Saturday, March 11, 2023

GardenDC Podcast Episode 141: Nature's Best Hope

In this episode of GardenDC: The Podcast about Mid-Atlantic Gardening, we talk with Doug Tallamy, author of Nature's Best Hope. The plant profile is on the Cornellian Cherry and we share what's going on in the garden as well as some upcoming local gardening events in the What's New segment. We close out with Eva Monheim, host of The Plant a Trillion Trees Podcast, who shares the Last Word on Trees with Unique Services.

Tallamy's books include Nature's Best Hope (, Nature's Best Hope Young Reader's Edition (, Bringing Nature Home (, and The Nature of Oaks ( 
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Show Notes: 01:20 Meet Doug Tallamy, author of “Nature’s Best Hope.” 01:55 “I was born with nature in my veins… It was the love of nature that brought me to plants.” 03:59 “We’ve lost 3 billion breeding birds… we can do something about it.” 05:10 Tallamy says he’s growing biodiversity. 05:38 Restoring ecosystems is easier and faster than Tallamy thought. 06:02 Keystone plants: they create most of the food that supports the food web. 06:33 “Deer is a four-letter word on this podcast.” 07:24 Tallamy has had Lyme disease FIVE times – here’s what you can do to avoid it. 09:39 We always garden for aesthetics, even when we switch to natives, even if they don’t support the food web. 11:04 You should aim to have 70% native and 30% non-native total plant material. 14:21 Who should you plant pollinator gardens for? 17:31 Telephone poles are “ugly as sin” and nobody ever complains, so people shouldn’t complain about nature either. 18:36 “The kids on this planet are the future stewards on that planet.” 19:27 “Every one of us has the responsibility of taking care of those ecosystems, not just the tree huggers, not just the few ecologists.” 20:19 “The planet has huge problems and more and more people recognize that, but they all feel powerless – what can one person do? But one person can do a lot.” 21:48 “Where” is the Homegrown National Park? 24:46 “There’s this idea if you use native plants it’s going to be wild and ugly.” 25:59 There’s a legal precedent for HOAs to not push lawns now. 26:26 The demand for natives still exceeds supply. 29:10 Tallamy brought 1,199 species of moths back to his property. 30:03 “We all are nature’s best hope.” 32:24 Genetic variability is so important in the age of climate change. 37:36 “Everybody needs a healthy environment…” regardless of political ideology. 42:03 “Gardeners are stewards of plants, which makes them stewards of everything.” 42:26 “We need to save all the plants, and gardeners are in a better position to do that than anybody.” 43:02 “Every square inch of your property is part of your landscape, and what you do with those square inches is going to determine how much life is going to exist in your garden.” 44:49 “You have the potential to be a model for all of your neighbors. Just make a wonderfully attractive, productive landscape and enough neighbors will say ‘hey, I want that too,’ and that’s how we change the entire culture.” 45:52 Cornus Mas: this week's Plant Profile. 47:15 Garden Update: the Siberian Squill are popping up and looking adorable. 47:49 Upcoming Events: U.S. National Arboretum’s Flowering Cherry Symposium; Foraging and Cooking with Invasive and Non-Native Plants; Potomac Rose Society’s favorite roses; Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. 50:09 “Groundcover Revolution” by Kathy Jentz. 51:37 “The Urban Garden” by Kathy Jentz and Teri Speight 52:34 The Last Word on Trees with Unique Services by Eva Monheim.

Also, you can read the transcript of the interview portion at:

If you liked this episode, you may also enjoy listening to:

GardenDC Podcast Episode 20: Native Plants, Diversity in the Garden, and Sunflowers
GardenDC Podcast Episode 50: Deer-Resistant Native Plants

This episode is archived at: 

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Episode Credits:
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz
Editing and Show Notes: Jessica Harden


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