Self plantilation by James Freeman
Updated: Apr 3
Hello plant pals, my little leafy lovers, my flower fondler friends, ah wait sorry about that, isolation had dialled up my crazy. That aside, did anyone else have their annual amnesia concerning the length of winter? I did, and I'm very thankful spring has finally sprung upon us and brought its delightful viridescence. Blossoms are out and branches are budding.
Every new growing season, I plan to learn (and retain hopefully) as much new plant knowledge as I can, with the thinking I'll finally keep my plants happy. Having said this I know some people don't know where to go with plant queries, and the internet with all its ineffable wisdom is often laced with answers that don't help. And with that cue, here are my favourite plantspeople and knowledge bases.
Up first, Gardener's question time. It's informal and it makes me smile. I started listening a few years back when I wasn't seeing many people and I had few plant-friends to talk to. It has new episodes every week and was first aired exactly 73 years before I was born! It's the longest running radio show on earth. Its panel of experts are almost unrivalled in their passion and knowledge, they draw upon decades of experience and study. I went to the recordings that took place in Liverpool a few years back. I'm 35 and it made me feel very young.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qp2f - I use the BBC sounds app so I can see which episodes I have or haven't listened too.
Up next is Summer Rayne Oakes, once you get past her name which is no less apt than Bob Flowerdew's, you'll find a Youtube channel that is worth subscribing to, her series called 365 days of plants is a trip through her experiences with almost every houseplant I could imagine and beyond. She's a good communicator.
I study with the RHS and use this website a lot. It contains a huge database of plant characteristics and general care tips plus so much more. Have a click around.
Here's an article I found the other day that is very appropriate at the moment, make sure to scroll all the way down.
David Attenborough's Private Life of Plants is a beautiful representation of the different time scale plants adhere to. The stop motion footage is beautiful. I've seen the episodes are currently up on Youtube if you can't find them elsewhere.
World’s most spectacular flowers - another great series on Youtube exploring the incredible diversity of flowering plants-
This last couple are my absolute top favourites but are very much R-rated. Besides all the swearing, there is a lot of scientific language and botanical talk.
What to say about this guy?... you won't know what's hit you. I cannot get enough of him; I'll say no more so I don't ruin the surprise.
Lastly on my list is the blog, 'Plants are the strangest people'. I have been working my way around this blog for a while now, it's an immense documentation of one man's journey with his plants complete with a truly tangential referencing system. I've selected his experiences with Ludisia discolor (Jewel orchid) to illustrate my point. Alongside his ruminations, he rates the difficulty of each plant he grows and why he has chosen their name. His writing style is 2nd to none.
I could go on and on but I simply won't. As ever if you have any other questions you can ask us at Root Houseplants or write me an email to Jamestheplantsman@gmail.com
Actually... a few off topic honourable mentions;
Stevie Wonder’s life a plants is a great album.
Silent Running is my favourite planty film.