Intro - mini-series Show Notes & Advice

beginner's guide to gardening mini-series introduction


episode description

Welcome to our 5 part podcast mini-series on beginner gardening with Sarah Raven and Arthur Parkinson. This back to basics gardening course is for everyone - no matter your level of experience or size of garden. Packed full of Sarah and Arthur’s expert tips and lots of inspiration so you can get the best out of your space. If you’ve never sown a zinnia or even picked up a spade, this is the series for you.


introduction overview

1. Beginner’s guide to gardening terms & plant types

This first episode covers some garden terminology that can feel a little intimidating if you are a beginner. Sarah and Arthur explain useful gardening terms and why it is good to understand Latin plant names. They also give a brief overview of their gardening year, describing a few simple jobs they do each month.


2. Beginner’s guide to sowing techniques

Lots of the plants Sarah and Arthur love are grown from seed and for a full on cutting garden and beautiful pots and borders, you do ideally need to sow some seeds yourself.

Whether you only have a windowsill like Arthur or cold frames like Sarah, in this episode, they show you how to grow a cutting patch or veg garden from scratch. Sharing all the basics so you can sow your seeds in the right environment, to have a garden that is full of flowers and edibles all through the year. 


3. Beginner’s guide to essential tools and plants when starting out

This episode is all about being a beginner gardener and how to get your head around it all if you are just starting out. Including plants that are easy to grow and why ‘right plant, right place’ is so important. Sarah and Arthur share 5 top tips for success and talk about why cut-and-come-again plants are the best for beginners. As well as their favourite gardening books, lots of ideas and inspiration and the essential tools every beginner needs to get started in the garden.


4. Beginner’s guide to colour

Learn all about how to use colour in the garden. For both Sarah and Arthur, colour is incredibly important. They are both drawn to intense, saturated colours and this was part of how they came to know each other, after Arthur read and loved Sarah’s book The Bold and Brilliant Garden.

There is no such thing as a wrong colour in the garden but there can be colour combinations that don’t work. At Perch Hill, Sarah works with 4 colour palettes or families. She explains here how she uses them to create stunning pots and borders in the garden and to put together beautiful floral arrangements.


Beginner's guide to pots

Container gardening is so accessible. Whether you’ve got a windowsill, a small terrace or a huge garden, pots are for everyone and allow an amazing diversity of plant possibilities. As Arthur mainly gardens in pots, he leads this episode, sharing his expert tips and advice on how to get started gardening in containers. Sarah also explains how they choose and look after for the (300!) pots at Perch Hill.


Find out more

Tracing the year from January to December, Sarah's latest book provides inspiration, planting ideas and expert advice for a beautiful garden all-year round.

The Flower Yard follows Arthur as he gardens through the seasons in pots. It is a beautifully visual yet personal and highly informative read on his love for bold colours, cut flowers and bees. Especially helpful for those with small gardens, patios and balconies seeking floral exuberance and escape.