The Sod Show, hosted by Peter Donegan, Garden designer is not a practical gardening show, you will of course learn something, but more importantly you will laugh, you will be occasionally be baffled and you will definitely want to keep listening. Every week there is a guest with some kind of horticultural back story and Peter draws out their tale of their first childhood experiences growing..
The Sodshow is available weekly in iTunes, spotify, Youtube and all good podcast stores.
Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf is an immersion in the life and work of the most influential landscape designer of the last 50 years. Piet is responsible for New York’s High Line and many other iconic urban spaces. Closer home, Piet designed the landscaping for the entire site at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. He is in great demand for his revolutionary ideas of what gardens and public spaces can be, and the impact they can have. More than just a movie for gardeners, Five Seasons changes the way all of us think about and ultimately see beauty itself.
Celebrated by gardeners for his revolutionary designs, by ecologists for his significant contributions to bio-diversity, by horticulturalists and botanists for his unrivalled knowledge of plants, and by the art, design and fashion worlds for his innovative aesthetics, Piet Oudolf has achieved a level of influence and cultural relevance, rarely, if ever, attained by, in his own words, a modest plantsman.
Over the course of the documentary, Piet leads filmmaker Thomas Piper and his camera on a wandering journey, visiting many of his iconic works, including his own garden in Holland and the great public works in New York, Chicago, and the UK, as well as far-flung sources of inspiration, from German industrial parks to the deep woods of Pennsylvania, and a Texas wildflower explosion.
In between travel, we are afforded an exclusive look at the entire process of creating a garden — from winter studio sketches to foggy spring planting and, finally, a late September opening celebration — all through a single project, what Piet now refers to as his masterpiece, the 7000 square metre public garden for the art gallery, Hauser & Wirth Somerset.
With meditative cinematography and intimate conversations, Five Seasons follows Piet over the course of a year, a structure that accentuates the element of time in Piet’s designs. Beginning in late autumn, the remnants of summer opulence in his gardens give way to the ‘skeletons’ and seed heads of winter. With spring, the cycle begins again, through the peak of summer flowers, and by the return of fall, a complex subject has helped us to appreciate his complex work, forever changing the way we see the world around us.
Piet Oudolf was born in 1944 in Haarlem, Netherlands. Since 1982, he has lived and worked in Hummelo, a tiny village in east Netherlands, where he started a nursery with his wife Anja, to grow perennials. His garden has since become renowned for its radical approach and ideas about planting design.
Oudolf also co-founded Future Plants, a company specialising in selecting, growing, breeding and protecting plants for landscaping and public areas. Oudolf’s recent public projects include No. 5 Culture Chanel, Paris, France; The High Line, New York NY; Lurie Garden, Millennium Park, Chicago IL; Serpentine Gallery, London, England, and the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.
Oudolf is also a successful author, having co-written numerous books such as; “Planting: A New Perspective” (2013); “Landscape in Landscapes” (2011); “Gardening with Grasses” (1998); “Designing with Plants and Planting Design” (1999); “Dream Plants for the Natural Garden” (2000); “Planting the Natural Garden” (2003), and “Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space” (2005). In his 35-year career, Oudolf has achieved international acclaim, and has recently been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from RIBA for developing radical ideas in Planting Design (2012) and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation Award (2013).
Thomas Piper is an award-winning non-fiction filmmaker, specialising in documenting the contemporary arts. He holds the role of Director of Production for Checkerboard Films, and has directed, photographed and edited more than 25 films on contemporary painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, and writers.
His 2008 film, Ellsworth Kelly: Fragments, won the Best Film for Television award at the prestigious International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal. As an independent producer, he was commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum to make Art, Architecture, and Innovation: Celebrating the Guggenheim Museum, a documentary marking the 50th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright museum building. He is currently in production on a documentary about the cult architecture firm, Lot-ek. His feature length documentary, Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Reimagining Lincoln Center and the High Line, was broadcast on PBS affiliates around the US, and accepted over 25 festivals around the world. Other subjects have included the artists Sol Lewitt and Kiki Smith, the writer James Salter, the art historian Vincent Scully, the architects Peter Eisenman, Steven Holl, Jean Nouvel and Thom Mayne, and MacArthur “genius” grant winner, Jeanne Gang.
MDFF 2017_ trailer Five Seasons: The Gardens of Pief Oudolf - YouTube
Matthew Biggs is a well-known gardening expert, regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, author of several books including RHS Lessons from the Great Gardeners and RHS Great British Village Show and a former guest of The Sodshow.
A Nation in Bloom is his latest book and on this weeks episode of The Sodshow Garden Podcast he chats with Peter Donegan.
The Sodshow is available every week in iTunes, sotify and all good podcast stores.
From its small beginnings in the 19th century to the global success of the Chelsea Flower Show today, the Royal Horticultural Society is truly part of the fabric of Britain. In A NATION IN BLOOM, we discover the new direction of the Royal Horticultural Society, how it aims to inspire us all through plants and gardens, to improve our lives, and to encourage gardeners for generations to come. Illustrated with beautiful photography throughout, this book is the rich, varied and compelling story of how plants and gardens can transform people’s lives and help to define the culture of an entire nation, both now and for the future.
Matthew Biggs is a well-known gardening expert and regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time and author of several books including RHS Lessons from the Great Gardeners and RHS Great British Village Show.
From hugely popular flower shows to the inspirational Britain in Bloom campaign, today’s RHS is flourishing as never before. In this beautiful new book, Matthew Biggs uncovers the beating heart of the nation’s largest gardening charity as it leads a renaissance of interest and enthusiasm for all things horticultural.
We may think we know the RHS through its gardens at Wisley, Hyde Hall, Rosemoor and Harlow Carr, its flower shows, including the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, its prestigious medals, awards and prizes, and its libraries, laboratories, books and magazines. But the society is in a process of subtle, sometimes radical evolution to become more open, more friendly, more helpful, and more relevant to its members (now more than half a million) and to the wider benefit of all gardeners today. Campaigns like It’s Your Neighbourhood and community-generated work under the Greening Grey Britain banner sit alongside the Campaign for School Gardening – with schools around the country encouraging the next generation to learn and grow with plants.
Author Matthew Biggs also draws attention to the campaigns which emphasise the important contribution gardeners make to improving our environment, and, at a time of increasing mental health problems, stress the vast range of proven benefits of gardening on our health and sense of wellbeing. He also looks at the work the RHS does to promote horticulture as a career to be proud of.
The RHS promotes best practice through its plant science and plant trials; it recognises plants with the Award of Garden Merit; and helps give all gardeners – beginners or experienced – confidence that they can grow plants wherever they are in their gardening journey. Across the vast website, through myriad publications or engaging with it on its many social media platforms, there is a part of the RHS for everyone.
Looking forward, some of the society’s work comes out from behind the scenes for the first time at Wisley’s forthcoming National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning. Likewise, the exceptional collections at the RHS Lindley Library are in the process of being opened up through digitisation and a new exhibition space now shows some of its rare and beautiful items.
Rae Wilkinson is an award winning Garden and Landscape designer based in Sussex and working throughout London, the South East and beyond.
Originally from an Arts background, Rae worked as a landscaper with some top landscape designers on hard then soft landscaping and garden maintenance for over ten years prior to qualifying and working as a garden designer herself in 2007. Her style combines sophistication with a sculptural, naturalistic feel, while a developed sense of sustainability and inspired planting are key to her creative approach to the landscape.
Rae has completed two award winning RHS show gardens at Hampton Court and is currently working on a variety of exciting residential and commercial schemes.
The ‘Space Within’ garden is a biophilic meditation space in which to escape the hectic outside world for a moment of calm within nature.
The moon gate climber curtain represents a portal from the busy outside world, through which the visitor passes to the space within. The central space symbolises the healing, tranquil space found within during meditation, whilst providing a space within which to attain this. A mini forest references Shinrin -yoku and the healing power of being amongst trees and forest bathing to enable wellbeing.
Textural foliage which travels up the walls and brings the positive green element associated with biophilia, which is much needed within modern urban living.
Peter Donegan chats with Claire Greenslade, head gardener at Hestercombe.
Following a degree in fashion and textiles, working in the clothing industry and making stained glass windows, she went on to volunteer at the Barley Wood Walled Garden at Wrington. That was the springboard to a three year National Trust gardening apprenticeship at Barrington Court, and from there to Hestercombe where she is integral in the development and preservation of this historic estate. She says: “Hestercombe is very special: it’s one of the few places in the country that you can walk into one of Jekyll’s designs,”
Hestercombe is unique in that it boasts three centuries of garden design, and one of the best examples of collaboration between architect Edwin Lutyens and gardens designer Gertrude Jekyll. Owned by the Hestercombe Gardens Trust, Hestercombe attracts almost 100,000 visitors annually and offers a contemporary art gallery in the main house, and 50 acres of formal and landscape gardens. The ongoing restoration and preservation of Hestercombe is the driving force for the Trust, and future plans include reinstating a 400-year-old water gardens in the park area of the estate.
The Sodshow is available weekly in iTunes, spotify and all good podcast stores.
Jack Dunckley is one of the hottest garden design talents in the UK. He has a won over 20 prestigious awards for his achievements including 10 RHS medals at shows including RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Notably, he is the youngest medal winner for a show garden at Chelsea to date.
I first came across Jack at Chelsea in 2016, at the time and to his credit it was the day before judging and understandably and logically, we never got around to that interview. Three year later and alongside Andrew Fisher Tomlin of London College of Garden Design, Peter Donegan chats with Jack about all things garden design and his career to date.
Of note, The Telegraph listed his ’Juxtaposition’ garden in their top ten 2013 Chelsea show gardens and 60,000 visitors walked through his ‘Just Retirement’ garden at the 2014 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The Guardian listed his ‘Bermuda Triangle’ garden in the top three highlights of the 2017 Chelsea Flower Show.
The Sodshow is available every Friday in iTunes, spotify all good podcast stores and www.sodshow.com
This episode of The Sodshow garden podcast is a little different as we hear from former guest Polly and a day by day journey through the build of her 2018 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show garden, A Very Modern Problem.
The Sodshow is available every Friday in iTunes, spotify all good podcast stores and www.sodshow.com