking for plants That will give us more interest in our shady gardens and it's called frustrated because the first hard freeze in the season that we get The sample out of the stems and as it freezes. Its slowly pushing that sap out and it forms ribbons The SAP freezes as it comes out in it makes these curlicue ribbons that when you wake up the next morning like what happened. Why is there styrofoam peanuts? All my landscape and you realize that it's just the bicycles coming out of the frost. We'd that's a pretty cool thing to see. Yeah Yeah and then. Do you have any in the mint family that you would suggest yeah really? Most of the salaries are very for attracting various kinds of pollinators particularly bumblebees which were also trying to encourage There's been a lot of buzz about bees. And you know it's great to provide nectar for and pollen for honeybees but we really WANNA promote our native bees as well and so this leads me to a question that I think I had mentioned to you that I was interested in in learning a little bit more about but I read a little bit about something called the pocket prairie initiative which I just found so compelling just that little tidal of a pocket prairie. What is this Kind of planting? We have different areas In our landscape that We call the kind of landscape that we have as a savannah in that is meadows that are dotted with trees And it's not a forest and it's not a prairie but it's like a savannah but these little grassy areas within the Savannah. You could talk about or describe as being a pocket prairie or in residential landscape. You can have a small pocket prairie where you incorporate grasses and native wildflowers that provide habitat. They provide a certain ascetic too but primarily people. Do It is a habitat. And it's important to make sure that you incorporate grasses because that's an important part of any prairie in pocket prairie is generally treated as a garden. It's usually it's a smaller scale so it's something you can manage a little bit more like a garden as opposed to you know acres that you would manage you know with broad brushstrokes. You can fuss around in your own landscape and do things by hand. And it's an important way to provide nectar and nesting materials for birds and insects. And just you know. Incorporating diversity of species will attract a diversity of wildlife. That is very interesting and fun to watch. Yeah Talk about the importance of grasses in these landscapes not just for their particular form and beauty but for the benefits they offer to The habitat aspect and to perhaps the soil profile does a good point. Yeah so grasses provide a lot of different ecological benefits people think about them as being a seat source for seed eating birds which is a wonderful thing to make available for seed eating birds little lesser known as that there are butterflies called skippers. There's a group of butterflies called skippers that use the grasses as their larval food for the caterpillars and then there's this nesting materials that birds will take the leaves to make make their mess out of And then the soil profile that you mentioned. That's another really important thing. Grasses tend to have a pretty extensive root system and as those roots grow and then decompose they're expanding and contracting the soil which helps the soil and keep it from getting too compacted that decomposition of the roots also adds more organic matter into the soil. There's a whole fauna of wildlife that lives in the soil that we don't even understand and that is a good matrix for all of that stuff to start happening. So grass is definitely an important part to include so as we get close to the end I know this has been an overview and the history and scope of the center is really magnificent and we could talk about it. You know in much greater detail with just narrowing in on one of the locations or display gardens or research projects but I really wanted listeners to have this overview of what is happening there and especially as it's you know now the botanic garden for the entire state and trying to represent all of that diversity and its larger research is interacting with and communicating with research units across the world in terms of native plant. Research talk about some of the long range goals of the center at this Point Andrea as the Botanic Garden of Texas one of the primary things that I'm focusing on as a director of horticulture is raising awareness of both the beauty and the function of our native flora and just how diverse it is trying to inspire people to embrace. These plants. Did FIRST OFF UNDERSTAND THEM BETTER? And then also as people understand them better to appreciate them more. And perhaps use some of these plants in their landscapes. One of the things that I'm trying to do with the gardens for example is used native plants as people expect them to be used. Which would be kind of a naturalistic looking? Space more. Wild flowery may be a wilder look but also for those people who really prefer a more stylized garden or a more controlled. Look just because you're using native plants doesn't mean that you have to have a messy or wild looking garden you can use native plants and a variety of styles and it depends on your maintenance and your design more than the species so. That's a message that I'm really trying to get across that. You can have sheared hedges of your pawn dislike you would shared hedge of boxwood but you have other benefits of having native plants in your landscape. And then we have our native plants We have a database. The native plants of North America that were improving and our goal is to have representation of all twenty thousand plus native plants that occur in the US and Canada. So that's a pretty big ambitious and our website is very powerful having if you check out our database we have lots and lots of information and photographs of many many species already growing at a a really big goal for us and then just growing into our role as a botanic garden of Texas. And is there anything else you would like to add about the importance of this work for you personally as we we look towards an ever changing future and or for the center as whole. I think it's really Important for us to continue the legacy that Mrs Johnson started with promoting the conservation of native plants native plants wherever they are and I think as our culture is more and more urban and more and more connected digitally and less and less connected with our natural world. The role of Botanical Gardens in general is becoming more and more important and for me. Personally I really want people to see the beauty in the diversity and the functionality of our native plants and how are native plants provide the Matrix in which all wildlife in the whole natural world or really dependent on people tend to be plant blind? You know you talk about monarchs and bees and birds and those are all important creatures. That are part of our natural community. But it's also important to appreciate that all of those things are possible because of the plants that they're relying on and it's part of as you alluded to earlier this fabric. And if you start taking threads out you might still have a piece of cloth for awhile but if you keep removing threads eventually that piece of cloth is GonNa lose its integrity and fall apart and I see plants and animals and all of these different elements that are part of our ecology like that. You can remove certain things here and there but eventually you're going to have a collapse in it so critical at this point in time that we really recognize how important that is and not allow ourselves to be too disconnected from that. Thank you very much for being a guest on the program today and for your fantastic work there at the garden and as a gardener yourself helping to strengthen this fabric we all love. Great will thank you so much for all the work that you're doing Andrea Delong. A my is director of horticulture for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas. At Austin it is also the botanic garden for the State of Texas Andrea has been on staff for over twenty years and has more than thirty years of experience in horticulture. She guides staff in the design and management of nine acres of beautiful native plant gardens. Two hundred and seventy five acres of natural areas and a native plant nursery. Her enthusiasm and knowledge for this field is extraordinary for every episode in March cultivating places highlighting one of the women in my new book. The Earth in her hands seventy five extraordinary women working in the world of plants which officially published last week on March third. Join US again next week when we continue our series on women in plants. When we're joined by Dr Elaine Ingham founder of the Soil Food Web Inc listening. There are so many ways. People engage in and grow from the cultivation of their places. The Earth is in all of our hands so take good care. Cultivating places a listener supported co-production of north state public radio over uncle meeting place dot com this week. Make sure to check out the many photos of the lady. Bird Johnson wildflower center and Andrea. Delong Maya's work there. They are absolutely beautiful. Our show producer and engineer is Matt fiddler. Executive producer. Is Sarah Bohannon? Original theme. Music is by Mau- Muse accompanied by Joe Craven and Sam Bevan cultivating place is distributed nationally by P R X public radio exchange until next week. Enjoy the cultivation of your place. I'm Jennifer Jordan.
Mrs. Laura Bush
"What happens when you cross the forty third president late night? Sketch comedy and compelling conversation the strategic adress. A podcast more from the words strategically which was appointed by us in an embrace bed. At the George W Bush administration we highlight the American spirit of leadership and compassion Shen who thought provoking conversations. And we're reminded that the most effective leaders ones who laughed. We're really excited about this special episode. I offer co host is Lindsay Newton. The director of leadership programs here at the Bush Institute and who served in the White House as personal aide and special assistant to the first lady from two thousand three to two thousand nine Lindsay. So glad you're here. Thank you Andrew. I'm so happy to be here. And our guest is that first lady herself. The incomparable Mrs Laura Bush. Thank you so much for chatting with us. Ma'am thank you very much. I'm excited to do this podcast. I think this might be the first time I've done. A podcast. Cast who while we are beyond honored to be the first so I understand you were recently in Jordan with President Bush and while you're there visited rubery Hania Bossy Bush institute suit we lead scholar. We had a wonderful trip to Jordan to Oman into Abu Dhabi but in Jordan we got to meet with Rubel who had been one one of our scholars of are we lead scholars. which are women from across a broad broader Middle East and Northern Africa? And she you went back home and put together a whole program herself. She may have actually designed it when she was with us as part of we lead to work with Arab women and her program is called Arab women. Today it's at the Arab Women Today Center. Really what they are trying to do is empower women. It's women helping women all these women because they were you know from the broader Middle East are Syria or are in this case a S- Jordan really needed help helping each other. They have obviously they come from countries that have a long history of women being left out although we we see and we certainly see this with our Waleed scholars that women are stepping forward All the way across the broader Middle East but what happened was ruble lose. Lose the skills that she learnt here with us at the Bush center as a we laid scholar and put them to use now for Arab women at this Arab Women Today Center as she's helping many of these women start their own businesses as they can help provide for their families and the women come come to her with certain skill some of them do already knew embroidery or soap making or jewelry making and then she's worked also to help educate. I am in in these skills that they wanna be able to use and they make things that they can sell to jeff chance to do some shopping or pick anything up one of the things I bought in fact it was one of the only things I bought on this trip. Were little bracelets. Poppy our granddaughter's who I know are gonNa Love Them That one of these women had made so cute so I was happy to see Rubel. Use the skills that she learned here through our we lead program and take him home and teach him to Muslim and Christian women in her country. They are absolutely incredible. Women that are that are there and it's it's so great that we're able to just give them. I am a little bit of a boost. Sell them accomplish their really amazing goals. That's right we also give him a a network with each other our in our other we lead groups when we had just women from Egypt or just women from Tunisia and now this last group that we're women from across northern Africa and the Broader Middle East but they have each other her to talk to and to compare stories and to talk about what they're interested in it gives them a network that they might not have had before and of course they can stay in contact with us. And I will say that when Ruby's here in the program she's a natural mentor so she developed this role as being a mentor to some of the younger scholars as Mrs Bush said that network expands beyond Jordan says she has some Lebanese men. Tease in the cohort. So I know it was so special for you and President Bush go visit her project. It really was great right and great to see her. So we're recording today at the Bush Center in Dallas and the Bush that are sits on a fourteen acre restored prairie right here in the middle of town and the driving force behind that park really was Mrs Bush where did your love of conservation originate from well. My mother was a conservationist. She grew up out on the Chihuahua desert in El Paso but she was always interested in nature when she was my girl scout a troop leader. We got our bird badge. Which of course I barely remember but she became a very knowledgeable bird watcher? And join the mid nets. It's the midland naturalist. When you think midland an oil town you probably don't think of it is a town with a lot of naturalist but of course it is because their businesses the earth Geologist geophysicist a lot of people like that that our work in the oil business that are particularly obviously made their life in their interest in the earth So was inspired by my mother who was a conservationist been birdwatching with her. A lot in midland win win The band DDT signed started going up on the telephone poles around town. I knew it was my mother who is putting up those bandy. Dt Science came in her Audubon magazine that she put up so for my whole life really because of her. I've been interested in conservation so I wanted this These these grounds that we have around the Bush center to look the way. The native prairie would've looked here in Dallas. There's very little native prairie left anywhere in our state. Even though that's what we were and certainly out in far west Texas where I live. They say that prairie was the grassland was flying high on on a horse when the first people settled out there so one of the things we did here was work with the lady. Bird Johnson wildflower our center to develop a native a mixture of Texas native grasses. That make a nice low grass. They don't have to be watered. Very often are mode very often. And that's what we have our whole lawn out of here at the Bush Center. It's gray. She can now buy. You can buy the seeds of it from Douglas gluskin growers or from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center but of course it's not traditionally dark. You know bright green like a like a traditional additional non native grass lawn would look in fact I understand. There's a man across the street here that offices across the street that calls the president of SMU SMU and says. When are you going to mow because it does get taller? We only need to mow it two or three times a year but we also have never had to use you city water to irrigate. We collect all the runoff from the building into a cistern where it seeps through a cistern iron and then We keep that water in the cistern. And that's what we use when we do need to Eric and Mrs Bush as you just mentioned your love of conservation goes back to with your mother and your grandparents and pass Oh and Midland and you've your childhood friends from Midland. You've shared that with them. Ever since you turned turned forty two national parks. What are your memories of sharing the National Parks Conservation Memories with your with women that I grew up within midland every year for in our national parks? We started a years ago With the Grand Canyon. I was our first trip where we floated on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and camped on those little spits of beach that are along the Colorado River and then hiked out at the South rim. When we got there? Are we love that trip. We did that again. That was the first trip we did. And then we did that again. Years later when we lived at the White House and on that trip we took our daughters offers. All of us have daughter. Some of my friends have sons as well but we took our daughter's on that trip and as I remember the girls hiked out in about four four hours in the old mother's barely made it out in about seven hours of hiking out But we're so fortunate in our country to had been set set aside our most beautiful natural environments with all of our natural national parks that are everywhere and besides that one park of course horse with this same group of Midland France everywhere from Denali in Alaska Appalachian the Appalachian Trail and on the east coast. And and so we've had the chance to see all these magnificent sites that we're fortunate are conserved and preserved as national parks speaking speaking of daughters in national parks. I remembered engagement. We were in the White House. That's right Henry Ash Genita- Mary him on Cadillac Mountain. The in Maine. which is the place where you can see the First Sunrise On the obviously the East Coast First Sunrise and he made her they were camping. Andy Cindy made her get up and hike to the top so they could see. Be there at sunrise when he asked her to marry men Genesis. She complained the whole way up. She was cold just typical shoot. Got Up to the top. And then that's where they got engaged and then they obviously married while we lived at the White House awesome and speaking of national parks. We'll keep going on that theme and in two thousand seven the theme for the For the White House Christmas was holiday the National Parks and this year. We're going to have a a Christmas. Exhibit is going to be a replica of that theme. So why did you choose the national parks in two thousand seven. Well of course had chose the national parks because they've been important to me for all these years that I've hiked in a national park and during those years that we lived at the White House is a national park every year with my same France. Brand's these friends that I grew up within midland a with entered the national park concession lottery to hike in Yosemite Yosemite has a very short season season in the High Sierras and there are tended camps their camps. Up there where you can hike from camp to camp and so but it's a lottery because they're just such a short season so we'd never been drawn to hike in Yosemite so when George was elected I call my friends. Said guess what we won the lottery so we act in Yosemite that first summer of two thousand one and I'm glad we did it then because it's very difficult there's some twelve mile days and it's hard hard it was. It was good that we were that young to be able to do it. We couldn't do it now but anyway so because of our love for national parks it was a perfect theme. Aim for Christmas one year and That and that's the theme that we will be reproducing this year. The two thousand seven at the White Dow's Theme was Christmas in the National Parks. And so we have all those decorations. You might not know it but when you leave in the White House you get to leave with the decorations that you used for each of those Christmas holidays. And they're stored here in the archives. The papers of the presidents are seen as belonging to the people people of the United States. So the papers are all here and including the decorations from each of those years of Christmas in as part archives here at our library so this year if you come visit the Bush Center for Christmas you'll get to see what those decorations were in two thousand seven Christmas in the national parks. What kind of what kind of ornaments and decorations to tell us what we used A? We sent out actually a big balls and Estevan American artists to decorate them with a painting of their favorite National Park. Our National Park. That was close to them or that was in some part of the a country where we lived and so we have those as well and then of course we did ever sort of natural decorations like many people would using pine cones in Magnolia leaves. And the things that you might be able to just get in your own yard like in a natural way like like you would if you wanted to visit a national show park. It's GONNA be beautiful. I'm really really excited about it. Mrs Bush just on the Christmas themed for a minute such a magnificent memory timid all the memories and the White House what are some of the With all the bushes came to town and everyone went to Camp David or some of your memories from the White House years. One thing I remember is there's a group of people they're just volunteers who decorate for the White House every year decorate the put up all the decorations and they come in sort sort of around the country a number of our florist who already have decoration. You know skill in being able to decorate but they decorate from year to year. They're not necessarily supporters of whoever the president is that lives there but but it was really fun to have them come in and I remember remember that one year when we use that fake quite snow. You'll you'll have seen it. That kind of you shake out of the box was piled up under the one of the Christmas trees. I use it. They decorated then. They SORTA had snow fight at the end of the decorations. There but then what we always did was go to Camp David so I know we have a record that no other family will ever hold because we Bennett Camp David for Christmas for four years. When George's dad was president and then Then for the eight years that we were there all the Bush family came to Camp David and it was the perfect place to be there for Christmas. It led the White House. The people that work at the White House off for the holidays and the people at Camp David are stationed there. It's a military base. It's actually a navy base which is odd because it's not on the water but when it was founded during the time of Franklin Roosevelt the crew from the presidential yacht were the ones that staff to Camp David and they were navy at. There's no longer a presidential yacht but there is still of course Camp David so we were with The families that were stationed there so they were there with their own children in their parents their wives and husbands and we had always had Christmas Eve Church service at the Little Church there at Camp David with them and there was something very special about getting to be with members of the military there at Camp David Well and the national park system that that is the base of all of this to they. Don't I think everyone thinks to them is just taking care of Yosemite in the Grand Canyon but they also do the the national monuments and the White House. And the Alamo and even like I'm GonNa get this name wrong so correct me here Popa Magoo. Yeah that's exactly it. which now McCook is a national marine monument that President Bush designated in the northwestern Hawaiian silence and I got to go there? It's so far in the northwestern Pacific way up there that it's a long flight even from Honolulu up up to Papa. Now McKay Midway Island is one of the islands and Midway Island has You know a landing strip and everything because it was a refueling refueling spot during World War Two with planes that flew from the United States toward Japan. So it's the only one of the northwestern Hawaiian Y in islands. That actually has a landing spot but I did have a chance after George Name. Bid is a national marine monument. Had the chance to go there and see it but why why is it so important that we protect our oceans and assets like Honda Mokaba. Okay thank you for bailing the added. Thank you well. This is one of the things we saw when we were there. There is a very large bird the lace on Albatross that nest up there. In the northwestern North Western Hawaiian islands they nest on the ground. They don't have any natural predators that are there on these remote islands. And so these as little babies were waiting little baby lace on Albatross. Chicks were in their nest and their parents go off and fish for squid on top of the ocean and then come back that can feed their chicks. And so every once in awhile. There'd be a little dead chick and we'd look at it and when we opened it up we'd see that the parents hadn't comeback with squid but they'd come back with plastic bottle caps in toothbrushes little plastic toys and just the plastic. That's out there in that in that remote part of the ocean and of course it's not all from the United States it's from Asia from many parts of the world but we saw the effects of plastic in this most remote place. You can imagine now not every little albatross was dead. Obviously there that grew up. And and you know this big great big lice on Albatross. But still it was a reminder of how small our world is now and how important it is that we all pay attention to what we do that what we do can make an effect you know when whatever we throw out washes down to the river and then washes out to sea and so it's important for us to try to conserve our beautiful world. We only have one plan. That's right and it's interesting because that's on the one hand that's this remote island that you and President Bush care so much about and also just your own literal backyard. Kyar Prairie Chapel ranch is an is another conservation example. When it's right on we're about either for the w one hundred that's right? We're about to go. Georgia think goes tonight to WHO The ranch and then I'll go tomorrow after the Bush Foundation Board meeting this weekend he's hosted warriors wounded warriors for the bike rides at our rats. We have a a lot of bike trails that have been built over the years. They're a new group of warriors will ride with him and then the alums who've written with him in other ears can join on the second day and ride with him too so I think that'll be a lot of fun. But one of the things we have done it. Iran's she's trying to restore the prairie that was there the native prairie that would have been there and of course it was gone because he'd been farmed the area around Waco. Oh which was a cotton producing area. And that's the farmers that we bought our property farm from at plotted but we've spent the all the years since we bought it about ten years. Now I guess we've owned it or maybe slightly longer. First plowing up the non native grass over and over year after year a year after year until we finally really got rid of it and then using these little seed from these little remnants of intact prairie that are native with grass man. That helps us at at ratchet bought up and so now we probably a little over one hundred acres of ninety prairie which means we've seen quayle again again at our ranch and we're not quite in the quail area of Texas but but we do have them because they're ground nesters they're dependent on prairies nice to nest and we've gotten to see those plus we're just proud to have it now. We have. We can met. Hey are native prairie so now we have our own native. I'd say it can continue. Adding more acreage is As we can Mrs. You've taken this idea this innovative idea of bringing Texas back to nature when you founded Texan by nature. And can you tell us just a little bit about that. Well when I moved home from the White House with this same group of France some of from where the My friend Midland friends. That a hike with Several of them are ranch. Women that grew up on the big ranches of Texas the Armstrong ranch in south South Texas Ranches Round Albany. We all joined together to try to encourage people to use native plants in everywhere in their landscapes in their churchyards wherever you can plan it and especially we wanted them to plant the milkweed. The native and low porn milkweed that monarch butterflies depend end upon to where they lay their cocoons as they migrate towards Canada for the summer and then fly back down in the winter toward Mexico coat the breeding grounds at the Monarch Butterfly. So we've worked with a lot of groups. A lot of corporations that have corporate campuses is a hundred and forty acres are so have gotten together and started to plant this antelope porn milk. Wait in one of a defense contact tractor out of close to Austin now. They're keeping bees even because they know how important it is for Po- for US ahead pollinators. We couldn't have agriculture culture if we didn't have pollinators and it's very important that we That we continue to make sure that we have enough native plants around round For the pollinators that are dependent especially then of course the monarch butterfly and as you can see sort of shape of Texas were the actual flyway of the Monarch Butterfly up from Mexico up to Canada and then back back as they fly back down. They fly in successive generations. They only live about nine days so they have to have the end low part beltway to put their coon on for the next generation. which is why it's really important? And of course nearly all of that mid part of the United States has been plowed because it's the agriculture belt. I mean we were dependent on it to write That's how we eat. But there are ways we can mitigate at the destruction to the milkweed to the end obviously slate to the monarch butterfly. You see these headlines every now and then of of in be counter down and butterfly counselor down. It's such a delicate cycle. That really is is. And that's why it's important to make sure you plant some native plants in your yard or in your on your corporate campuses like these companies around around Austin or doing or in your churchyards and so that's what Texan by nature is which is to try to encourage people to use native plants and of course they're the ones that thrive if they do the best In our pretty unforgiving atmosphere that we have here in Texas our weather I should say taught hot in December called in so as we as we get ready to wrap here I think we. We've gotTA know. We've talked so much about national parks and you've been to. So how many national parks. So which one do you think parents should take their children to which we go to. What do you think well? I think you should go to your closest national park. Find out which park is close to you. find out your national historic sites that are in your neighborhoods which are also part of the national park system and visit those and certainly the parents we the trip that we would make for Midland would be to the to the big band which is our big great big huge national park down at the band of taxes. This is but then also to San Antonio to visit the Alamo and all those things that Texans like to do and you might not know it but the Alamo's national historic site right so Research and find out what are the ones closest to you and take your children to those first and then give them the opportunity to visit others versus. They grow up that I think that's a perfect message ended on Mrs Bush thank you so much for news. We know you're busy and it's an incredible treat. Thank you very much. Thank you Andrew. Learn more about the bush. Institutes we lead program at. WWW dot bush dot org slash we lead scholars and view photos from Mrs Bush's trip to Jordan at www dot bush center dot org slash towards trip enjoy. Today's episode would like to help us spread the word about the strategic teachers to please give us a five star review until your friends to subscribe for available on Apple Podcasts spotify and all the major listening APPs if you're tuning in on a smartphone tapper swipe over the cover art you'll find episode notes with Helpful Information and details. He may have missed. The strategic was produced by U. N.. Pappas at the George W Bush Institute in Dallas Texas. Thank you for listening.
Big Design Small Budget
"This is the easy living yards podcast. I'm Ben Hale your host. That's interior design illiterate. Let's jump in and learn how to have healthy the youthful yard with less work so you can enjoy more time doing what you love. What's up in welcome to episode sixty nine nine of the easy living yards podcast today? I've got an interesting one for you here. <hes> we're going to be talking about exterior interior design design. That's right. It's a kind of a mouthful but basically what we've done is. I've been a guest interviewee on the big design small budget podcast podcast with Betsy Helmuth from affordable interior design. I had the good fortune to be on her show and had a wonderful time talking with her and I wanted to share this interview show with you. <hes> I do apologize in advance. The audio quality turned out horrible <music> on my end unfortunately so something happened with the Mike Hookup and we conducted the interview and afterward <hes> found found out that yeah the audio was horrible so betsy. If you're listening I sincerely apologize for the the issue and I'm pretty sure it was on my end. My I audio sounds really bad so anyway. If you guys can stick through the Audio I'm warning you in advance that it's not the greatest but <hes> it was great. Show wonderful careful discussion had a great time talking with Betsy and I want to share that with you today so I'm not gonNA mess around anymore. I'm the lettuce jump right into the show and I'll a follow up with you. After the end space that could use some sprucing not. Do you wish that you could work with affordable interior design but you're not located in New York or Washington D._C.. Or London no worries. We had the perfect perfect plan for you. It's called virtual makeover plan completely redesign one room for four hundred ninety nine dollars with one of our professionals. All you need to do is send in pictures measurements and our design style questionnaire and you can launch in with one of our pros Dabid tailor-made design plan that suits both your style and your budget reach out to us today at Info at affordable interior design dot com or give us a ring at eight eight eight five one three three seven four four to learn more about our virtual makeover plan and to get started on your transformation today mention Promo Promo Code podcast when you book and twenty five dollars off any of our design plans <music>. You don't need a high end designer or a lot of money to get a Lux look. He your own interior designer with big design small budget. Here's your host betsy helmet. Hi Everybody we are here today with a guest special guest and what makes this perfect timing is that at least here in the northeast things are getting warmer. It's getting Sunnier. I'm starting to think about going outside now that the snow is almost melted and one thing that you may have heard in previous podcasts podcast that absolutely paralyzes me is anything having to do with plant design plants in general the P.. Word is somewhat of a phobia of mine. I do not have a green thumb. I find the various <unk> pleasing small sculptures but I have no idea how to keep them alive and that is where our guest comes in today. His name is Ben Hale and he has a website as well as a podcast easy living yards and he's going to talk to us today about D._I._Y.. Landscaping just just in time for spring. I'm so glad you could join us Ben. Tell us more about yourself. I am so glad to be here so thank you for having me. I like you said I have podcast so easy. Living yards is my podcast in also the name website in essentially what I do is I help d._I._Y.. landscapers learn learn how to have a healthy in a before landscape that they love to they can spend more time doing what they love it so it's perfect for people like yourself who know nothing about plants but but one have a beautiful landscape or just kind of scared or intimidating all admit this is kind of a scary process interior designers the scary thing as well and <hes> and so essentially what I try to do is help get through some of those barriers to office into show step by step the process of redesigning your landscape landscape to have a landscape that you don't have to be out working on all the time just to have that so something to be proud of something that says time Saint. Let's essentially did you do great yet because outside my house. If you're listening to my podcast last week she's not so cute in and of herself structurally outside guide. She's pretty plain inside of course there's lovely beautiful drapes art work but I was really stumped as to how to make this architecture more visually appealing feeling and then I realized I can make the architecture more visually appealing by the things I put around at the plants so I hired a designer to create it but then I ultimately millie went out and bought the plans and it was crazy. The plans are very expensive. They range from like thirty dollars for something all the way up to four hundred fifty eighty dollars for like a tall evergreen so I really had sticker shock because those prices are very similar to furniture. What are some common mistakes that people people make when picking out plans for their yard where yeah that's that's exactly? One of the problems is people do have sticker shock you get to the planting darkness. That's actually the court. Most people think about us. The plants in in really landscape design is so much more than that. It's it's Kinda like if you think about trying to put a painting on your well. I you want to designed the whole room inside your home person and figure out where your furniture is going probably a again. not this the designer expert but I'm guessing what you WanNa do is have a good floor clan especially. If you're thinking from like you've talked about on your podcast before you're gonNA figure out the right floor plan in rights overall structure feel of your room before you think about the specific painting where it goes in the same goes for plants outside and so instead you wanNA think about design your overall landscape what feeling ruling what what sort of ambience you wanna have or what emotion you want to have or visitors to have or just what looker styling wants as Wilson's. It's more of a styling in in so you figure that out I go to the plants and so I just touched on that coming back to your question. The first piece is I really am not doing the design parts. Oh what do you do. I like Mo what what's your right. Do it right you have to vacuum you have to dust but it doesn't help change design and so instead of the first step really outdoors is starting to get concepts in place in design so what's what's your vision for your landscape. What is your your design that you want to have? How do you want to enhance the architecture like you were talking about <hes> in you figure out those things I and any also understand the conditions of your site to because we're talking about living things here in so plants you know they're not made of plastic and so we have to understand what helps them to thrive live in surviving landscape so all those things happen I in then you start to figure out okay? What types of plants do I want from a structural artistic standpoint and then you go the only down to what Texas <unk> visual sampling? What toward blues do I want what time of the year what sort of leaf pattern do I want? <unk> evergreens leans deciduous plants and then you have to understand what plants of all the situations fit intimate landscape so what what adapts best to the type of son. I have love in the amount of water. I have <unk> so there. I know I'm making it's incredibly complex but what attending to say it's is. There's a process and device piece. I the other piece you you'd ask where some common mistakes the other very big mistake so planning is the first piece the next piece is also not budgeting appropriately appropriately which you touched on ready to is times we get to the the installation phase. We say oh let's go out. Buy some plants. This we begin you go to your your local ministry. Your your big box store said urine sticker shot because there's all these incredibly expensive plants times especially if you're looking for a specific plant and and it can be it can be a little daunting and so trying to figure out how to buy plants at the right time what's the best time of year to buy those plants what kind of doing some pricing comparisons as well how to understand how you can budget appropriate and also then planning the installation which includes budgeting in so you can say well. Maybe we'll plant their tree this year. Maybe the spring will do some of this other plants to kind of <hes> lessen the burden purchase right right and also I found when I went there to the nursery. I really thought that the people would Switches having somebody do the design for you and when you have a designer do you do have that expert input just like an interior designer. I we try design our house right now and I'm sure you'd walk in it just kind of look in surprise around our home because it does need a lot of interior design. Were the same goes for the exterior landscape I can I can tell exactly win. A home has been professionally designed and when it's been done you kinda just by the person trying to do it themselves. How can you spot that. How can you spot wondering what what what gives it away that somebody did it themselves. Versus hiring sure a lot of it goes back to that planning leaning piece. It's it's kind of obvious when somebody has decided for the weekend that hey we need smart plants in our yard. Let's go to home depot or our lows or what have you our local nursery and in. Let's go get some plants and then they happen to. Maybe this isn't something necessarily bad. It's just not not necessarily the right process and guilty of this and so then you go to the story said. Oh that looks pretty. You know it's flowering right now. Oh this is on sale. Oh it's so let's pick up a couple of these in give. Where am I gonNA put this well. Maybe there's some space survey. Let's go dig a hole in some plants in water right and so you can see that things weren't done in a cohesive manner that really pulls the whole space together it. That's the design piece that that really is something that an expert asper can bring to the table and in what I'm trying to do with my easy living yards. podcast brand is to bridge that gap to help show people that there you can do some of this design work yourself. It might not necessarily be you know an award winning landscape at the end but it'll be something that looks nice feels good. It's very welcoming. Maybe seeing what's your view yeah speaking of those tips. How what can somebody do that does want it look design early but doesn't have the funds to hire a designer. What are a couple of those top tips that you talk about on your podcast sure I can touch on a couple of if we if we go go to the the super top level rate if we're flying at five thousand feet or whatever <hes> fifty thousand feet I guess is more appropriate term. <hes> there's a couple of basic dick design concepts that are really helpful and so when we're talking about a landscape it's similar guest to in a way to to painting. Maybe is is having having a good form unity order at deserves some terms that are landscapers us to kind of design landscape so so if Kinda just distill that down a little bit and make it more actionable. If you look at the front of Your House if you just erase everything from the landscaping you just have of a block of a home on an empty piece of dirt right and so a lot of times contractors do they built homes is they'll just sprinkle a couple of plants. Maybe maybe some boxwoods or some some evergreens right on the base of the foundation just to kind of ease that start transition because that's really what landscape does is it. You take the the rough form of your architecture. Inorganic piece is you try and blend it somewhat into the organic space of your landscape. It's not necessarily a natural or native place right but it's something that you you kinda naturalise the hard stone or vinyl siding over the physical architecture into the landscape and so a lot of ways you can do that is annexed some elements. Maybe that you can frame it for example. If you have a lot of vertical accidents to your architecture then you can add some vertical plants that frame your home so for example. We just redid our front landscape at our new home Woah. It's not new anymore our home that we've been reminding for the past six years and finally it's been able to Redo the front landscape so what we did it is we we kinda buffered the corners that house by adding some vertical evergreens that reach about fifteen feet tall two are two storey house so it really kind of takes away the rough edge of your home and then we've also added some lower shrouds around the home to kind of bring that start corner again get out away from the edge of the home in into the landscape so it's a lot about transitioning framing in repeating certain elements across your landscape in those elements could be vertical article form the same plant they could be same color <hes> they give you the same texture it so those are ways that if you take that you know this this <hes> this unappealing words form in unity in function and that's how you can kinda practically apply is to to really ease the transition of your home to maybe frame it or two symmetry to it into your landscape so that way. It just doesn't look like it's standing up now. It's time for a quick commercial break. Do you love learning about interior design. Do you wish you could even more about funk. Shwe's styling your home where to buy the perfect furniture pieces and more well you can we offer offer online classes head over to affordable interior design dot com click on the shop tab and you'll see our three forty five minute all in classes purchase them one by one for forty dollars a piece or get the value pack of all three classes for ninety dollars and we'll throw in the paperback version of our book for Free Pack Doc all even autograph it for you be sure to use Promo Code podcast at checkout to get fifteen percent off your order. I had never thought about kind of transitioning coming from that stark home to the earth and you know it's even kind of often tiered with those taller pieces in the back towards the house getting lower towards the yard and so that's very interesting and I love those actionable steps of repeating the same plant or what was very interesting with our our designer is we have the unusual high windows in one side of our house and low windows on the other side of our house. It's all in the front but just on the right hand. Side had their low and on the left hand side the windows are high and so even though she repeated the same plant elements in other words we use boxwoods all along in different smatterings in between between the high windows in the low window. She did a high P.. It was obvious that she picked plants that were only gonNA get so high so they would never block that high window and then she did something quite see through <hes>. That's probably not the right term well anyway. It was a fairly see-through or not to bushy kind of plan. I don't even know what it <hes> in front of the low windows. So we get privacy loose form of course sir. She did a loose form flowering something or other in front none of that lower window so we have privacy but we can still get light. Throw so it's funny hearing you explain why somebody would do that. I can see her practical application Asian of that yeah those are actually great examples of of when you get to the actual part of selecting your plants. You're you've got a couple of categories one. You have selecting selecting for structure in size in those sorts of things in your also selecting for the compatibility of the plant to your space in the kind of touched on already in more detail <hes> yeah you. WanNa make sure you don't block any views from your home. You don't have a plant that is gonNA grow so big that it's going to be touching your gutters or something or touching power lines. This is our common common. Problems is not planning for mature size of the plant in likewise. If you're planting aid a large planet ratings foundation it can cause massive foundation issues too. It's there you really WanNa plan for those things plan for the future essentially in likewise when it comes to the plant selection not only. Are you thinking about the structure structure in <unk> whether it's loose form plants or not you're also thinking about again. Understanding what how the sign is on the front of your home versus the back of your from wherever you're planning this project so if if for example in our home our our frontal warehouse space itself so it gets alive sun exposure during the winter and during the summer we live in the Midwest and so it's even during the winter that area of our home is usually ten ended twenty degrees warmer in the back of our own which faces north and so that changes the plant selection for those spaces in likewise whether how much water for how much rainfall you have for your climate as well as the specific space does water pool air runoff quickly all of those things factor into what plans select the without sending overwhelmingly wonderful opportunity we have is with the advent of the Internet I think I just think I just saw Google. It's third yeah a happy birthday worldwide web. Yeah I was thinking today as I saw that banner on Google. I was thinking today how grateful I am and for those of you who can remember member before the worldwide web. I don't know if you can ben but I can and they were dark days like I had to use card catalogs at the library. When you didn't didn't have an answer you just were Outta. Luck well then you must be in the Midwest yet because I grew up in the Midwest and we get everything a little later out there so anyway. I got the World Wide Web yeah when I was about fifteen but it had been around. I'm for a while before I actually got it okay anyway. Now something that came up for me were discussing style. Is You know I know no styles in terms of interior design. There's transitional traditional modern ECLECTIC but what about for landscape you guys have words for that like the different styles. I'll be certainly honest. I'm not up to par on all the words to the different styles but I can't tell you that there are different styles. How's that work for different spaces and so for example if you have a very modern right so if you have a home that may be was built with the idea of like say cubism in mind. We have a very eclectic <unk> or you have a maybe even you know what I might want like. A A south Western architecture home in this categories will see have very very. Right angles structures <hes> maybe very simple features but replicated over a wide space what you doing that landscape would be very different than what. Oh you do in your typical American craftsman style our your seaside architecture so each of these types of architecture do have different teams that match up with fury for example. If you take your modern home you would you would essentially do similar things to your landscape that might enhance the architecture of your do you have a very stark architecture picture that stands out in so doing the blending techniques or the framing techniques that I was talking about earlier might actually take away from the architecture. So of course these are these zor very broad generalizations. You can get very artistic. You know very progressive with some of these ideas but in general save for example he had a very modern home which isn't very common ah you would actually have maybe broader expanses of the same repeated development across space in maybe very specific shapes that kind of somewhat near your home draw the eye to certain parts of the home and don't necessarily take away from that architecture that makes sense now. If you have a more I guess traditional home. That's pretty against commonplace than than that goes kind of into those broader themes of what we talked about about just framing the home in transitioning joining the landscape from your lawn to your home. You WanNa have some transitional between those are good generalizations that can help you with that of course if you have I mentioned like a seaside architecture so if you have first of all if you live on the coast the work U._D.'s there might be a lot different to you. Lights gave to to really have a theme the ambience of being on the seashore right so you have a lot of maybe rock elements or sand elements in your space and then very specific plants like grass like tall <hes> featured grasses in kind of dress in class across the space and maybe some shrubs that get that kind of weather look that Naral periods appearance that shows the the windy nature of the space in the kind of the transitional nature of the space so when you do in the different architectures architectures are certainly different and there are these seams but again the a lot of times they they kind of go along right. That's interesting because it interior design. We definitely factor factor in the architecture is one of the decision makers in terms of what style will go with inside but you don't follow it literally if your style doesn't match with the architecture for instance my architecture. Is You know my house was built in nineteen thirteen. It's a little bit older. It's very craftsman style and a little bit Chunky e- in terms of the mouldings are donkey the doorways chunky the doors are thick and Chunky and that's really not my style at all so I kind of brought a mid century lightness ness with furniture with legs and smaller seating areas things like that to the space and it sounds like that's not really how you do it in landscaping landscaping. You really do feed off architecture. It's not such a symbiotic relationship would say yes and no so yes. That's the general growthy I would say but if like you're saying where you don't WanNa feel constrained or trapped confined by the home you have fright in nets from an interior perspective respect you can do the same exterior perspective but you really have to be careful to make sure it kind of matches or flows with the architecture kind of feeds off each other enhances the space as opposed to taking away from so for example with your American craftsman style home or even like a fancier Victorian style home for example where some of those features are really nice. If you're putting you know large or medium size trees in front of your your home that could detract detract from that beautiful architecture those features on your home that really want to enhance so there's I guess an example of how you have to be careful right now that that said <unk> we could also talk about some general landscaping teams for your previous question which is <hes> you know something something that. I'm a huge fan of and it's becoming more and more common is like naturalized type landscapes bringing natural elements or even natives pay elements into into the landscape <unk>. What do you mean by that like. Do you mean something that's not a plant like oh so like native landscaping escaping or naturalized spaces are there's a movement called new perennial movement and so for example in New York the the highline which is very popular in Chicago. The Linear Park is also designed new parental style. This actually both designed by the Dutch Gardner made the Pete outdoor and and he's brought this this love of actually American of prairie plants to landscaping enjoying actually the dead features of these plants so letting him grow throughout throughout the winter as they die off in you die back to the ground each winter will they have beautiful architectural features cells and so kind of using has artistic sick piece adults as little scary right now bringing those innocent artistic piece so specific plants grasses are a great example so think of dead grass. ASS HAS A beautiful golden hue to it. Some aggressive even have deep browns reds or or even a kind of purple amber color and they also bring wonderful title sound to landscape a movement in a time where things feel lacking in life and so that's a big challenge with landscaping is what do you do for winter wherever grades come into play and also a lot of these textual elements and that's what for example like the new perennial movement can do is bring in some of these these textural against the other apiece to as you you do have various culturally themed guards so you can have like an English cottage style garden or Japanese inspired garden through or on these very modern style gardens to which which are more uniform in that sort of thing so so there are some specific themes but desert. You are currently advanced techniques. Yeah that's two point zero two point. Oh yeah well. I have one last question that because it is so interesting that you say that we're we're coming out of winter and we bought these plants at had them planted in October. It was at the end of the season of course so they almost immediately fall for all intents and purposes died right. They look really ugly. You have no idea what they're going to become again. I sort of faintly remember what they look like before. Everything died and it's very interesting because out here in the northeast we have a long winter feels long. It feels so long from October. Tell <hes> probably late April. Things aren't GonNa have leaves or look alive again. It's very interesting to think about what it looks like quote unquote. Oh Dad because we're with them in this state for so long. I picked them ugly dead plants. I'M GONNA put that out there. They do not look cute in any any way and I kind of had evergreen envy the other day because the places we did put evergreens or the houses that have more evergreens. It looks so much nicer for so many more months of the year but I love this idea of thinking that of them is like that visual texture like grass or something like that that is still has some appeal aw or maybe I'm just looking at my plants wrong. Maybe they do have appeal even looking like little dead twigs kind of two pieces. One is though piece of thinking was dead. It's gotta get removed often cleaned out that's kind of the typical process in kind of comes from the English gardening a background in a lot of other gardening backgrounds too but cleaning out title that Demetrio with the cool thing is I do have a little bit of love for ecology in <unk> sustainable design <unk> cool thing that really helped me appreciate made these plants instead of just looking dead material is also homes for a lot of really good insects. There are actually good insects out there and it's these pollinators and in various insects that actually helped the plants thrive in in bring really kind of just some goodness they helped be birds for example sample to <unk> <unk> other little wonderful bits that you don't realize it so leaving this material has it can have you plan it properly. It can have a beautiful beautiful structural piece to it in textual piece but it can also have this kind of secondary benefit of helping the broader landscape is like to call it and you kind of talked about yet so there are these different plants that can be really wonderful. One of my favorite plants are analysis every day. I have a different favorite planet but one of the one of the comic <unk> favorites right now is this beautiful prairie native to the Midwestern and Western prairie <hes> which is called Perry dropped seed and it's beautiful therefore whiskey grass and it's so beautiful whence growing it's this bright green pom pom ball basically and it grows about two feet tall in Annette shoots these little seed heads up the beautiful wispy naturally smelled really good too which is a cool thing and then after after it gets cold in come October tober would have they start to Brown up in these still have this beautiful lovely texture. It's Kinda that that process of change is something. That's a lot different than inside of your home for examples is the landscapes always changing cialis have things growing coming into bloom in then fading away in so the winter's a tough time that in a lot of people's eyes so if you unplanned for it like we talked about you know planning of major thing so if you plan for it can have beautiful trees shrubs in your space give beautiful evergreens that then come into their own really start start to stand out in two months but you don't. WanNa have you know just evergreens on your landscaping. That's it because it can be almost overdone and and then it's kind of lacking the rest of the year doesn't doesn't and so that's the wonderful thing is this beautiful refreshing in spring and everything just takes a deep breath in starts to show all this beautiful wonder wonder that we think about it's springtime and <hes> so touching a winter though winter because it's a tough time. I'd like to talk about it so like prairie. Drop seeded these other. Grasses and they don't have to be native grasses right. They don't have to be native. Plants have kind of growing a love for them but because they're under appreciated so there's uncool plant when we're talking about a tree for example if you're thinking of a tree thinking of the bark in the pattern the bar casts diffusing of looking down like a typical creek <hes> here in the Mid West Sycamore is are these beautiful trees have this lovely wake bark and in a standout you can see it from almost a mile away to spend their lovely the white bark and so a similar in the smaller landscape in your home. You don't want to necessarily have this giant giant Sycamore tree would fit in our landscape but river birch purchased a wonderful tree of has this beautiful peeling bark on or there's also a paper Birch in it has it's lovely bark that that has its own interesting appeal so in the winter months when there's no leaves you haven't beautiful orangish whitish or that's kind of peeling off in drawing ionta landscape so thinking about these other elements once again. We're probably get two point fear like you said earlier. I just a little too excited yeah. That's great. Will you know you've got me appreciating appreciating plants in a new way looking at those details even when the plant is not in bloom right looking at the bar looking at the shape of the branches looking at what happens to it in the fall as it is deteriorating or whatever the word is disintegrating <hes> something d that's not dead but but anyway so I really appreciate you coming on really appreciate you coming on and telling us about this because I am not plant progressive and it's time for me to join the bandwagon. 'cause I'm seeing why you're so passionate been and speaking of why don't you tell our listeners where they can find you. Well really quickly quickly. I'm already sensing that because I really didn't pick these plants out with that in mind nor did I emphasize it to my designer and I'm like Whoa I hate the way these plans look in the winter. I don't care if their homes for animals and insects get Outta here. I WANNA replant everything. I'm looking to buy a small tree and I'm going to check check out this paper Birch so you've got me already thinking wow yeah I wanna say to there. There are a couple great resources that I would love to share a one is the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder under that's a mouthful <hes> the Missouri Botanical Garden put together this wonderful resource source that shirts tons of information all sorts of plants they grow they sure basically information of plants so if you live kind of like in northern Florida on northern Texas sexist region all the way up to almost upstate New York outside the or even beyond probably there are there a lot of plants that are grow aw able to grow and adapt in your region that are listed on this wonderful plant database so basically it has pictures of these plans tells kind of some of their beautiful characteristics and and also what conditions they prefer the really important piece we talked about so that's a great way to kind of sift through these plants before you go to the nursery and start looking at stuff to search a figure you're out at what was the right plan for you in inaccurate really helpful so that's one in the second is the the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. This is a center at least they're down in Texas and they also have this wonderful research. There focuses more on native plants but again they highlight these wonderful beautiful native plants and again the conditions that they grow into the cool thing about these is you could slick these little plant filter saying I have a sunny locate. It gets really what I I love a filter yeah. That's how I shop on Wayfair so I am down with this Lady Bird Johnson Resource Yeah. It's all about the filter. I'm in in Lakewood so yet anybody that's listening. I would love to share tons of resources of course you can always check out the easy living yards podcasts at love combined. Check all the PODCASTS <unk> likewise. I can offer some free downloads it. So one I have is is if you live anywhere I would say east of the rockies any kind of continuous United States. I have a wonderful super easy plantlets. I have three plants you can go over and check out so if you go to easy living yards dot dot com slash big design. They'll have a link where you can download that resource in likewise. This is a surprise but I just opened up my membership at love to share. We're a free one month membership to the easy living yards membership <unk> anybody that would like to come and check it out join and what the easy living yards membership this ship is is a a resource of from start to finish. I have courses that. Take you through the process of figuring out this planning piece. That's really scary and also figuring out what plants you need before you get into the design. PROT urge to the installation process may also have of course material that wants to that insulation premises too right now just opening we have stuff with the design process and throughout the year. I'll be adding all those installation pieces so that you can. They have wonderful beautiful garden by end of this season going into next year. So if you want to check that out link our you can get your free great well oh Ben. I really appreciate this wealth of knowledge. I do have a newfound appreciation for plants. It came a little too late considering I planted October but but I'll be back in the nursery soon I think and I'm so glad you joined us. Thanks for your wealth of knowledge and we'll be seeing you on easy living. You're much really out of took a big. Thank you to are amazing producer Katherine Heller to eight on the V._C._R.. House band into affordable interior design the sponsor of this podcast cast in the premier place to get an amazing look on budget checkout affordable interior design dot com. If you guys loved the show the very best way to support us is by spreading the word. Tell your friends or write us an awesome review on itunes so Intel next week guys. Thanks so much for joining us and talk to you soon by <music> Fan of this podcast. Do you wish there was even more juicy contents for you to sink your ears into well. There is you can become a premium member of this podcast for five dollars and ninety nine cents a month and get full access to an archive of over fifty bonus episodes additionally. We released a bonus episode every single month. That's a ton of extra content including my personal interior design Zayn diaries extra tips might talking about trends and so much more additionally you'll be keeping us on airwaves each and every beat because your premium membership money goes directly back to make this podcast on amazing check us out at affordable interior design dot com click on podcast to learn more and to become premium member today. Are you still oh they're out. That audio was really bad. I apologize for that but the content was wonderful. It was so much fun talking with Betsy so betsy again. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be on the show and thank you guys for listening as well. I hope you've gotten some good value. You know this is kind of like one of those shows where just kind of wraps up a bunch just stuff into a small package so that way you can get a ton of information really fast with a short period of time so that's kind of what these guests interview shows do is they kind kind of really bundled up a bunch of this stuff we talk about on this show and and kind of bring it together in a in a smaller timeframe and so anyway <hes> I hope you enjoyed the show <hes> I will share some of those links that we talked about so there are those giveaways that we talked about in the show so <hes> that I shared with the big design small budget group and so likewise all give you link to that as well you can go to E. A. Y.. Dot how slash big design to get to it and there's a link in the show notes likewise if you're ready to really make a transformation with your landscape really make a positive change and save time in the long run with your life through your landscape and enjoy landscape the same time then the e. a. y.. Membership is right for you so if you're ready to transform former competence check out the IAEA y.. Membership there's a link in the show notes likewise. You can always go to E. L. Y.. Dot how slash membership as always if you have quick question you can go over to e o y dot how slash pod and right at the top of the page <hes>. There's a button that says ask a question also make sure you check out how betsy helmets podcast and website. She has a ton of amazing content on interior design so again her business is called affordable interior design nine. You can find it over it affordable interior design dot com. I'll have lincoln the show notes you can check out and likewise. Her podcast is called big designed small budget and as it's pretty much self explanatory she focuses on interior design tips and tricks and things you can do on a limited budget to really make your house pop. I can use a ton of hope with this. I actually love her podcast. She has a ton of cool tips and tricks in likewise. She does a ton of Q._N._A.. Shows where she has people call in in with a question she read them out or you know emails questions to her and then she answers those questions with some great example so if you need help with your interior design work make sure you check out her business her website again is affordable interior design dot com she also has rapidly growing brick and mortar business in multiple
Tiffany Freeman, Clinical Herbalist: Women Working in the World of Plants Series #1
"This is cultivating place conversations on natural history and the human impulse to garden from north state public radio in northern California. I'm Jennifer Joel this week. We wrap up cultivating places series on the healing power of gardens and we kick off our women's history month for every episode in March cultivating place will highlight one of the women in my new book. The Earth in her hands seventy five extraordinary women working in the world of plants which officially published just two days ago on March third. Twenty twenty we start off with the work of herbalist. An educator Tiffany Freeman. Tiffany is registered acupuncturist a traditional Chinese medicine doctor and a registered clinical herbalist certified by the American herbalists guild. She is the CO founder and Co director of the Lodge Pole School of Holistic Studies. She joins us today from her home. In Calgary Welcome tiffany. Thank you so much Jennifer pleasure to be here on your show. So let's start off with you describing listeners. What your practice especially as it relates to plants as it relates to plants what that involves on an everyday basis. What do you do tiffany? Yes of course. Well first and foremost my practice. isn't formed through the use of acupuncture round primarily so patients That I come in. I do consultations with them and through traditional Chinese medicine and other modalities such as western herbal. Ism I find appropriate plants for what types of patterns Different types of conditions ailments That they're working with whether that's a physical mental emotional stuff With that I tailor my formulas for patients For clients as well and that aren't coming for acupuncture also see people for herbal consults and a Taylor specific remedies for them Some of those at remedies. I'm making my own And some of them I'm also purchasing larger quantities of and compounding them in my home based apothecary. I can't wait to get into more of the details on all of this especially as I have followed your work since interviewing you For the book but before we get into that. Let's go back a little bit and have you tell listeners about your earliest influences and the the people in places in the plants that grew you into a person for whom this would-be you're calling. Where were you born and raised and tell us about your your origin stories? Yeah I I was born in Winnipeg Manitoba which is the center of Canada To a father that suffers nations. Cree Treaty One territory to sell side of Winnipeg and to a mother who grew up in an adopted mennonite family so to very unique different backgrounds kind of colliding together There was a common thing between our thread between the two of those and that was a connection to the earth and sustainability. The mennonite family that I my family or my mother grew up. In gardened end used plant brandies from their yard or for the from the surrounding areas and having moved to Canada as a young child and first generation My Grandmother She got to learn a lot of different plants within her in her environment and so she was a part of a group of women that took care of each other and her husband died quite early when the children are really young so she had to be very self sufficient also help with great help from the community and with that resources were were quite slim so she used what she had available. Whether that was rose hips. Some that was one of my sort of biggest memory is is walking with her and collecting. Rose hips 'cause she developed Some lung conditions and Also using planting because Winnipeg is notorious Manitoba's notorious for mosquitoes and so she would wrap my feet in the hands. Were badly bitten from playing outside in the dirt and in the ditches and Um with mosquito bites she would cover those up all slept at night and those are my earliest memories of being taken care of in that way just That interaction with the environment in the earth That it can provide this bounty for us as well So my uncle Who had done a PhD in history? Decided that he wanted to get into more of earth-based Sort of sciences and so he went into the feel of herbalism and so as a child I grew up with you know. Different remedies being given When my first Moon Menstrual cycle came along came with that like packages of t for me to consume and to help aid in symptoms And to support my body with the Greens products that he had produced. So those are my earliest influences and on my father's side there was a tradition of that that Through colonization and residential school system had been lost a little bit as well so my journey into getting back into the indigenous plants Of My culture in my environment Started out actually through my family that came here from from Russia and then that opened up my eyes to the other side of my family in terms of the wealth of knowledge. That was still there. just a bit more hidden in a bit more deep. So that influence led me to study with An elder a cre- elder who's from Alberta so a couple of provinces away and she took me through probably a decade and a half worst of mentor ship through Earth late based practices and Ceremony as well and so that really helped me reconnect to that source. That I kind of lost with family or wasn't past being passed on right through my family And since then many of my family members have also kind of reclaimed their traditions. As well I love that connection. You just highlighted right there in that your re engagement and reacquaintance with this knowledge and Plant relationship then inspired and rippled out to other people being able to to follow that reacquainting. So you have these great very different cultural backgrounds that come together in your life and both cultivate this sense of the the power and importance and resource relationship that we have with plants. Talk about where you then go onto study. 'cause we bring in a few other Lineages here. Yeah well my my journey with health as I mentioned started early and and that kind of piqued my curiosity As I became a teenager or entered my teenager years I was very bit more rebellious and not necessarily rebellious in terms of doing things. Bad bad things at home but I was more Drawn to kind of that. Counterculture became more political Listen to lots of punk rock music. And that kind of wanting to go against the grain and challenge. The system and brought me into actually vegetarianism at a very young age. And it was through vegetarianism that I sort of reading different types of magazines And becoming really interested in health in general I since then changed dietary paths and You know eat more traditional type foods as a cre- person but that was one of the peak for me just starting to dip my toes into reading books about health and nutrition and that Yeah opened my eyes into a whole other field and I think that was probably my early twenties. I decided that I wanted to herbalist. And so I- researched herbalism and Obviously my uncle was a herbal list. So I knew. The school that he went to end found a school. That was some close by had to move cities. But it was the closest one to me. And I started to study with Dr Terry Willard of the wild rose college and that was Very incredible experience for me in terms of learning about plants learning about plants of this land as well. I live on Tree seven territory in the plants are different than where I grew up In Manitoba and so it just opened my eyes into so many things and From there my Passions Kinda diversified. Partly due. The influence of of Terry Willard. He is a a man that is so interested in many different areas and his knowledge is very diverse in terms of the scientific aspects and indigenous perspectives Different cultural spectators studied Chinese medicine as well. And so he brought all of that into the classroom So when I finished studying with him I had was doing an internship with a Chinese medicine. Doctor and from that introduction. That had Terry a.d. Already had kind of dipped my toes into Chinese medicine And from there I just became almost obsessed with I had to learn and so I ended up actually shortly after going to school for four years studying Western herbalism. I went for another four years to study traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Wow Okay I was going to ask you. That is to tell listeners. Just how many years were involved in each of these fields of study? I WANNA ask a little bit more about each field and what you studied specifically in each one but maybe you would rather I wait till you finish your educational pathway. What what you prefer. I mean there's just a couple other things I mentioned in terms of education continuing my education for sure During the process of going through traditional Chinese Medicine School I was also mentoring with my cre- elder as I had spoke about Learning about the plants of our area that we live on eighty seven territory and also learning about ceremonies and different types of More of a spiritual type of healing practices as well where you're using hands and energy in prayer and ceremony in order to help with different types of transformations with others Just the practice of holding space I guess would be the best way to describe it So during that process of going to school I was. It was a very busy time in my life and I continue to study and practice other ways After finishing traditional Chinese Medicine School and becoming licensed in the province of Alberta the direction that ended up pulling me into was A whole other new system of acupuncture and so I I met this woman who's Very amazing teacher and Kind of Trailblazer the field of acupuncture. Who's from California and she came up to Vancouver Canada and did a series of workshops may studied with her every month. I believe it was about six months. And so she passed on Teachings from a lineage a different lineage of acupuncture than I studied and The lineages master Dong Master. Ching Chang Dong Acupuncture and he had been Exiled from China because a during the cultural revolution had taken his traditions. I didn't passed down to him and I believe he was thirteenth generation. I could be wrong. But I believe it's thirteenth. And he went to Taiwan and decided to share that outside of the family lineage. So that was a a felt like a very big gift And it's still the practice that I follow within my clinical practice with my patients is using his techniques and theories and then on top of that I've been studying with A woman yet A. B. C. Who teaches practice called Ortho Bonomi and that's a whole other Modality that's not based in Chinese medicine or in herbalism. It's more physical type therapy where you're using the body and Helping holds the space for others to resolve issues especially the physiological stuff like sore shoulders back and things but also internal stuff as well so it's continuous learning journey and how M- always learning about new medalla. These patients are challenging me to learn more And also just learning from the plants as I work with them as well and that changes in chefs. It's very fluid inorganic. Well it's so responsive As you learn which is one of the things that I find. So compelling is that so often so much of what we do what we learn you know is isolated into these separate categories and titles or labels of you know traditional Chinese medicine or traditional ecological knowledge or Western herbalism. And in fact there's so much overlap in intention and foundational elements that you bring together so so beautifully so that it responds the best that it can to our ever-shifting needs and circumstances and that is a holding space from my perspective. That's very powerful for for anybody to to see your your model like this. Thank you at. This is the important thing is to remember for us. Humans who are trained and have education to also sort of step out of the way I think the learning is just about being there and holding space and of course having that body of knowledge you can share with others but You need to also be very open and flexible and adaptive and Realize what I've realized is that there is a a greater thing that a greater mystery two things that I don't have the answers for that I don't fully understand and so it's just. It's a very humbling process to just step out of your own way and let things happen and Yeah it's very fluid. Yeah so one thing I'd love to ask is Can you define for a sword described to us when you say treaty seven territory? Describe what that is a latrice seven territories comprised of different nations we have the BLACKFOOT nation The Susannah and also the the Morally Stony Nakota folks that are on this land together So we in Canada. We have treaties that were signed And there's different treaty numbers in regards to you or it's related to the the years are the the number in terms of the order. I guess that they were saddled. I'm Jennifer Jewel. And this is cultivating place. Tiffany Freeman is a registered acupuncturist a traditional Chinese medicine doctor in a clinical herbalist certified by the American herbalists guild. She's Co founder and Co Director of the Lodge Pool School of Holistic Studies. We'll be back for more after a break. Stay with us. Hey so a lot of you have asked me some questions about the book how it came to be how it came to pass that. I actually got it written. And it's actually now published well when timber press reached out to me with the formidable proposal to write a book on the current state of women in the plant world. I was honored excited. Scared and full of ideas. I determined to focus on the diversity of the ways. That horticulture intersects with our every day world and focus on the work of women who've enriched and expanded these intersections in just the last twenty five years thereby helping us as people and cultures to grow. This book represents my own fifty four plus years of observation questioning interviewing learning trying to understand and a full year of writing. It consists of relatively short profiles on seventy five women. Doing current and innovative work often representing larger issues or shifts in our world. In all things I count as horticultural. These include botany environmental science landscape design and architecture floriculture agriculture social culture plant hunting and breeding seed science gardening garden writing in garden photography and Finally Public Garden Administration Research and public policy. These are all good things to think about in women's history month and in our green world more on the process of the book in podcast breaks this entire month. I really hope you enjoy these conversations as much as I enjoy bringing them to you now. Back to our conversation with Tiffany Freeman. This is cultivating place conversations on natural history in the human impulse to garden. We're back now with tiffany freeman herbalist and educator. One of the seventy five extraordinary women whose work is highlighted in my new book the Earth in her hands. Moving back into the different modalities. That you've been trained in and you intertwined to practice with. Can you give us a working definition of herbalism? What is what does that mean. And how were you? What were some of the curriculum or curricula that you Studied under Terry Willard at the wild rose school. Can you give us a sense of that? Yeah so herbalism is a practice of just living and working and Being part of the herbal realm of the plant kingdom The fungi kingdom as well as included in that to It's an interesting thing. Giving titles find is is ranger many initials after my name of myself as being Not those things. I just feel like traditional medicine is what My compass and that's plants and acupuncture and all these other different modalities that I bring into that. So herbal ISM is just another name for out. Working and living with plants My grandmother I could say she was a herb last night. She knew what plants to use. You knew it was good for coughs and colds. And now of course we left to define that as being more like a folk herbalism versus professional herbal lissome So there is that defining or can be that defining factor I think all peoples were her will lists and Herbal ISM was just a part of our daily life in the same way. That food is a part of our daily life. Yeah in terms of studying at wild rose We learned a lot of different things about plants. And and and I mentioned like the scientific aspects. We learned about the spiritual emotional components of those things as well Energetic properties directions at those plants Move through the body combining how they work together synergistically or opposing Different types of interactions. That are positive or negative That we would maybe want to influence like certain plants will help bring other plants to another area of the body so that that that was the primary herbal stuff but then we also got deep into the science as well getting to know that the human body and how those plants are going to Interact when we consume them So what organ systems that they are more related to you or more affected by those herbs or the influence maybe a better word so we talked about anatomy physiology. We did A lot of science stuff. We course ooh to botany as well. So how to identify plants in the wild and also in within like Dry forms well. I'm not if you are not of herb farmer. I'm how do you identify whether or not you're getting the right thing? I just trusting that the producers shipping you this the right product. How do you know that's good quality so we learned all of those Those things and of course so much more. Yeah and so. There are these different schools When you think about your Western herbalism training and then you Terry Willard apparently was very good at incorporating quite a few different schools of thought and Histories in traditional methodologies together. Is there a way that you can eliminate for listeners? Some of the elements that were brought into your training through the traditional Chinese medicine that we're different somehow and rounded out your western herbalism approach. Yeah the the introduction of Meridian's perspective we studied a little bit about Meridian's when I went wild rose college But getting deeper into that knowledge and understanding of how the Meridians travel through organs and how the organs systems Interact with one another That was a really big thing without came on getting deeper into patterns of differentiation. So when we're looking at different types of health conditions see for example Asthma so we would label asthma and I think in a Western perspective. There's usually just a few treatments that you would do from traditional medicine model. You're looking at that asthma. From coming from different places whether or not that's directly related to the long in the lung riggins dysfunction whether that's related to we say the spleen which is a term that we use it encompasses a lot of our transformational and transportation will processes of the body Or whether or not that's coming from like a base level energy like the kidneys out so the patterns of differentiation was the biggest area And with that Also looking at energetics so weather. That's cold weather. That's hot whether it's located in a different area if it's internal or external Many factors like that depending on on the person can shift and change and so that changed the way I used Plants in practice. There were more specific can tailored to people not tailored to ailments Yeah this then I think maybe kind of goes with this next question in that is that you've referenced a few times working with ceremony and prayer and Song and incorporating that into caring for someone's emotional and perhaps spiritual ailment might not be the right word but concerns or or issues. Can you describe that? And and maybe Wyatt's such an essential component to what you're doing and maybe also how plants are involved in in that in any specific ways yes to start walking in the room So I have a treatment room here at my clinical space Before I step into that room I am calmed uncensored My own right elders taught about how op taught us about how we are to leave our ego outside There's no place for it in in the work that we're doing So that you know stops the you know the processes of of a my own influences on on what's going to happen. I don't have the same sort of attachment to the outcome Or or preconceived notions of what the outcome is going to be. So first and foremost the ceremony starts before I even enter during my with my practice My clinical practice. I can smudge my room. I use particular herbs such as you know sages and Sweet grass and different types of funguses and tree resins and things that have been a part of my traditions and part of ceremony. So the room is set with this intention that it's a sacred place for healing for intention for letting go of things I clean between people. So there isn't the same sort of residual type of energy and my clean. I mean smudging the air of Negativities and Things that have been released. And let go those things become a neutralized and they're not lingering in the room. So that's the room space walking in Setting my ego aside And myself also. Being smudged is also a very important part of that so I'm cleansing my negative thoughts and energies from my own self and grounding centering before I enter in that space one of my elder spoke about the importance of recognizing that we have different types of energies and he kind of equated it two different types of gasoline that make our bodies run. I can't give you my own gasoline to help your body run and you can't give me your energy or your gasoline to help my body run so it's about holding space for someone to help them cultivate their own energies gain so the ceremony creates sacredness of that space where that healing process can happen for that person and then the ego wasn't involved so it's not me who does healing. It's the individual. I am creating a space for them. I'm helping them with different types of plant tools or plant medicines or allies And but it's them that do the work so the ceremony comes in with with that intention and then with the practice as well When people are on the table I'm We'll often go into Traditional Song or prayer in my own mind. Sometimes that comes out loud Through my culture and traditions sometimes that also means that Things like the rattle or feathers or different types drumming. Things may come out during the session and also in the preparation of plants. So the medicines that I have on the shelf that I've made are all Prepared in a really specific way so even stuff that I've bought from suppliers or a farmer. Friends they still get smudge so purified cleansed and then when I create new products. It's exactly the same thing. So I don't go into my apothecary to do work Formulating or preparation making without setting an intention to leave my own personal baggage outside and to come in with a pure heart and up your spirit in your apothecary. Can you give us a description of some of the plants? You grow yourself and the ways that you might prepare them for different reasons or treatments. And then maybe some of the ones that you that stand out to you as those that you might get from local farmers or other trusted producers and when you say you prepare them in these different ways give us a sense of the kind of range of ways that you prepare them in order to Incorporate them into the care of your your clients and patients all my apothecary is full of Tinctures and dried plant extracts Others also Flower essences and mushrooms powders That those are the things that I'll use tools to make other products Some of the stuff that I grew it to grow. They grow in my garden. Minerva is one so be bomb. One that I really loved growing it smells so lovely and it brings in the bees and pollinates and so it's just such a pretty plant My one of my favorite things to have that on hand So I grow it in the summer and I do a oxo Mel preparation. So that's a vinegar and honey extraction So Menard is really good for the coughs and the lungs and so make sure to have that on hand quite often other things I make would be tinctures. So that's an alcohol based extractions my do some other vinegar extractions. I liked to have options for people who don't consume alcohol So I'll do you know bidders formulas I'll take different Things growing in my garden whether that's Cam Mile or whether that is Like JENSEN ALL DO VINEGAR. Type extractions with those and then put those into combined. Bidders formula Even things that I'm getting from my friends or farmers Also make that into tinctures or vinegar extractions. Depending on the best way to prepare that particular plans other products that I come by make is south as well lots of different selves for healing skin. Topical applications things like Colangelo is really wonderful. I always make sure to have a ton of it growing in my garden specifically for making oils. So that's another thing that I really like making her oils to use your topically Plantation oil. I don't plant the plantation. Hit just volunteers itself in my whole my yard and Mudan and so I I use it. I make a nice fresh oil extraction with it. Sets a plant gets mass rated in other things. I'll make are like things like flower essences. Well so even things that maybe I wouldn't use as an internal medicine at like a full-strength tincture or a powder pill. I could make into more of an energetic type. Preparations things like leading heart is one of my favorite make crane spill drain. There's I'm trying to think of all the plants. There's lots of little plants seal and things that I love dipping into and preparing My apothecary also is home to drying out plants as well Because I WANNA small inner city property It's actually quite productive. Still and so. I'll have lots of things. Drying like skullcap in different types of mints or lavender's and other herbs as well. Yeah I really WanNa come and and just see the apothecary in person and explore. It sounds like like much of what you do is making use of all of the different plant beings that are are that present themselves and so it. There's some native plants there some Non Native Plan. Some you know what we think of his traditional herbs like mint or sage but then also some less Well known plants like the Gentian or or the the plantation which is of course very common but is often I think just as we'd walk us through the lodge pole school and describe what it is and how it functions and it's natural Client base or or yeah community well. Actual Seoul was started by myself and my business partner. Jeananne laying who was also a clinical herb lowest. We both were educators at the wild rose college so both of us attended school. There finished our heroism diploma and then went on to become instructors at the college up till about. I think it was two thousand thirteen the college while Rose College had gone to an online only type of curriculum. So when I attended there was live in classroom courses with instructors and So then that Kinda left a bit of a As a space and amid a want for classroom education In Calgary where I'm living and so Jon I decided to continue with some of the wild rose courses that we were already teaching and in a partnership with wild rose college would host them live. So students can have a choice between Taking the classes through correspondence or they could also take them with us or do a combination of both or students that have done online could've audited. So that's how lodge school started Both we just wanted to continue teaching and being in the classroom. Since then it's Kinda volved Two different types of workshops and is portable volved according to our own personal interests so Jeanane Lang is very much into cannabis education and she's been writing courses and curriculum for medical doctors and suppliers and growers and distributors because Canada's Canada's fully nationally legal. So she's been that's been her primary focus and the wind has evolved. Just of course with my practice My practices primarily working with people that are menstruating or having babies and the naturally that went into pediatrics. So it's been primarily focused in those areas The so that has brought in a lot of other courses like pregnancy courses pediatric courses Herbs for sexual health and wellbeing courses and then on top of that also Logical schools. Become a place where We want to have more community involved so getting the community together. I started a a class called folk herbal revival and it was sort of desire to get people that weren't herb Ellis that bur just interested in and learning a bit more plant based things to come and to hear the talks and also to contribute as well so they were two to three hour lecture. A little bit of conversation community conversation about plants and different subject matters whether that's Children's health or herbs for grief and anxiety herbs for menopause or herbs for menstruation. And it's also involved in bringing in other traditional aspects as well chewing traditions so we have held You know awareness about endangered plants and Protocol and respect for native plants and how to work with an indigenous communities. You know sort of a Decolonizing herbal practices. I'm conversations while I'm Jennifer Joel and this is called a meeting place. Tiffany Freeman is registered acupuncturist. A traditional Chinese medicine doctor in a clinical herbalist. She's Co founder and Co director of the Lodge Pool. School of Holistic Studies. Only for work is informed by her traditional indigenous family background. We'll be back for more after a break. Stay with us so continuing to talk a little bit about the process of this book. The women whose work is represented in the book to me are signifier so people who are creating an often reintroducing us as tiffany is here to some transformative world views and interpretations as to how the many challenges of our world can and are being met by women advocating and cultivating a more connected and understood interdependence on end in relationship to plants from my seat. It's something of a rebirth in many sectors and like all burnings. This one is being song. Screamed crooned whispered hummed and rocked into existence by these distinctly female in the broadest least binary understanding of this concept voices. More good things to think about in women's history month and art green world now back to our conversation with Tiffany Freeman. This is cultivating place conversations on natural history and the human impulse to garden. We're back now with herbalist. Tiffany Freeman speaking with us from Calgary Alberta Canada the classes and conversations that you talk about and host around different needs that you see in your community whether they be the herbs for grief or pregnancy or sexual health and wellbeing as supported by the plants around us and the things we grow and cultivate. Just seem so intuitively. Right are their stories you can share with listeners. About how effective these approaches. Have been for for you with your clients and an in your community to enliven people to this relationship and its power to improve things. I think one example I can think of as A FRIEND OF MINE. Who has been studying death care? Her and I got together over Christmas. Holiday and Became part of this market. That we have in Calgary called market collective and how to little table and had a few things like a zine and I had made some herbal Grief Care Kits and she had some other things as well little memorabilia and stuff that for her For loved ones to remember them by and we were just really creating a table where people could feel safe to come and talk about grief and so we had a little sign that said. Let's talk about grief and the holidays and That conversation or the conversations that we had with people that came by were very profound and with that conversation was able to set them up with the different types of of Of Kids in like a little grief care kid the head of tea and it had a dreamer self. Something that you'd put on to help you sleep better. At night Herbs Calming and nourishing the heart all very gentle things as well as like a candle to light and just to be contemplative end due to put some energy into that to be released and it was very incredible. How just bringing that to space like that? The awareness That was that was creative. Others How we can be supported by the community that there are other plants that are also I call them community members as well are also supporting us as we all really good feedback in that what people call in and people would say. Oh I really would like to. Maybe have more of that sal again or can you make those kits. I like to pass them out to other members my community and I just see I hear in listening to you. How that description of of that table in those kits in that conversation is the perfect illustration for what you mean by holding space and it's clearing away. What often distracts us and holds. Our ATTENTION DEMANDS OUR ATTENTION WITHOUT US. Even recognizing that we have the option to say that is not what. I want to pay attention to right now. I want to pay attention. Put My energy here and that in and of itself especially companion by these supportive plants and and the ceremony of as you say lighting a candle or being intentional about what you're doing. It changes the energy of everything. Tiffany Yeah and there's you know I think about the great need of our larger environment are not even our the you know the other creatures who live on this planet with us the soil that plants the wildlife the water and all of the different communities. And just how much grief and need and want for attention and care there is when you are thinking about your work and all of the histories and people and cultures that inform it and have come down to you in this place and you think about your hopes for the wider impacts of it personally in globally. Would you explore those a little bit on the comes down to to my my sacred name? So ever a sacred name and it's a ski Muskie squeal when that means Earth Medicine Woman An Earth medicine encompasses not only just plants. That are on this on this earth that we use as what we would imagine medicines whether that's being made into a pharmaceutical medicine or whatever you call a natural medicine Earth medicine is is everything that is on the earth As what's the rocks? It's the trees. It's the crystals it's the air that we breathe the fungi and also all of the animals that are on the planet as well as the creepy crawlies. All the bugs All the birds and importantly all the humans so this has been a big realization for myself in my own work. Is that in order for us to be on this planet and to live in a in a good way with this planet to realize Sort of destruction or bad negative patterns that we may have in terms of our use of our resources is to realize that that we are a part of that that we are part of this esque year which is earth And not something that can be considered separate and as soon as you separate yourself from that from our other. We call them brothers and sisters. Our relations are all of our relations. we can see ourselves as as being not an integral part and therefore our responsibility for those siblings of ours is no longer a priority. So it's reclaiming You know Traditions however that is but it's also stepping into our own power and also recognizing that not only do we have this individual pursuits but we also have a collective responsibility to each other to love and take care of each other. Uh Humans and also all of the other ski or earth elements on this planet. When you think about your pathway as a young woman and the different fields of study you undertook. And if there were words of advice or encouragement that you would offer out to home gardeners or nature lovers of any age or gender or already existing educational background who were interested in learning more or pursuing. This what would your. What would your words of advice be tiffany versus to just be out there with the plants to if you can You know if you're in an urban environment or you know In an area where maybe growing plants isn't necessarily a viable option. Or it's just trying to go out to those natural spaces and to interact with them as much as we can In terms of of learning those are first teachers say that Plants are were created for people as one of our traditional sayings. Um as well as It was for medicines but also as our as our relatives as well So being out there spending time with them and then in terms of education When I went to school there wasn't as much available as there is now. There's so many incredible resources online An in person as well Different opportunities to study with some incredible plant Plant medicine people herbal this and botanists and horticulturists and so many incredible books as well and resources out there podcasts. Such as yourself your podcast. So it's just too I it route yourself into those plants. Get to know them a little bit spending time with them as much as you can. If you can't grow them maybe try some of them if you can pick them up from a store have some cow mile. How's that make you feel that type of initial introduction to them And then there's so many options in terms of education and there's so many amazing opportunities these days to learn from people? Her gatherings are really great. Way To to Just wet your toes and to get to know a little bit about plants and There's several of them throughout the United States and incredible conferences. That happened in all of the different states. So very lucky Canada we don't have as many but You know most provinces have at least one every couple of years so those are great places to to meet other people that are really into plants and to learn a little bit about specific area from people that are that's their field and that's their passion. That is great very good advice and I know that it can be daunting. There are so many opportunities out there and it sometimes feel difficult to vet. What are what are the best? And what are the most efficient for what you're interested in? But I think the herb gatherings is a great Directional I asked every woman in my book A question about if there was a plant or a landscape that spoke to them Whether it reflected who they wanted to be or reflected who they felt they were be or they just had a particular resonance with this plant. What would that be? And you had one of my favorite answers will you? Will you tell people that what you what you simply? Yeah is Danny Lyon and Danny Line is of course an introduced plant to two candidates North America. What I love about it is. It's resiliency its ability to. Sorta just appear through the most Drought stricken area the cracks of sidewalks cracks of cement That's it's has a rebellious nature to it. It loves to spread it. Cedes all over the place I love the fact that children like to spread the seeds as well. Even though my neighbors people in the neighborhood in be quite unhappy about that I just love how it makes their seeds in the fluff. Fun and that. That's one way that it makes it enticing to for a child or even you know an adult to spread this around the world or the medicine of it is incredibly powerful will chew and an N. telling of our times. So that's entirely reason why I also really appreciate it. It's cooling and it works on our our digestion and it's bitter and there's a liver tonic. It's great for The Meridians in terms of like Menstruation or flow of CI. We call it Clearing out the heat and toxicities of our environment so it's got a strong resiliency but also has really potent medicine to it as well. Yeah thank you very much for being a guest on the program. Today it has been an honor to speak more with you. Thank you so much Jennifer Yeah this is a very lovely time and I'm very appreciative. An honor to be on your podcast and also featured in your new book which is beautiful. Thank you tiffany. Freeman is a registered acupuncturist traditional Chinese medicine doctor and a registered clinical herbalist certified by the American herbalists guild. She is the CO founder and Co director of the Lodge Pole School of Holistic Studies. She joined us today from her home. In Calgary Alberta Canada join us again next week when we had to Texas and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center outside of Austin to speak with Andrea Delong Amaya the director of horticulture there and another of the women featured in my new book the Earth in her hands seventy five extraordinary women working in the world of plants and this month celebrating women's history. There are so many ways. People engage in and grow from the cultivation of their places. The Earth is in all of our hands so take good care. Cultivating place is a listener. Supported Co production of North State Public Radio. Over ON CULTIVATING PLACE DOT COM. This week. Make sure to check out the many photos of tiffany and her traditional healing work plant practices as seen in the earth in her hands are show producer and engineer is Matt fiddler executive producer. Is Sarah Bohannon? Original theme. Music is by Mark Muse accompanied by Joe Craven and Sam Bevan cultivating places distributed nationally by PR X. Public Radio Exchange until next week. Enjoy the cultivation of your place. I'm Jennifer Mute
HOMEGROWN HOPE, Doug Tallamy EnVisioning a Homegrown National Park
"This is cultivating place. I'm jennifer jewel for the second episode in our series exploring fresh start in our horticultural and gardening world this week. I welcome back to the program. Doug ptolemy doug is a professor in the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the university of delaware where he has taught for more than thirty two years. He's a member of the center for humans and nature a group of dedicated people working to expand our natural and civic imaginations chief among doug's research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities including ours. His well loved books. Include bringing nature home how native plants sustain wildlife in our gardens and most recently nature's best hope wherein he proposes the magnificent idea of a homegrown national park sewn with the participation of every one of our gardens. I spoke with doug this past summer and the first question i posed to him was why after all these years at this work. Why another book why. This appeal to individual homeowners and their yards and gardens. They're still million to who have not actually heard the message that humans are part of nature that we cannot continue to exist without it. We seem to have this perpetual war against it and as as rachel carson said anywhere against nature is war against ourselves so none of those things are acceptable and we need to spread this message farther and wider and get everybody on board. Yeah yeah we do. This urgency is And anxiety and grief is very deeply. Felt by many of us who are in this with you. I think that you know so much of your facebook and certainly in the nature's best hope there is hope it in the title and there is hope in somewhere as a seed in our anxiety. I think and a lot of that comes. I think for me at any rate from my personal love and attachment and relationship and experience with the nature in my garden every day and the nature in the larger world outside of my garden every day. Will you briefly remind listeners. About your own sort of personal earliest influences. Like what people in places in an plants pulls you towards these interests because you have become a leading voice in this Ecological approach to how we engage with our yards. But it comes from a place of really deeply felt personal. Love is well not just professional knowledge. That that's very true. And i can't take any credit for that. I was born with nature. And i can. I can say that with confidence. Because i have a brother and a sister. We were raised in the same house at the same place. We had our same experiences with nature. But they don't feel the way i do and it's just the way they are so there it was the seat was there and i've always Throughout my life. I have pursued things that gave me pleasure and that was always something from the natural world that brought me to the world event. Tamala g career in the university of delaware. But i really was studying behavior for the first. Well i two thirds of my career anyway. Insects do lots of very interesting things. And i was documenting them and it was all great but none of that actually madder none of it. None of it made a difference. It wasn't until the year two thousand when he moved into our new house in oxford. Pennsylvania was on a ten acre lot. One of these farms that were broken up and it had been mowed for hay for who knows how long that area of pennsylvania has been in agriculture for three hundred years so the land was was beat to death and there was very little there so our goal was to restart. Well there. is there a number of years in between when it was taken out of mowing and we actually moved in and of course it was thoroughly invaded with non native plants. So step one was to get the invasive under control and that took that took several years but early on just walking around the property. I'm always looking for insects. That's what entomologists do. And you look for instance looking for Little little feeding on leaves. Turn the leaf over. And there's there's the culprits. So one day. I was doing that and i noticed there was. There was reasonably good feeding feeding scars on the native plants that we had black cherry and some of our small oaks but we had an awful lot of autumn olive and multiflora rose and oriental bittersweet japanese honeysuckle. And all the other faces that are so common. They're no feeding damage at all. On those i said well gee This is not surprising in graduate school. Back in back in the seventies we learned about host plant specialization. Insects that eat plants. Most of them are highly specialized in particular plant. Lineages and of course we bring a plan over from asia are insects. Aren't going to be able to lead it. Now that's a generalization but that's pretty close to the way it is so it wasn't you know this was not news wasn't surprised but i said this'll make a good research project for undergraduate. They can compare insect use of native and non native plants. Well it turns out that nobody else was looking at that and that project started where i am today. I realize this is a huge problem. I didn't realize how pervasive these non native plants were as invasive species and also the plants that we use as ornaments and our yard. I measured it around in south east. Pennsylvania and northeast maryland and delaware. It's eighty two percent non native plants in our landscapes. So that led me to be thinking about food webs if these plants are capturing the energy from the sun and then passing on to other living things but we bring in plants from asia. That don't pass it on your usually it on through in six. Eat the plants and then the birds eat the insects. Then we have. We have dead landscapes we have failed food webs. And if you have that almost everywhere. This is a huge problem. So you know that one walk through through my yard got me to realize that this is an issue. Not just where i live. It's an issue across the us and pretty pretty sure it's a serious issue across the globe so the good news is it's easily reversed and that's exactly what we've done at at our yard. We have taken out the the non natives. We put in native plants. This is ten acres. We've regenerated the the landscape to the point where we now have forest birds nesting. And we've done it. You know. I say we but really. It's my wife did most of the work So it is a lot of work. There's no doubt about it but it's not impossible and when you put the plants the supporter food woods back. They rebuild themselves. It's remarkable actually and that enormous joy of discovery and putting in one plant that calls in a new local butterfly or be or even wasp or a bird. There's something that really like clicks alive in you. When this happens in your garden you have serve skin in the game all of a sudden in a way that you never have before you saw this relationship. Is that your experience because that's certainly mine. Oh absolutely and it and it's so much fun. i've. I've made a goal of of counting all the moth species that actually that i photograph at my house if i don't photographic doesn't count and i'm up to one of nine nine hundred and sixty four species dine you. That's good that. And i find new one. So that's welcoming new members to my family there now. The family there their thanks that i targeted like the avid sphinx. Moth eats native grapes. It ought to be at our house. But we've been there. This is our twentieth year. Never found it well this year i did find it so it's finally there that's good and it's also a another signal that this does work. That should have been at our house. I didn't know why i hadn't found it. And i just hadn't found it. It was there. Yeah says yeah. This really does work so yeah so okay. You know you've you've been at this work very focused for fifteen years now twenty years now and you that as you said you moved into your new land you started tending your current piece of land twenty years ago here. We are twenty twenty you and i. are you know. We're both avid gardeners. We love plants. We clearly love the creatures who also loved the plants. We want to welcome them into our garden. I looked down my suburban st. I can see maybe twenty houses. And i live in interior northern california. Since you and i last spoke we've had at least one big drought. We've had terrible fire seasons. We have no more water than we've ever had in a given year certainly And yet despite knowledge of drought lack of water as a natural resource several rounds of incentives to financial incentives by the government to have us replace our lawns and put in less thirsty native plantings and specifically native plantings like when these incentives came out in california it was. You couldn't just put in gravel. It had to both be permeable and have living green things. They wanted a certain number of native plants in that mix. I still look down my street and of those twenty houses. I think there are four. That have removed their lawn. Tell us a little bit about nature's best. Hope start with. You know that urgency that made you put it together and try to reach this new audience this audience of these people on my suburban st or your brother and sister perhaps who have a less natural immediate affinity for this kind of engagement but who are still caring bright people. Well the people on your street are nature's best hope. That is what the book is about you. As an individual the way you behave act or not is going determine the future of the natural world and in turn will determine our own future so it sounds very dramatic because it is. We tend to be repulsed by by these. These dooms day types of predictions but things are spiraling down hill. Pretty pretty quickly and the earth is finite it has finite resources and we have a an economic model based on perpetual growth. Those two things colliding dramatically right now we cannot grow forever so we have to find a way to coexist with the world that supports us. We know what that way is. We have to have functioning ecosystems around us. Those ecosystems are built from plants and animals. We know that the more species that are in an ecosystem that better it functions. We also know that we need the production of what we call ecosystem services. We need that everywhere and we need it In top form we need. We need highly functioning ecosystems to be turning out those resources everywhere which means we need to design landscapes that enhanced local ecosystems rather than degrade them and right. Now we're doing exactly opposite. At least we have been doing exactly the opposite so you we've been taught to your few minutes now. It all sounds pretty pessimistic but there is optimism here because i do see change at least within the last ten years the interest level in in what i'm talking about continues to skyrocket people recognize that that there's an issue and the important thing is they recognize they can do something about and a single message of nature's best hope it's the this is an environmental issue that you as an individual can address and see the results which is you know. That's that's different from climate. Change if i said. I want you to solve climate change and i'm going to check on you tomorrow. We wouldn't see a lot of progress but you could put a plant in your yard before tomorrow and we could see progress and you can see things used that point you. Can you can rebuild that ecosystem right in our dead landscapes starting almost immediately almost immediate yet. Yeah that's the positive message of of this book is that that you're the people on your streets can do it. It's not that hard and i would. I would agree with you that like while. That doesn't seem like a lot of progress in the last ten years to look down my street and only see these four. Ten years ago. I was the only garden who didn't have a front lawn so we have seen small progress. And i have to hope that compound interest. We are reaching a point. Where enough more people here join care do that. We start to tip the other way before we get into The really great concept behind. What you Would you are. You are advocating in proposing in the book. I'd like to have you describe to things that sort of or keeping us in the in the the saddest part of the conversation I would love for you to describe for listeners. The idea of the half earth concept and the trophic cascades. I think these are concepts. You focus a lot in the book on. What are trained ecologist. Know what our academics have found are researching are trying to get out to us. And while you don't need to understand these things to do what we are asking. I think they are really beneficial concepts to get in people's heads Because it i think does bring in the drama of what just one garden working in. This effort helps to to overcome right all right. Let's start with with half earth The concept wasn't conceived by e. Wilson ed wilson. But he he in two thousand sixteen wrote an entire book called half earth where he talks about the science that describes why we need to preserve functioning ecosystems on at least half of the planet and by functioning in those are the healthy ones that are that are supporting the biodiversity interning at this ecosystem services and much of the book talks about the science that describes species area curves. And all these things that are saying. Well it's got to be this this much land. You know right now. We have parks and we have preserved in their scattered all over the place. And we feel good about that but the bottom line is they are too small and too isolated from each other in order to accomplish the goals of what we want them to do right. People think that we don't want anything to go extinct so if there's a few of them left in a park someplace that's okay because they're not extinct they're missing the point that those species all do something so what we need are the contributions from those species but we need them everywhere not just in a little park and preserve. That's like a zoo seeking go and see them. You know i. I run into these posters all the time we have to preserve nature for future generations to appreciate that makes it sound like nature is simply there for entertainment and it is. It's normally normally entertaining but nature is. We're not going to have future generations if we don't preserve nature so it's you know it's it's not optional. And that was wilson's message. Is that we. We really have to get serious about conservation on on half of the earth and then he ended the book and of course if you know some of the statistics about the human footprint on the planet the first thing you do is is scratch your head. We are arming. Half of the earth right now. Half of the earth is in some form of agriculture on terrestrial earth. Anyway which means we're in the other half so without touching agriculture. Because it's going to be hard to do that without reducing the human population. So let's just say okay. We're going to continue to to have agriculture. And half the earth that means seven point eight billion people all of the infrastructure in the us that's more than four million miles of paved roads the airports golf courses all the things that we have. An airports are not trivial. The the what is it. The denver airport is twice the size of manhattan. I mean this big areas there and the other half so how are we gonna have viable conservation programs where we have all those people and all that infrastructure. I'm jennifer jewel and this is cultivating place. Doug ptolemy likely needs no introduction to you and maula gist researcher professor and author. He is perhaps most importantly a caring human ardently working to repair how we as individuals see and treat the natural world. We'll be right back with more on. How and why. Doug sees each of us as nature's best hope stay with us. Hey thank you so much to all of you. That reached out to me with more questions about connecting cultivating place to your local public or community radio station. I am so excited to partner with you in this way if you didn't have a chance to connect with me and you have a public or community radio station in your area on which you would like to hear cultivating place. Send me an email. Cultivating place at g mail dot com. I would be happy to partner with you to introduce your favorite podcast to your favorite radio station. I know i said this last week. But i really think it bears repeating public and community. Radio stations across the country are like community gardens in a way they help connect regions. They help grow and support communities economies and cultures of care. Cultivating place is a great value and a fantastic addition to their programming lineup. Forty five percent of all public radio station listeners. Identify as gardeners. They care about the cultivation of their places. We have great statistics great graphics and out of this world testimonials from you all and from other stations to share so again if you have a public or community radio station in your area on which you would like to hear cultivating place. Send me an email cultivating place at g. meal dot com and we'll get started working together to introduce your favorite podcast to your favorite radio station because together. We really do grow better. We're back now to our conversation. With doug ptolemy enema logical evangelist and author of bringing nature home. He is speaking with us today about his newest book. Nature's hope when we left off doug had reminded us of some of the statistics around the damage human development and activity has already inflicted on the natural world and her systems as we come back. Doug also reminds us that while it could seem like we have already failed this test and in many ways we have there is still hope. Yeah well that's gonna nature's best hope consent right rather than pursuing the old model of conservation which was humans are here and nature someplace else. We're gonna preserve it but it's going to be someplace else. The idea that human nature could not coexist is very old and it's throughout our culture that has to end because the only option now is for humans in nature not only to coexist but be happy together to coexist in a healthy way. And it's gonna take some big changes. It's going to take some big changes i am. I'm visiting my my grandchildren right now. In portland oregon. I'm looking out the window. I see i see southern magnolias. I see bamboo. I see at kusa. Dogwood there's not a single plant that i'm looking at that's native. But they all could be are at least some proportion of them so we're not talking about impossible changes here. We're just talking about understanding the role of the species around us. That means several things it means. You have to understand the baion where you where you are. When i fly into denver. I looked at it. Looks like philadelphia because of all of the eastern trees that everybody in denver has planted because most of the people in the west are from the ace and they wanted to look that way. Denver is a is a high plane short grass prairie. It is not designed ecologically to support. The the forest of the east is not enough rain. So we have. These are just a few basics we have to embrace and you know if you live in a high high plains shirtdress period. that's the ecosystem that you have to support not something from someplace else right. Okay so quickly. Describe the idea of trophic. Cascade drove a cascades. They can either be top down cascades or them up cascades. Let's talk about bottom up cascades the bottom the first trophic level our plants and of course they're capturing the energy from the sun they're creating essentially all the food on the planet that then supports the rest of life. Yes so what you do to the plant. The first trophic level the plant level is going to impact everything Above that she have a number of trophies system so that the second trophic level the urban borders the things that eat plants the third trophic level of the things that eat the airborne and then then on. So if you disrupt that first level and that's really what we're talking about here we're talking it bad. This not only do. We take away plants and create huge lawns. I mean we have an area of low on the size of new england in the us so we essentially removed the plants there or we replace the plants with with a plan from outside of your your locally assistant it's not performing it's The roles of the native plants. That's playing with that first traffic level and that starts this trophic cascade then impacts everything above it so It turns out that most of the energy from plants his passed to higher trophic levels to animals through insects and most of the insects. That are passing. The energy to animals are caterpillars. So we're we're learning that we can. We can narrow this. Dan to make much more simple. We need to create landscapes that may caterpillars which is exactly the opposite of what we tried to do. We've always oh there's a pest gonna have we gotta spray them and kill them all. You don't make that caterpillar. you don't have the bird. Each the caterpillar right rears its young and that caterpillar. Really simplifying here. But that's that's what it boils. Dante will and it's so embedded in our mindset as humans at this point specifically in modern industrialized western humans. That bugs are bad. You know and it was actually right in your very first description of being on your landscape and looking for insect damage on a leaf to see who was eating and you turn the leaf over to find the culprit just like we love bugs. You and i. You're an entomologist. I'm a gardener. We love but that's still our language of a news word right but but it's a great demonstration of how hard it is to change a mindset that we have been trained for several generations to to think like and respond as though this were true Because we didn't understand the importance of those caterpillars in the larger food chain. And these as you say trophic cascades so the new approaches rethinking how we do things and that is sort of the first section of your book. What is your proposition. What what do you want us to do. Doug i want you to create home-grown national park. And what do you mean when you say a home. Grown national park. That's a pretty big proposition. What does it mean Let me let me talk about how i came up with. This idea i was. I was looking at the acreage that is in lawn. A lot is dead scape particularly the way we we treat it. We mow it and we over fertilizer. We put pesticides on it and wreck our watersheds but it looks pretty well ash. This is a an old old piece of data. I think it was two thousand twelve something like that. It was measured forty forty million acres forty million plus acres in in lawn in the us. And we're adding about five hundred square miles of learning year. So it's much worse than that right now but let's stick with the forty million acres of lawn figure. I said well gee if we cut that area in half and put plants back where those the lawn is now put productive plants back that is twenty million acres and i remember it was. It was early in the morning. I was sitting at my dining room table saying well. How big is twenty million acres. Let me compare that to national parks. And i started adding up. The area of our major national parks going is seventy and yellowstone the adirondacks. The smokies all these places and it turns out that that almost all of the major national parks added up together is still less than twenty million acres. I said well gee whiz we can create a new national park where we're going to do this. We're gonna do it at home so we'll call it homegrown national park. You know it was kind of funny but the idea grew on me. I talked about it for years before actually wrote about it. There's a lot of pluses there and one of them is. It creates the connectivity that we need to tied together the actual preserves that would happen it. They're the real arson preserves that right now are isolated from each other because we're in between those parks and preserves and the way we're landscaping is. They're they're no-man's-land there. The the functional level of of the suburban urban ecosystem really low so if we can raise that so it not only allows plants and animals to move between parks and preserves where supposedly they're safe it also allows them to live outside of this parkson and preserves which is which is the necessary thing when you have a small preserve. The populations within that preserve are also small all populations fluctuate in good times. They go up and bedtime go down if they are a small or a tiny population. Those fluctuations often end up We need that. The population disappears. It blinks out of its little habitat because it hits it. Hits zero could be a single storm could be a disease who knows who knows what a freeze heat something that the smaller it is the more exponentially vulnerable it becomes exactly and then it's gone that's local extinction unless it recolonize. It's that park preserve and we've made that very difficult. Imagine a box turtle crossing a major highway. It just doesn't happen so that's local extinction and that's happening all over the place and that's why populations within these small preserves are disappearing at a regular pace so that model of conservation is one. We pursued for the last century. It's not working. We would not have an extinction crisis if it were working so we need to create viable habitat outside of this parks. It's that simple. And that's what we'll go. National park would bring us toward. Will it work. I can't guarantee that but it certainly worth trying and inserted lower than what we have and it gets too so it's interesting You know i would ask listeners to visualize if they will the united states that childhood map you had to memorize and then try and locate in your brain where our biggest national parks. Are you know as you just mentioned them. And then you visualize all of those lawns in between and then you light them up with native plants and habitat and all of a sudden you are dealing with. What essentially you have realized is the bigger problem. Which is not that we aren't conserving enough. Land is that it's fragmented and we need to deal with habitat fragmentation even more urgently than we need to deal with these big national parks or or adding more of them and the way we connect them all so that there are these corridors which we've heard about from other people you know you you think about the audubon society or the sierra club or the national parks department you know there are people talking about the how do you build biological corridors so that animals can migrate but it hasn't been put together in quite this comprehensive of an idea that involves us as active citizens and stewards in this big project that connects us all right. We imagine go back to the picture of the. Us and your puzzle is a puzzle of conservation centers piece of that puzzle. You can be yeah. You don't play the game. There's there's a missing piece in the puzzle and but if you do then we'd put enough of the pieces together where we can actually see what the picture is. The grand conservation scheme is so. I'm really liking this homegrown national park idea. Tell us more about it. I have lawn. i actually do have a little bit of of native lawn grass lawn in my back. it's very small. Maybe ten percent of my overall property work from there. What what. What do i do if i have more than that. Let's say Two thirds of my yard is green turf grass. And let's just point out to. I would like to point out that in the west so west of the mississippi or west of the rockies grass is very very different thing than it would be in the east in the east where it you get regular rain through out the year on non drought years. You can have a sort of native meadow e lawn that is not the horror that non native turf grass in the west is and it's all about water. You don't have enough water to support the cool season. European grasses the create our our lawns well known as part of our culture has been based on the status symbol of europe. Only the rich aristocracy could have nice lawns and so it is a symbol of of compliance with the cultural norm and course than than marketing is taken over. If you listen to the commercials your you are not a good citizen if you have a dandelion and if it's not a perfect lot back in the fifties real this is true story if you did not have a perfect line you were a communist and that was serious stuff back then so people say you tell me you get rid of my lung now. Not i'm saying reduce the size of it and let's just start with cutting it in half the law. New keep is still going to be manicured. It's not gonna be your center of conservation. It is what we call a q for care. it shows. You are still part of the culture. You're not a rebel here. You're you're a good citizen in your neighborhood. But you're adding more plants that can to ecosystem function two year yard. And if you do that strategically your neighbors won't even notice it. You're simply going to have have more plants. So the half you keep is as i said is going to be is going to be manicured. And you won't be fighting any of your. Hoa rules We're not talking about abandoning landscape norms. Were talking about adding plants adding ecological function to those. Yeah and life. I mean that sounds like such a cold weird thing you're gonna add ecological function. No you're adding life and dynamic beauty and and flowers and that sound that summer is supposed to be of of crickets and songbirds in bats. And to you know on your side of the world. Firefly's yeah yeah. I'm jennifer jewel. And this is cultivating place. Doug ptolemy is an entomologist researcher professor and author his most recent book nature's best hope summarizes his years of scientific research and the damaged systems of our natural world. He proposes the radical idea that we in our gardens are in fact. nature's best hope for reconnection and repair. Stay with us okay. So thinking out loud this week. I don't know about you. But i could definitely use more hope and more boosts of green hope all ready this year this month this winter we can control so very little but we can control what we focus on what we listen to and how we grow forward. I am pleased to share with you that my first public speaking event of twenty twenty one is coming up on january twenty sixth when i will be in the company of some wonderful green energy folks for plant a rama twenty twenty one a full day virtual event with speakers and trades people fund and future forward thinking normally held in person at the brooklyn botanic garden every year for the past twenty four years for its twenty fifth anniversary in these times of covid nineteen. You can join in from anywhere for a wonderful interactive day of speakers on your desktop your laptop even your phone a thirty dollar entrance pass gains you access to the entire day and you don't have to be captive in front of your screen. We all have zoomed fatigue. I think you can check into the speakers and presentations that appeal to you. You can visit with exhibitors as time permits and everything is recorded so you will have access to the information and presentations for two weeks. After january twenty six schedules and times are available at metro. Hort dot org forward slash calendar forward slash plan to rama speakers include adrian nep of the brooklyn botanic speakers include adrian. Banak of the brooklyn botanic garden landscape architects cigna nielsen and three extraordinary women growing our world featured in my book the earth in her hands leah panamian of soul fire farm moderation tawny of the tokachi millennium forest in japan and new york times columnist and creator of a way to garden margaret roach. As i think about this conversation with doug ptolemy of the many damaging an off base so called cultural norms that could use a reset if not complete overhaul these voices at rama twenty twenty one or just the directional visionary voices. We need in our ears and hearts right now. I hope to see you there. January twenty six. We're back now to our conversation with author and scientist doug ptolemy speaking with us today about his newest book nature's hope which lays out a fabulous proposal that if we in the us reduced are maintained turf grass by just one half and replaced it with native plants that wildlife loves and needs for food shelter nesting and larval care. We would have the single largest national park stretching across urban and suburban areas from coast coast. It's true maintenance is a big part of it. Thomas rayner talks about building Using one is area rugs rather than well to wall carpeting but when you build a house it becomes the default put it online and then the builder leaves and it's up to the homeowner in most of the time it just stays stays that way and it is easy to sit on on a lawnmower. So it's it's easy to care for but it takes a lot of inputs a lot of energy a lot of fertilizer and water and all the things that we can't afford anymore there is there's an issue particularly for younger families who are as you said berry busy. They're doing all the all the kid things and most of those families don't spend a lot of time guarding and they don't they don't want to. It's not their goal yet. What we need is To build a new industry i call it ecological landscaping. And it's starting to happen in different parts of the co- it is. There's a wonderful program in in Saint louis where they're training ecological landscapes but but rather than hire the mode blow and go guys you're going to hire ecological landscapers who know which plants should be there. They know how to take care. They know how to get them established once they're established. You're right it's less. It's less maintenance but it's not maintenance free and you still have to become an ecologist in order to do this early on. Somebody told me you know this is a great idea but it takes way too much knowledge and thought well to me using your iphone takes more knowledge than so somebody we manage that but but rather than than i mean it'd be great to raise ecological iq of the country. But you don't have to. We can just hire somebody unfortunately in so many places. That person doesn't exist yet. So this is it's a nascent industry huge opportunity for growth. And we're not us. It's important to emphasize we're not talking about putting the nursery industry out of business. No early on. I gave a talk. He was at penn state to nurserymen. And i remember this guy in the front row. He sat there with his arms crossed. You know said you're trying to put us out business and i. I didn't think of retort. Until i was driving home. And i said well wait a minute. There's one hundred and twenty nine million homes in the us if we re bulb is not going to put the nursery out of business. I'm just asking you to change your inventory. And the the only obstacle to that i mean the nursery just wants to sell plants. He's not married to asian plants. He just doesn't believe anybody's going to buy them so it's the marketplace and again. That's that's where it comes down to the individual. Homeowner an oddly. I think that this terrible terrible pandemic has worked in our favor because gardening has really been highlighted as an essential Both space and activity a form of at least symbolic self sufficiency and Much needed Mental and physical release for people stuck at home and we have seen this fantastic return to the garden to gardening At this time and it seems like now is a great time to be getting this message out to every single person we can the the the compliment so so we're getting now to the the first sort of request is cut your lawn by at least half. The second kind of part of this proposition is filled with plants. That make a difference. Walk us through that okay. This is this is actually our most recent findings that have come out of our. My lab at the university of delaware is that all native plants are not created equal so You know we talked about native versus non native native plant. Everything will be great. But when you look at remember. We said that that creating caterpillars is the key look at the number of caterpillar species at various native plants support and it varies tremendously at varies by orders of magnitude across the country oak support more caterpillars than anything else. So where i live. It's five hundred and fifty seven species of caterpillars on oaks compared to tulip trees. It's another good native in the east support. Twenty-one yellow another good native support zero. I mean so. They're all native plants. But there's a huge variation if i'm trying to rebuild a functional food web or a vibrant food web in my yard and i loaded with yellow woods. I have failed even though their native plants. So i call these top prettiest saint plants. And it's it's not very many of them. It's only five percent of the local native plants everywhere around the country ago. The the top five presented produced producing about seventy five percent of the food. That drives the food webs. So we're calling them keystone plants. We have to rebuild our food web in a way that includes those keystone plants. I i consider them it. Let's pretend you're building a house. You know you start with the jump on the supports you. Don't start with the wallpaper or house would not stand up. See you've got to have this keystone plants that are going to be the backbone of your food web and then you can diversify therefore things every needs to do. Every landscape needs to support that viable food there your stone plants they also have to manage the watershed. Everybody lives in a watershed. You have to manage it. It is plants With lots of routes that do that we need to support pollinators everywhere so a little bit of conflict here because most of the keystone plants. That are supporting. The food of billionaires. Caterpillars are not the best pollinator. Plants are good so then we have to think about the plants that are gonna support pollinators the best and the the final as we want sequester carbon. That's where more plants command again. Lohan is the worst at doing that so each one of those ecological goals in our yard have different plants. That do them really well. It turns out that that okay support the food web the best they also manage the watershed the best. They also sequestered the most carbon. We didn't think they did anything for pollinators because they're wind pollinated. But there's recent research shows that up to eighty percent of the pollen that at least certain in drennan beezer bringing back in the spring is oak pollen they're going to getting the pollen even though it's wind pollinated so oaks are doing all four this things. That's how real keystone plant. Yeah and as you say. It is native There are natives across the country And what was interesting is as you were walking through the different levels of your keystone plants. And what they need to accomplish you in many ways. We're talking about all so good garden design. You have some vertical canopy. You have some you know. Shrubbery that provides fall color and structure at a lower level. And then you have the flowers that bloom throughout the year. The the goals of a beautiful garden and welcoming garden space for us as people are basically absolutely the same as what you just laid out if you have the right plant species working with you. Three three dimensional landscapes instead it. Yeah and that. Have all season interest now. So the i'll again point to my my suburban st which i think is fairly generically you know quote unquote normal There's a mix of age families. There's a mix of socio economic backgrounds and Work place habits Not all of these lawns can take an oak tree. But i see as you pointed out where you are right now. You know there. I can see ten big trees and One of them is native. and that is the seedling. Nope cottonwood. I let go in my yard and i love with all my heart. I have two little oaks that i have planted in my front parking strip Where there are currently two Native flowering pear plum. Whatever something but my little oaks are coming up. And soon i will take those down because the oaks will be big enough to hold that spot. Not every garden can take an oak oak. Are big guys if you can't plant an oak in your own garden or What would your recommendation be like. Get together with your neighborhood and say okay. We need to oaks. Let's put them here in here. That's an excellent suggestion. Your landscape is We don't want it to be a tiny island. Probably is too small to accomplish all the goals i just listed but your neighborhood is much more of a size you can. You can deal with and you can divvy up those ecological roles. The pollinator plants are going to go. Where you've got the most son So this this could be a social networking opportunity to to Have the neighborhood worked together. Actually get to know your neighbors again. And and Divvy up those ecological roles. That's the that's the dream that would be. That would be ideal. You've been at this work very long time and i. I know the urgency. And i know the the effort and the the brain and heart power. That went into this book. It is a deeply researched Especially in unpacking the western european mindset. About how we got to where we are now And i think that's so powerful to see it laid out and i think that dismantling is important If we're going to change our ways. Because i think one of the things you say is the single greatest thing we can do is xyz and for me. It goes back to one bit further. Which is the single greatest thing we can do is change our mindset and that is in essence what you're asking us to do is our mindset will then change our behavior right right there's a there's a thousand ways to approach this problem in deciding you're going to is the big. That's the one that we need to do. Yeah yeah. I really appreciate your time today. Is there in light of everything we've talked about. Is there anything you would like to add about the maybe the urgency and maybe the joy i guess we can we can end the way we started in emphasizing that this is an environmental issue that the single individual can address successfully and get positive feedback. And then do it again So that's the message of hope you you get to see the we can restore the earth that we have. We have wrecked And you can do it. And there are lots of resources to help us so Definitely start with doug ptolemies two books. bringing nature home and nature's best hope and your sierra club. Your audubon club your There are the percy the be city usa. There are so many good organizations that will have lists for you of these plants. I believe you have list on your website. But you know you've got you've got the california native plant society and a tool that they've created called cal scape. It's the best tool in the country yet and and they're across the country like colorado native plant. Society has won the missouri native plant society in the missouri botanical garden. The you know the lady bird Johnson wildflower center. They have massive resources for us. And that is part of. What's giving me hope is. The structure is in place to support every home gardener home owner. Who is interested in taking part like we are. We are prepared. We can do this right. Thank you very much for being a guest today. you're welcome. You're an excellent interviewer. Well i care passionately about this. Doug talal me is also a passionate believer and carer about these topics. He is a professor in the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the university of delaware where he has taught for more than thirty two years. He is a member of the center for humans and nature a group of dedicated people working to expand our natural and civic imaginations doug's well loved books include bringing nature home how native plants sustain wildlife in our gardens and most recently nature's best hope which we have been speaking of today and wherein he proposes the magnificent idea of a home grown national park sewn on what is currently maintained turf grass in every one of our home gardens across the country. You can find out more about homegrown national park including too many other resources in the podcast notes this week at cultivating place dot com. Join us next week when we continue our fresh start series in conversation with mary. Lynn mac chief. Operating officer at the south coast botanic garden in la county california and powerful leading voice for the american public gardens in twenty twenty one. Join us next week. Cultivating places co-production production of north state public radio the podcast and its extensive. Outreach is listener supported through the support button at the top right. Hand corner of every page at cultivating place dot com. Make sure to head to the website this week for more inspiring information and many images relating to nature's best hope and the homegrown national park. If you enjoyed this conversation as much as i did please share it with friends with neighbors and other gardeners you think could use a boost of hope to our on air. Producer and engineer is mad fiddler. Our original theme music is by mark muse accompanied by joe craven and sam bevan. Cultivating place is distributed nationally by p r x public radio exchange until next week and joy the cultivation of your place. I'm jennifer joel
Gather, Learn, Grown: The Garden Bloggers Fling
"Sir. This is cultivating place conversations on natural history and the human impulse to garden from nor state public radio in northern California. I'm Jennifer jewel. This week is our final episode in the casual series on the many ways in which we gardeners gather. Learn and grow together we're joined today by Pam Penick of Austin, Texas, author of the garden blog digging and founder of the garden bloggers fling in two thousand eight Judy seaborn co owner of botanical interest seeds in Denver is organizing. This year's eleventh annual fling in Denver, Colorado. Stay with us. The blogging aspect of it. It's about those three things. I think it's about writing. It's about photographing because it is about gardening. Most people do photograph, and it's about creating that sense of community for people the community part is the critical part of what the fling is all about. This is cultivated place. I'm Jennifer jewel for as long as I've had a garden. I've kept a garden journal for as long as I've hosted of public radio program about gardening natural history. I've had a digital garden program journal or blog a term coined for describing online web based journals or logs as far back as the late nineteen ninety s garden blogs is both a sources of information communication in community really took off in the early two thousands. And they remain a vibrant source of connection in the gardening community. They are a primary source of information about plants plant care garden design and garden events on both local and global levels. I know very few botanical garden or horticultural organizations that don't host some kind of blog with some kind of frequency. Today. We check in with a group that takes this one step further. They're known as the garden bloggers fling an annual event at which garden bloggers from around the United States and Canada gather in a destination to visit gardens talk plants and gardens and talk blogging. It's an intense and community oriented educational opportunity while there are some restrictions to participation the group provides an interesting model for assault. Joining us to talk about the garden bloggers fling, our founder of the fling. Pam Penick from Austin, Texas, who has for years written her award winning blog digging were also joined by Judy seaborn co owner of botanical interest seeds in Denver, Colorado and writer of the blog in the garden with Judy four botanical interests as she says, she and her fling organizing committee are throwing a party this. Summer hammond. Judy join us today via Skype from their respective home. Garden regions, welcome Pam and Judy. Thanks for having me on Jennifer. Thank you. I'm going to get started with you giving a little deeper introduction to yourselves and to what you do and your affiliation with the garden bloggers fling. I'm going to start with you Pam in Austin, Texas. Well, I'm a garden writer. I've published a couple of books, and I published the blog digging which I've been doing since two thousand six I'm one of the founders of the flaying and serve on the advisory board for the flaying and was one of the hosts for last year's fling in Austin. And what about you Judy? I'm a co owner of botanical interest seed packet company of attending the flame for eight of the ten years. I believe and have been hosting the in the garden with Judy blog on botanical interests website held on. Have you been writing your blog for botanical interests Judy since we started the online presence about six eight years ago? And it seems like there's a resurgence to blogging again in the recent years. Pam what got you started on writing your blog, and what does your blog focus on? I got started because I was looking around in two thousand four I think doesn't five when I was really starting to garden earnest, and I didn't see a lot of information out there for bloggers or up for gardeners in my part of the country here in Austin, or or Texas there were a lot of gardening magazines, which I read, and I was getting all kinds of design ideas from those. But I wasn't seeing information specifically tailored to this area's far as plants as far as whether as far as when you could start, you know, cutting things back and planting different plants. And so I was looking around online for that kind of information. I found two local bloggers, and I started to read them everyday. They were they were the I would say the pioneers of blogging for Austin, and I got so much great information from them. And I saw that people were commenting on their blogs and the conversations that were going on. And I wanted to be part of. That community. I didn't have any friends at the time who were gardeners. I don't recall that I had any family who were gardeners who were living here at the time. And so I saw the blog as kind of my entry into this garden community, and in just a fun way to to share what I was doing in my own garden as I was taking my baby Gardner steps. And so I started my blog for that reason and found that it was rewarding on a creative level. I got to become a photographer for my blog, and that was really rewarding. And I got to really practice writing for that. So it really kind of brought out all these skills that I didn't know I was even going to be working on when I started my blog and might have been intimidated to to start it if I had really known, but but it was a great practice for those things. In the rewards that came from that just kept giving me reasons to keep logging for wanting to community that I found became part of was just a tremendous source of joy for me. And it still is and those online friendships became rely friendships, and then that led to job opportunities. I it was garden design which I did for a number of years. And then I started moving into garden writing, which I still do that all came from the blog the blog for me has been a huge part of my life. And as you say, socially, and creatively, and business, development wise, all very rewarding. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. What about you? Judy talk about what got your blog started in this purpose. It serves for for your work. We really started botanical addressee packets because if found there is so with a lack of real indepth information in CPAC up on how to grow. We kind of started the blog as another avenue of expanding out and reaching a more personal level to gardeners teaching them how to garden by seed. I've always wanted our packets to sound. Like, you're talking to girlfriend and a blog is a perfect way to do that really just reach out and touch people on more personal level than you can even writing in packet. Describe botanical interest for listeners who might not be familiar with it. So they understand its mission as a business. Our mission is to inspire also educate gardeners started with arm instead of photographs beautiful botanical illustrations on the on the front of the packet. Because I feel like art is they're inspiring and gardening is an art form. That on the front of pack. It's really put a real quick our phrase kind of into excited about that variety. But the big thing is when you open the inside of the packets on sunset called us. The mini encyclopedias. I just love. We have historical information, very detailed botanical information. All the components that make a gardener a gardener week are for food. So we have recipes in that regard in for craft projects with like how to make a Holly hawk doll had to make a sunflower hut. Lots of fun fun projects for kids in end announcing. Design ideas, what flowers put with other ones? Look, the titular nice together, but our pack. It was all about inspiring educating the Gardner and helping the whole generation of gardeners. The did not get information handed down like path ham said, you know, maybe your mom near grandparents didn't teach you how to garner that. You wanna learn how we're trying to reach that generation teach them hard garden and what year did you found botanical interests? I can't be this old hiring. Hiring. Art. We are actually having our twenty fifth anniversary does next season. Awesome. And so the blog for for botanical interest really served as as you said a an expansion and another avenue by which to get some of the information that is so beautifully curated on your seed packets out into the world and two people in this other format. It was really just such a natural fit continue harvesting of the passion of gardening in a personal sort of way. So then we come to the garden bloggers fling after to be hosting Denver. I you are. I'm excited that you hosting it in Denver. I I don't know if you know, Colorado is my home state. So I'm very excited, but the garden bloggers fling kind of gets to one of the great sometimes downfalls of garden blogging, which is that as garden blog and garden blog communities started to almost take the form of like garden clubs or horticultural societies on local level. Certainly you you started to miss or those of us who were deeply involved in them. We miss the in person contact, and so I'm going to go to you, Pam, what what inspired you to get together with a group of people and start this garden bloggers fling. Am I am? Close. Yeah. It's it is funny to think about yeah. How you warm these niches online, and then and then you can expand it to offline in real life. And have it be this bigger thing? So back in two thousand seven garden blogging was still fairly new here in Austin. There were there were more and more every year there were new bloggers keeping track of all of them. And and started to organize in person meet ups for those of us in Austin because we realized we were probably not psycho killers. And the how you kind of hide it. I when you're when you're blogger, at least a lot of us did in those days, you didn't have a picture on your blog of yourself. And you people were a lot more suspicious. I think of the internet, but we came out of our shells and started to meet up in person realize this was a group of people who may be regarding in different ways. And maybe they had different conditions regarding end. But we all had this thing in common which was gardening and writing about it, and it was impassioned for us. And it was so. Fun that. Anyway, I was I was planning of thing. I was planning the spring two thousand eight local meet up and it occurred to me that it would be fun. You know, as I'm following all these other blogs around the country, it'd be fun to just invite any blogger who wanted to come to to Austin and say, hey, come join us. You know, we're doing these in person meet ups, and it's really fun. And if you wanna come come we'll throw a party for you, basically. And so I I threw the idea out there to the local bloggers and three people jumped right on board. And we became the first planning committee, and we really cannot through that event together in just about a month. We were thinking about it in December. We started really seriously planning in January, and we hosted everyone here in April. So it was a very much, you know, quick and dirty flaying compared to what it is today where it's now three and a half days of a lot of really great activities. But it was it was amazing and the real question for us at that time. Was is anybody gonna come? Thought we really weren't. Sure. And I had set out my my goal for the event. I was like, hey, if two people come from out of state, I will consider that victory. And ultimately, we have people represented from twelve states. We have thirty seven bloggers who came and it was really just for a one day event. We had a couple of very casual meet ups with people who came early, but the main event was just one day of activities, and and thirty seven people that we really didn't know, and we didn't know them in real life. Absolutely. They came and joined us, and it was so much fun. We were like we have to do this every year and the miracle for me is that every year a blogger or bloggers have stepped up from another city and said, yeah, they raise their hand. I'll do that. And it's a big deal. It's a big thing to host. And it just it's amazing to me at touches, my heart that people still volunteered a hostess in it is super fun. But it's a lot of work. And here we are twelve years later and Judy and Jennifer are putting this fling on for us and. These are volunteers who are volunteering their time to do this. And it's it's just it's super fun every year, and it's amazing to me that is still going on. Yeah. And you are not kidding about the amount of effort that goes into planning such an event, but at them I event that one day in which you got thirty seven people, and you represented twelve different states at that point. How many people were in your immediate garden blog group that had meet ups every now and then? In the Austin group that was meeting up. I'd say there were about eight to ten people at that time that were regular attendees. And by the time, the really it was exploding. And by the time the fleeing happened here, I would say we had closer to about twenty maybe twenty bloggers, and I'm trying to remember how many of those came to the flying. Of course, you know, every year when you have the fling the regional representation is pretty high because it's just easier for people who live in area to get to the flame. So we did have a lot of Texas bloggers there were bloggers who came from from outside of Austin, as well, you know, there are some Dallas in Houston in various areas. In addition to the to the other states were represented and that one day event, describe what you what you put together that first year and yet described that because I'd like to kind of get to what it was that both fed and expanded the peop-. Who attended to the point that it built this this inspirational momentum to keep it going and take on this effort because the rewards were. So high. What I thought we needed to get people to come going to sales pitch mode. Was we needed a well known blogger or to to come and speak? That was kind of what I had in mind that was going to be the draw to get people to come to Austin. I actually looked back. Now, I think people would have come anyway because people were hungry for this kind of event. But Carol Michael of majoring gardens was an is a very well known garden blogger at the time she had a huge following and I- prevailed upon her to come and and lead a lead a discussion group during the fling and Kathy Purdy of cold climate gardening who also had hadn't has a very large following came and spoke to us about the technical side of blogging. So Carol led a discussion on the social side of blogging and Kathy led a discussion on the technical side of blogging. And that was kind of my sales pitch to people to get them to come like, they're gonna get to meet, you know, Caroline, Kathy. And they were my lure. And so I was so glad when they both agreed to come and speak and not really speak. But lead a discussion group, and then around that we put together a day of a lunch with the speaker, a local speaker here, the blogger who was so inspirational to me as one of the pioneer garden bloggers Austin, his name was Tom Spencer. And he still local gardening personality. He spoke to us during lunch. We went and visited an amazing local garden, and then toured the lady bird Johnson Wildflower center and went to a a a beautiful nursery. Here called the natural Gardner. And then we had a welcome dinner the day before where we had. I mean, this is how it was thrown together. We we didn't have a party room for that one. We we didn't have meals put together everybody ordered their own meals thirty seven different checks for them. And it's just it was it was really crazy that it all worked as it. Did we didn't have buses for transportation? We didn't have a central location for the hotel because there was no way to get a hotel like that on such short notice. So we just got a generic. You know, hotel off the interstate that advice date at with no bus transportation. Most people do not have cars, but we got all the local bloggers to drive us all around. So we were all carpooled for that day to the various sites network grade. And then after we'd done the tours we came back to my house for a happy hour in the garden, and I served Mexican Martinez. And then we went onto a barbecue dinner. And that's what it was so fun. And I mean, I think you can see in just the offerings that you put together that first year that you addressed all these different kind of needs in hungers that people might be be drawn to both professional development and social and horticultural and cultural knowledge in educational expansion for everybody. But when you look back at that first year, and you realize the excitement that had been. Sort of catalyzed in this group. What what do you think was the primary? Source of that excitement. What was it that people were looking for at that point? That was so so needed and welcomed. It was the community for sure the fling is about the people the gardens a lot of people think of it as a garden tour, but it's really not is not a garden tour per se. It's about touring gardens with your fellow bloggers, and the blogger aspect of it is that does two things it's people who are very passionate about gardening passionate enough to create this publication about it, essentially. And and also people who who do want to write and photograph about gardens, and so it's different than going on public tour where you would just be out there with people who maybe are passionate about gardening too. But there's something about the the blogging aspect of it. It's about host three things. I think it's about writing about photographing because it is about gardening. Most people do photograph, and it's about creating that sense of community for people and the community part is the critical part of what the fling is. All about I honestly think we could just we could sit in a room and have all these people there, and it would be fun because it really really is great to finally meet these people that maybe you've been commented on their blogs for years reading what they're doing. And then you get to meet them in person, and it's an instant community. And that's what we're hungry for. Pam panic is an avid gardener and Gordon blogger from Austin, Texas, her award winning blog in large part about the nature of gardening in her climate is called digging in two thousand eight as a way to connect with other garden bloggers. She founded what is now an annual gathering of garden bloggers from around the country, and it's called the garden bloggers fling last year, the fling turned ten and this year it heads to Denver stay with us. We'll be right back after a break to hear more. Happy March my friends in like, a lion and out like a lamb. That's what they say. Right. Oh, my goodness in the northern hemisphere. We are so close to our hours of daylight equaling and numbering greater than our hours of darkness. The winter season is in its final stretches here here on warmest mornings. You can tell that the birds feel it handle your soil ever, so gently on warmest dry ish morning, and you can tell that the soil is preparing observe your companion trees and shrubs closely and little buds are swelling along the lively notes. I know this I can see it and hear it and yet we've just come through five days of dense, gray, rain, six inches total. Another round is on its way in generally wet winter which is good for just about everything. I know, but I'm not gonna kid you it can feel very slow getting to spring right about. Now. I love an honor all of the seasons. But I'm ready for the turning of this season. Are you feeling it if so maybe I can help with the idea of offering out a little boost to help you get to spring or in the southern hemisphere. Get to fall indeed to help you get through the inevitable voles that come upon us in every season every month cool to eating place has created an extra bit of garden. Audio for our generous donors, a thank you in the form of some bonus garden life love from us directly to your ears. We literally cannot do this work without our donors to make your tax deductible donation of support go directly to cultivating place dot com and click the support button at the top right hand corner of every page on the site for all of you who donate thirty dollars or more before the vernal equinox on March. Twentieth of this year, you will receive by Email a downloadable link to the cultivating place theme song sung with such beauty by the duo known as mom us. If you've never heard those songs, it's music and Lear IX, it will add an definite spring to your heart and step to be able to play it in its fullness whenever you'd like, I know you'll love it. And you will sing it out loud. 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Thank you for listening. Thank you for donating for all of you who've already donated in this calendar year. Thank you. Thank you. We have you covered and you're already in to receive these thank yous at your respective donation levels for those of you who might have been waiting for that right time to donate. We can't wait to thank you to. Here's looking forward to the welcome new season again to make your tax deductible donation of support go directly to cultivating place dot com and click the support button at the top right hand corner of every page on the site it safe. It's quick it's secure. It's easy. If you'd like to send a check please Email me for instructions, but we will need an Email address for you in order to send you links to your bonus audio thank yous, and please share cultivating place and this spring boost. With everyone, you know, your garden club, your book club, the checkout clerk at the market show them how to listen and subscribe to the show on their funds show them our Instagram account along with sunlight, regular watering care and attention word of mouth helps this podcast you love, and that you count on grow and thrive now back to our conversation with Pam Penick and Judy seaborn and the garden bloggers Flink. This is cultivating place. I'm Jennifer jewel today. We're in our fourth and final episode of a casual series on the many ways we as gardeners gather. Learn and grow together in our passions and practices garden, blogs and garden bloggers make up a large diverse and passionate cross section within the gardening community since two thousand eight they have been gathering on mass loud noisy. Happy mass for the garden bloggers fling. We're back after a break to hear more about the Ling's history its mission and its upcoming event in Denver Colorado this June. Welcome back. It's really true to that. It's not just a garden tour. Yeah. You can tell by the auditory level that you want. This is the loudest group of people you've ever heard. They're all communicators. I walked up stairs. You're aware is ready. Just to turn around there. They are real. It's a roar. The roar Judy that that brings me to you describe the first one you heard about and then the first one you attended and what kind of took you there. And then what what you brought away from it of the things that Pam talking about is what really did draw me to the flaying. I was a nervous Nellie doubling my toe into blogging and very shy about it. And I was the miracle for me was that they did allow me to join. I was so grateful because I was very nervous about doing. It didn't know all the tech card or what it was also changing so rapidly the tech part. How you present yourself? What's? What is it between, you know, commercial blog versus a they're the people doing it just for fun, and how that would gonna fit together. What was kosher not kosher? Why was very grateful to be able to hang out with these this group and just learn I just I just wanted to learn. Yeah. What was your first fling? What year and what city I knew your it asked me that. And remembering his not my strong suit hamlet was it. Baltimore. Baltimore was eight years ago. It might have been buffalo buffalo. So got a handbook right in front of me. Buffalo was in two thousand ten that sounds about right. That sounds about. Right. I love going get so hyped up. It's like, okay this. You know, gets the energy is still here it, it's it's exciting and other people like that. It are not crazy. All right. So in two thousand eight in buffalo Pam about how many people so the first one was in Austin in two thousand seven sick note, two thousand eight. Yeah, we started planning in two thousand seven the winner of two thousand seven than we had it in April of two thousand eight that was awesome. And that was Austin and in buffalo. Nope. Then after that, it was Chicago, okay? In two thousand nine that was in that was in the spring and just to clarify our about our name. We were we Ridgely called it garden bloggers spring fling because we had it in the spring headed in April. And then Chicago kinda followed suit with their fling in may. But by the time, it moved to buffalo in two thousand ten they had it in the summertime because the idea is to host it when your city is looking its best known the gardens are at their fullest or best or whatever you wanna see. And so we dropped the spring from the name, and it just became garden bloggers fling. But so after buffalo into dozen ten it went to Seattle, and then it went to ashville. North carolina. And then San Francisco, and then Portland, Oregon, and then Toronto was our first fling outside the US, and then went to Minneapolis and in two thousand seventeen it was in the Washington DC area, which was dubbed the capital region fling and then in two thousand eighteen for the ten th anniversary it came back to Austin than two hundred nineteen. We'll be Denver nice. So about how many people attended Austin and the ten th anniversary, and what are you expecting? So I'll have you answer that Pam, and then we'll see what we're what we're looking at for Denver. You think we had room for right around one hundred bloggers, and I think we ultimately ended up with somewhere in the nineties. I don't have the exact number off the top of my head. The limiting factor is really you have to tour buses and buses hold about fifty people each and the new, you know, you have your planners as well. So that's kind of the limiting factor in what in. What the upper number can be and. Yeah. So it's kinda bounces around anywhere from typically I'd say between seventy five and and you know, ninety something bloggers each year. And so is that about what you're expecting in Denver in June, Judy. I'm just hoping we don't have to turn people away. We've already sold sixty seven seats, and we just opened up a few weeks ago. I said something to just Denver this this tour, right? I'm I'm a party, man. This would be fun. We're going to be able to cover three different cities over three days will be up in Fort Collins one day, and we'll be meeting with Lawrence Springer and seeing her new installation at the gardens, spring creek and number of private gardens there as well. They will be heading up Q the boulder area. Being with the Linda Voigt a. Well, known keep she's the rock garden society. The number of other outside gorgeous gardens team the tea house for lunch downtown boulder. And then we'll have day in Denver penny Oti with the Denver botanic gardens. They're also kind of posting this with me. Oh grave. I know. I just I mean fantastic. We kinda got the who's who of Colorado gardening healing on this tour with Jim Borland. And Dan Johnson. Also curator will be seeing his private garden penalties. Private garbage is on nine news. Does the garden segment there will be seeing his private garden? It's going to be a lot of fun. Yeah. And with a hoedown. Very nice. So the gardens the and that will be a Chatfield. Yes. Nice. And of course, June is a really beautiful month in the state of Colorado, and those are fabulous destination. But it's the state of Colorado. You'd never know what the weather is going to turn. There's always it's I chose that weekend. Consi- up the best odds of it being great. But sometimes you have this weird pause between spring garden and your summer garden, and I'm hoping we're not gonna hit that pause. Yeah. Yeah. All the screen things are fading. But the summer things have kicked in yet. We'll see, but thankfully, the garden personalities always shine bright. So we'll share it. Especially though that group you just mentioned. So that's that's excellent. So the criteria for attending the fling at this point is him. Basically, you just need to be an active garden blogger and by active. We just main that you need to be a posting on your blog like once every six months at at a minimum and your blog needs to be at least six months old. And that that that latter rule about the blog at least six months old is really just to is to allow people who have been blogging for a while to get a spot on the tour. So that I mean, no, it's very appealing tour were all blogging about the upcoming fling tour, and there might be a temptation for someone to start a blog just in order to come. But the idea is that these are actually. Bloggers who who do enjoy blogging, and we all wanna meet up together. So that's what it is. It's really pretty simple just being active garden blogger with the blog. That's at least six months old. And is there a membership fee? Is there a flat fee? How does that work? There's no fee to to be part of the community. Of course. I mean, that's the beauty of blogging, but to attend the fling each year, the planning committee sets the cost for that. I want to ask both of you a little bit Judy mentioned it in one for earlier answers to to a question that I posed and she she mentioned the idea of kind of being on a learning curve and waiting to see how the field of blogging would kind of play out in terms of how did commercial versus personal versus the different kinds of blogs. There are out there how they would shake out in the field and just like any part of. Any field. But especially maybe the gardening field. This one is is growing and dynamic and trying to meet different needs as it evolves. The and I I mentioned earlier in our conversation. This feeling that I have had as a garden communicator that the ways in which we learn are are relatively consistent and relatively traditional. We we get together in groups, and we do things we take classes, we read books we follow other gardeners and garden communicators, and we learn but the garden blogging field seemed like it had a little bit of a downturn with the uprise of social media. And now if heels like it's having a resurgence, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Let's start with you Judy. I think I'll let him talk more about the resurgence part. But one thing I when you ask that question that popped up for me. Was after being with the late. The the folks I don't wanna say ladies, gentlemen, also with all the people on the bloggers fling. It made me realize there really isn't a difference between the commercial blog, and the personal blog has the commercial blog to me is a personal my even though I have commercial business. The blog is still very personal. I think just. The fact that it is a blog is it's a. Logging is a personal way of communicating. Yeah. What what about you? Pam. What do you see? I think I think judy's right. In the early days. There was some discussion about whether this should be for personal blogs and should people who were blogging for their business be part of that. And the easy answer that once we started all meeting is that they're all bloggers, and there's something wonderful about meeting people who are blogging for various reasons, some people may be just doing a blog about their home garden, and and they're not trying to create a guarding business around that they're just doing it for their own creativity and fun and record keeping community. And then there may be somebody who's blogging because they have garden designed business may be someone else blogs, and they're also doing guard writing and someone else's blogging for their seed business. So there's all different reasons to blog, and there are people behind each of those blogs. And when you bring them all together, you get this wonderful mishmash of p. People who are blogging in different regions in different conditions. They have different interests. Some people are all about the vegetables, some people are all about the ornamental 's. And when you get that mix of people together, he really creates synergy this creativity. You find people that maybe wouldn't have found just from their blogs, even so it kind of expand your community beyond the online community that maybe you came for which is which is wonderful as far as the, you know, the number of blogs. I do think it probably peaked a few years ago, you know, Facebook and Instagram is is instantaneous it's quick. It's easy. You take a pretty picture of garden, and you post it, and boom, you get comments on it, right, then, and that's really appealing as far as people wanting that sense of community and sharing around gardening side. Did see that the garden blogging community was contracting is kind of how I looked at it. But the people who really. Had you know, gotten a lot out of it. We're still there. Maybe they were posting a little less because they were spending more time on the other social media bed. But they were still there. But but I do see new blogs for me all the time. And so I'm not sure of the numbers. I don't really keep track of that. But every time we have a fling. There are brand new bloggers who come and they're you know, just the excitement that they that they show for being there in part of this community. It just reminds you of how was when you started yourself, and that's that's really refreshing, Judy seaborn is an avid gardener, Gordon blogger and co owner of botanical interest seeds in Denver, Colorado this year, she is one of the lead organizers and hosts of the annual garden bloggers fling June thirteenth through the sixteenth. When the group will convene and visit Gordon's and gardeners in Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder, Colorado, Judy and her husband founded botanical interests known for their beautiful and information rich seed packets, and which have been dubbed the encyclopedia of seed packets in. Effort to inspire an educate new gardeners. Judy sees her blog as an extension of this and the annual garden bloggers fling as another extension as well as celebration of the same. We'll be right back after a break to hear more. Hey, it's me over the course of our conversation today. Pam pennock mentions how personal gardens are at their very best. How intimate and personal? They are as expressions of ourselves. Our hopes our dreams and our struggles gardening. She mentions is an act of generosity and inviting others into your garden is an act of generosity trust and intimacy. I like this reminder, I think it's true and the articulation of it reminds me, and hopefully all of us to bring our best and highest cells to this interdependent relationship with our places and one another to be honest. It's what it feels like to share with you on these podcast breaks each week. They are an open view of my garden thinking self. They are meta gardening. They are quantum gardening. And I love meeting you all on this level together. We nature loving thoughtful gardeners in relationship here. Make a difference. Now back to our conversation with the community of garden bloggers who learned together virtually year round. And when they meet up in real life. Well, that's garden bloggers fling. This is cultivating place. I'm Jennifer jewel today were in our fourth and final episode in casual series on the many ways, we as gardeners gathered. Learn and grow together in our gardening passions and practices. The organizing committee for this year's garden bloggers fling, which will be held this coming June in Denver, Colorado, really wanted to show off the rich, cultural ecological and horticultural diversity of the regions gardens and gardeners. Bloggers will kick off their three days of learning. And torn at Denver's the grow house, a nonprofit urban farm in market located in north Denver. The mission of the grow house is to grow healthy community through food access production and education founded by Denver born, Adam Brock and Coby Gould, the grow house offers everything. From hands on volunteer work and affirm in training program to seed to seed summer leadership courses for teens who wanna learn more about building and sustaining healthy communities. Adam says, we are always trying to push the permaculture values of taking care of our community. Taking care of the ecosystems around us, making sure we have long term sustainability and redistributing what we have to whom ever need it most rather than hoarding it for ourselves gardening. After all is an intersectional space for people of all shapes sizes colors and hopes together and to grow. That's definitely worth cultivating. Welcome back when you each of you think about the the ways in which and I think Pam you really articulate this so beautifully in the beginning as to. To how your blog kind of you grew along with your blog and your blog demonstrated your growth as you went both as a writer, you're disciplined at it, your photography and your reach when you think about the garden fling, and the the the lessons that you might have garnered from visiting different cities or being with a different group of people describe maybe one of one or two of the ways that you felt like joining in on the garden bloggers fling has has taught you something and expanded you in some way, and if you have an anecdote for that, I would love to have you share that maybe I'll start with you. Pam. Going on. It is partly about. You know, you're meeting up at a new city every year. So you get to see a part of the country that you've never gardened in. Maybe you know, if you're going to this place, you may be never had a reason to visit before and suddenly you're saying these gardens that teaches you a lot about gardening in your own place. It just like travel teaches you about yourself, and where you live and your home. So does touring other gardens. Teach you about your own garden, and you start to see, oh, it's not, you know, the way I do it the way we do it here in Austin is not the way people do it everywhere. And you know, of course, I knew that when I started my blog because I saw the the Austin, and it's unique climate was not being represented in more national sources, but seeing that in person is really eye-opening, and it's the same way with the the people component meeting people who are doing different things is. Is wonderful. And it's it's exciting and there's professional networking that's going on. Maybe it's just your sharing anecdotes about your own backyard. Gardening somebody else who's doing the same thing. But I think there's something about bloggers. They always describe themselves as introverted, and I think that goes along with gardening and writing if you can be a gardener. You're probably comfortable spending long stretches of time alone in your garden because that's what it takes to keep garden. And if you're a writer, you probably spend a lot of time alone in your room, or at least with headphones in your ears blocking out all the noise, and you have to be comfortable with that. So people who gardening in writing are going to be super introverted. And yet they get on a plane or they jump in their car, and they go to this strange new city. They've never been to to meet all these strange new people every year, and then JD said when they all get together in the hotel lobby that first morning. It's a roar of noise of excitement about me. Meeting each other and really energy in that. Yeah. It's it's like they all turn into extroverts for one weekend. And it's like they've they found their people. That's that's what it is every year. What about you Judy? I loved being around and hearing how fun communicating about their gardening experience. And how each logger was able to kind of create their own twist of their guarding. Experience are each one is to slightly different revenue you're hunting about how many hoes you have or which was hysterical. And the funny ways that people are able to commute talk about gardening and just have fun with it. Or no is your big in cooking in talking about gardening. As far as how it's gonna end up on the table. Yeah. And just keeping it real. Yeah. If you only have sort of, you know, personal hopes about what you will be able to share with Gardner's outside of your gardening region about the joys and very specific characteristics of gardening at high altitude in Colorado what what will those? What would you know, what are you hoping to get across to your visitors penny Odeon, I we've both like laughed about. Come in Denver. They think oh, you know, they're gonna see shrub sage in that spout. It. This is a visiting gardening community a lot of gorgeous gardens here. We're we're ready hoping to break the mold that Colorado's Garden State. And I. I continue to hope to encourage people to get into a garden lowdown. Everyone is gotten a little crazy like need to slow down the reconnect. Pencil seat watch that little miracle happen where goes from this Little Rock into plants into something. You can take inside feed your family. That midday hoping to. Shake people at the Colorado. Very we do have gardens. Is not just love rock and khakis not just read rock. Yeah. Age we have some rocking. Good succulents in Colorado too. Is there anything else? Either one of you would like to add about the importance of of gardening of garden gatherings and of Gordon communication at this time. I think it's more important than ever. I worry that people are becoming afraid of each other and gardening such a wonderful place to meet. It's a such a natural place to meet you go into someone in when someone else invites you into their garden. It's such an intimate experience you're in their garden. Their garden is an expression of them how they put things together. What colors they use forms. I always feel it's really special when someone says camman over will go sit out on my back patio and have a grass, Elaine. How intimate is that? Yeah. I love that too that judy's right? That garden is definitely an expression of the person, and it is an act of generosity on that person to invite other people in in the the gardens the garden owners who do participate in the flying are extraordinarily generous. They're inviting, you know, up to one hundred bloggers in into their garden not all at once. You know, you can split up the buses don't wanna scare any potential garden owners out there for flings. But, but but it is it's as garden owner who's had her garden on tour. It's also very rewarding to bring people into the space that you've created and there's no feeling of criticism or or judgment that I've ever detected strictly that you're you're sharing the space that you are mostly in alone with with people who are really passionate about gardening in. That's. Really rewarding to be the person who gets to toward these these beautiful gardens of all kinds is. It's a wonderful experience. And and just in general, you may maybe like me, you may not have a neighbor who gardens or friends garden in your own city. But blogging gives you that. So you you suddenly belonged to a garden club that's strictly virtual and then meeting up in person just literally brings it to life and the negative experience every year with some of the same people in also some new people and see a different gardening culture than maybe you have. And it's a great learning experience. But most importantly, it's just a wonderful social experience. Yeah. Novel. These gardens are grand gardens some very small and. Just very creative. Yeah. But all very intimate. And I would so much rather see, and I can't think of another Gardner that would disagree with me. I would so much rather see a small not grand but beloved home garden, then I would see Versailles any day. That's true. Yeah. The personal is is is everything really really it is. So it is. Thank you very much for being guests on the program today. I it has been a pleasure to speak with you. Both. It was wonderful to be here. Thank you. Thank you so much, Jennifer. It was very nice of you to invite him. And I both on the program. Pam panic is a gardener and Gordon blogger from Austin, Texas, where in two thousand eight she founded the now annual Gordon bloggers fling her award winning blog is titled digging. Judy seaborn is co owner of botanical interest seeds in Denver, Colorado. She is also the writer of the blog in the garden with Judy four botanical interests towards the end of our conversation. Pam mentions that we orders tend to spend a fairly good portion of time alone in our gardens, and that we writers might spend another fairly good portion of time alone at our desks writing about gardens, and this is true. But I think Pam in all gardeners. I know would agree with the fact that we're never really alone in our gardens are we we're? Always companion by the spirits and lives of our place. The birds the trees, the soil, the weather of the moment of the day, but in seeking human community to we truly find the rest of our people finding and connecting. My people is a good portion of cultivating place for me, the guests the research, the listeners, those of you who reach out and comment or reach out and introduce yourselves in person finding our people the human and more than human is part of this impulse nurture that too for those of you who generously donate to cultivating place. There's a little something extra coming your way this month as a way to help us all get through that last stretch towards and celebration of the vernal equinox. This is a bonus audio offering of thing. Thanks to our generous donors from all of us here at cultivating place for details on how you can be included. And so you don't miss out make sure to listen to this week's podcast breaks or read this week show notes at cultivating place, or if you're a subscriber to view from here newsletter. You can find out there to you'll find all the details you need to get just a little more of your cultivating place in your month. Because when you find your people, you don't wanna let them go. You wanna nurture and cultivate, them to join us again next week as the conversations continue we'll be moving out of the series, how gardeners gather grow and learn just in time for spring break when we'll be joined by two women who have a lot to share about the ways and means to get more of our kids outside more often and get them dirty. We'll be joined by Amanda Thompson of kiss my Aster with her new book backyard adventure and by Nancy strenously up author of nature play at home. After all play is universal learning tool. We all understand. There are so many ways people engage in and grew from the cultivation of their places cultivating places listener supported co production of north state public radio for more information and many photos from the garden bloggers fling past and present see this week's show notes under the podcast tab echo voting place dot com. A big thanks to everyone who makes this program possible listeners and donors we couldn't do it without you and together we make a difference. Our producer is terrible Hanan our engineer. Skyscraper field. Original theme music is by mom muse, accompanied by Joe craven, and Sam Bevan cultivating places distributed nationally by p r x public radio exchange until next week. Enjoy the cultivation of your place. I'm Jennifer jewel.
Ep. 270 - A Native Plant Based Life
"Hello everyone and welcome to the indefens- plans podcast the official PODCAST OF INOFFENSIVE PLANTS DOT COM. What's up? This is your met welcome to the show. How's everyone doing this week? Today! I get to geek out about plants with another amazing native plant Gardner. Joining us is Lyndon Penner who wears many hats within the greater plant community? He's a radio host garden, columnists, horticultural consultant, professional landscape, designer, and author. He's written books that specifically focus on using native plants in climates that don't necessarily boast very long. Growing Seasons but Lynn is a lover of. Of all things, botany and his ability to communicate a love and appreciation for native plants and get complex ecological ideas into the hands of people who need to hear them is some of the best around. It was such a joy to talk to Linden and I. Don't WanNa. Keep you from that, but first we have a quick message from our sponsor for this episode. Do you like learning. Who Am I kidding! You're listening to of plants. Of course you like learning, and that's why I'm really excited to tell you about the great courses plus created for the lifelong learner in all of us. This streaming service provides access to thousands of fascinating fact-based lectures across almost any topic imaginable. The great courses plus offers lectures on topics like microbiology, ancient, Egypt or climate science. In fact, you can even learn a new language, or how to Cook, personally I've been using the great courses plus to improve my gardening skills. For instance. I've really been enjoying this course on container gardening. To over winter in containers, but just using things around the house like bags of leaves and Mulch that are already being collected and underutilized, and the best part is the great courses plus I down whenever and wherever I like and dive into courses, just like that and more, let's be honest. There's lot of diy how to's out there, but not all of them are accurate or full of factual information. You never have to worry about that. With the great courses plus each courses taught by vetted experts and professionals, not some random with a camera and an Internet connection, and with the great courses plus APP, it's easy to watch and listen. Listen anytime anywhere now. Here is the best part great courses. Pluses offering indefens- plants listeners a whole month of access to their entire library for free. That's right free for a whole month. Imagine what you can do in a month, but this offer won't last forever so to start your free month's trial. Sign up today using my special URL. The great courses plus dot com slash idea, p. don't wait, do it now. That's the great courses plus dot com slash idea, p. all right, make sure to go check that out, but otherwise let's get on with the show without further ADO, here's my conversation with Lyndon Tenor I. Hope you enjoy. All right Lyndon Penner. Thank you so much for coming on the PODCAST. How about we start off by telling everyone a little bit about who you are and what it is you do. Thank you for having me I, am a horticulturalist garden designer I'm a tour. Guide specializes in bats both wild and cultivated. I'm an author I'm a writer I, guess that's kind of the same thing, but not necessarily I'm I'm somebody who has been obsessed with the natural world since I could walk, so it is my hobby passion, my life. My career my reasons for getting out of bed in the morning. So that's that's who I, basically just didn't nerd. Let's really. That's awesome in completely in the right kind of company right now, presenting US causing writing all of that, we love it and I'm really excited for people to you hear about what you got going on and be able to consume all the content that you have out there, but you mentioned that the started as a kid I mean. Was it just always about nature in general? When did the plant stuff release? Start coming into the equation? I never wanted to be in the house. Ever an and so I don't remember a time. When going outside wasn't a thing, I grew up with a farm background, so like being outside was part of what did I can remember planting zinnias seeds with my mom. I was. And I remember being astonished. This handful of dust turned into flowers. I thought it was alchemy and I still think fat. I still love Zinnias I. Still think seeds are magical, weird amazing totally. But that's I don't I. Don't remember a time in my life when I wasn't doing this I catch my first serious perennial border when I was nine wild, so it's always been like other kids went and played hockey up much to my father's. Chagrin I did not. But my grandmother would take me to the nursery and say what do you want for shrubs and she would buy me whatever ever rose or Lilac I was interested in I went home with and I didn't know that was a luxury. That's fantastic, and I love the influence that you know different members of the family can have anew you for me. It was my grandfather. My grandfather both were avid gardeners had greenhouse in. It's just it sticks with you whether you realize it or not. And I kinda came back out later, but yeah, at that early influence, and as someone that grew up in Buffalo I. Hear the pressure from the hockey crowd so. My Dad is truly disappointed that I did not grow up to love it's it doesn't matter really what I accomplish. My career like it will never matters much winning shot. Oh! You know, what do you do? Sorry to hear that, but at least you pick something that makes you truly happy. Absolutely, and so, what did you make the connection? Then between sort of nature as a broad spectrum, you know what you're seeing outside where you were going hiking and all that stuff and that native plant importance, the importance of having plants that are indigenous to your region that really celebrate biodiversity as it exists where you live. We. We went camping a lot when I was kid. Candidate has beautiful lakes beautiful forest. And I go into the woods because it interested me and I would sign. That I knew as garden plants. We have native lilies. We'd have Nathan Luton's. There was always things that I'm like. Wait a minute. I recognize your. What are you doing out here in the woods and I started reading wildflower guys, field guides looking at stuff. And when I was somewhere between ten and twelve, I started very unethically. Digging native plants, the Bush burning home with me. which is what a lot of people still do I? Have long since learned better now. Never do that Never Vice Long Beach. But. When you are twelve, and you don't know any better, you take a spade and go dig that chunk of Indian paintbrush out of the Bush. Should he will almost you and then they die, and then you learn stuff from that, and so I started noticing when we went plant shopping that the plants that grew all around me in the wild were not necessarily available on the nursery shelf, and this puzzled me because I thought. Why are we spending all this time trying to grow roses, Hydrangea and Rhododendrons? Do not want to be here when the things that do ought to be. Here are not for sale anywhere and so I started figuring out that native plants are doing something difference than plants in the shop of the nursery. Why is that? Why aren't they in the nursery trait? Or maybe they are, but they aren't like the ones I. Know like Penn Stem. It is a great example. Had we have so many native species of Penn Stem? I love all of them some more than others, but all of the pen statements. And I would go to the nursery, and it was like the pen standards I found there. The main cultivars were so different than what I found in the wild. They weren't as well suited to the conditions that have so I started realizing that there are in fact native plant nurseries, and they were doing things differently. And why is that and it's they differently? So by the time I was probably about fifteen or sixteen, I was trying to figure out how to grow made plans, and I was starting to be successful doing it, and that was thrilling to me. It was like nature said to me. Hey, I have a senior can tell you. I love that it was you know when when much older gardeners that I respected and say to me having this in your your. Where did you get this and I would say while I collected that seed and I figured out how to make Germany's. How did you figure that out while I went to the library and I run. A by age now. But this was I grew up pre Internet so like if I wanted to know something. I had to go to the library and get a book and I read everything Christopher Lloyd ever wrote I. Read Everything that's I mean most of the Great Canadian. Bargainers are either from Vancouver or the trough area, and there's nothing wrong with those places, but that climate is so different than where I live him, so it works for a gardener on the West. Coast is not necessarily work for landlocked me over here in the middle of the country, so I just read and read and read, and I learned a lot by trial and error and you know by the time I was in my twenties. I was teaching classes about wow. That's remarkable. What an awesome experience to have, and just so formative against as a teenager I mean I was doing some stuff like that, but it wasn't really trying hard to figure out how to germinate seeds and things like that, so that is such a really cool experience to bring into your early twenties, and then just have all of this experience to then add as you grow as a person as you grow educational. Wise I mean just to. Be Able to share that information then with the public is so vital because you were figuring things out near teen years that some people don't get to until later in life or never really truly figure out and just kind of have to settle with what you said like the limited selection or the weird selection that is often in nurseries, and to be able to bring that to native plants that are indigenous your region that perform in your region, probably made the whole gardening experience so much more satisfying. Result it. It was very satisfying. I will also add that. It wasn't cool. Like. I didn't get invited to parties. I wasn't the popular kid. It wasn't Lyndon. Has Something really interesting going on his life? It was linen is odd and spends his time in the wilderness and gross things, because he doesn't really watch engage. He so now. It's like yeah, now. It's cool the time it was like A. Weirdo. While you and me both front. It's not easy for nature. NERDS grown up, but I feel like it's one of those things that as you get older, you kind of feel more. At least I do feel more comfortable in my own skin. I feel like I'm becoming the person I've kind of always been just a really old guy that wants to put her around in the woods. Out That's awesome. Yes, actually, those are always my people. Those are always. The people were I'm like I need to. Yeah, and and even now it is you know people get fired up about plans, which is really exciting. People oversee our house plants and they'll be like. Oh, what's that it'd be like? Do you really want to know because I will allow you? Don't give me excited here for nothing. That's awesome. Yeah And, so you mentioned you're landlocked and Canada's a huge country I. mean like you said to think that anything going on in Vancouver or Toronto would have any real bearing on what's going on anywhere else in the country I mean that's a huge landmass whereabouts. Are you and what kind of ecosystem sorta define the region where you grew up and currently live? I grew up in Saskatchewan, which is exactly the very middle of the country, and so the central and southern parts Scotch when are mostly farmland most the cross, and then going North it's beautiful, lush forests, both deciduous and. Cliffs, and then when I was in my mid twenties I moved to. To, BERTA eyelid coverage for many years, and so I spent a lot of time in the Rockies, and that was a big part of why I actually move was mountains who different plants in the prairies to and I fell in love with water lakes. National Park, which is right. Wear Alberta British Columbia in Montana collide knife. At that little southwest corner of the province is the most botanically diverse region in all of Alberta itself water to this. The wildflower capital of Canada and they hosted a wildflower festival every year. For many years and I very quickly got involved without and. became my second call so inbetween. Scotch Albert and the prairies horse of the north and the rocky mountains. That's that's my triangle. Perfection right there, so that's I travel a lot for work. I'm always doing garden related things here or there or otherwise, so it's sorest prairie and Mountain Arvo three. Three places where I have made myself. That's incredible and I love those areas where just by geographically everything Kinda just collides into one amazing flora that is got elements that are familiar, and then things that are completely. Like. Out of left field for what you're used to you know if you absolutely growing up in a single area and is it difficult? I mean always those spots to me seem like really interesting micro climates, and you go one valley in. It's this kind of condition in then another slow bure on another completely different kind condition. was that a challenge then as gardener or really? I mean not to say it's. Something that deters you, but was it a challenge trying to figure out certain differences from license schedule onto BERTA and trying to figure out how to garden in some ways. Because of we're is situated. Chow breeze climate would be somewhat similar to Denver's no-go, because it's very high elevation, and so immediately of the vegetables that I could grow changed because tomatoes don't like the cold nights, so vegetables that I grow in Scotch Wenda flourished I cannot grow eggplant in Calgary. The hate the cold nights, but I could grow beautiful hightower and have edge in Calgary, and so they liked those conditions and I figured out really quickly. Because of the high elevation in the old nights I could do really really well as Alpine's and rock our class in theory, which I couldn't previously do so that began my obsession. SACHSE fridges so that you know like I read. All of Reginald, ferrers books about exploring the mountains of China and all, and how he sort of created the concept of bureaucracy arm, as it was originally intended, and so I will go out into the mountains and I say well. Why does this look different at related allegations than lull? Or why does this flourish high elevation and not lower like when I used to find? Mills Louis C. I I can grow that in a garden, and it does okay, but halfway up. The mountain is the Tackler, and I couldn't out the longest time. What is it? That, you are pining for that I cannot give you and I. Think and I'm still not totally sure about this I think hold water and increased intensities wants because it rose at you know in places where it's being watered basically by melting snow, very cold, claimed creeks what it likes to grow on the edges. And way up the mountain where the higher up you, the more of night intensity is, so it's performance. Garden has been ad. But who has time for? Your. ocular and it's only going to really be spectacular on the mountain, or when you find plants like Laos words that are off any Siddiq. That's we can cultivate them, because they require a partner or when you find, you know like orchids on the mountain that. Ties on fungi nearly this too complicated, weird amazing to be, that's that's why you don't find a garden center. So it was a little bit of a strange transition where I was like either lots I know doing things that I'm not super familiar with it took me a while, but it was exciting, fabulous and I had the teacher's. It was wonderful. That's so cool in it. It's really nice to hear that sentiment of having the garden, but also loving nature, and how those two can really inform each other I mean that to me is my favorite thing about gardening is because you're getting to understand species better. You're getting new friends. It's like becoming better acquaintances over time learning the subtle nuances of what makes. Makes them happy. What might make them happy? Generally, if it's in my Garnett's struggling to be happy at first, but you know you just you learn a lot about different species and okay. This is why I only see this growing in sandy habitats versus clay or something like that while on the other thing that I do too that I found was that. That if you are a good observer and I take lots of notes as as a garden designer and planting things for other evil, somebody will come to me and say look I have this huge to sit. WHO's tree in my front yard? I? Don't know to plant underneath sets and I can go to a garden center. There's fourteen different plants that like dappled. dappled shade but I will go into the wild, and I will soda brass what is happening underneath the trees in the forest, and is that something that I could duplicate in the garden and one time I found underneath enormous Douglas for there was a huge company of Banbury Very Bells and ostrich firm and they were. Laureus Together textures together and I love. What they were saying to each other I have hoppy that exact design people's gardens and it works is anytime. You emulate nature. Plants will be successful, and so people said to me this this is such a great design. How did you come out of this I? Didn't I copied? This ice stole designed for Mother Nature Herself. It had nothing to do with me. I probably wouldn't have these fights together, but I hate attention Mary. Oliver always said Hey, attention and be astonished, and she's right that if you is you sort of listen to what natures. And you look closely. That can be very useful. Your eyes and also argue is because what is successful together. is going to be that once more conditions, and that would naturally choose to be with each other in the wild. We'll be happy together. Barton so ugly a plant where we think it would look great novel. The Lee wants to be so sometimes. You have to let plants inform your decisions instead of just deciding. I would love this two hours together. Yeah Yeah and I you know there's much as I love. Sort of the aesthetics of really will put together garden. That might not necessarily have that in mind. I agree I think more than anything. These are living things that have a biology having ecology, and you need to respect that for to really be what it could potentially be, but the idea of just hammering square pegs into round holes. really reads true 'cause like around here. For instance, everyone wants pine trees in their yard, but they live maybe ten fifteen years before route rockets of everyone complains and then plants. Another one you're going, look around you. Do you see any wild pines around here? Come on. Yeah exactly, and that's unfortunate, because pines are so lovely and you probably different species of is than I, did Yo- yeah for sure I mean you just have to find the spots where they like to grow in respect, the conditions that you're presented with I mean I like this town was built on an old swamp, and that's not where you generally wanNA. Find Pines, that's. Rarely choose off. Is that is? So you mentioned sachse fridges and ethnic group I'm really starting to notice appreciate a lot more in especially if you live at elevation or in any sort of rocky soils that that family has gone wild with those sorts of habitat, so what kind of species really were standing out to your have stood out to you over time? There is one in the rockies that I had success germinating little success growing I think it's sex Fraga, bronchiolitis. I think I'll check that out name. And it's just you know the little green tufted Mossy thing that rose of the rocks with China little white flowers would pass it by on the trail, but if you get imagine sign Ross and you looking closely, each of those tiny little white flowers is daunted in one rare a, and it's not noticeable. It's a when I used to do chores for the wildflower festival. I would always say to people. The most tackler flowers in part are also Chinese thank. So that. That was always really cool. I've grown lots of like. SACHSE frag opposite a folio is really hard to see blooming, because it grows at extraordinarily high elevation and it flowers so early that it's almost always done by the time of the snow has melted enough that I can actually get up to where lives. It's done flower now. You know like that is a plant that grows in the high mountains in the Arctic. It is the the official symbol for for Niniveh, which is one of Canada's northernmost territories? It's fabulous and sometimes sometimes you can get to succeed him garden and there's there's some cultivars hybrids that have been developed from it and I've had up flower well for me twice. Wason ten years. I should APP, but when it flowered, it was like no at the end of the grinch. Who Stole Christmas when all the WHO's down in Whoville, are holding hands. Singing, and dancing around the street. That's how my maybe a dozen. It was just like you know like I would just like to sit outside and bask in the gentle blow of my by deep Purple Saxon to really spoke to me, but I've grown a lot of European species. There's a CULTIVAR. Abo- dust that has beautiful yellow flowers that when it's growing cracks of a mobile. Or yellow into the crevices am I love that. I also love new. Probably notice probably tell them stuff. You already know I love that Saxon bridges eat rocks. And so for anybody, listening doesn't quite under understand. Bring speed on that one of the coolest things for any plans to do. sachse fridge comes from a Latin words that mean rock breakers, also where the word fragment comes from, and so sacrifices often grow in very very high mountain ranges, and they will grow in trachsel services in the Rock and rock is not normally plans to choose to ruin and. Of Sex page their roots will actually secrete enzymes that very very slowly break down and dissolve rock, and they are absorbing nutrients directly from the rocks. What other life form on the planet is like I'm going to just turn sunlight into sugar and eat rocks. It is the coolest coolest thing like that is so bad. Ass and people are like Oh. You know sachse fridges. They're so small. They're barely they're they our so briefly and I'm like. They're they comprise their own family. They come in so many forms. There's a hybrid cultivar called Lady Daiva that has fuchsia flowers, and it grows two inches tall in the flowers as big as a nickel, and if you put that into proportion like these are monstrous oversized hours here, the size of the plant will be like roses producing flowers as big a hubcap late. This, it's so amazing and like I'm I'm such a or with sachse fridges, because I will reach about the to anyone who will listen. But I just I love them, and there's a lot of them in the mounts look very similar, texting heating, and in going like this. You're apex Wa Breasts, and I have to sort of investigate but. I love them, they just they. They are happiest on the mountain. Some of the will grow in the garden. Will they are happiest on the mountain, and that's one of the reasons we need to preserve these wild places. We can't grow everything. You know habitat loss is a huge issue around the globe, and you know some things we can grow in garden something. We can't cultivate easily. I can plant lots of stuff i. Recreate a mountain. It's not in my power to do that, so places were wildflower. Still Robe needs to be celebrated. They need to be preserved needs to -tective. So true so true, and that is painfully obvious to anyone that likes to experiment in the garden because you realize how quickly those limitations crop up and even botanical gardens. So many people that work in the horticulture industry especially in conservation in. It's just you're lucky if you can get five to go, but that's not a thriving population that's not going to save species from extinction. What will will be protecting? Those rock faces where they grow in the wild and absolutely yeah. and teaching people to value them, because people will only save and protect that which they lost, and people often do not have any reason to love the side of Mount. emailer often unaware of what goes on there, so part of my joy in life is that I get to take people on from outside and say look closely and when they do, and they find cool stuff. They're excited about it, and that makes that allows me to sleep at night. Awesome. Yeah, I think more and more I'm realizing that it's not that people necessarily think plants are inherently boring. The introductions, they have to them or often boring. You know what I mean. It's the presentation in like you said when you show people that delicate beauty that minute beauty juxtaposed against this unforgiving craggy rock face. I mean that's a connection that I think speaks to any level of interest in the natural world. I, I totally agree, and so thinking about other spots menu mentioned prairie. Some people might be very surprised to learn. That candidate has any let multiple different types of prairie. Well to be fair, we would be probably more accurate to say. We have at the same year. Much of North, America and this Canada, and the United States so much of our grassland has been turned into farmland and. Eat. You have to have crossed the same time. It is estimated that between one and three percents of virgin prairie still remains, and what if we have even saved ten percent? HOW DIFFERENCE WOULD THE WORLD BE? If twenty percent north? America's grasslands were still intact like I've heard. Biologists say that the North American prairies were more diverse systems than the savannahs of Africa which is mind blowing, and because we eliminated the buffalo or Bison, as they are more accurately called. Called the prairies, ecologically our tax, and that is really the truth, a bit that millions and millions of those beasts once roamed across the prairie, and now there are a handful of the math at. I have to say I'm very grateful that they were saved at all We could just as likely be living on a planet where no living person had seen a living buffalo that almost happened. There are still places that we can go and see them. Like Yellowstone Montana Alkaline National Park of here. They still exist, but they were the major agent of people change here, and so because we don't have really anybody in who has living memory of what the prairies were like prior to colonization, it is hard for us to visualize an ecosystem bat diverse like I drive from Saskatoon to Calgary that seven hundred kilometers had no idea what that is. Probably five hundred miles, I might get out of my vehicle wants to go and photograph wildflowers I feel like in a seven hour drive across prairie I should see diversity and I should see flowers and I should see flourishing ecosystems and I don't i. see us I see almost exclusively crops. One of the reasons people will tell you. Driving across the prayers is boring and in some places it is because how many wheatfields can you see hey? You know so there is a wonderful Chung of land that was preserved Scotch. When. Grasslands National Park? And when I go there, it is as close to being in the seventeen hundreds says I can get blown because there is still wild buffalo there, and there are still controlled burns. Their fire was once the main sort of agents of change on the prairie, and when I hike around there, I go oh! This is what I was born to. I has a prairie person. This is the environment in which I was born. This is the environment that fed indigenous peoples for thousands of years. People look around and say I don't know how indigenous people survived here for years it looked different, and so the areas of grassland that are preserved rare, and that got me obsessed with grassland, because grasses grasses went for being an oddity gardens now having their own section in mortar centers are a grasp based ecosystem. And I learned ornamental grasses for cultural grasses before I actually learned native grasses. I was always more interested in flowers so. So did not always speak to me and it took me the longest time to learn native grasses, and I'm still learning them, and they are so beautiful and I. had a really excellent teacher John Russell. WHO WAS He has since passed away. He died in them. Twenty Sixteen John was one of the world's leading experts. Caribou but he knew every plants in China and I would go out into the field with John and. I would say okay. Teach me native grasses and. I could not tell the difference between this one. John Roll his eyes and say you know the Keel is is like the odds are totally different. Some obvious can't see it. Know? Each me and as he started to teach me I started realizing that native are stunning I. Need to use them in designs which I've started doing, but John showed me that there was differ. Kinds of grassland and lots of people think turf. Is a grassland I heard somebody say once you mean like golf courses. And I was actually like I was so horrified that they fought for grassland was it was just like I need to lie down for moment at recover from here? You know there are fescue prairies, and there are short grasp varies. There are tall grass prairies when Europeans first arrived in what is now, Manitoba, they wrote about grasses, highest horses valley, and they wrote about how it was like being on a ship at sea, horses, roads grass, because the wind would move grass at ripple like water, and that gives seat use bumps thinking about it because I have now investigated Manitoba's remaining tall grass prairie, and it's so thrilling and the plant life, there is thrilling. There are birds there that. That I've only seen field guys, and if you, if you learn wild spaces, you act, you accidentally learn birds. I didn't realize until quite recently that I'm a burger because I got into the Wilderness and I. WanNa know that are doing without. Why is that heard gear? We dozens and dozens of grassland sparrows, which I become issued a huge champion of because people think that the introduced house sparrow is what a sparrow it's now and you know for years. I referred to the Native Sparrows LBJ's. They were just number out. US and allied like no no other degrees they sing their fabulous things, so the native grasses that I've learned needle and thread big blue stem rough fescue. Because the Canadian prairies, the prairie provinces are offered a schedule Manitoba much much like you have state flower in a state, tree. Every province and territory in Canada has unofficial flower but Albertus Cashman of Manitoba. Official Rats because we are raspy SECO system so Manitoba's of course, the big blue step, which is this you know six and a half foot giants that is so robust I have been known to hug big step. Very doable. It's so lovely you do it. I've come home with needle and thread in my socks. Julia, which is not, there's a reason they used to call it spear. And John Taught me the fescue, these I could not tell the difference between a sheet fescue at a rough fescue and I'm like. I know blue fescue, because it's cultural, it's not where I grow our where I live, and so Jon I sent to John Teaching. The native fescue and some are teeny teeny tiny in. Like some of them were only a few inches tall, and there's a few places where there are these tufted little excuse that support very specific butterflies and barest civic birds and other other prairies. Don't don't see that there are different kinds of prairie. What Nebraska and Oklahoma Hafer Berry is different than what Kansas has for Berry What schedule and has Prepari- different now? BERTA is much closer to the mountains Manitoba is fascinating because. Manitoba is the westernmost point for a lot of eastern plants and easternmost point for a lot of western plants, so there's a lot of plants hanging out together there. That normally wouldn't wouldn't get together. A Riding Mountain National Park Borough is one of the dominant trees in the forest and I'm like it feels weird to me to find oak as dominant forest tree somewhere. That's not Ontario Quebec with American. And the story is. Is American Highbush, cranberry and Canada Plum, and there's honeysuckle grapes twining through like what what portal have I entered. Amazing Manitoba's different orchids sketch for us. They're soil support, different things and the prairies are windy like it's dry, arid, windy here and how? That's been able to do what they do while they have root systems that you know, some of these like a rough fescue might be nate high. Maybe three feet tall, it live for seventy years, and it will have a nine foot degrade Sushi. That's how you survive in poor soil in the windiest place in the world. There's a reason that southern parts of the provinces became grasslands forests, because it is windy here, and it is dry and on any given day Scotch when he'd been spitting your own, I like if. Like I know that the you know, I've never been to Chicago I've been told that it's very relieved. Mid As people, auto has come up here have been like who smokes. Crazy I have good friends who are from here who have been teachers in Hong Kong for many years, and they told me wants that what would constitute an average windy day on the prairies? Is it God that Wendy in Hong? Kong, Proposal. The schools send the kids off like they would. Like we don't even We joked about Waterton that. You could always tell locals because we walk a is for. Like. Wind is a big factor. Like it really is so like and grasses. You deal with that. That's part of what makes Perry so beautiful that the grasses ripple and move. Fancy Pants European cultivars that would dehydrated an instant here and do. People buy them they die. They say why and I say well. It's a big thing here. But if I wanted to the windy windy prairies, and I could find things flourish. I can use those designs and they will 'em. They will be happy. that's so cool and yeah I. Mean it kind of reminds me. I mean it's windy here for sure Illinois but living in the rockies of Wyoming, it was just this constant. To the point when I moved back I'm like something's missing quiet now. What's happening here? But yeah I mean just seeing. A diversity of grass types forms and understanding a like. You mentioned how old they can be like an a single. Salute. Rosette is just mind blowing ancient at times, but also seeing you know the pictures of those root systems just and not only does it help them survive. It's holding onto all of that soil. It's it's part of why in the in the nineteen thirties that we refer to it as the dirty thirties because you're showed up here and they plow, and they said we're GONNA turn this into the land. Then you know the thirties was basically A. Drought. All of the topsoil will away because it was the grasses that were holding it in place like rough fescue, which was called Buffalo Bunch. Grass by by many of the pioneers of the immigrants. It was critical storage for elk for buffalo for bighorn sheep, because rough fescue doesn't those its nutritional value rents dry so the buffalo dig through the snow. Snow in winter and eat it, and it was nourishing January, as it was in June, and we plowed almost all of it under. It's almost all gone, and when when John for started, introducing me to rough S Q, and showing me stunningly beautiful, it is, we found at rate, big old sock of it and John Sets me. This grass was probably over. Over the new are I'm going to be forty this year. Johnson, this grass has been here short ever and we. We cloud most of it under all Oliver Topsoil. Who Way and we didn't have the knowledge then that we have now because I think if it would've happened now, we would have made different decisions, but they can survive that dry that win that drought that they do that's that is brass's joy in life that is their budgets to survive wind and drought and poor soil, and less than choice, growing conditions, and when I used the rough fescue in landscape designs which I started to do because I love him so much I've had to tell people. This is not an instant gratification browns. This is grass that because their root systems are so big, it usually takes or five years before they start to look at anything. That there's very little happening on the surface and people say I think we should replace this. It's really not doing anything I say Wade for adults. And older, they get the better the yet an arc we also tired of up established quickly an advantage. You know like flash flashing. I would like to know that rough fescue I plan is ten years after my death going to be really hitting stride. Like that's that's a good legacy that Oliver Boulevards planted with native grasses both like mind. They should be. Why aren't they and so like I? Keep preaching this from the rooftops of people say oh! God in talking of Rasa yet, they just. Turned off, you shut your mouth yesterday. That's. What really changed my mind for? Grasses was getting them into the garden and it's daunting. I'm completely with you. On the fact that if you did not grow up really paying attention to it, it is a steep learning curve to kind of get your head wrapped around. It's a whole new vocabulary really to try and learn grass Adamy, but you know you see even the prairie now that I'm getting used to seeing remnant prairies or bigger restoration projects. You know they're institute. They're in place. They're surrounded by their neighbors. They look one way, but when you collect some seeds. Seeds Germinate start to grow him in and around the home. You really see what they can do as an individual, and when you see like a clump of grass like I've got Brasilia's right now going and seeing it by itself in a place where it's really happy, it changed my entire perspective on that aggressive so beautiful. You get to see its architecture. You get to see what it's doing kind of unchained, and not to say that a little competitions not good for plants, but it's it's. It really has given them a much higher tier in my attention list. The the other thing I find with grasp says that they are hard to photograph. While there were many grasses. That I had that I knew from books literature that I had never had any desire to grow that. I had never any desire to seek out night. See them in real life and a solo does not catch the way the brasses move and sway dance. Even like switch grass Hanukkah Common enough brass I think there's a thirty cultivars of it in photos. It always looks like nothing and in the burden it's Shimmer, and it's lovely, and it adds that element of movements to the garden, and I think a lot of us look at flowers and pictures. This is so beautiful and we look at grasses and go. Excited and then you see it in real life and you're like you. May Be Friends. You in my. Come home with me. That's right yesterday. Asked. that's awesome. Yeah, I, really I get excited. The more I see native grasses being offered because it's telling me that there's there's a change in perspective on this and that people are of embracing like you said sort of the longer term landscape option, instead of that flash in a PAN would put some impatience that are just GonNa die soon as the fraud came. You know get over that. Yeah! Yeah Yeah, and so another group that I think in earlier correspondence we both agreed is an obsession are the milk weeds, and whenever I think of like Perry Rocky Areas I get really excited about different weeds growing up. It was incur data to species I love deeply, but I like to see variety right, and you've probably got a exposure to a lot of really cool milk weeds. I don't know when I first became obsessed with that route plants, but I really am obsessed that Vance on the first time I. Ever grew was sleepiest to Barrosa. Just and the reason I found. It was because it's one of the few Bright Orange Flower Reynolds. Edit was one of the few mope weeds that was available at the nurseries was never called milkweed. It was called butterfly. I even know of one guard center that I was a teenager used to sell up. Is Orange glory flower because? By anything with leader, McConnell, name and butterfly weed does not like transplanting. It has a gear by tap roots. It's the last prince out of the ground in the spring, and it's not. It wasn't entirely reliable I was looking at. I think I know your relatives. And eventually eventually figured out that the relatives that was recognizing were Hoya. House was like your flowers are remarkably similar to a Hoya and I discovered later. They're both same family. One is tropical in temperate, and so that one I have liked for a long time, but it's not one hundred percent reliable Mike Climate for native milk weeds. We have Manitoba has serious and in her. NATTA occasionally has in our NATTA. It's rare spiezio size ladies. The Western milkweed or the showy milkweed is actually one of the few. That is actually weedy. While it's, it can be very of in the Martin I would not put five space. It hates disturbance. It's really hard for centers. Sell it because they do not want to be in container. They have running rights. I have seen shown the Western world. We pushed through Ashphalt will. It is ridiculous and relentless commits me secretly. The. Flowers are which fragrance and they are instead of being a little cluster cluster actually involves which I find interesting holidays Lovett's. It's really really easy to Germany. where he wanted to live. And it does actually it's for acreage in large gardens. rubrics read. It's very useful at. It's very well adapted to our flowers in June when moisture is abundant and by the middle of summer. It's you know it's was big. Deep roots are moisture. You often get really good fall color on it's it's usually yellow and quite vivid and quite showy, and the seed pods are needs. I had a big bouquet of those dried seedpods in my living room for launch. Nice, and the the fluff from the weeds is collected by earls shocks like that to line their winter burrows whether sleeping. and birds will use the following year for nesting material so I always say the milkweed. You're a very useful. More plant that contributes so I like that one I can't use it very often. sleepiest folio is native here. It's little. It's maybe a foot tall, but it's it's huge I didn't find it showy in the garden and so small, so if I grown again and it's easy to germinate. I would have to plant it somewhere where it could be appreciated close because while it is very pretty, it's not flashy, right. So, and then we have one complete Weirdo which is the green milkweed sleepiest Baretta Flora. Which is usually pretty small at his big leathery leaves and weird green flowers at. It's not at all showing the first time I found it I was like what is this? The first place I ever found it was writing on stone provincial heart, which is in southeastern number, thirty meters north of the Montana border, and it's in an environment where there is cactus rattlesnakes, and you know things that people don't expect candidates have and in amongst in amongst -at's that's green milkweed Bros, and it's just. I've never collected seed from it. I've never I've never tried to grow it because it's I. Don't know what I would do with it or where. But it's it's neat. I like knowing it's near. And I know see rose sometimes some of the more tropical species as annuals. I grow sleepiest per. Which is Mexican and I growth as an annual big tops planters I love it, and there's one that I don't know if you've ever been to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. I have just an Austin Texas which is like there's lots of reasons to go to Texas that was mine, and it was amazing at that was where I fell in love with Scorpius. Ruled out. I saw that there have been coveting ever since it is sort of a pale green with dark violet or burgundy areas, and I said what is this? How do I make the rest of my life about? They didn't have I was there at the wrong side of the year? They do sell seeds, but they didn't have any available that time. I have never been able to find a seat source for his asked ruler at. My levels of happiness would would skyrocket significantly you. Have that in my life, and I know it would not survive the winter. I know that. The. Annual? I love that genus not that seeds pollinators I love the weird way that they trap butterflies pollinating I love that monarch caterpillars are the only caterpillars that are genuinely Chook, little, black and yellow racing stripe. I, think milk weeds are just. They are so diverse, and they come in so many colors and the. Different shapes different sizes. Some of them are sentenced. Some of them are some of them are adapted to dry some wet. You know the World Milkweed A. Ladda has. Ramped like leaves and I'm like you're so elegant and sophisticated. How Sad! This beautiful genus you know has weighed in the common name there and also I like anything poisonous like full disclosure like men like to drive race cars, and some men like to collect. and. I like to things that could kill you and I. Don't know what. Micro Milk Leads I. Feel dangerous and you know like. Like having poisonous things in the Garden Nancy just me my friends. The errands from this podcast you we, we talked about growing a devils Gardner, just like a poisoners guardian of just same thing, the theme of plants that can kill you run at your own risk. Yes, I think I think that is just such a fun thing to do? Because there's there's more planets in the world that are toxic advance that are not and you know that's. That's really fun and Lady said she didn't want anything poisonous in regard mice awhile you're gonNA to get rid of your tomatoes and your potatoes, then because both of them produce toxins in their foliage, sodas rebar. And she didn't know that. Even her snaps they they are photo. Toxic ends we we eat from poisonous plants. Yeah, it's cool. We turn them into medicine to I. Mean it's absolutely it's a sessile organisms that can't run away from its threats. Of course it's going to protect itself absolutely, and Sorenson spines or fun to speaking of you mentioned Cactus, and even down here with farther south view, people are surprised to learn that there are native CACTI and to hear that they're going all the way up. In Canada's just kind of a for a lot of people, a mind blow of CACTI. Do you have of there? I think if I am correct. Canada has four species. Mistaken maybe five. There is the eastern prickly pear which I'm fairly confident that you have. and then we have where I live. We have to Harris. We have the prairie prickly pear witches up. We have the brittle prickly pear plenty of fragilities, which is aptly named, and we have one of the pin cushion Cactus, which is currently ESCO Beria. It has also been malaria is her phantom, but I think. The botanists of settled down now. WHO GETS TO BE ASKED BERIA FOR NOW? And that one is lovely, because the flowers are usually rose or few Fuchsia or like this electric. But cactus grow here in the southern parts of the prairie provinces, and I think it'll be a British Columbia as while Ontario I would think is the has the eastern back. Does they grow usually on south, facing or west, facing slopes, really sunny sharply drain date are great in Barton's if they are. Sharply drained soil. They are prone to rocks and I think that the way that they get through. Winter is by basically removing all of the moisture from their. Parts because as soon as it starts to get cold, they shrivel and shrink and look horrible and in spring. When the snow melts, you're like what is this awful looking horrible mess here and the very quickly. And Begin to grow. The Grand Prairie Berta is the most northerly point on the planet, and which cactus naturally, while which is really really cool There's also a lady just north of Edmonton who has been reading prickly pear cactus for cold climates her since one thousand nine hundred fifties. They did an article about her in the Edmonson paper a number of years ago and she's been doing this for so long. She read an article saying that there was cactus in the DAKOTAS. DAKOTAS and she thought well, if there if they can cactus there, that's a similar climates. I've got to do it. And then she started reading now and years later. She got a letter from the The Agricultural Research Station in Moscow asking if they would send her some of her cactus, and so she did and twenty years later, she got a letter back, saying that her cats were flourishing in the research station the coolest parts of Russia Sheath. which is not a fact that you should go through your life, not bill. That is just status information. You should have in your brain wash are growing cactus just just. Ponder that for. Yes, that's still like. And how many how many world leaders have tried to conquer Siberia. Filled. Because of the cold. While that exact, that's remarkable I would like to actually visit Siberia one day on. But I would go in Sir. I have a friend who spent eleven summer. The summer's of his life. They're studying bears and knows flowers and the things that Charlie has told me about. You know the the wildflowers of Kamchatka Plant to go there at some point. Yeah, yeah, I follow. A few people photographers. It's it looks so strange to think you know I just picture snow in Pine Trees Yeah but yeah I mean like the video cams in Lupin and just like a weird diversity stall and forests of Scotch Pine so strange it would be like seeing Norway spruce in the wild like a native population on our ways what I would do with that? Wouldn't that be cool bazaar? Lots of spruce up here but not. I mean we see Norway. Spruce Gardens, but Not Not in the wild here. Yeah me. Going back to what you had said. Earlier in the conversation is just meeting these plants that you're so familiar with kind of disembodied from what they're evolved to do in the garden, and then seeing them in the wild like a potent. Tila was one of my first real like they were growing crap. Elite little shrubs behind my parents house and And then I went to Tober Maury and saw them growing on cliff faces, and I was like that's where you look cool. That's really cool. I lived in Australia for two years of my early twenties knife and I. Ever seeing a weeping fig at it was shading parking lot and I knew it as a house I. Remember looking up at it. You, just want to live in a four inch pot might. You see a plant at its fullest expression of itself. We find it. and I love that and I love I love seeing. Where does the plant choose to live? And who does it keep for company? And then can I steal that idea for our? Not I love that, too is just informing what you're doing and you know it's inspiring. Stealing is a funny way of looking at it, but it's just using nature to inform your hobbies and making your hobby of better or business whatever you WANNA, call it a better enterprise better practice because you listen. You took the time you observed and you appreciated. What's there and you want to try to replicate that and I think. Think. That's something that can go from personal garden in a small plot of land. All the way up to restoration projects is look what nature's doing and try to learn from that. Try to emulate that because you know whether we can put data to it or quantify it in some way or not. Nature's figured it out, and it's going to continue to have to do it, but you know largely without our help. It is our best teacher. The best discoveries have made by somebody who paid attention and said. How does this work or why does this work this way or what is happening here? That is our best teacher and creative and interesting people will take those ideas and improve upon the Japanese gardens are always about nature. They're not trying to duplicate nature. They're trying to show it at its very best. And I think that's exciting to. There's all different levels of interest in abilities there, and that's what's beautiful about it is. You can take inspiration in kind of put your own spin on. It doesn't have to be. Steadfast rules. It's just having fun with it, but also recognizing its importance in the fact that it knows what it's doing most of the time. Absolutely wonderful well. I mean we could do this for hours and I think you're going to have to come back to talk more about different plants, but for now if people want to find out more about you get their hands on books, reading articles see you were. Where do people go looking? I tend to keep a fairly low profile online. have written three different gardening books. The Short Season Yard Garden designed to the short season yard and native plants for the short season yard. Those are available from Amazon appeared. Yada I get your. Perfect we did two additions of the short season yard. We did a addition in. Addition for you know high elevation southeastern BBC settled Calorie know that area, but there is. Most people would probably want area addition. It's basically like my idea was that you shouldn't have to be our cultural as. We are and is you especially if you live in a short season? As I do so I. Do keep a block, but I've been writing about gardening since like on that blog since two thousand twelve, and so this year I decided to do something different. I'm writing about. Birds instead cool, so if anybody is interested in my weird stream of consciousness, bird observations, it's Linden and gardening dot wordpress dot com. I'm fairly easy to reach if you want to buy. I'm always outside doing stuff. To be on my computer if I can help it, so there's a lot of gardeners who are constantly putting things on instagram or facebook or At an that's great I salute, you imagine. I am so often out in the forest mountain. Simmer right. Don't have Internet access so I'm I. Don't need. Somebody else fair enough was. It's never a bad thing to take a break from social media so well on Ya. Wonderful I will put links to all of those in the show notes for this episode Linden. It's been an absolute pleasure talking with you. Thank you so much for sharing your passion for plants and gardening and all that. Thank you for having me as Exciting I I. Don't think I've never done an American podcast is really all so so thank you for the invitation of here and for being delightful and for doing what you do because I think it is important that we have. People were champions against Vance and I think it is especially important that we have young people like yourself. Doing doing, Platt related things I think that there's a lot in the world to be depressed about inside about knowing that you were out there. Talking to people about plants actually gives me for the world that you keep that up. You keep doing I will. I really appreciate that I'm always floored I. Get a lot of emails. You'll be happy to know from high school age. Kids saying I want to go into botany. It's it's. It's working I. Think we're we're. We'll see a shift hopefully Amanda. Thank you again and Yeah, we'll have to get you back on a couple of weeks to geek. Out more about plants. I I would be happy to do great all right. Have a good one. To Jasper now. All right that wraps up another episode. Thank you all so much for listening wasn't Lyndon a joy to talk with. I really could've sat down with him for hours and hours and geeked out about plants the whole time. Make sure to go check out his books. There's something in there for everyone. Even if you're not living up in Canada, but nonetheless an appreciation for native plants is something. We all need to get behind. However possible I do want to give a quick shout out to the latest producer on this show. Thank you K- K went over to Patriot dot. COM SLASH INDEFENS-. Plants in signed up to become a patron at the producer credit level, so not only. Are they getting this wonderful shadow credit to put on their resume? They're also getting access to stickers in mini bonus episodes each and every month. So, if you want to help, support the show and make sure can keep coming out each and every week. Consider becoming a patron over at Patriot dot com slash in indefensible plans, and of course another amazing way to help this show is to go over and check out what's going on with the great courses, plus that wonderful happ that helps you learn without having to go back to school for a degree. That's the great courses plus dot com slash ideal. Art Everyone. That's it for this week again. Thank you so much for listening I. Really appreciate it so many good things just over the horizon had some really incredible conversations in the last couple of weeks, and can't wait for you to hear them, so the best way to stay on top of that is to that. Subscribe Button, and while you're at it. Make sure to tell some friends. Word of mouth is the best way to get more people listening and make sure more people appreciate plants in their day to day lives, but until next week. This is your host signing out audio everyone.