Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History 

& the Human Impulse to Garden

a public radio PODCAST on gardens and gardening as integral to our natural and cultural literacy

Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden is a weekly public radio podcast on gardens and gardening as integral to our natural and cultural literacy. 

You can subscribe to the PODCAST on iTunes or Stitcher. You can listen to individual episodes by following the links below. For more information about each week's piece, please visit the Weekly Program page. 

A co-production of North State Public Radio (KCHO 91.7 FM in Chico, CA and KFPR 88.9 FM in Redding, CA - and Jewellgarden.comCultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden originally airs eachThursdays at 10:00 AM and again Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM PST.  

The program is created and hosted by Jennifer Jewell; produced and engineered by Sarah Bohannon. Music by Matt Shilts, Ben Colbeck and Delarte Music. In production since February of 2016, all Cultivating Place audio archives are available weekly at

Cultivating Place is based on the beliefs that: horticulture (“the art of garden cultivation or management” according to the Oxford English Dictionary) is a foundational element of our cultural literacy — on par with art, music, architecture, history, geography, social studies and literature. And, that gardens and gardening provide a unique, and uniquely beautiful, bridge connecting us to our larger environments — culturally, socially, botanically and ecologically.

Weekly interviews explore the many different ways people come to and bring to life what garden and gardening mean. They celebrate how gardening encourages a direct relationship with the dynamic processes of the plants, animals, soils, seasons and climatic factors that come to bear on a garden.

Cultivating Place builds on and deepens the conversations begun in 8 years of creating, writing and hosting the regionally focused In a North State Garden: Celebrating the Art, Craft and Science of Gardening in Northern California, which aired on North State Public Radio from January of 2008 - January of 2016.

Cultivating Place Interviews to Date – 6/28/17

June 22, 2017: American Flowers Week, Slow Flowers Summit - revising Floret

June 15, 2017: Dispatches from the Home Garden: A Father-Daughter Garden Heritage Story

June 8, 2017: An Edible Feast - Edible Communities Publications turn 15

June 1, 2017: Dispatches from the Home Garden: Urban Homesteading, with Melissa Keyser

May 25, 2017: Elevated: "Gardens of the High Line", with author and Landscape Designer Rick Darke

May 18, 2017: Re-Bloom: Paying Love's Celebrations Forward, with floral designer Melinda Benson-Valavanis

May 11, 2017: "Heaven is a Garden" and "The Spirit of Stone" with author Jan Johnsen

May 4, 2017: Earth Wisdom - John Muir, Accidental Taoist, with author Dr. Raymond Barnett

April 27, 2017: Energetic, the Dynamics of Biodynamics at Fern Verrow Farm, Herefordshire, England

April 20, 2017: California Native Plant Week, with Dennis Mudd, developer of CalScape

April 13, 2017: "Useful, with a Pleasant Degree of Humor" The Old Farmer's Almanac turns 225!

April 6, 2017: Open Days: The Garden Conservancy's 2017 Open Days Directory

March 30, 2017: Garden Ways: The Chinese Kitchen Garden with Wendy Kiang-Spray

March 23, 2017: Harvest - a conversation with Stefani Bittner of Homestead Design Collective

March 16, 2017: The Irish Garden -Fionnuala Fallon, Gardening Correspondent for The Irish Times

March 9, 2017: Dispatches from the Home Garden - Christin Geall, Cultivated - Victoria, BC

March 2, 2017: "The Cut Flower Farm" - Erin Benzakein and the Flower Farmer Revolution

February 23, 2017: Presentation is Everything: The Garden Based Pottery of Frances Palmer, who joined us via Skype from her Weston, CT garden. 

February 16, 2017: The Roses have it: a conversation with Jolene Adams, recent past president of the American Rose Society and home rose gardener from Hayward, CA.

February 9, 2017: Dispatches for the Home Garden #1: Christl Findling, who joined us via Skype from her Colorado garden. 

February 2, 2017: "The Nature Fix: How Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier and More Creative" a conversation with author Florence Williams, who joined us via Skype from her Washington DC home and garden. 

January 26, 2017: "Digging Deep" a conversation with Fran Sorin, who joined us via Skype from her Tel Aviv garden. 

January 19, 2017: "Four-Season Harvest" a conversation about organic gardening year-round with author Eliot Coleman, Harborside, ME. 

January 12, 2017: A River Connects Us: a conversation with John Carlon, Executive Director, River Partners, Chico, CA

January 5, 2017: The Sunset Test Gardens at Cornerstone Sonoma, with Johanna Silver, Garden Editor, Sunset Magazine.

December 29, 2016: Sparkly - Heidrun Meadery, Pt. Reyes, CA - with Gordon Hull founder and Mead Maker.

December 22, 2016: Michael Kauffmann, founder/editor of Backcountry Press, Editor Fremontia, CNPS

December 15, 2016: "In Bloom - creating and Living with Flowers" (Rizzoli Press, 2016), by Ngoc Minh Ngo, NY, NY

December 8, 2016: Jane Wald, Emily Dickinson Museum's garden restoration, Amherst, MA

December 1, 2016:  The New American Herbal with author Stephen Orr, Editor in Chief of Better Homes and Gardens. 

November 24, 2016: Winter Craft, with artists/gardeners Caitlin Atkinson, author of Plant Craft, and Alethea Harampolis, co-author of The Wreath Recipe Book - CA

November 17, 2016: Mindful Garden - Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, with Qayyum Johnson, Farm Manager - Marin, CA

November 10, 2016: Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Gardens and Arboretum, with Stephen Van Hoven, Director of Horticulture And Chief Arborist - Arlington, VA

November 3, 2016: Garden History: Blithewold Mansion and Gardens - The Country Place Era with Garden Manager, Gail Read - Briston, RI

October 27, 2016: The Garden Conservancy with George Shakespear, Gardener and Director of Communications - Cold Springs, NY

October 20, 2016: Sustainability in Prisons Project, Kelli Bush and Carl Elliott - Washington State

October 13, 2016: Thomas Rainer, Co-Authur of "Planting in a Post-Wild World"  - Washington, DC (best of series).

October 6, 2016: Ruth Bancroft and her Epic Dry Garden - a conversation with Gretchen Bartzen, Executive Director of The Ruth Bancroft Garden - Walnut Creek, CA.

Sept 29, 2016: Gardening For Cloth - Sandy Fisher: gardener, artist, weaver and activist, Chico, CA.

Sept 22, 2016: Heirloom Bulbs - a conversation with Scott Kunst of Old House Gardens, Ann Arbor, MI. 

Sept 15, 2016: With a Little Help: Fine Gardening and Fine Gardeners - a New Generation, a conversation with Fine Gardener Jenn Simmons of Ruskin Gardens in Palo Alto, CA. 

Sept 8, 2016: Removing Lawn, Becoming a Gardener - Evan Markey of Cal Water and Renda Glick - homeowner turned gardener after removing her extensive suburban lawn. 

Sept 1, 2016:  Landscape Architect and Author, Tomas Rainer - "Planting in a Post-Wild World"

Aug 25, 2016: Kelly Comras, ASLA - author, historian, Landscape Architect & current president of the California Garden & Landscape History Society

   Preserving Cultural Landscapes & early 20th century Southern Californian Landscape Architect, Ruth Shellhorn. 

Aug 18, 2016: Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus of Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis, MO

   Plant Biology and the Conservation of Biodiversity

Aug 11, 2016: Sasha Duerr, Educator, Artist and Author

    Plant Dyes - Rich, healthy pigments from the garden (and compost and weeds.) Her new book is "Natural Color."

Aug 4, 2016: Beth Pratt Bergstrom, California Director of the National Wildlife Federation

    On her new book "When Mountain Lions are Neighbors" and importance of supporting wildlife wherever and however we can - with our attitudes, our votes, our dollars and our gardens.

July 28, 2016: Stefani Bittner, Landscape Designer - San Francisco, CA

    "The Beautiful Edible Garden", incorporating edible plants into your landscape

July 22, 2016: Humble Roots Native Plant Nursery - Mosier, OR

    Native plants, wildcrafting and the ethics of collecting in the wild

July 14, 2016: Debra Prinzing, Gardener, Author, Founder of SlowFlowers - Seattle, WA

    Slow flowers and the American grown flower farmer movement

July 7, 2016: Marta McDowell, Gardener, Author - Morristown, NJ

    Author of  “All the Presidents' Gardens,” Timber Press 2016 — a New York Times best-selling history of the gardens surrounding the White House

June 30, 2016: Ann Mead Daniels & Garden For Heroes - Washington DC

    Healing home gardens for wounded veterans and their families

June 23, 2016: Genny Arnold, Theodore Payne Foundation & Native Bulbs

     Native geophytes (bulbs) — a discussion of the major groups, their seasons and response to drought, and the importance of not collecting in the wild

June 16, 2016: Jessica Lundberg, Lundberg Family Farms - Richvale, CA

    The impulse to farm & sustainability

June 9, 2016: Matthew Shepherd, The Xerces Society - Portland, OR

    “Gardening for Butterflies,” Timber Press, 2016

June 2, 2016: Andrea Wulf, Historian, Gardener and Author - London, UK

    “The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World” and “The Founding Gardeners”

May 26, 2016: Ernie Wasson, Gardener, Salvia Expert - Dunsmuir, CA

    Curator Emeritus Cabrillo College salvia demonstration garden talks about growing salvias

May 19, 2016: Mia Lehrer, Mia Lehrer & Associates - Los Angeles, CA

    Urban ecology & the nature gardens at LA County Natural History Museum

May 12, 2016: Dr. Gordon Frankie, UC Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

    Gardening for native bees, author of “Bees and Blooms,” Heyday Press, 2014

May 5, 2016: California Flora Nursery - Santa Rosa, CA

    California native plant gardening over the past 35 years

April 28, 2016: Robin Parer, Geranium-Lady - Marin County, CA

    Owner of the specialty nursery and author “The Plant Lover’s Guide to Hardy Geraniums,” Timber Press, 2015

April 21, 2016: The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh - Chico, CA

    Bloomin’ Hope & the Jesus Center

April 14, 2016: Dr. Bill Thomas, Elderhood Expert - NY

    Elderhood as a garden — the importance of connecting to horticulture as we age

April 7, 2016: Mary Pat Matheson and George DeMan, The Atlanta Botanical Gardens - Atlanta, GA

    Sculpture and Dale Chihuly’s glass works in the garden

March 31, 2016: Dr. Elizabeth Hoover, Founder of Garden Warriors/Good Seeds, Professor Brown University - Providence, RI  

    Garden warriors/good seeds — Native American community gardening documentary project — Brown University

March 24, 2016: Deborah Koons Garcia, Gardener and Film Maker "Symphony of the Soil" Marin County, CA

    Creator and director of the feature film “Symphony of the Soil”

March 17, 2016: Organic Seed Alliance & Redwood Seeds

    Micaela Colley, Executive Director of the Organic Seed Alliance based in Port Townsend, WA and Kalan Redwood of independent mail-order organic seed grower, Redwood Seeds, discuss the importance of diverse and regional seed supplies and the state of organic seed in the US.

March 10, 2016: Daniel Atkinson, A Gardening Legacy and Philosophy in Beans - OR

    Passalong beans — the Africa American Diaspora and its gardening legacy

March 3, 2016: Sam Lemheney, Philadelphia Flower Show - Philadelphia, PA

    Flower & garden shows: the legacy and model of The Philadelphia Flower Show

February 25, 2016 – Lorene Edwards-Forkner, Gardener, Author, Editor - Seattle, WA

    Gardener, author and editor, Pacific Horticulture Society Magazine

February 18, 2016 – Panayoti Kelaidis, Denver Botanic Gardens, CO

    Botanical gardens, botanical collecting and research as informing home gardens

February 11, 2016 – Julie Moir Messervy, Saxtons Bridge, VT

    Landscape architecture, gardens and the power of personal stories/history

February 4, 2016 – Bernard Trainor, Australian-born California Landscape Designer - Monterey, CA

    Landscape architecture, gardens and the power of place

Weekly Interviews & photos can be found on the Weekly Program Blog page.

Listen in and be part of the conversation by contacting me or commenting at Jewellgarden/Cultivating Place on Instagram: @cultivating_place and Place: Natural History & Gardening.

If you would like to receive a monthly email with listening links and information about the recent past and upcoming guests on Cultivating Place - please send an email to with the subject line: Cultivating Place Opt-In. Thank you to everyone who has asked about the possibility of such an email service. Much appreciated.

Cultivating Place builds on and deepens the conversations begun in 8 years of creating, writing and hosting the regionally focused In a North State Garden: Celebrating the Art, Craft and Science of Gardening in Northern California, which aired on North State Public Radio from January of 2008 - January of 2016.

A co-production of North State Public Radio (KCHO 91.7 FM in Chico, CA and KFPR 88.9 FM in Redding, CA - and, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden airs Thursdays at 10:00 AM and again Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM PST.

Cultivating Place is engineered by Sarah Bohannon, music for the program is provided by Matt Shilts, Ben Colbeck and Delarte Music.