By Bruce Langridge
In this episode, The Garden's Curator Will Ritchie talks about what makes a botanic garden, rather than just a garden.
Flowerpot Jan 26, 2022
The One with Industrial Year Placement Remy Wood
Bruce Langridge chats to Bath University's Remy Wood who spent a placement year at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
He talks about his experiences of working with horticulturists, educators and scientists, as well as the perils of seed collecting while wearing shorts.
The One with Director Dr. Lucy Sutherland
The new Director of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Dr. Lucy Sutherland, provides a fascinating perspective on the changing role of botanic gardens across the world
The One with Environmental Sound Artist Cheryl Beer
Environmental sound artist Cheryl Beer talks to Bruce Langridge about how her overnight hearing loss led her to listen to trees. Using sound recording from the 5 fragile pockets of Celtic Rainforest left in Wales, Cheryl created Cân y Coed / Song of the Trees Rainforest Symphony.
Hear a sample of this work and listen to Cheryl’s observations about how loud noises can affect the ecology of these ancient woodlands.
The One with Artist Caroline Vitzthum
Bruce Langridge discusses how artists can help Botanic Garden visitors create an emotional connection with plants. He is joined by multidisciplinary artist Caroline Vitzthum who has been examining the Sphagnum moss collection of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The episode ends with a piece of music by John Howes based on the DNA barcode of the Welsh Poppy.
The One with Apprentice Scheme Sponsor Patrick Daniell
Bruce Langridge chats to Patrick Daniell about his support for the Horticultural Apprentice Scheme at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Patrick talks about his motivations for setting up the scheme, his rich connection to Wales, how he developed a love for gardening and his hopes for the future of the apprentice scheme.
The One with Wildflower Horticulturist Carly Green
Bruce Langridge chats to National Botanic Garden of Wales horticulturist Carly Green. They talk about the ethics of using the term 'native plants' and Carly's skills in growing wild Welsh plants, including one of the rarest plants on Earth, the Welsh cotoneaster. Carly highlights the benefits of having been the Garden's first horticultural apprentice and how the whole Welsh wildflower collection is being moved to a more prominent display area.
The One with Curator Alex Summers
Bruce Langridge chats to the new curator of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Alex Summers.
Alex talks about his background, the role of a curator, the people and places he has to work with, and the plans he has for moving and developing the horticultural collections.
The One with farmer Huw Jones
Bruce Langridge chats to Huw Jones, farmer at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
They talk about how Huw manages the organic working farm on the Garden's Waun Las National Nature Reserve.
His passion for Welsh Black cattle is clear as he talks about stock levels, markets, breeding and meat quality. Huw's openness to new ideas about encouraging biodiversity on farmland is also inspirational, at a time when farm payments in Wales are likely to become more focussed on public goods.
The One with apothecary volunteer Bob Edwards
Bruce Langridge chats to Bob Edwards about the fun he's had volunteering in the Apothecary's Hall at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. We hear about the creative ways he's used the collections from old chemist shops to grab the interest of Garden visitors, be it through the poisons used in Agatha Christie novels, Harry Potter's mandrake, blood sucking leeches, the scent of frankincense, the vomit of whales or the soothing effect of asthma cigarettes. Bob even plays us a parting tune.
The One with pollinator scientist Dr.Abigail Lowe
Bruce Langridge chats to National Botanic Garden of Wales Science Officer Dr.Abigail Lowe about her PhD in pollinating insects. Abi explains how the Botanic Garden was used to examine the links between flowering plants, pollen, hoverflies, bumble bees and solitary bees. She also talks about how her relationship with the Garden began while she was still at school.
The One with heritage interpreter William Sims
Bruce Langridge chats to National Botanic Garden of Wales Heritage Officer, William Sims.
William talks about the challenges of interpreting the heritage of the Middleton Estate, now the site of the Botanic Garden. He also talks about how he’s reached out to audiences that wouldn't normally think about coming to a botanic garden.
The One with landscape archaeologist Helen Whitear
Bruce Langridge chats to Helen Whitear about 'Dyffryn Twyi - Hanes Tirwedd Ein Bro', a project to help conserve the cultural and natural heritage of the Tywi Valley in Carmarthenshire. Helen talks about the hedgerows, meadows, buildings, language and parklands that make the valley so fascinating.
The One with Head of Education Paul Smith
Bruce Langridge chats to Paul Smith, Head of Education at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Paul explains how he has been able to reach out to particularly vulnerable members of society by listening to what they need and by being very adaptable. You'll also hear how Paul sees the Garden's education service developing over the next 5 years and how the brownies almost went hungry on one of their sleepover nights in the Great Glasshouse.
The Extra One with departing Curator Will Ritchie
Bruce Langridge, Head of Interpretation at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, chats to the Garden's curator Will Ritchie who will shortly be leaving his job.
They talk about the changes that Will has observed in his 5 years as curator, including the changing culture of the horticultural staff, the growth of plant and fungi conservation and the Garden's role in adapting to climate change.
The One with mycologist Emma Williams
Bruce Langridge chats to one of Wales' leading mycologists Emma Williams. She tells how a visit to the National Botanic Garden of Wales helped inspire her to get into fungi, how studying coal spoil fungi has changed her views on how fungi colonise new areas and how exciting new discoveries at the Botanic Garden are being recorded for future scientific study in the Garden's Fungarium.
The One with landscape restorer Angharad Phillips
Bruce Langridge chats to Angharad Phillips about the landscape restoration that has attracted thousands of visitors to the National Botanic Garden of Wales in 2021.
The One with Biophilic Wales' Kathryn Thomas
Bruce Langridge chats to Kathryn Thomas about the work she's been doing to improve the biodiversity of land managed by the Swansea Bay University Health Board. Her Biophilic Wales project team demonstrate how the National Botanic Garden of Wales can help to bring significant improvements to the lives of staff, patients and visitors in urban areas.
The One with Head of Marketing David Hardy
Bruce Langridge chats to the Head of Marketing and Communications at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, David Hardy. David talks about how he has become passionate about the mission of the botanic garden having started out as someone who didn't even like plants.
The One with Industrial Year Placement student Thomas McBride
Bruce Langridge chats to Nottingham University student Thomas McBride about his year's placement at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Thomas talks enthusiastically about his research into pollinating insects and the application of this new knowledge.
We also get to hear about Thomas's wonderful wildlife discoveries, including his impression of the noise of nesting barn owl chicks that he found in a beech tree.
The One with Head of Trustees Gary Davies
Bruce Langridge chats to the Head of Trustees at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Gary Davies. They discuss how trustees can help a modern botanic garden to flourish whilst Gary also adds his special perspective as a former employee during the formation and opening of the Botanic Garden over 2o years ago.
The One with DNA scientist Dr. Laura Jones
Bruce Langridge chats to Dr Laura Jones, Science Officer at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Laura explains how being based at a botanic garden has really helped in her research, including helping Wales be the first country in the world to DNA barcode its native flora.
The One with Horticultural Apprentice Elinor James
Bruce Langridge chats to National Botanic Garden of Wales horticultural apprentice Elinor (El) James about how her knowledge and perceptions of horticulture and botanic gardens has improved during her apprenticeship.
The One with Corporate Co-ordinator Sarah Williams
Through chatting to Sarah Williams about her varied work in education and the corporate sector at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Bruce Langridge continues to explore the work needed to run a modern botanic garden.
The One with Horticulturist James Kettle
Bruce Langridge talks to horticulturist James Kettle about how the National Botanic Garden of Wales looks after its plant collections
Flowerpot - The One with Curator Will Ritchie
Half hour conversations with people connected to the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
In this episode, Bruce Langridge talks to the Garden's Curator Will Ritchie talks about what makes a garden a 'botanic' garden