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Focus on Flowers

2,239 episodes - English - Latest episode: 10 days ago - ★★★★★ - 4 ratings

Focus on Flowers is a weekly podcast and public radio program about flower gardening hosted by master gardener Moya Andews.

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Purple Plantings

June 13, 2024 20:00 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

Today, I am quoting from Vita Sackville West who is discussing planting a border with flowers ranging in color from pale mauve through rich purple. 

Looking Ahead

June 06, 2024 20:00 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

Spring is a wonderful season for gardeners. The weather is pleasant outdoors and visiting nurseries is such fun, but as well as popping into the ground plants that will give immediate gratification, also try to plant some fall bloomers. 

Making Bouquets

May 30, 2024 20:00 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

We have all been guilty of shoving flowers into any type of vase when we are in a hurry. However, we all know as well that just a little bit of effort on our part will make even a few flowers look really special.

Flower Sex

May 23, 2024 15:00 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

Scientists are concerned that the use of toxic pesticides and the decreasing amount of wild habitat may be affecting flower pollination. They studied wild pansies growing in fields across Europe that are generally pollinated by bees but can also use their own pollen to self-fertilize, using its own genes to produce new seeds, which is more limited than sexual reproduction that mixes DNA. 


May 16, 2024 20:02 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

All of May, cranesbill geranium 'Bevan' is covered in pink flowers, and the rest of the year, he has lovely fresh-looking green leaves.


May 09, 2024 20:00 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

A quote by Vita Sackville West about ground covers.

Spring Dandelions

May 02, 2024 20:00 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

Dandelions light up our lawns each spring with bright yellow flowers.

Early Botanical Artists

April 25, 2024 19:55 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

Before the invention of photography, illustrations of uncommon plants were crucial. Women were thought to be especially well suited for drawing specimens accurately. They were seen as patient, careful, and willing to work for little pay.

The Middle Ages

April 18, 2024 19:55 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

During the Middle Ages in Britain, the monasteries were the places with the space and the knowledge to garden.


April 11, 2024 19:55 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

Most gardeners I know find it convenient to buy this easy-care annual for their pots and shade beds each spring, and delight in growing such undemanding annuals.

Cherry Blossoms

April 04, 2024 19:55 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

The Cherry tree that Houseman wrote about in his poem is commonly known as bird cherry, which alas do not grow well for us in zone 6. A white tree that is a lovely substitute, however, is the white dogwood.

Planting Easter Lilies

March 28, 2024 19:50 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

At this time of the year many flower lovers buy pots of Easter lilies at the grocery store to have in their homes during the Easter season

The Benefits of Clay

March 21, 2024 19:19 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Clay soil is heavy and hard to dig compared to sandy soil, but it is also more moisture and nutrient retentive.

Usually Deer Proof

March 14, 2024 19:09 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

No plant, it seems to those of us plagued with deer, can be called really deer proof.

Pruning Flowering Shrubs

March 07, 2024 20:07 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

Regular pruning benefits all woody plants, such as shrubs, trees, and vines. Pruning keeps them vigorous and healthy, as well as improving their shape.

Climbing Clematis

February 22, 2024 20:12 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

There are so many lovely varieties of clematis available today. Even a single bloom floating is a bowl looks perfect.


February 15, 2024 20:54 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

In late winter, after months without garden flowers, we are eager to see flowers in our homes. However, there is a wonderful feeling we get when we force branches of early spring-blooming trees and shrubs.

Roses From the Past

February 08, 2024 20:57 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

All of the poems I will read today are about roses and all are from times long past.

February Saints

February 01, 2024 20:51 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

The flowers associated with St. Valentine were, in Roman times, the yellow crocus and the tricolor viola that both bloom in the early spring in our gardens today. But there are also other saints associated with February...

Christo's Final Years

January 25, 2024 20:47 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

In 1993, Christopher Lloyd hired Fergus Garrett as his head gardener and together they turned the traditional 80-year-old rose garden into an exotic tropical area. Christo was amused by the consequent criticism from traditionalists.

The Long Border

January 18, 2024 13:33 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

Great Dixter's Christopher Lloyd created his famous term "succession planting" to describe continuous bloom month after month, beginning in March and ending in October.

The Great Dixter

January 11, 2024 17:22 - 2 minutes - 2.1 MB

One of Britain's most celebrated gardens, Great Dixter is a magnificent place where one can learn and be inspired. A trip there should be on every gardener's bucket list.

Medieval Gardens

January 04, 2024 15:09 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

In AD 830, St. Benedict said that gardening was appropriate manual labor for monks and that all monasteries should have a psychic garden, kitchen garden, cellar garden, an orchard, and a private garden for monks of high office.

1st Century Gardens

December 28, 2023 20:27 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

The Romans were the first to create pleasure gardens in Britain.

The Winter Solstice

December 21, 2023 20:26 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

The winter solstice marks the day with the fewest hours of sunshine in the year, which means that it is described as the shortest day.


December 14, 2023 20:55 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects used to be the only creatures who transferred pollen from flower to flower. Nowadays, it is often a person with a fine brush.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

December 07, 2023 20:47 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

The idea of private pleasure gardens during the Middle Ages in England was espoused by Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Gnats: Pesky Little Devils

November 30, 2023 20:36 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Most of us occasionally get little black flies that look a bit like fruit flies around our houseplants. They're fungus gnats and essentially harmless, mostly...

Wild William Robinson

November 23, 2023 20:35 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

One of the most influential horticulturalists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was William Robinson, the first to promote the idea of a wild garden.

Garden Cleanup

November 16, 2023 20:33 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Fall is a great time to collect the seed pods from shrubs like baptisia and hardy hibiscus and store them in paper envelopes indoors until next spring.

Houseplants That Bloom

November 09, 2023 20:54 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Houseplants that bloom help us to get through winter while awaiting next year's flowers in the garden. But often houseplants suffer from problems that we must address promptly to save a plant's life.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

November 02, 2023 19:55 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Betty Smith is the author of the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn about a young girl who is inspired by a tree. Unfortunately, the tree happens to be an invasive species.

The Mimosa Tree

October 26, 2023 19:55 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

You do not want this junk tree anywhere near your garden, as it self-seeds aggressively and many people are highly allergic to its pollen.

Cutting Down Plants

October 19, 2023 19:45 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Continually cut back plants that have done their stuff to allow more room for those whose bloom period is yet to come.

Continuous Color

October 12, 2023 19:48 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

If you need something in bloom all through the growing seasons in your garden, check that you have these plants.

Naked Ladies

October 05, 2023 19:08 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

There are many common names for the pink lilies, Amaryllis belladonna, that pop up in our gardens during the hot days of August/September: naked ladies, magic lily, autumn lily, surprise lily, and resurrection lily.

Carefree Crepe Myrtle

September 28, 2023 19:53 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Native to the Far East, crepe myrtles can be trees or but in my zone 6 garden, they usually die back to the ground each winter.

Clivia miniata

September 21, 2023 19:22 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

The winter-blooming clivia plant is one of the very few house plants that will produce flowers indoors in the dead of winter.

Shrubs for All Seasons

September 14, 2023 19:20 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

If you are looking for deer resistant shrubs to plant in your unfenced yard, the safest evergreens are spruce, juniper, and boxwood.

Recognizing Reality

September 07, 2023 16:00 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Early on, I longed for all the more pretentious perennials, but now I prefer the tried and true.


August 31, 2023 19:05 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Angelonia produces stalks of little flowers, similar to stock flowers, that last a long time on the plant, flowering steadily all through till late summer.

Always Cheerful 

August 24, 2023 19:03 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

The plant has the unfortunate common name of "tickseed," derived from the Greek word "Koris," meaning bed bug.

Rudbeckia ‘American Goldrush’

August 17, 2023 19:01 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

This black-eyed Susan is a plant that we can all grow and that will be with us for as long as we garden.

Hibiscus moscheutos

August 10, 2023 20:00 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Our Midwest Hibiscus moscheutos, (a.k.a. swamp mallow), is an herbaceous plant that has flowers that look so exotic that it seems tropical, but it is hardy zones 5-9.

Liatris spicata

August 04, 2023 14:38 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Gayfeather (Liatris spicata) is a lovely native plant that attracts butterflies, bumble bees, and other insects.

Minimal Watering

July 27, 2023 14:35 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Xeroscaping is the term for gardening while conserving water.

Excellent Echinaceas

July 20, 2023 16:42 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

The original perennial coneflowers were pink, but many new cultivars have been developed.

Cutting Garden

July 13, 2023 16:31 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

A mix of annuals, biennials, perennials, and shrubs ensures that your cutting garden always has something in bloom.

Deterring Peter

July 06, 2023 13:26 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Peter Rabbit is cute, but he can be a problem for gardeners, especially when seedlings and small plants are available, and he wants them for his dinner!

Tough Native Plants

June 29, 2023 19:52 - 2 minutes - 2.09 MB

Native perennials are an essential part of our ecosystem and support wildlife. Some are more likely to thrive in our region than others.