The Sodshow, Garden Podcast

23 February, 2017
by Admin

Garden Podcast: John Bevan, Head Gardener, Lisselan House, West Cork

On this episode of the garden podcast:

john bevan, lisselan house

Peter Donegan chats with John Bevan, Head Gardener at Lisselan House, Clonakilty in West Cork.

Thoughts or comments ? @sodshow on twitter or on facebook as The Sodshow

John was born in Glengariff, but as a younger man spent most of his summers in Garnish Island where his love of plants grew. He went on to study horticulture at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. Post that he started an apprenticeship in the Parks Department in Dublin and then moved back home to Cork when the job as head gardener when it arose about 17 years ago.

To his credit, John designed and built the current Fuchsia garden that exists there at the old enclosed garden. Currently the estate is for sale but still open to the public and part of West Cork Garden Trail.

Lisselan House:

Sited by the banks of the Argideen River, Lisselan was built between 1851 and 1853 by William Bence – Jones and was designed by Lewis Vuliamy. Designed by Sir Thomas Newenham Deane, in the late 1800’s the smoke room wing was added. He also as a by the way designed the lodge at the front gate. In 1929 C.O. Stanley bought the property and in 1946 he added a single storey addition to the hall along the entrance.

Of Lisselan Gardens, it is noted:

Lisselan Gardens in Clonakilty were laid out in Robinsonian style from the early 1850’s.
William Bence-Jones, the owner of the estate, chose a site on a promontory above the river for a French chateau style house, which was designed by Lewis Vuliamy. The Bence-Jones family created 30 acres of gardens which take advantage of the natural features of the West Cork landscape, contours provided by the valley and the Argideen river running through it.


With thanks to West Cork Garden Trail’s Miriam and Bev Cotton for being brilliant.

And also to Maxx Marshall for the music.

15 February, 2017
by Admin

The Sodshow: Melinda Meservy, Thyme and Place, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

On This Episode of the garden podcast:

sodshow live, thyme and place, salt lake city

Peter Donegan chats with Melinda Meservy of Thyme and Place, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Thoughts or comments ? @sodshow on twitter or on facebook as The Sodshow

Formerly a business and data analysis expert who rarely saw home and lived from pretty much all over the world, 3 months ago Melinda opened the doors to her new business Thyme and Place, a garden shop based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A bit of a change you say ? You’d be very correct in that assumption. And we get right into that and so much more, from a personal side of things.

To the business, that’s also a little bit different, but in a good way. The pots Thyme and Place sell come from Kew Gardens, there’s a boutique element to the store, their opening hours are from about 11am – but they run evening classes, workshops and courses. But then the climate is not that of Ireland or London.

melinda meservy, thyme and place, salt lake city, sodshow garden podcast

More than that ? Melinda is for the week of St Patricks Day 2017, bringing The Sodshow to Salt Lake City to do The Sodshow Live Show. Wanna find out more on that (?), drop by the store or send Melinda a note and she’ll pass you on all the details.

And if you are about St Patricks Day – make sure and get in touch. Xx


And also:

  • My thanks to Chris and Chrissy at the very fantastic I Am Salt Lake Podcast. Love, love love your show.


8 February, 2017
by Admin

Garden Podcast: Juliet Roberts, Editor, Gardens Illustrated (Magazine) Festival

On this episode of the garden podcast:

Gardens Illustrated Festival, 2017

Peter Donegan talks to Juliet Roberts, the Editor of Gardens Illustrated Magazine.

Formerly in the film industry, in 2012 Juliet was listed as one of the top 30 most influential gardeners and since the now Bristol based (formerly London) Gardens Illustrated magazine, that at present now boasts its highest ever subscription rate.

Peter and Juliet talk gardens, garden shows, James Alexander Sinclair, former guest of the show Noel Kingsbury, life in London and a history of veg plots. We chat life in Bristol, a life not always in the garden industry, but were the love for that was always there and how that evolved.

Juliet Roberts, Arne Maynard, pic Gardens Illustrated

The next event on the horizon is of course the Gardens Illustrated Festival. Of that they note:

Join Gardens Illustrated magazine for their second Gardens Festival, taking place at the magnificent Westonbirt School, Tetbury in the heart of the Cotswolds on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March. Visitors will enjoy a fascinating programme of talks from leading experts covering everything from discovering the allure of umbellifers with plantswoman Marina Christopher, to understanding the finer points of what makes a great garden with designer Annie Guilfoyle. Other speakers include Alys Fowler, Roy Lancaster and Sarah Raven.

To keep you busy in between the talks you are invited to browse the beautiful Shopping Marquee within the grounds of the spectacular Westonbirt School. The Shopping Marquee is free to all visitors and you’ll find over 40 of the top traders in the industry including nurseries, artists and garden accessory companies. There will also be FREE plant and design clinics offering 10 minute individual advice and self guided tours of the stunning Westonbirt School gardens.

Tickets to the talks are limited and so be sure to book yours today by visiting or phoning 0871 230 7156. *calls cost 13p per minute plus standard network charges. Lines open 24 hours a day. 

This interview with much thanks to Marie Davies and Caroline Roper. Thank you ladies for all of your hard work.

Show Links:

And also:

2 February, 2017
by Admin

The Sodshow, Live: Tara Moloney, White Dove Nurseries. Bloom Fringe

On this episode of the garden podcast:

Tara Moloney, peter donegan, the sodshow, bloom fringe 2016 (77)

On This Episode of the garden podcast:

Peter Donegan chat with Tara Moloney of White Dove Nurseries.

Live from Powerscourt Townhouse Centre as part of Bloom Fringe, Tara does what was unknown to Peter pre that, her first interview ever. In this case it was live, in front of an audience.

In late 2012, Tara moved to Co. Limerick from Surrey in the UK. Having both worked in the South East in professional horticulture, for more than 15 years, we had an idea that we might pool all of our green experience into one resource, and set about buying an old worm farm and turning it into a plant nursery in Templeglantine.

Of note: Tara has a weekly stall at Limerick’s famous Milk Market, where they sell locally grown plants, plant curiosities and our range of heirloom seeds for flowers and vegetables.

Alongside Tara is Mark Lewis; an experienced Retail Horticulture Manager and Print Photographer with extensive plant knowledge and has worked for one of the UK’s best known garden chains, Squires, for over 10 years. Mark now runs the Nursery at the farm.

Tara Maloney has worked in various niche roles in Retail Horticulture and Garden Management for over 10 years. Starting out at Squires in Twickenham as a part time assistant and then leading a region for Notcutts Tara managed some of the South East’s best Planterias and worked as a Regional Horticulture Manager for Wyevale.

In 2009, she designed and built a garden for the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, winning a Silver-Gilt Medal for ‘The Dinosaur Den’.

Tara studied Garden Design and RHS qualifications, and worked for various private homes and A List clients in the central London area as a gardener, florist, and sometimes, as the clients demanded, a housekeeper! Tara also worked for the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, alongside Quincy Leon Head of Licensing and Product Development and as the plant buyer, sourcing plants for the gardens and shop, as well as providing an opportunity for engagement between the public and the gardeners at Kew.

Prior to moving to Ireland, Tara took on a year’s consultancy with the staff of the aspirational Petersham Nurseries, in Richmond, Surrey. Working closely with Lara Boglione, Managing Director and Lucy Boyd, Culinary Director, Tara managed the team through a period of change at the Nursery – overhauling and re-organising the plant shop’s business systems, horticulture practices and renovating and co-ordinating the re-design and opening of the last derelict Victorian Glasshouse into a fully flexible on site public arena for events, meetings as well as an aspirational indoor retail space.

This year they are working to set up an outdoor Cut Your Own Flower beds, and hope to be in some sort of running order by the end of July 2017. In the meantime, we have our permanent market stall at the Milk Market and are looking forward to another great year with our seed collection.


Thoughts or comments ? @sodshow on twitter or on facebook as The Sodshow

25 January, 2017
by Admin

Garden Podcast: Philip Turvil, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

On This Episode of the Garden Podcast:

On this weeks garden podcast Peter Donegan chats with Philip Turvil of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

If I’m really honest, Philips love of horticulture is infectious. And he’s pretty wonderful not only at what he does – you can read his bio below – but more for how he sees horticulture and what that achieves. And honestly really honestly, if there were trophies that I could give out for people who, in this industry, are really (really really) amazing, he’d be right up up there on the tallest podium I could find.

So carried away I got, again, listening to Philip – it appears I missed entirely what we got him on the sodshow for – to talk about the Grow Wild Programme. I’ll fix that I promise. Grab a cuppa, go take a listen and enjoy.

On a mild side note, I first met Philip at the Garden Media Guild Awards and we last met, last weekend at the Party for Perennial. Fair to say, it has always been an honour.

Phlip Turvil – Biography:

Philip Turvil is responsible for Grow Wild; the UK’s biggest-ever wild flower campaign, bringing millions of people together to transform local spaces with UK native plants and fungi. Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, Grow Wild is the national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Philip’s current focus is Grow Wild strategy to develop its impact with partner organisations.

Before joining Kew, Philip managed Master Gardeners; Garden Organic’s national volunteer mentor network sharing food growing advice in local communities. He previously worked in practical/education roles at botanic, heritage, and zoological gardens, and was a horticultural advisor for the BBC and London 2012.

Philip gained an honours degree in horticulture (University of Reading) and masters in management (Bath University). He was a finalist for Journalist of the Year in 2011 and 2012 (Garden Media Guild).

Show Links:

Thoughts or comments ? @sodshow on twitter or on facebook as The Sodshow

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