Show cover of Gardening with the RHS

Gardening with the RHS

'Gardening with the RHS' offers seasonal advice, inspiration and practical solutions to gardening problems. Trusted gardening professionals give you the latest horticultural advice, scientific research and tried and tested techniques to bring out the best in your garden. Topics covered include: growing your own vegetables, flowers, garden design, lawn care and gardening with children. Plus expert masterclasses in topics ranging from cottage garden plants, growing orchids, to pest control and eco-friendly gardening. Plus we’ll have behind the scenes reports from the country’s most prestigious flower shows. There’s something in these podcasts to interest every gardener, whatever your level of expertise. For more info see A Pixiu production.


The Art of Our Gardens
In this special episode, we’re branching off from the regular content of the show to zero in on what we can make when using flora as both our inspiration and our medium. It’s about art – where the greenery of our landscape is the lens through which we create. We’ll be travelling to RHS Lindley Library to get some expert insights into the secrets of the world’s finest botanical art, getting the inside scoop on what to grow to produce natural dyes ahead of the WOVEN festival in Kirklees, and finally, chatting with academic and author Elizabeth-Jane Burnett about writing poetry about moss. Plus, you’ll get a rundown from RHS Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter on what you can do in your garden this week.   Links: RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show   WOVEN 2023   Twelve Words for Moss
35:52 01/06/2023
It's Chelsea, Baby!
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 is finally upon us! And this week, we’ve brought you an episode recorded amongst the hustle and bustle of designer gardens, best in class floral displays, traders, talks and exhibitions, and more. We’ll catch up with a few of the big designers – including Tom Massey, Cleve West, Charlotte Harris & Hugo Bugg – explore the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year Competition, and get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at the show.  Links: The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 The Royal Entomological Society Garden The Centrepoint Garden Horatio’s Garden Project Giving Back
43:33 24/05/2023
Greening the Grey: Wisteria, Vertical Gardening, and the Sounds of London’s Trees
For this week’s show, we’re delving into the natural world of cities – looking at how best to grow our favourite plants with limited space and to treasure the diverse flora and fauna of our cityscapes. Author Ben Dark shares his love for the wisteria embellishing urban front gardens. Urban farmer Alessandro Vitale – you might know him as Spicy Moustache — takes us through all his tips and tricks for growing vertically in whatever space you’ve got. And, author and amateur urban naturalist, Bob Gilbert, gives his thoughts on the sounds of London’s trees. But that’s not all – we’re ending the show with a touching tribute from Daisy Payne on what she’s doing in honour of Celebration Day on 28 May. Links: Rebel Gardening: A Beginner’s Handbook To Organic Urban Gardening The Grove: A Nature Odyssey in 19 ½ Front Gardens Ghost Trees: Nature and People in a London Parish “The Susurration of Trees” BBC Radio 4 programme Make the most of your urban garden
32:03 18/05/2023
Grown Here From Elsewhere
As the UK becomes more and more diverse, the flora we grow is changing – and we want to honour that. So, this week, we’re spotlighting the plants grown here from elsewhere. First up, we’ll take a trip to an allotment site in Southall. Here, award-winning garden designer Manoj Malde will chat with us about the fruit and veg from around the world that he’s including in his garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. We’re then delving into the history of plant collectors. Fiona Davison, Head of Libraries and Exhibitions at the RHS, will take us through the often overlooked legacy of how some of our garden favourites made it to Britain from far-off lands. Finally, we’ll head to RHS Bridgewater’s Chinese Streamside Garden – and explore how international horticultural partnerships have changed over the years.    The RHS and Eastern Eye Garden of Unity   The Chinese Streamside Garden   Rare and Familiar Friends: The story of Chinese plants in our gardens
32:25 11/05/2023
Gardens Fit for a King
The coronation of His Majesty King Charles III is just two days away. As a royal society, we thought it was only fitting to celebrate our new monarch with a royal-themed episode. First, we’ll check in with three of the Prince’s Foundation estates – Highgrove, The Castle of Mey, and Dumfries House – to get the inside scoop on how they manage their vast gardens while still considering the environment. Then we’ll visit Arundel Castle for their Tulip Festival, leading you on a tour of their over 130,000 tulip blooms, before giving you a tutorial on how to build a coronation container in time for National Gardening Week. Links: The Prince’s Foundation Dumfries House Highgrove House and Gardens The Castle of Mey Arundel Castle National Gardening Week 2023
28:46 04/05/2023
Dig for Dopamine
It’s almost May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. So for this week’s show, we’re getting into growing for wellbeing, and the many ways you can enjoy the sounds, sights, smells and experiences of gardening this spring. RHS Advisors discuss their go-to wellness tips in the thick of the growing season, artist MoYah reveals the unexpected links between gardening and hip hop, and RHS Advisor Becky Mealey takes us back to the mediaeval times, explaining how monks created productive but calming gardens of their own.  Links: Gardening for health and wellbeing May Project Gardens A Gentle of Plea for Chaos
31:15 27/04/2023
Earth Day 2023: A Flora & Fauna Love Affair
At the RHS, we try to think critically about the ways we cultivate the earth and interact with the wildlife that inhabit our green spaces everyday. But this week, in honour of Earth Day, we wanted to take extra time to really celebrate our gardens – and to share our love for the many plants and animals that bring them to life. Gardener and writer Ben Dark shares a history of the tulip that stretches back 1,000 years, RHS Senior Ecologist Gemma Golding chats with us about her exciting wildlife research, and artist and author James Bridle takes us through his exploration of the intelligence of plants. Plus, throughout the show we’ve sprinkled in plant love letters from Alice Vincent, Victoria Bennett, and Sue Mabberley.    Links:   The Grove: A Nature Odyssey in 19 ½ Front Gardens   iNaturalist   Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence   RHS Sustainability Strategy
34:14 20/04/2023
Healthy Garden, Healthy Gardener
This week, we’ll be checking in on the health of our gardens, taking a look at the various diseases on the rise here in the UK and what we can do to stave off their encroachment. But that’s not all! With the return of allergy season, we’re also going to explore the many ways we can garden with not just the health of our plants in mind, but with that of our own bodies, as well. Plant Pathologist Dr. Liz Beal chats with us about the RHS annual disease rankings, Dr. Shubha Allard and Dr. Patrick Yong take us through the allergies to watch out for this spring, and finally virologist Dr. Tim Wreghitt shares his advice on building a low-allergy garden. Links: RHS Disease Ranking Hilltop Live: “Plants and Allergy” on 21 April Low Allergy Gardening: The Why and Where of Plant Allergies and Plants to Choose for Your Low Allergy Garden Pollen forecast
29:21 13/04/2023
Designing a Resilient Garden
Today, we’re looking to the future – exploring how we can create resilient gardens that can flourish in the changing climate while also serving their local ecosystems. Renowned Garden Designer Tom Massey shares his blueprint for designing sustainable gardens that persevere, Peter Jones, the Garden Manager of Hardy Ornamental at Wisley, gives us a tour of the plants that survived through this past winter, and finally, RHS Advisor Esther Wolff chats with us about her tips on what you can do now to build up your garden’s resilience. Links: RHS Resilient Garden: Sustainable Gardening for a Change Climate Plants for wet and dry soils  What can I do about climate change in my garden?
29:56 06/04/2023
Spring To Do's
April is just around the corner, and you know what that means: The hectic growing season is finally upon us. So, with that in mind, today’s episode will be exploring some of the big spring to-do’s. RHS Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter takes us to his allotment in Surrey, giving us a tour of his current grow-your-own projects, Flower Farmer and Author Rachel Siegfried chats with us about creating the perfect spring bouquet, and finally, Fiona Davison, Head of Libraries and Exhibitions, walks us through the influence certain royals have had on gardening trends throughout history.   Links: Allotments Allotment: getting started The Cut Flower Sourcebook The Old Laboratory at Wisley
29:35 30/03/2023
Reimagining Our Lawns
In today’s episode, we’re exploring the many, many ways we can all get wilder with our lawns. It’s part of a larger RHS campaign with The Wildlife Trusts to celebrate how we can Bring Our Lawns To Life by gardening with nature, rather than against it. Mark Schofield from conservation charity Plantlife takes us through the whys and hows of creating wildlife-friendly lawns, Sue Mabberley from Nant y Bedd garden in Wales chats with us about her grassland and meadow care, and Janet Crouch from Maryland, USA tells us the story of her legal battle to keep her biodiverse front yard.  Links: Plantlife Nant y Bedd Garden Workshops Wild About Gardens Campaign Lawn and mini-meadow habitats
30:50 23/03/2023
Blossoms Special
With spring just around the corner, we thought we’d devote an entire episode to blossoming trees. We’ll get into selection and planting advice, and journey across time and space to discover their history and current status. Tree Nurseryman Nick Dunn walks us through how to select the perfect cherry tree for an English garden, Journalist Naoko Abe takes us back in time to explore the work and legacy of cherry-tree fanatic Collingwood Ingram, and Richard Baines, Curator at Logan Botanic Garden in Scotland, gives us an inside look at his efforts to conserve endangered evergreen magnolias. Plus, RHS Advisor Lenka Cooke shares a dynamic tutorial on planting flowering apple trees this March.  Links: Flowering cherry trees for small gardens ‘Cherry’ Ingram: The Englishman Who Saved Japan’s Blossoms Plant Explorer: A Plantsman’s travels in Northern Vietnam How to grow apples: RHS advice
31:20 16/03/2023
A Root of One's Own
This week, in honour of International Women’s Day, we’re giving space to a few of the women who’ve found meaning and fulfilment in the gardens they’ve created. We’re exploring the power that exists in our own connection with the rich environments we inhabit, and the myriad of ways we can care for and cultivate it. Writer and gardener Alice Vincent opens up about her quest to find out why exactly women grow, RHS edible grower Suzie Kelly shares her top tips for growing her favourite vegetable (tomatoes!), and author Victoria Bennett gives us an honest look at the apothecary garden she built in the midst of deep grief.  Links: Why Women Grow  Why Women Grow Podcast All My Wild Mothers Tomatoes – growing your own Fast tomatoes – the quickest way to grow your own
30:59 09/03/2023
The Afterlife of Plants
This week, we’re exploring the afterlife of plants. We’re looking at what happens when we remove different plant material from our gardens – either parts of flora still growing or others long dead – and preserve or display them as they were then, frozen at a particular stage of their life cycle. Flower farmer and author Rachel Siegfried shares her secrets on growing perennials and woody plants for cut flowers, Tivvy Harvey and Lydia Walles take us into the inner sanctum of Wisley’s herbarium, and then horticulturist Mark Tuson shows us the ornamental structures he’s made from pine cones and dried flowers. Finally, Fiona Davison, Head of Libraries and Exhibitions at the RHS, takes us away from dead plants and into the world of dead insects. She’ll help uncover a piece of the RHS’s rich history, giving us an inside look at the life and legacy of entomologist George Fox Wilson.  Links: The Cut Flower Sourcebook RHS Herbarium  How to dry flowers and foliage The Old Laboratory
31:40 02/03/2023
Sustainable Alternatives
Our gardens don’t exist in a vacuum, just for us. They are part of a much larger ecosystem. They provide habitats that are crucial for supporting biodiversity and can offer scores of additional environmental benefits. So today, we’ll be looking at straightforward and eco-friendly alternatives we can take up to transform our gardens into the sustainable havens our world deserves. Chris Baines, a leading environmentalist, will delve into how wildlife gardening has changed over the past 50 years, RHS Advisor Nikki Barker will share her top tips for growing seeds and cuttings in peat-free compost, and finally, Jenny Bowden, another advisor and long-time friend of the show, will give us an inside look at her research into box alternatives.  Links: RHS Companion for Wildlife Gardening How to use peat-free compost: for seeds and cuttings  Box Alternatives Survey
31:15 23/02/2023
Gardening on a Small Scale
In this week’s show, we’re zooming in on how to garden in small spaces. Whether you’ve got a neglected corner of your garden that you need to fill – or you’ve no garden at all – we’ve got you covered. We’ll be exploring a host of techniques for turning odd nooks and crannies into little green oases. John Dower, a long-time member of the Alpine Garden Society, will start us off with a master-class on constructing mesmerising gardens in miniature. Connor Smith, head of the Rock Garden at Utrecht Botanic Gardens, will share his tried and tested advice for using recycled materials to make compact crevice gardens. And finally, Alpine Horticulturists Amy Smethurst & Bertie Swainston will share their love for dainty dionysias.  Links: Alpine Garden Society Harlow Carr Alpine House Rock gardening
30:45 16/02/2023
Let's Eat!
While it’s not quite planting season, fear not – there are still creative ways you can grow and harvest food today, and, of course, it’s never too early to start planning ahead for spring. So this week, in our food special, we explore the many ways you can enjoy the different tastes and flavours of a winter garden. Woodland Ecologist and author Artur Cisar-Erlach delves into the many unusual and delicious ways of using trees in the kitchen, RHS Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter takes us to a supermarket to share all the cheap and easy ways we can grow fruit and veg from food scraps, and Paul Oswick closes out the show with a tour of the nearly 100 seed potato varieties sold at Clockhouse Nursery in North London. Links: The Flavor of Wood: In Search of the Wild Taste of Trees From Smoke and Sap to Root and Bark Grow your own fruit, vegetables, and herbs Clockhouse Nursery
29:24 09/02/2023
Our Plants' Roots
This week, we’re journeying back in time to explore plants of yore. Otherlands author Thomas Halliday tells us the story of the United Kingdom’s ecological origins, Kew Botanist Rafael Govaerts describes how garden plants can go extinct, and Karen Clarke gives us the scoop on the RHS’s Digital Dig project – an effort to digitise the many, many thousands of old plant nursery catalogues in our collections. But that’s not all, Mr. Plant Geek, aka Michael Perry, will close out the show by bringing us into the present with a love letter to an exciting hyacinth he helped roll out. It’s an episode chock-full of deep-rooted flora stories!  Links: Otherlands: A World in the Making The Plant Review Digital Dig Volunteer with the RHS
31:40 02/02/2023
Deep Winter Gardening
This week, we explore some of the most eye-catching parts of deep winter gardening, all while providing advice on what you can do in your garden as January draws to a close. Dawn Smith from Walberton Nursery shares her love of hellebores, RHS Team Leader Mark Tuson teaches us how to build ornamental habitat structures to attract wildlife, and RHS Advisors respond to pressing winter questions and concerns.  Links: How to grow hellebores Plan your visit to Wisley Dead wood and compost heap habitats Advice
28:53 26/01/2023
Make a splash with aquatics!
This week we’re diving into the world of aquatic and semi aquatic plants. Sarah Gerrard-Jones, also known as The Plant Rescuer, gives a dynamic tutorial on making mini water features for the home, Dr. John David, Head of Horticultural Taxonomy, describes the invasive nature of many aquatic plant varieties, and then, Dr. Elisabeth Larsen, RHS Ecosystems Services Fellow, takes us away from ponds and waterways, giving us an exclusive tour of her research on how trees capture water.  Links: The Plant Rescuer: The book your house plants want you to read How to grow aquatic and bog plants Aquatic Weeds Climate Change & Trees
25:31 19/01/2023
An Ode to the Hedge
Get ready – today’s episode is all about hedges. RHS scientist Tijana Blanusa delves into the environmental benefits different hedges provide, grower and self-proclaimed “plant nerd” Kevin Hobbs fills us in on unconventional plants that end up making great garden barriers, and RHS advisor and longtime friend of the show Leigh Hunt teaches us how to plant deciduous hedges in January. Plus, several RHS experts share hedge “love letters,” letting us in on their favourite variety.  Links: Hedges: choices with environmental benefits Hedges: planting The Story of Trees: And How They Changed the Way We Live
30:57 12/01/2023
A Toolbox for a Sustainable 2023
We thought there was no better way to start off the new year than with an episode entirely focused on sustainable gardening. In this week’s show, RHS Sustainability Fellow Chloe Sutcliffe gives you an inside look at her research measuring the environmental footprint of our horticultural practices, a handful of RHS experts share their go-to tips for cultivating a greener garden, and finally, we delve into our podcast archives to revisit two of our favourite permaculture stories.  Links: Gardening for the Environment Planet-friendly gardening tips 3 ways to connect to nature RHS Sustainability Strategy 10 ways to be more sustainable in your garden
29:58 05/01/2023
Reflections on the Year
This week, we’re looking back on our garden highlights (and lows) of 2022 while also taking stock of the current state of our winter green patches. We’ll hear from Wisley horticulturalists on their reflections of the year, learn all about colonised fungi log piles from plant pathologist Jassy Drakulic, and get the inside scoop on why Wisley doesn’t cut back their herbaceous perennials until early spring. Useful links: Dead wood and compost heap habitats The Glasshouse at Wisley Visiting Wisley RHS Allotment Handbook
25:00 29/12/2022
A Christmas Wonderland
Tis the season of fruiting hollies, mysterious mistletoe, and of course, the ubiquitous Christmas tree. In this episode, we’re bringing you stories on how to make our gardens and homes as festive as the season demands. We’ll hear from RHS advisor Rob Stirling on how to keep your finicky poinsettias alive, get a hands-on tutorial from wildlife expert Helen Bostock on cut-stem crafts, and discover the final tasks you can do in your garden before the start of 2023.  Useful links: Poinsettia Care Garden Craft Instructions RHS Garden Wisley
24:09 22/12/2022
Weird Winter Plants
Trying to impress your neighbours with a rich, diverse, and perhaps even wacky winter garden? Well, look no further. On this week’s episode, we’ll hear about author Phil Clayton’s favourite winter plants, get an inside look at the weird and wonderful seed varieties sold at the RHS, and dive into the world of bird-friendly wreaths with our Senior Wildlife Specialist Helen Bostock. Useful links: A Plant for Every Day of the Year by Phil Clayton  RHS Members Seed Scheme Information DIY Christmas Wreaths
25:19 15/12/2022
Our best gardening books of 2022
The handy guide you’ll want for your Christmas shopping! Join Guy Barter, Fiona Davison and Tom Howard as they discuss their favourite horticultural reads of 2022. Books mentioned: Old Herbaceous by Reginald Arkell  The Grove : A Nature Odyssey in 19 and a half front gardens by Ben Dark The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening New Edition by Guy Barter and Christopher Brickell  Grow 5 by Lucy Bellamy  Your Garden Week by Week by Arthur Hellyer The Science of Compost: Life Death and Decay by Dr. Julian Doberski   Useful links: 
28:51 08/12/2022
How can I keep my garden green over winter?
Putting the garden to bed over winter is a thing of the past. Today we’ll be speaking to an expert horticulturist on how he created a 400m walk of winter interest planting and we’ll be chatting with Big Plant Nursery about spicing up your evergreen reserves with lush exotics. Plus we catch up with our RHS experts to learn the essential gardening jobs you ought to be doing now. Useful links
23:19 01/12/2022
Trees! What are they good for?
Absolutely everything. Today’s episode is in honour of National Tree Week, the largest annual tree celebration in the UK. We’re chatting with a whole host of experts including wildlife gardening presenter and author Kate Bradbury, science educator Jonathan Newell, and RHS Edibles team leader Paul Kettell. From managing apple orchards to the science and history of trees, you won't want to miss this special! Useful links:
31:23 24/11/2022
How to cure the winter blues
It’s time to stock up on some Vitamin G to get through these colder, darker days. Join us as we chat with RHS Wellbeing Fellow, Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui about how scent impacts our emotions, completely subconsciously! Plus we head to RHS Wisley’s Wellbeing Garden to learn how to design with wellness in mind, and visit a community gardening project in London’s Gladstone Park to hear what keeps the volunteers going in even the wettest winters.    Useful links:
26:04 17/11/2022
Forest gardening
Today we’re plunging into the depths of the woods! We’re chatting with permaculturist and garden designer Pippa Chapman on how to make your own backyard forest garden. And wildlife expert James Lowen transports us to some stunning British woodlands to learn about the rare creatures lurking within. Plus we meet the RHS gardening advisors to get some crucial tree-related FAQs answered. Useful links:
30:36 10/11/2022