I have listened to podcasts for years, and with the growth in the number of quality shows being produced now, I’m listening to them more and more. They’re perfect for a lunchtime walk, a long drive or when I’m pottering in the greenhouse or doing some weeding. I listen to a lot of gardening shows, but also current affairs, comedy, business and motivational… and that’s only scratching the surface of the huge range of podcasts now available. If you have an interest, no matter how niche, the chances are someone has made – or is about to make – a podcast about that thing.
One day, a little lightbulb switched on in my head. I could do this too, make a podcast. My background is in radio, so I’m comfy behind a microphone and I enjoy interviewing people. Editing would take a little bit of revision, but shouldn’t be a massive problem and I have a husband who’s also got sound production skills. When I really started to consider it seriously, I remembered I had actually already dabbled in the world of podcasting a few years previously when I worked on the production team for a BBC Scotland current affairs programme.
I realised that perhaps I could revisit my broadcasting roots and make my own gardening podcast. I wanted to make the sort of show that I would want to listen to myself. As I began to plan the podcast and even as I recorded the first couple of interviews, I realised I was making a show about gardens and growers in Scotland, in other words, my corner of earth. I want to know more about the gardeners around me in the country where I live, and I discovered that there are not many others talking about Scottish horticultural matters. Books, magazines and newspapers are often geared towards an English readership, where the growing season can be a good three or four weeks ahead of the north of Britain; coverage on the radio or television is, unfortunately, even more rare. I don’t really understand why, as Scotland offers a fantastic climate and landscape for growing and gardening and it is a popular pastime here, as with the rest of the UK. Some areas have specific challenges – cold, wind, altitude – which might rule out growing the tenderest of specimens; others provide the perfect conditions for growing plants which would struggle further south. There are amazing botanic gardens in many of our cities, a wide range of castles and estates offering superb landscapes and great independent nurseries growing plants which will thrive in Scottish soil.
And so, I’ve found my niche. I want to talk about Scotland’s gardens and gardeners. I want to meet the people who grow interesting plants or farm cut flowers, or support community gardens, or protect a particular species…the list is long! There are so many folks here who have something to say about gardening and plants and I hope to find them and talk to them so that others can hear what they have to say too.
I hope you enjoy listening to My Corner of Earth: a plant lover’s guide to Scotland.