Episode 145 - Show Notes & Advice


episode 145 | show notes & advice

episode description

This week, Sarah is joined by old friend and fellow gardener, Arthur Parkinson, to talk about Arthur’s brand-new book, ‘Planting a Paradise: A year of pots and pollinators.’ Discover tried and tested flower combinations that will attract pollinators and why it’s important to encourage biodiversity into your garden.

In this episode, discover

  • An exclusive look at Arthur’s brand-new book
  • Planting combinations that pollinators will love
  • The importance of shrubs for biodiversity 

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Episode 145 advice sheet

Arthur’s new book: ‘Planting a Paradise: A year of pots and pollinators’ (2:00)

With photos and illustrations by Arthur, ‘The Flower Yard – planting a paradise a year of pots and pollinators,’ is a truly beautiful book. Arthur explains that he finds drawing the illustrations incredibly rewarding and that they elevate the book beyond traditional photography. 

Arthur also says that there is an increased consciousness around bringing pollinators into the garden and the value they bring. Pollinators and gardening, go hand in hand, and there’s a sense of reward when pollinators come to your garden. They also foster a sense of hope, which is really important. 

Dahlia varieties loved by pollinators (8:47)

  • Dahlia 'Bishop of Auckland' is loved by pollinators of all kinds and looks excellent paired with Dahlia 'Waltzing Mathilda.’ 
  • The anemone group – great for pollinators and for planting in pots. Arthur loves Dahlia 'Rosie Raven' and Cosmos sulphureus 'Bright Lights' in combination. 

Birds in the garden (10:03)

  • Arthur explains that he’s now looking for diversification in the garden, moving over to incorporating more shrubs and structure over the winter months. Hedges are great for bringing in the birds and provide shelter for nesting birds. If you’re looking to increase biodiversity, these are an excellent choice for gardeners.
  • Sarah suggests that shrubbery is a good choice for birds and invertebrates, so consider this when you’re planning your garden. 
  • Well washed and regularly cleaned bird baths are another nice idea – great for bird watching too! 
  • The ethos around wilding – it’s more about plant relaxation than it is about control and clipping plants back. Loose fashions in urban gardens will attract greater biodiversity. 

Arthur’s top three ‘wild’ plants to introduce (18:03)

  • Marjoram – a wonderful and happy plant that doesn’t need cutting back. This will bush up beautifully and comes in wonderful pink and purple tones. Loved by bees and butterflies alike!
  • Verbena bonariensis – easy to grow and thrives in poor soil. 
  • Fuchsia – these look excellent against red brick and are great for elevating all types of gardens. The honeybees love them, and they work well in an urban microclimate. 

What every flower yard doesn’t need (19:40)

  • Glyphosate – proven to be incredibly damaging for our health and the natural environment around us. Arthur suggests ditching the chemicals in favour of more natural mitigation tactics. 
  • Dustbins – If you have a small garden or yard, don’t give your garden over to dustbins. Instead try and conceal them, so they are less of a focal point. 

What every flower yard needs (23:40)

  • Weathered outdoor tables – totally irresistible, these are great for raising pots and giving them a stage.
  • A washing line – these have disappeared in recent years, but there really is nothing better!
  • A water butt – although pretty unpleasing to the eye, these are a total must-have for water conservation. 
  • Find the right sort of brush for your flower yard – a goat hairbrush doesn’t sweep out seedlings like a brittle brush might. These are nice to use and make the job a total joy. 

Arthur’s brand-new book ‘Planting a Paradise: A year of pots and pollinators’ is out now and available from all good bookstores.

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