Saturday, June 24, 2023

GardenDC Podcast Episode 153: An American Garden Story

In this episode of GardenDC: The Podcast about Mid-Atlantic Gardening, returning guest Barbara Melera, president of, shares the story of the Constitutional Convention and how a garden visit helped found a new nation. The plant profile is on Butterfly Weed 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 our host, Kathy Jentz, who gives the Last Word on whether gardening is only for the rich.

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Show Notes: 01:11 Meet Barbara Melera, president of 04:10 What has been going on with the rumored seed shortages since COVID? 05:19 Melera’s near-future plans and what customers should think about for their fall gardens. 08:06 Colchicum ‘Waterlily’ “is opulence personified.” 11:02 Harvesting History’s YouTube success. 12:56 Sourcing for today’s story: “Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation” by Andrea Wulf. Affiliate Link: 14:03 Background on the Constitutional Convention in 1787. 16:25 The 55 delegates agreed on only one thing after five weeks together - the United States government should have three branches. 17:04 The source of the contention between small and large states - Power. 18:20 The introduction of the Connecticut Plan, the compromise between small and large states. 20:26 Multiple delegates agreed to accompany each other to Bartram’s Garden the weekend before voting on the plan. 21:09 Background on Bartram’s Garden and its owners. 23:08 The delegates visited Bartram’s Garden early in the morning, viewing the collaboration between plants from all 13 colonies. 27:19 Only 10 of the 13 colonies were eligible to vote on the Connecticut Plan. 29:28 Voting began. 31:15 North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia voted - turning the tables. 33:45 Melera’s views on the impact of the delegate’s visit to Bartram’s Garden. 35:08 The impact of gardening on your mental state. 36:19 Accessing Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia today yourself. 36:59 The blooming season of the Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha) and its significance. 40:11 The founding fathers’ drinking habits. 41:48 How to get in contact with Harvesting History: (410) 627-6831, or on the website 42:25 Harvesting History’s emphasis on customer interaction and being a small business. 43:22 The origin of Harvesting History’s name. 44:41 Butterfly Weed: This week’s Plant Profile! 46:16 Garden Updates: The Stewartia tree and Borage are blooming, Zinnia seedlings are up, the June 2023 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine has been posted. 47:18 Upcoming Events: Politics and Prose online talk (; Tomato Taste at the Silver Spring Farmers Market. 48:44 “The Urban Garden” by Kathy Jentz and Teri Speight. 49:44 “Groundcover Revolution” by Kathy Jentz. 51:05 The Last Word on whether gardening is only for the rich with Kathy Jentz. 52:31 “You can garden with just a trowel, cloth gloves, and a pack of seeds from the dollar store.”

Here is our Amazon Affiliate link to Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf -

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Episode Credits:
Host and Producer: Kathy Jentz
Interview Editor and Show Notes: Marissa Yelenik


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