Behind an unassuming bungalow near Poole in Dorset, Mike Clifford's garden may measure up to just 65ft long, but it's absolutely packed full of wonderful plants, both in greenhouses and outside.
Mike - @mikesrareplants on Twitter - is a huge fan of all kinds of tropical plants, but he's got a particular penchant for big-leaved plants such as the tree dandelion (yes there is such a thing) and the tree fern. I was privileged to get a tour of Mike's garden and greenhouses, meeting everything from his huge American pitcher plants to his iridescent begonia species.
You can hear my tour of his unheated and heated greenhouses in this episode; if you'd like to hear Mike talking about his outdoor plants, you'll need to be a Patreon subscriber, donating $5 or more a month to On The Ledge. That way you'll unlock extra content a well as helping to support the show.
(Like the sound of this plot? Mike's garden is being thrown open to visitors for a few days in July and August - visit the National Garden Scheme website for times and details.)
Below is a list of all the plants we talk about: do take a look at the images of Mike's plants below as you listen.
If you're intrigued about how to propagate begonias, there are various different techniques that can be used for different kinds of this plant - cane, rhizomatous and so on. There is good advice on begonia propagation on the American Begonia Society website, and a step-by-step guide to begonia leaf propagation (for Rex begonias and the like) is worth looking at on the excellent houseplant blog Plants Are The Strangest People.Question of the week
@thegardeningengineer asked whether I could suggest a precautionary pest treatment for a new houseplant that was looking a bit peaky. My advice was that the best way of making sure that houseplants don't fall prey to pests is to make sure that they are healthy, because most pests target plants that are already showing some sort of weakness. It's not wise to treat a plant with soap sprays and the like unless you know there's an existing pest problem, as these substances aren't great for the plant so should only be applied when absolutely necessary.
If you like the idea of supporting On The Ledge on a regular basis but don't know what Patreon's all about, check out the FAQ here: if you still have questions, leave a comment or email me - firstname.lastname@example.org If you're already supporting others via Patreon, just click here to set up your rewards!
For those who prefer to make a one-off donation, you can still buy me a coffee! A donation of just £3 helps keep On The Ledge going: helping to pay for me to travel to interviews, and for expenses like website hosting and audio equipment. Don't forget to join the Facebook page for news of what's coming up on the show and bonus blogposts!
If you prefer to support the show in other ways, please do go and rate and review On The Ledge on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you listen. It's lovely to read your kind comments, and it really helps new listeners to find the show.On The Ledge talks, live show and houseplant chats
I am going to be at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on the afternoon of July 4 giving talks on houseplants in the roses theatre at 1pm and 4pm - do join me if you can. And on the evening of Friday October 26 I'll be bringing a live show of On The Ledge to the RHS London Urban Garden show, with special guests including Alys Fowler and all kinds of leafy fun! Put those dates in your diary NOW!Credits
This week's show featured Roll Jordan Roll by the Joy Drops, Hot Lips by Bill Brown and HIs Brownies, An Instrument the Boy Called Happy Day Gokarna by Samuel Corwin, and Overthrown by Josh Woodward, all licensed under Creative Commons.
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