Gardening is often a solitary hobby, only shared with friends when they come by for a tour or to take some of our extra zucchini off our hands. But every so often during those marathon weeding days, don’t you wish you had some goofy gardening buddies to keep you company? I mean, the dog’s cool and all, but he doesn’t crack jokes about rude-sounding botanical names, now does he?
Gardening podcasts seem to be all over the place in terms of what to expect – some are friendly and funny but not instructional, some are radio shows that are meant to teach a broad beginner’s audience, and some are very instructional indeed, but maybe a little too serious.
Many gardening podcasts are new enough that they’re still finding their voice, which is awesome. If a podcast doesn’t strike my fancy one day, I’ve found future episodes often will, so I just download everything and see what mood catches me as I’m gardening.
One of my favorite podcasts is the Timber Press Podcast, which is just a bunch of interviews with Timber Press’ authors, who are universally awesome. They’ve interviewed Val Easton, Debra Lee Baldwin, Douglas Tallamy, Tracy DiSabato-Aust, and the editor at Timber Press (and author!) Tom Fischer.
The music is snappy, the interviews have high-quality audio, and the discussion is always great. The one complaint I have about the podcast is they cut each interview into parts, and the parts don’t stand alone – they still need to be listened to in order. I think they should have a monthly podcast that is a full interview instead of making us download each portion of an interview. Small quibble – it’s a hit with me either way.
Good Enough Gardening
Another favorite is the Good Enough Gardening Podcast with Jean Ann Van Krevelen and Amanda Thomsen. Jean Ann VK, a super-sweet Portland-er, often sings show tunes and occasionally raps. Sometimes they talk about gardening too.
They don’t usually try to teach in the podcast – it’s more light banter about cool plants, veggie gardening, and recipe ideas. If you’re in the mood to hang out and giggle with some girlfriends in the garden, this is the podcast.
A Way to Garden
Margaret Roach of A Way to Garden has an appealingly practical, straightforward approach to gardening. Ever read a pruning tutorial that makes things seem even harder? That’s totally not her style – Margaret simplifies things and has such a quiet, encouraging love for gardening.
If you’re a new gardener and wanting to learn some simple gardening tips, or if you’re a seasoned gardener like me and just want the peaceful camaraderie of a fellow friend-in-the-dirt, the A Way to Garden Podcast will teach you something new each time.
Nest In Style
Nest in Style is a new podcast in 2010, with Teresa sharing historical tidbits about plants and gardening and Jayme talking about gardening style and trends. They’ve chosen some great topics and guests – my favorites so far have been the two from the San Francisco Garden Show, but that’s probably because I was so wicked jealous that all the cool kids got to go and I stayed home. (Next year!!!)
They’ve got a good combination of conversation and teaching – I have come away from every podcast with a few helpful bits of info that were fun to share with others or put into action.
The Wiggly Wigglers Podcast seems to be the longest-running gardening podcast that I can find. They’ve been discussing life on the farm in their adorable British accents since 2005.
I love that the podcasts have a sense of continuity from episode to episode, and I also love whenever they discuss hedgehogs. I think that’s a recipe for podcasting success: baby hedgehogs and British accents. Works for me!!
Other gardening podcasts:
Ken Druse’ Real Dirt: Ken and his co-host Vicki are garden writers who have a diverse selection of guests. On the shows I listened to, the information was fairly specific to colder climates than my Zone 9 garden, so it never became a favorite for that reason. But the easy dialogue between Ken and Vicki, and Vicki’s fun recipes made it fun to listen to.
Anarchy in the Garden: This is from vegan urban gardener Adriana in Southern Cali. There’s punk music, recipe ideas, and fun tips, and Adriana’s got an engaging personality. There have only been a few episodes though, so while it’s a fun listen, it’s not going to keep you in podcasts for that day-long ripping-up-the-lawn project!
Jean Ann Van Krevelen also mentioned some favorite gardening podcasts, some of which I have never listened to, so go on over and read about her favorites after you download a few Good Enough Gardening episodes!
Some other cool audio stuff: a free NPR piece – Amy Stewart on Lady Bird Johnson, Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver on audio (I LOVED this audiobook), More Writers in the Garden, an Anthology (an audio download from audible.com), and Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan (available in CDs and as a download).