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Gardens are more than collections of plants. Gardens and Gardeners are intersectional spaces and agents for positive change in our world. Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden is a weekly public radio program & podcast exploring what we mean when we garden. Through thoughtful conversations with growers, gardeners, naturalists, scientists, artists and thinkers, Cultivating Place illustrates the many ways in which gardens are integral to our natura ...
 
This podcast series presents recordings of talks given at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History as part of its public programme of events. The Museum of Natural History was founded in 1860, and today it holds an internationally significant collection of natural history specimens and archives. Housed in a stunning neo-Gothic building inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites, the Museum is home to a lively programme of research, teaching and public events.
 
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show series
 
On Cultivating Place this week, as we revisit a Best Of conversation with Vivien Sansour, the heart and head behind The Palestine Heirloom Seed Library aiming to revive and share forward Palestinian seed heritage and a culture of care and gratitude. Vivien was born in Palestine and spent her early childhood in Bethlehem before she and her family im…
 
As seed catalogues continue to arrive in our mailboxes and in-boxes daily, filling our notebooks and dreams, we take a behind the scenes look at an independent seed source well-known to gardeners and market growers throughout North America: Johnny’s Selected Seeds. We are in conversation with current CEO Dave Melhorn and Lauren Giroux, Director of …
 
To welcome the new year, Cultivating Place stays with the theme of seeds – this time focusing on seeding our imaginations in conversation with Diane Wilson writer, gardener, emeritus executive director of Dream of Wild Health and, more recently, emeritus executive director of The Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance. Diane has long interwoven …
 
As a farewell to the calendar year that has been, and a welcome/seeding for the new year that will be, I am joined by seed person and agent of growing transformational change - Kellee Matsushita-Tseng. Known as Brave New Seed online, Kellee is a Yonsei (fourth generation) queer, Japanese-Chinese American, as well as the farm-garden assistant manage…
 
Gary Paul Nabhan is a gardener, an agricultural ecologist, an ethnobotanist, and an ecumenical Franciscan Brother based in Patagonia, Arizona. He is the author of a host of books covering a diversity of plant-relationship topics – from pollinators to food policy, to love letters to his favorite landscapes. The heart of his work is fed by his own li…
 
Winter in the Northern Hemisphere is a time of dormancy for the plant and animal kingdoms alike. While it may look relatively still and quiet, it is in fact a period of unseen activity worth looking at and learning from – for perspective and possibilities. This is our final offering for your garden-based preparations for the Winter Solstice officia…
 
As another offering to all of you in your gardens tending toward the Solstice in just a few weeks on December 21st, this week we are in conversation with award-winning poet and life-long home gardener Camille Dungy. Camille is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), winner of the Colorado Book Aw…
 
Mike Sullivan is the author of "The trees in San Francisco", Jason Dewees is a horticulturist and author of "Designing with Palms", and Richard Turner is a designer, consultant, the Emeritus Editor of Pacific Horticulture, and co-editor of "Trees of Golden Gate Park".The three men got together in the early days of the Pandemic and put their imagina…
 
This week I’m thankful for my own garden, of course, but also for the good fresh food grown for all of us by so many hard-working souls wherever you are, from San Francisco to Cincinnati to Syracuse, and here where I am. Pyramid Farms is a small organic, integrated family farm of humans led by Matthew Martin and Lisa Carle. Famous for the carrots, …
 
As a gardener and a human in this exact time on our planet, and in this specific season of the year - a season of communal gathering and thankfulness at the tail end of the growing season in the Northern Hemisphere, this week we celebrate Family, Kin, & Kinship. We are joined in this conversational celebration by Gavin Van Horn and Rowen White shar…
 
Fall and early winter are the perfect time in much of the Northern Hemisphere to plant bulbs, woody shrubs and trees, herbaceous perennials, and perennial vines in the landscape. It is also a good time to seed many spring-blooming native(and non-native) annuals.So, I thought it was just the right time of year as well to chat a little with Heather M…
 
Last week on Cultivating Place, we looked at Gardens and history through the lens of a historic Garden Cemetery – this week we look at Garden History through the interpretive lens of how we preserve, interpret, codify and share gardens past and present. We are in conversation with Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum in London.Garden…
 
Just in time for Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, and Day of the Dead observances, this week we explore the sacred, green and communal space of a cemetery – specifically Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Boston, Massachusetts. Opened in the 1830s, Mt. Auburn was the first of a genre of so-called Garden Cemeteries in the U.S.Horticulturist Dave Barnett is the Emerit…
 
This week on Cultivating Place we’re in delicious conversation with Chef Dave Smoke McCluskey, founder of Corn Mafia, and a grower/producer of such traditional corn products as Longhouse Selections’ hominy, masa, and grits. Based in South Carolina, Dave is an Indigenous foods educator and member of the Mohawk Nation, who invites us all to think abo…
 
As we enter the season of seed saving, of easing into dormancy, beginning to consider next season through the lens of the last season, of forward planning, this week Cultivating Place explores some big thinking for our shared future in conversation with Severine Von Tscharner Fleming, one of the women featured in The Earth in Her Hands, 75 Extraord…
 
In our second episode focusing on the inspiring beauty of dry gardens and the plants and people who love them, Cultivating Place is joined this week by photo journalist Saxon Holt. The sole photographer on more than 30 garden books, Saxon is also owner of the PhotoBotanic Garden library and director of the Summer-Dry Project.Saxon’s most recent boo…
 
As we near the close of a dry, dry season in the generally dry climates of much of the US west, this week Cultivating Place has the first of a two-episode focus on the inspiring beauty of dry gardens and the plants and people who love them.We start off with some high style in dry gardens with garden designer Daniel Nolan, owner of Daniel Nolan Desi…
 
Ernesto Alvarado is a Mexican-born, Southern California-based native plant and seed teacher and student. He is currently the Native Plant Nursery Assistant at the Riverside Corona Resource Conservation District where he specializes in seed and native plants for gardening and greater connection to the world around him – and us.While I told you that …
 
September, October, and November are traditional harvest celebration months in the Northern Hemisphere from variations on Octoberfests to those around the idea of Thanksgiving. The ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot is celebrated from the full moon on September 20th to September 27th this year, with the Autumnal Equinox occurring on the 22nd…
 
As we tend toward the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are deep in a period of time full of sacred seasonal celebrations and observances based on the cycles of the moon, of the sun, and of the growing season ending with harvest and simultaneously beginning again with the dormancy of seed and soil.Late summer to…
 
On Cultivating Place this week we celebrate (and say farewell) to the fullness of summer at its calendar-end with Labor Day weekend in full view here in the US. We do this with some moving and wonderful sounds of a summer concert series not only held in but inspired by a remarkable urban garden: the Capital Public Radio Garden at Sacramento State U…
 
In our final episode focusing specifically on ecologically rich and contributing gardens, we learn some innovative lessons in built ecology. Literally.Rebecca McMackin is an ecologically focused horticulturist and garden designer. For the past decade, she has been the Director of Horticulture for Brooklyn Bridge Park, an ecologically minded landsca…
 
At a time when our gardens large and small often feel more important than ever, I think our focus on exactly what our gardens contain and consist of is also more important than ever.In this second in a three-part celebration of gardens that offer back more than they consume, I’m pleased to be speaking this week with Owen Wormser. Based in Western M…
 
In the heat of the dog days of summer, Cultivating Place celebrates the farms and gardens striving to not draw down resources but to contribute resources back into the world's flow of energy: fro providing shade, food, and retreat, these kinds of gardens are also replenishing rather than drawing down or polluting groundwater, they are sequestering …
 
This week on Cultivating Place we continue our high-elevation garden view, now in Vail, Colorado at The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, leaders in the research and conservation of North American alpine plant communities.The Alpine Zone has long been one of interest to plant enthusiasts worldwide across time and space for the sheer admiration for and int…
 
This week on Cultivating Place we gain a little perspective with a lot of altitude as we begin a two-part series on 'Gardening at Elevation’.Isa Catto is a mother and partner, a fine and textile artist, a gardener, and a writer. Isa’s multi-faceted gardens at 8,000 ft in Woody Creek, Colorado are rooted in generations of family. in connection to co…
 
Hannah Gardner is a gardener, writer, and mother. She is a garden designer and plantswoman with a passion for traveling the world to learn about and meet plants and their communities in their places, from Estonia to the Canaries, Northern Israel to the wildflower meadows of the United Kingdom, where she makes her home. Her longtime column in Garden…
 
David Godshall is a landscape architect, gardener, and meta-garden philosopher making his way with his young family and his Terremoto Landscape Architecture design studio team in Los Angeles. The Terremoto team was featured as one of Elle Décor’s A List of designers in 2021. David’s LA home garden and his perspective on adventurous gardening and de…
 
Bonnie J Clark is a professor of anthropology at the University of Denver. Her new book "Finding Solace in the Soil, Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Amache" (University Press of Colorado, 2020) traces six field seasons of her research and immersion into the lives of Japanese Americans held at the Amache prison camp, which was active on the …
 
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