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Gardens are more than collections of plants. Gardens and Gardeners are intersectional spaces and agents for positive change in our world. Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden is a weekly public radio program & podcast exploring what we mean when we garden. Through thoughtful conversations with growers, gardeners, naturalists, scientists, artists and thinkers, Cultivating Place illustrates the many ways in which gardens are integral to our natura ...
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Emirates Natural History Group

Emirates Natural History Group

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A non-profit group entirely led by volunteers. Our goal is to support the discovery and understanding of the UAE's natural diversity and archaeological heritage. We act as a community resource that provides opportunities to learn and engage with nature, bringing together likeminded individuals.
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Hummingbirds are a beloved and charismatic creature of the America’s, the more than 350 species of hummingbirds have coevolved with the flora of the Americas for millions of years. For this fourth week in our series of 5 episodes on our gardens as important habitat and we gardeners as important stewards of land and biodiversity, we check in on the …
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This week, with Spring and seeding season fully underway—indoors and out—we speak with gardener entrepreneur Anne Fletcher of Orta Kitchen Gardens, creators of non-toxic ceramic, self-watering Orta seed pots. These pots' material lives help eliminate plastic right from the start in your plants’ growing lives, seeding more circularity into our garde…
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To round out Women’s History Month in style, this week, we are back in conversation with Leslie Bennett, an Oakland, CA-based landscape designer who creates gardens that help to nourish and tell the story of who we are, individually and communally.Leslie lives out her horticultural and cultural ethos in her landscape design work with Pine House Edi…
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The Great Unlawning of America has been underway for some time now, and as we have just crossed the threshold of the spring equinox earlier this week, I want to celebrate how far we have come and give us all a forceful nudge to help us stay the path with the many millions of acres of the progress we have to go in this work to trade lifeless monocul…
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The combining of sculpture and gardens dates back centuries if not millennia, and there are few public gardens I know of that do not incorporate sculpture into their aesthetics and identity at some point. This week we are in conversation with an exemplary public garden, whose identity grows out of this pairing: the art of horticulture and the art o…
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In this inaugural episode of the Cleveland Podcast of Natural History, Museum educator and host Josh Avsec is joined by the Museum’s astronomers, Monica Marshall, Destiny Thomas and Nick Anderson, to explore the celestial mechanics and thrilling phenomena of total solar eclipses. With the much-anticipated April 8 event as their backdrop, the team d…
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Happy Women’s History Month!To kick Women’s History Month off on Cultivating Place, we visit with the woman known as the Queen of Herbs, Jekka McVicar of Jekka’s Herb Farm in the UK this week. Her long and notable career has brought the gardened world the best the herbs of the world have to offer to our gardens, to our environments, to our kitchens…
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Most gardeners know the somewhat gruesome pleasure of working in the garden – with a sharp tool, or a poisonous plant, or ankle deep in a juicy scene of decomposition – and thinking to yourself, “oh, this would be a great scene for a murder mystery.” Writer and gardener Marta McDowell is with us this week for our Leap Day Special - sharing more abo…
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This week we lean into a particular aspect of our garden lives – but perhaps a favorite winter activity in the northerly climates in winter: tending to our houseplant and indoor garden family. We’re in conversation with Jane Perrone, host of the “On The Ledge” Podcast, and author of “Legends of the Leaf: Unearthing the secrets to help your plants t…
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In our ongoing exploration of who gardeners are, where gardeners are, what they are growing in this world, and why that matters to all of us, I am so excited to be joined this week by Brent Leggs, Senior Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Executive Director of the Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fu…
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In our ongoing exploration of who gardeners are, where gardeners are, what they are growing in this world, and why that matters to all of us, we use this midwinter moment for a mid-winter retreat. We head south to the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center and their remarkable Cherokee Garden Library – named for the historic Cherokee r…
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Camille Dungy is perhaps best known for her remarkable and award-winning, often environmentally focused poetry and editing of collections of environmentally focused poetry and writing by people of color exploring the intersections of gender, race, art, environment, and culture. In honor of Black History Month, we revisit this best-of conversation w…
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In our ongoing exploration of who gardeners are, where gardeners are, what they are growing in this world, and why that matters to all of us, I am pleased to be joined this week by three members of the team at The Institute for Applied Ecology – literally ecology in action. Their mission is to conserve native species and their habitats through rest…
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Did you know that grasslands account for between 20 and 40 percent of the world's land area? Generally open, fairly flat, and accessible, they exist on every continent except Antarctica. Ecologically as important as but different from other large ecoregion types such as forests or deserts, grasslands are even more vulnerable to pressure from human …
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This week on Cultivating Place, we hear the magical story of how two gardeners, separated by time, came together to grow all of our imaginations.May Sarton was a 20th—century writer known for her poetry, novels, and personal journals illuminating the landscape of the human heart and mind. She was also a lifelong and avid gardener. She spent the las…
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Esme Cabrera is an artist, a naturalist, and a born educator. Under the Instagram name “la-mamigami", Esme experiments, shares, and nurtures a plant-based art practice honoring the "miracles-of-being" that are the native plants around her. Exploring their spirit, medicine, history and culture, mathematical, scientific, and sacred patterns with curi…
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Recently the University of Michigan has been awarded the Bee Campus USA designation because of its commitment to pollinator conservation. Listen to this podcast that includes expert insight to this award and what you can be doing in your own garden!University of Michigan Museum of Natural History による
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We opened up 2023 here on Cultivating Place, focusing on biodiversity, and we close the year similarly, with diverse plant community thinking getting the final say. We’re in conversation with Cornwall-based ecological landscape designer Sid Hill, a land and ecological artisan who creates beautiful, abundant, and thoughtful places. Sid challenges hi…
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Collin Pine is an avid gardener, as well as an educator and writer. His first book is a work of garden-based children’s literature, The Garden Next Door. Thought-provokingly illustrated by Tiffany Everett, the detailed and specific artistry of the book adds a rich visual storyline to the already rich language-based narrative.Just in time for the Wi…
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Caribbean-born British-based writer and Gardener Marchelle Farrell is the author of Uprooting: From the Caribbean to the Countryside, Finding Home in an English Country Garden. A medical doctor by training, Marchelle’s work unflinchingly surveys her own journey to life in an English country garden and along the way unearths the hard edges but also …
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In our ongoing exploration of who gardeners are, where gardeners are, and what they are growing in this world, I am thrilled to be joined this week by Maria Rodale, of the Rodale Organic Gardening family.Maria is a self-described "explorer in search of the mysteries of the universe." Author, artist, activist, and recovering CEO, she serves on the b…
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Sometimes scientists must go to the ends of the earth, and even deep underground, to see the unseen! Join us and meet two charismatic researchers from the U-M Department of Physics who do just that. Bjoern Penning studies dark matter a mile underground in the former Homestake gold mine in Lead, South Dakota, using Lux-Zeplin, the world's most sensi…
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Jac Semmler is a plant practitioner, a multi-disciplinary, creative, highly skilled horticulturist, and the human behind an epic new book and the Australian-based plant practice known as Super Bloom.As our Northern Hemisphere gardens and landscapes settle into whatever their annual dormancy and winter rest might be, we head to the Southern Hemisphe…
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In our world at this time, I give thanks for the leadership voices that ground us in innovative ways of thinking and seeing our own power for growing the world better. I thought that this week we could all use a dose of such direction and grounding. With that in mind, please enjoy this BEST OF conversation with Indigenous seed keeper and teacher, R…
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This week we’re in conversation with award-winning plantsman Riz Reyes of Washington State-based RH Horticulture and Landwave Gardens.Riz is the current Assistant Director of Heronswood Garden and started his new role in May 2022. His duties include overseeing garden staff, volunteers, organizing garden events/plant sales, teaching lectures/worksho…
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Gwendolyn Wallace is a gardener, a student, a teacher, a historian, and the author of two new works of illustrated children’s literature. Joy Takes Root, and The Light She Feels Inside (both published this year) are works grounded in the human impulse to garden. In words, stories, and images these additions to the world of children’s literature hel…
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As we turn the calendar to November and the season to decidedly late-fall and even wintery in many places across the U.S., we look toward our fall & winter planting windows – especially good for native plants in most of our areas as long as the ground is workable.With that in mind, this week we’re joined by two native plant enthusiasts and nursery …
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This week we continue our artistic autumnal theme in conversation with Nina Veteto, a conservationist, an artist, and an expert storyteller. Known as Blue Ridge Botanic online and creator of the brand new Flora and Forage Podcast (and offshoot of her beloved Secrets of the Wildflowers Video series on social media). Nina is based in North Carolina, …
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This week in this season of endings and beginnings again, we welcome back writer, backyard tender, and heartfelt observer Margaret Renkl joining us to share more about her newest, likewise heartfelt book: “The Comfort of Crows, A Backyard Year.”Many of you will remember our previous conversation with writer and gardener Margaret Renkl about one of …
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This week on Cultivating Place, we return to the artistry and also the activism of our plant-loving and garden-growing lives in conversation with Olly Costello. Through their remarkable colors and forms and interconnections made visible - from the life of the soil to the lives and forms of plants and humans right on up to the myriad stars in our ga…
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This week, we enjoy a conversation with a gardener and garden guru well- known and loved: Joe Lamp’l of the famed and award-winning Growing a Greener World on PBS and The ‘joe gardener’ Show podcast.Growing a Greener World is not just a show name but a nearly life-long mission for Joe. While he is known for his organic vegetable gardening knowledge…
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As we move toward October, the first a few intermittent episodes reminding us of the artistry behind our plant and garden love, the artistry underpinning mother nature herself. This week we’re in conversation with artist Libby Ellis – photographer who sees the fullness of creation in the many faces of the flowers who delight us. Libby Ellis is a fi…
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This week, a Best OF episode revisiting our conversation with Maria Popova, the creator and writer behind The Marginalian (formerly known as Brain Pickings). For the past 16 years, The Marginalia has been a daily—perhaps even hourly—exploration of wonder in our world as seen through the lenses of how we as humans express ourselves in our own creati…
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On this special edition of the show, our guest will be Cultivating Place’s wonderful host, Jennifer Jewell. Jennifer has a new book out and it’s very special. A very intimate and, at the same time, global take on the natural and social science aspects of one of the most fundamental things to life on Earth – seeds. Jennifer’s book is titled What We …
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This week, our second episode on gardens and green spaces of New York City, getting us primed for The Garden Conservancy’s inaugural Garden Futures Summit being held at the New York Botanical Garden on Sept. 29th and at gardens across the city on Saturday, Sept. 30th.This week, we head to The High Line – a 1.45 elevated linear garden - one of New Y…
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To kick off September, we head to the Big Apple, where at the end of the month, the Garden Conservancy is holding its inaugural Garden Futures Summit on September 29th and 30th.In preparation, we thought we’d dedicate two episodes to checking in on some garden lives in the city. This week we’re in conversation with photographer, artist, author, and…
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Chad Manley is a fellow and lecturer in the School of Landscape Architecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Nora Jacobs and Carlos Velasco were two of the Masters of Landscape Architecture students in Chad’s spring 2023 Landscape Architecture Design Studio entitled Dancing the Dragon’s Jaw – a deeply imagined course of study designed by…
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Can you believe it is already back-to-school season? This week, we look at what back to school means for our lifelong learning with plants.This week, we’re in conversation with members of the Miami University of Ohio engaged with Miami’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability Masters of Environment program and Institute for Food Farm to learn…
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As we tend toward summer’s end, with end-of-summer and fall events and celebrations perhaps in mind, maybe even winter events in the planning, we turn this week to floristry and how and where it intersects with sustainability – and as our guest today shares, with thoughtfulness.British floral designer Shane Connolly is well-known for his world-clas…
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In the throes of fire season, especially in the western regions of North America, this week, we turn to the idea of not only gardening for beauty, food, and/or habitat but also fire preparedness.We’re speaking this week with Dr. Adrienne Edwards and Rachel Schleiger, biologists, botanists, gardeners, and authors of the new book Firescaping Your Hom…
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Sam Hoadley is the Manager of Horticultural Research at the Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware, a remarkable botanic garden and conservation center as well as one of the country’s leading research and trial gardens for native plant species as well as their old and new cultivars. Open to the public since 2013, Mt. Cuba is dedicated to us all growing at a h…
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Erin Presley is the herb, woodland, and pond garden horticulturist at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, a 16-acre, free, public garden founded in 1952 on the shores of Lake Wonona in Madison, Wisconsin. In her position since 2014, Erin has become as much a part of the landscape as the plants and animals of the garden she loves. She has been particularly i…
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The garden in summer is at its fullest sensory delight and overwhelm – the peak of sunlight, growing hours, heat, and growth, ripening and even rotting.In this week’s conversation, embrace this sublime sensuality from various perspectives in conversation with master naturalist Nancy Lawson.Lawson is perhaps best known as The Humane Gardener, the ti…
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The garden in summer is what we all dream of: some downtime, some play time, fresh flavors, fragrances, and of course, flowers and fun. This week we revel in the beautiful chaos of a garden-inspired life with an Oklahoma accent in the company of Linda Vater, author of The Beautiful & Edible Garden, and founder of Potager Blog on Instagram and Garde…
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Novelist Jane Delury describes herself as a fledgling (maybe seedling?) gardener after 8 years into gardening being part of her everyday life and loves.This labor and love in life coincide with themes of landscapes, gardens, and gardeners becoming fully-embodied motifs and characters in her fiction writing. They show up in her first novel-in-storie…
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This week before July is upon us, and thoughts of what it means to be a citizen fill our minds, hearts, and collective messaging, I am so pleased to be joined by Taylor Pennewell and Rose Hammock of the Redbud Resource Group, an advocacy organization founded in 2020 by Taylor and her cousin Madison Esposito. The Redbud Resource Group believes fierc…
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In our ongoing exploration of who gardeners are, where gardeners are, and how they are growing our world, I am so pleased to be back in conversation this week with Day Schildkret, the founder, the ongoing creator, and re-creator of the movement and practice known as Morning Altars, bringing together nature, art, and ritual. Day and his work are dev…
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How can renewables such as wind and solar energy produce power for use when the sun isn't shining or the wind ebbs? How can we capture the carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere? Join Charles McCrory of the U-M Department of Chemistry and David Kwabi of the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering to discuss new research on renewable ener…
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National Pollinator Week is an annual celebration since 2010 in support of pollinator health that was initiated and is managed by Pollinator Partnership. This year National Pollinator Week festivities will take place across the country June 19 – 25, 2023 and in celebration, this week on Cultivating Place we look closely at one particular group of o…
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No matter what you might call it – Rewilding, wildscaping, backyard habitats, Acts of Restorative Kindness, Native plant habitat gardening, Homegrown National Park, Perfect Earth, 2/3rds for the Birds, or Garden for Wildlife, the concepts of Conservation + Biodiversity + our Gardens wherever they might be is not a new idea, although it is newly imp…
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