Rank #1: Episode 95: David Austin Roses with Michael Marriott
This week on We Dig Plants, Carmen Devito and Alice Marcus Krieg are joined via the telephone by Michael Marriott, the rosarian at David Austin Roses. David Austin is now 86 years old, and is still an enthusiastic plant breeder! Tune into this episode to learn about the myth of the English Rose, and how roses have developed to over time and through numerous cross-breeding experiments. Learn about the differences between old and modern rose species, and why some rose hybrids seem to lack “charm”. Hear why Michael left his job growing rubber to become a rosarian! Hear how rose fragrances affect our brains. What roses sell best in the United States? Find out on this episode of We Dig Plants! This program has been sponsored by Whole Foods Market.
“The great problem in the States is the differences in climates… is huge and varieties will cope very well in one climate and do absolutely dreadful in another climate.” [21:40]
“A rose that is not fragrant misses the point, really.” [15:45]
— Michael Marriott on We Dig Plants
Nov 12 2012
Rank #2: Episode 38: Bulb Drama
This week on We Dig Plants Alice and Carmen tackle the drama of the tulip bulb. Take a look back as far as Greek mythology for a glance at the role tulips have played in the human experience (including reputed healing powers). Find out why you have to plan ahead to plant them, and learn why they can be such a cash crop in Holland and yet so simultaneously unreliable. This episode was sponsored by Acme Smoked Fish: a mainstay in the NYC culinary market for over 55 years.
Oct 17 2010
Rank #3: Episode 90: Then She Fell with Third Rail Projects
Carmen Devito and Alice Marcus Krieg are back with all new episodes of We Dig Plants! This week, Carmen and Alice discuss one of their recent garden projects with Tom Pearson and Jennine Willett Millman of Third Rail Projects. Carmen and Alice designed a site-specific garden for Then She Fell, a Victorian Alice in Wonderland interpretation that takes place inside of the old Greenpoint Hospital building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Hear about how the tension is created by the contrasting setting and story, and how this duality furthers conflict in the production. Learn why this project was particularly liberating for Carmen and Alice in terms of creating a garden to suit the Victorian theme. Tune in to hear Tom and Jennine discuss their respective character roles, and how the site-specific nature of the play influences their understanding of the characters’ personalities. Welcome back, We Dig Plants! This episode has been sponsored by Hearst Ranch.
“Even the taste experiences are partnered with the actual performance components.” — Tom Pearson of Then She Fell on We Dig Plants
“The Victorians couldn’t get loose in other ways, but they could go into the glasshouse or orangery and be exotic and be free.” — Carmen Devito on We Dig Plants
Sep 24 2012
Rank #4: Episode 86: The Founding Gardeners
This week on We Dig Plants tune in for a transatlantic conversation with renown garden historian Andrea Wulf. Calling from across the pond Ms. Wulfe gives us an in-depth history lesson of the plants of the revolutionary times based upon her recent book, The Founding Gardeners. From the seeds that Benjamin Franklin sent over from England right before the Declaration of Independence to the gardens at Monticello, learn about the fascinating way in which America came into its own true horticultural identity and even how the choice of gardens at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, with it’s all native plants, mirrors the revolution itself. This episode is sponsored by White Oak Pastures
“Jefferson and Adams went on a garden tour in 1786 [in England] . . and they go into several gardens and what they see, what was very fashionable in England at that time, they see so-called ‘ornamental farms’. So these are gardens that combine elements of working land with elements of a pleasure grant. . . and it was this combination of beautiful and useful that appeal to them . . so when they returned to America later they incorporated these elements because it very much chimed with their vision of America as a country of vast lands that would feed the nation but also of sublime beauty.”
“And on the brink of the war Washington writes a letter to his estate manager in Mount Vernon and advises him to on plant native American species,so he’s telling him go to my forest and pick up these plants and shrubs and plant them in my garden. It is almost as if this is his horticultural declaration of independence.”
“Until then American gardeners tried to recreate the Old World in their gardens and there [Washington] is ripping them out [at Mount Vernon] and replacing them with native species. He is creating what I would call the very first truly American garden. He uses his garden almost like a canvas to make this political statement.”
“Washington’s idea behind a national university is that we have these 13 states together now but we really have to mature from being a war alliance to being a truly united nation. . and he believed if you would bring these young men together at a young age, studying together, learning together, they would become one and they would believe in America’s destiny as a united country. And the national botanical garden should belong to the university because if they would see all these trees from all 13 states growing together in horticultural union again that would give them the sense of ‘we are one country’.”
–Andrea Wulf on We Dig Plants
Feb 16 2012
Rank #5: Episode 106: Mycophiliac Eugenia Bone
We Dig Fungus! On today’s episode of We Dig Plants, Alice Marcus Krieg and Carmen Devito are joined by Eugenia Bone, author of Mycophilia. Tune into this episode to hear Eugenia talk about the similarities between fungi and animals, and the pervasiveness of fungi in our ecosystem. Learn how plants often depend on fungi for nutrients through symbiosis! How have fungal infections of food supplies caused mass hysteria in the past? Also, did you know that most plants are inhabited by fungi? Learn more about mycology on this week’s installment of We Dig Plants! This program has been brought to you by Fairway Market.
“You have more in common with a mushroom than the bacteria in your own gut.” [9:35]
“There are no terrestrial plants without fungi. The two have been symbiotic for as far back as archeological study.” [18:15]
— Eugenia Bone on We Dig Plants
Feb 11 2013
Rank #6: Episode 124: Better Gardening Tools with Blake Schreck
What makes quality gardening tools? This week on We Dig Plants, Carmen Devito and Alice Marcus Krieg catch up with Blake Schreck of Garden Tool Co. to talk wood, steel, and weeds! Learn about the history of gardening tools at the top of the show, and later hear Blake dig into the specifics of strong and versatile steel. What garden tools are generally best sellers? Why did Blake decide to host his gardening tool shop online? Learn about European tool-making traditions, and whether or not American toolmakers can shake a stick at their counterparts overseas. Don’t miss this week’s edition of We Dig Plants! Thanks to our sponsor, Cain Vineyard & Winery. Music by Four Lincolns.
“Carbon steel is a great product, and many manufacturers add boron to their carbon steel to make it even stronger. They’re going the extra mile to make tools that last.” [14:00]
“With garden tools, there’s a fine line between too hard and too soft.” [15:10]
— Blake Schreck on We Dig Plants
Jan 06 2014
Rank #7: Episode 42: The Pear Show
This week on We Dig Plants Alice and Carmen continue their Fruit Series with Pears! Joining them is guest Sarah Lohman of http://www.fourpoundsflour.com/, a sort of culinary time-traveler who collects old recipes, classic ingredients, and combines them just as they would have been cooked long, long ago. Learn the history of the pear, its biological cousins, how it was served traditionally, and how they’re grown on this pear-shaped episode of We Dig Plants. This episode was sponsored by Cabot Cheese of Vermont, Dairy Farm Family owned since 1919
Nov 14 2010
Rank #8: Episode 113: What A Plant Knows
How do plants experience their surroundings? This week on We Dig Plants, Alice Marcus-Krieg and Carmen Devito are chatting with Danny Chamowitz, professor at the Tel Aviv University and the author of What A Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses. Learn how plants’ perceptions of light and color help them to survive. Find out whether or not plants can smell, and how they react to decay or disease around them. What cause fruit to ripen? Later, find out how plants’ awareness of gravity influence their growth patterns. Do plants have any memory capabilities? Find out all of this and more on this week’s edition of We Dig Plants, and take Danny Chamowitz’s class on Coursera! Thanks to our sponsor, S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. Music provided by SNOWMINE.
“Plants must be able to adapt to a very sensory environment without being able to escape from it.” [8:50]
— Danny Chamowitz on We Dig Plants
Sep 30 2013
Rank #9: Episode 3: Tropical Houseplants for Winter Escapes
Feeling down? Listen to this week’s episode of We Dig Plants to discover how indoor plants can change your mood during the dreary months of winter.
Jan 24 2010
Rank #10: Episode 45: The Citrus Show
Moving right along in their Fruit of the Month series, Carmen DeVito and Alice Marcus Krieg are joined by friend and guest Scott Appel to discuss the misunderstood and often forgotten history of citrus. Tune in to learn about the many stories and travels surrounding the citrus plant family, and find out which of your favorite fruits are man made hybrids. Also listen in for a special candied citrus recipe from Scott Appel! This episode was brought to you by Hearst Ranch; the largest single-source supplier of grassfed and grass finished beef.
Dec 12 2010
Rank #11: Episode 32: Unusual Veggies
This week on We Dig Plants join Carmen and Alice as they speak to Scott Apell, horticultural taxonomist, about some of the stranger and more exotic vegetables available this summer. Learn about snow peas with extra serrated wings, why eggplants are never guys, and the best way to make gooseberry pie! This episode was sponsored by White Oak Pastures.
Photos: Unusual Veggies!
Aug 29 2010
Rank #12: Episode 184: The Archangel of Ancient Trees – Cloning The Giants
This week on We Dig Plants, hosts Alice Marcus Krieg and Carmen Devito wrap up their season on horticulture in America. They then chat with guest David Milarch, founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a nonprofit that seeks to replicate the genetic material of the world’s biggest and oldest trees (the ones Milarch calls “champion trees”) and replant them anew, all around the world.
Mar 07 2016
Rank #13: Episode 100: The 100th Episode!
Today on We Dig Plants, hosts Carmen Devito and Alice Marcus Krieg celebrate the airing of their 100th episode! They begin the show with a list of their favorite things! Here about their favorite plants, fellow gardeners, and memories of their early gardens. These enthusiastic horticulturalists talk about the incredible journey that has taken them from constructing seaweed sculptures to a six story tall garden in New York City. They have a true passion for all things plants and their love is contagious! Tune in as they tell stories about getting their hands dirty and drinking water from the hose! They reflect on some of the inspiring conversations they have had on the show this year and their favorite horticulture organizations and events. Don’t miss out as they talk about their first community gardens, favorite farmer’s markets, and their extraordinary love for plants. This program was sponsored by International Culinary Center.
“One of the joys of having a child for me was going to his school every fall and planting bulbs with his entire class.” [06:12]
— Carmen Devito & Alice Marcus Krieg on We Dig Plants
Dec 17 2012
Rank #14: Episode 128: The Hermit in the Garden
This week on We Dig Plants, Carmen Devito and Alice Marcus Krieg discuss hermitages with the author of The Hermit in the Garden, Gordon Campbell. Tune in to learn about the religious and secular connotations of hermits, and the roots of hermitages in Rome. Why were hermitages in vogue during the time of Shakespeare, and why was culture so fascinated by melancholy? Tune in to learn about some of the more outrageous performative aspects of the culture surrounding hermitages, and how some hermits became regarded as mystical fortune tellers. Tune in to hear Gordon describe some of the more famous and regal hermitages in the world! Thanks to our sponsor, Heritage Foods USA. Music by EULA.
“Along with the style of English gardening that was very popular was a thing called ‘associative gardening.’ The garden is the idea that prompts a series of emotions… this idea goes along with the cult of melancholy.” [26:00]
— Gordon Campbell on We Dig Plants
Feb 03 2014
Rank #15: Episode 93: Noel Kingsbury 2.0
Noel Kingsbury returns on this week’s installment of We Dig Plants! Noel is a horticulturist, garden designer, and contributor to publications such as House & Garden, The Financial Times, and Acta Horticulturae. Tune in to hear Carmen Devito and Alice Marcus Krieg talk with Noel about the importance and difficulty of gathering plant knowledge. Noel also talks about his upcoming trip to South America, where he plans to assist a young gardener in using native Uruguayan plants in garden design. Also, Noel expounds upon the importance of community in spreading plant information. Hear about Noel’s upcoming gardening soap opera Dig, Plant and Bitch! Noel also speaks to the prevalence of social class in British comedy, and how that has made its way into his writing. Later, Noel, Alice, and Carmen talk about the role of The Highline in Manhattan in educating the public about different varieties of plants and planting. This episode has been brought to you by Fairway Market.
“There’s a number of people who perhaps do a little bit of garden design and are rather good at the spatial sort of things but don’t have a lot of plant knowledge. If you can give people shortcuts to learning how to read the plant, then they’ll be good.”
— Noel Kingsbury on We Dig Plants
Oct 15 2012
Rank #16: Episode 206: Zone Envy – Zone 7
This month on We Dig Plants, hosts Alice Marcus Krieg and Carmen Devito visit Zone 7 of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which includes our home state of New York, as well as Virginia.
Joining them are Dr. Cait Field, Manager for Science and Research Development at Freshkills Park in Staten Island, and Symsi Houser, Operations Coordinator for the Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation.
Jun 20 2017
Rank #17: Episode 120: Plimoth Plantation Garden
How was the first Thanksgiving actually celebrated? This week on We Dig Plants, Alice Marcus Krieg and Carmen Devito are getting historical with Lorie Danek and Kelly Araujo of the Plimoth Plantation garden! Tune into this episode to learn what types of vegetables were cultivated and introduced to the Pilgrims in the 1600s. Are these plant varieties still available and widely consumed? Learn more about the agricultural techniques that the Pilgrims learned, and why compost was not common in the Old World until after the arrival at Plimoth. Hear what the Plimoth Plantation offers foodies and horticulturalists today, and why visiting Plimoth on Thanksgiving is never a bad idea! This program has been brought to you by Brooklyn Slate. Music by Four Lincolns.
“Maize is what the Pilgrims grew the most of that first year. They sowed twenty acres, along with barley and peas.” [27:55]
— Lorie Danek on We Dig Plants
Nov 25 2013
Rank #18: Episode 162: Heaven is a Garden
Why do some gardens make us feel so wonderful, relaxed and refreshed? Using ideas based on ancient and modern practices, today’s guest on We Dig Plants, landscape designer Jan Johnsen, explains how you can uplift yourself and others in a serene setting designed for “unplugging” and relaxing. Whether you are intending to create a lovely garden or just thinking about a future outdoor haven, her new book “Heaven is a Garden” helps you see your backyard in a whole new light and reawaken an awareness of the wonders of nature. Drawing on her 40 years in the profession, she relays what it was like as a woman coming up in the business throughout the years and also shares why a gate facing East is considered auspicious and suggests which trees you can use to impart a special atmosphere. Tune in for a great show!
“Finally, I believe that people are starting to say, the design of our outdoor space is just as important if not more important as our indoor space.” [40:25]
–Jan Johnsen on We Dig Plants
Sep 28 2015
Rank #19: Episode 112: Autumn Plants with Tim Kane
Fall is the perfect time to plant! This week on We Dig Plants, Alice Marcus-Krieg and Carmen Devito are chatting with innovative nursery owner Tim Kane. Tim’s Prides Corner Farms supply plants for all seasons to gardeners and landscapers alike. Hear how Tim hopes to make gardeners question the common idea that planting should be done only in the springtime. Later, Tim talks about plant branding, and how marketing plants can expose different varieties to horticulture enthusiasts. What annuals are perennials are going to be popular this fall? Find out on this week’s edition of We Dig Plants! Today’s show has been brought to you by Fairway Market. Music has been provided by Obey City.
“There’s a little bit of method to our madness… We want to be able to sell throughout the season. What you’re selling in April, you aren’t going to be selling in July or August. So we want to provide for our customers in all seasons.” [12:05]
Sep 23 2013
Rank #20: Episode 103: Joe Wolfson
Joe Wolfson brings Southern cuisine to Connecticut at Terrain! This week on We Dig Plants, Alice Marcus Krieg and Carmen Devito are chatting with Joe about taking the garden into the kitchen! Hear why Joe decided to move up North from South Carolina. Has the North affected Joe’s cooking? Hear about Joe’s farm-to-table mentality, and how his formal training has helped him better understand food and seasonality. Learn about Terrain’s garden center, and find out what herbs Joe prefers in the kitchen. Curious about Joe’s secret grits recipe? Find out on this week’s episode of We Dig Plants! This program has been sponsored by Route 11 Potato Chips.
“You’re cooking from the soul, and you’re cooking from the heart. But if you put a fish in hot oil, you need to know why it reacts a certain way.” [6:05]
“There are so many parallels between the South and Italy when you really think about it.” [32:15]
— Joe Wolfson on We Dig Plants
Jan 21 2013