show episodes
 
Ellen Zachos and C.L. Fornari help you discover the amazing world of plants: in the garden, in the wild, and on your plate. They show you how to grow plants successfully, how to enjoy your natural surroundings, and how to make the most of your harvest, whether it's cultivated or foraged. (Spoiler alert: they don't always agree!) You'll find three different topics in each episode, plus email questions from listeners.
 
Into the Garden with Leslie is about gardening, mainly ornamental, and the point is to get people informed and possibly amused by the many aspects of digging in the dirt. We give you a Plant of the Week, an informative interview, and seasonal tips and tricks. Come listen along as Leslie tries to strike a balance between her growing interest in native plants and her love for luscious hostas and hydrangeas. We will discuss everything from design to compost, and lots of fun guests will fill in ...
 
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This episode starts with ideas for cooking with dried mushrooms. We explain how to tell the difference between pine, fir and spruce trees, do a dive into Ericaceous plants, and end with a question about taking cuttings and transplanting houseplants in the winter. :30 What’s for dinner: How to cook with dried mushrooms 9:16 Insider Information: Pine…
 
I had no idea that the Ficus incorporates so many different type of plant (including epiphytes) and is even the name for a type of sea snail found near Singapore. But in the episode I concentrate on plants-- house plants mostly. I have a chat with the delightful Nanny Noo (Julie Hart) of Launceston, Tasmania and before going into the normal gardeni…
 
The Plantrama team discuss a botanic term for plants that put leaves straight up out of the ground (no stems!), and answer a listener’s question about a Bromeliad that hasn’t made more blooms. Ellen and C.L. present a new segment: Plant Empowerment, which explains how to make a passion for plants into a profession. We start with custom container pl…
 
This week I choose a huge plant that is right outside of our Florida rental as the Plant of the Week (2:18) and it is the Live Oak. Kelly Lehman and I chat about her flower farm, social media success and hydrangea pruning tips (6:30) and in The Play List I start what will be a series of winter pruning tips that I love to employ in cold weather.…
 
The Plantrama team discusses the common belief that eggshells provide quick calcium for plants. Next we look at the myths, misunderstandings and misuse of moss, and end with a question about making a terrarium. :30 True or False: Eggshells are good calcium for gardens 4:45 Eat/Drink/Grow: Moss. 21:37 Love Letters and Questions: Ricci asks about ter…
 
This week is all about a plant I hadn't known much about until I heard from Jenks Farmer (Augustus Jenkins Farmer III) and heard about his book, titled Crinum: Unearthing the History and Cultivation of the World's Biggest Bulb. The Crinum is also the Plant of the Week, and on the Play List I talk about getting the heavy snow off of your evergreens …
 
Ellen and C.L. talk about eating chestnuts, the perennial plant that’s commonly called hellebores, and what it means when you are talking about pesticides. We end with a listener’s question about growing foxglove plants from seed. :34 What’s For Dinner: Chestnuts 6:31 Eat/Drink/Grow: Helleborus 17:50 Insider Information: Define “Pesticide” 21:38 Lo…
 
A baker's dozen of my best guests, including a special one from Launceston, Tassie, who my listeners haven't even been acquainted with, tell us what they are up to in 2022. Kelly D. Norris, Jenny Sioux Hopkins, Christy Wilhelmi, Brie Arthur, Andy Brand, Bunny Williams, Scott Beuerlein, Dean Norton, Marianne Willburn, Lizzie Fox, Erin Schanen, Steph…
 
We start out discussing what can be substituted for rice when you cook. Our main segment is about grafted plants, and we end with a discussion about vegetable seeds that you might want to start in the winter, and whether it’s worth it to save a poinsettia from year to year. :30 What’s For Dinner Alternatives to rice 9:58 Eat/Drink/Grow: Grafting an…
 
Merry Christmas to all! This week I explore 4 plants that are commonly in people's homes this time of year, including my favorite type of tree, the Frasier fir. My sister Kim of Canine Connection in Alexandria teaches about how to enjoy our new Covid pups, and all dogs, in the garden. And in terms of listening, it's to your family this holiday seas…
 
In this just-after-the-solstice episode, Ellen and C.L. discuss how to use juniper berries, supporting heavy amaryllis flowers, taking cuttings and Cyclamen. Ellen's Smreka recipe here. :30 What’s for dinner: What can you use juniper berries for? 5:00 Insider Information: Supporting heavy Amaryllis flowers 9:57 Eat/Drink/Grow: Taking Cuttings – whi…
 
Besides learning that the Amaryllis is actually, in most cases a Hippeastrum, you will hear my rationalization for enjoying those bulbs without trying to get them to re-bloom the next year. I chat with Ellen Zachos about foraging for food (and cocktail enhancements!) in your own backyard: why you would even want to do this, and how to do it safely.…
 
In this episode C.L. and Ellen explain what “bare root plants” are and why you might want them. Next, they talk about the genus Dracaena, which includes some of the most popular houseplants. They end by disagreeing about general rules for pruning (sorry Morgan). :27 Plant Noob: Bare Root plants 11:55 Eat/Drink/Grow: Dracaena 20:21 Love Letters and …
 
Tim Schipper, owner and founder of ColorBlends gives us the low down on bulbs-- what the 'blends' are, ideas on how to keep them coming back or not to worry if they don't and planting times. ColorBlends is my favorite bulb source and I just love how you get a brown scaly golf ball in fall and it becomes a magical flower a few short months later. Th…
 
If you’re wondering if you need to protect your perennial plants with a winter mulch, this episode is for you. Ellen and C.L. go on to talk about the moth orchids, the most commonly sold orchid and an easy one to grow. The show ends with a discussion about the pros and cons of leaving the leaves in your landscape and gardens. :30 True or False: Per…
 
Ellen and C.L. give ideas for the best low-tech kitchen tools, gift suggestions for all on your list, and tips for why ordering your seeds now is a good idea. We end with some audible plant-based listening suggestions for a listener. :29 What’s For Dinner: Some suggestions for must-have, low-tech kitchen equipment 8:42 Eat/Drink/Grow: Our suggestio…
 
Steph Green of Contained Creations of Richmond helps us to figure out how to wow with Holiday Containers. Lots of great tips, whether you tend toward glitz or nature. The Cornus sericea, or Red Twig Dogwood, is the Plant of the Week and I talk about choices on fall clean up in your garden, rejuvenation pruning vs winter snips, and The Play List fea…
 
From roots to leaves to flowers! C.L. and Ellen talk about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes, explain what a root nodule is, and discuss leaf-spot fungus, especially on house plants. The episode ends with a listener question about flowers for a Florida garden. :30 What’s for dinner: Yams Vs Sweet Potatoes 2:52 Insider Information: What…
 
In this episode, I give a fox update, answer questions about trugs and indoor plants (don't laugh! I knew the answer!), and interview Landscape Architect Anthony Bellomo of Millbrook, NY about his pivot to open the lovely Orangerie garden store and his garden at Clove Brook Farm. I also give you some ideas garnered from Christie Wilhelmi's YouTube …
 
It’s all houseplants all the time in this episode of Plantrama. Ellen and C.L. give advice about cleaning the leaves of indoor plants, talk about the many Calatheas that grow well with less light, and answer a question abot the tropical known as “money plant.” :36 Plant Noob: Ways to clean off houseplants in the winter 6:52 Eat/Drink/Grow: Calathea…
 
I highly recommend you get your fall fiesta from the native Acer saccharum instead of that other colorful thing that is taking over our native forests: Burning Bush or Eonymus alatus. Erin Schanen the Impatient Gardener and I talk about most anything and everything, including her new naturalistic garden. And I take you through some basics of perenn…
 
The Plantrama team discusses the advice to hang herbs upside down for drying, and whether you should prune evergreens now. We end with a letter from a listener about doing battle with the birds. :31 True or False: Hanging herbs upside down to dry them helps the flavors (or in the case of Cannabis, the cannabinoids) drain into the leaves/buds. 2:27 …
 
After a scintillating fox update (if you follow me on Instagram, you know that's a thing) I choose the Silver and Gold, or Ajania pacifica as the Plant of the Week. Sister Sue and I delve deep into how to plant bulbs, and maybe what bulbs to plant, and I deal with questions on Vinca minor, moving peonies and what to do in the garden this week. Shou…
 
Ellen and C.L. talk about cranberry recipes that go beyond the traditional “cranberry sauce.” They discuss potting “soils” and their composition, and give a listener advice about a Dracaena fragrans (aka corn plant) that has gotten too tall. :31 What’s For Dinner: Cranberries 8:23 Eat/Drink/Grow: Potting Mixes 24:26 Love Letters and Questions: From…
 
The color that most Oak Leaf Hydrangea leaves turn this time of year reminds me of a fine red wine sipped by the fire, so that means it has to be the Plant of the Week. You are going to be charmed by Lizzie Fox, a young woman in Norwich, England, who is turning seed shopping a shiny, beautiful and new direction, and other details include pruning hy…
 
C.L. and Ellen give you some different ideas for using apples this season, discuss planting bulbs with an auger on a drill, explain the term “old wood” and answer a listener’s question about tomatillo plants. :30 What’s for dinner: Apples or crabapples, anyone? 7:54 The Plant Noob: Using a hand drill and an auger to plant lots of bulbs. 14:19 Eat/D…
 
Because we haven't featured a native Plant of the Week for a while, and because I could not ignore the Honorine Jobert in my yard, we double dip with both the Japanese anemone and the Anemone virginiana, which, although it isn't blooming now like our Asian friend, blooms in spring and is pretty too! Christy Wilhelmi and I flit around the garden top…
 
The Plantrama team discusses the importance of soil temperature when planting bulbs for spring bloom. In the main segment we talk about handling the amaryllis bulbs you have kept from last winter, and how to bring them into flower in December. We end with a question about how frequently houseplants should be fertilized. :29 Insider Information: Bul…
 
This week the author of Tropical Plants and How to Love Them, Marianne Wilburn, takes us through steps on what plants we may want to over winter, and how to make them happy. This is Marianne's second visit because she is so fun to chat with! The Plant of the Week is the Rex Begonia, and I also talk about some trees I have planted recently, more on …
 
Ellen and C.L. discuss what root stimulator products are and if they are necessary when you plant. They also address why houseplants might drop leaves when you bring them back inside for the winter, and how to fit even more plants in your house. :32 True or False: You should use a “root stimulator” that is high in phosphorous 9:14 Eat/Drink/Grow: W…
 
This week we get all pumpkin spicy autumnal with the mum as our POW, some dried hydrangea and dahlias cutting tips, and a long chat with sister Sue Ann about what is happening in her garden, mine, and others of which we are jealous. Timely information about bringing indoor plants back in NOW is a great preview for next week's visit with Marianne Wi…
 
In this episode we are making purées for use later in the winter, and considering when you might need to water in the fall. Ellen and C.L. discuss managing those pesky fungus gnats (tiny black flies) that can emerge from your houseplants, and we answer a question about using red pepper to deter rabbits, deer and other critters. :29 What’s For Dinne…
 
Gregory Britt, "That Nice Guy Who Creates Epic Floral Artistry" joins me for a wandering (literally, as I chase him around the studio with my lame microphone and we battle traffic noise) chat about flowers, gardening, and house plants. I have collected good basic (read: for idiots like me) info on the Asian Jumping Worm and the classic Zinnia is th…
 
Hear about nuts for dinner, houseplants that will make you smile, and late-to-migrate hummingbirds. We also answer Kim’s question about perennial garden cleanup in the fall. :30 What’s For Dinner Nuts! 11:17 Eat/Drink/Grow: House Plants that will make you happy all winter 20:30 Insider Information: Supporting late-to-migrate hummingbirds. 23:18 Kim…
 
Hear about nuts for dinner, houseplants that will make you smile, and late-to-migrate hummingbirds. We also answer Kim’s question about perennial garden cleanup in the fall. :30 What’s For Dinner Nuts! 11:17 Eat/Drink/Grow: House Plants that will make you happy all winter 20:30 Insider Information: Supporting late-to-migrate hummingbirds. 23:18 Kim…
 
Ellen and C.L. talk about root crops – potatoes, and sunchokes – and what “open pollinated” means. We discuss the pros and cons of protecting plants for the winter, and answer a listener’s question about plants that draw flies. :36 What’s for dinner: Root Crops: Potatoes and Sunchokes 5:55 Insider Information: What does “open pollinated” mean? 10:3…
 
This week, writer and gardener Marianne Willburn joined me on the pod. She is a monthly columnist for the American Gardener Magazine, as well as a writer for Garden Rant. You can also find her personal blogs here. We talk about all things plant marketing, plant sharing, even the native vs. nonnative debate and the oh-so-controversial Lawn. You can …
 
In this episode Ellen and C.L. talk about how to decide which tender or tropical plants to save indoors through the winter, how to preserve your garden or foraging harvest, and whether weeds choose to grow where they blend in. :32 Plant Noob: Deciding which tropicals/annuals to try and save through the winter. 9:05 Eat/Drink/Grow: Preserving The Ha…
 
I visited Peggy Cornett, and lots of cicadas, hence the ambient noise, at The Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Tufton Farm, about two miles from Monticello. We chat about plants that Jefferson grew or otherwise historic plants, including the interesting annual Euphorbia marginata, or Snow on the Mountain. Since that sounds like a coun…
 
Is compost – homemade or purchased – a good substitute for fertilizer? What is that thick growth in a tree? Ellen and C.L. answer these questions and respond to a listener about uses for pressed flowers. :26 True or False: Compost is fertilizer. 3:50 Eat/Drink/Grow: Witches’ Brooms 19:58 Love Letters and Questions: Kelly asks for ideas about what t…
 
This week I visit Dean Norton, Director of Horticulture at George Washington's Mount Vernon (@ 5:47) and recommend Andrea Wulf's 'Founding Gardeners' in The Play List. The Plant of the Week really has nothing at all to do with the General, I cannot tell a lie, but it is a versatile and useful plant that I am propagating the heck out of these days, …
 
The Plantrama Partners-in-Plants start by discussing how to eat the parts of plants we often toss out or put into the compost. Next, we talk about growing new plants from the seeds that you might see right now in your perennial garden. We end by answering a listener’s question about what might make a shrub or tree turn bright colors very early in a…
 
The Dahlia is the showy strumpet of the late season border, and she is a high maintenance diva that is so attractive she is worth all of the effort. We learn the ins and outs of growing the Dahlia from spring planting to lifting and dividing. Did you know that there are 17 different flower forms? Other topics include English Ivy and how I loathe it…
 
In this end-of-August episode, C.L. and Ellen discuss how to tell why the leaves on your plant are turning yellow. They explain that noticing which leaves are yellowing, and where they are, can help explain why this is happening. Next the Plantrama team explains some botanic terms, and discusses what to forage for or plant in your vegetable garden …
 
Traveling Garden Correspondent Leslie Harris is in hot and humid Hilton Head, South Carolina, picking apart why her mother-in-law's garden looks so darned good right now. Garden writer Scott Beuerlein of Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Horticulture Magazine and Garden Rant fame joins me on some other August ideas. Fall is coming, but let us in…
 
The Plantrama team talks about ideas for pasta salad and reipes using pineapple weed. We get you thinking about transplanting in the fall, discuss how to manage plants that self-seed just a bit too enthusiastically, and answer a listener’s question about scale. :30 What’s for dinner: Pasta Salad and Pineapple Weed 5:14 Eat/Drink/Grow: Preparing for…
 
I follow through on last week's threat of choosing the plant species named after a venereal disease as the Plant of the Week (Lobelia siphilitica) and Bunny Williams and I chat about gardens, garden design, HER garden, which is spectacular, and her garden book, On Garden Style at 5:55. The Play List includes info on spider mites, flagging annuals, …
 
The Plantrama duo discuss caffeine as an insecticide, and talk about corn, which is a grass and a great deal more. The episode ends with a discussion of picking green apples. :36 True or False: Caffeine is a natural insecticide. 7:42 Eat/Drink/Grow: Corn: it’s a vegetable! It’s a biofuel! It’s livestock food! It’s an autumn decoration! 18:49 Love L…
 
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