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  • Jennifer Jewell


FOODSCAPING - with Brie Arthur. Photo courtesy of Brie Arthur, all rights reserved.


The garden in summer is at its fullest sensory delight and overwhelm – the peak of sunlight, growing hours, heat, and growth, ripening and even rotting. In this week’s conversation we embrace this sublime sensuality from a variety of perspectives in conversation with master naturalist Nancy Lawson.

Nancy is perhaps best known as the The Humane Gardener, the title of her first book for which we spoke with her a few years back, and her online signature. And a humane gardener she is. Nancy is a habitat consultant, and founder of The Humane Gardener, LLC. She observes, researches, and pioneers creative wildlife-friendly landscaping methods in her own home habitat and for others. I

n other words – and in all senses of the phrase – Nancy puts her gardening where her words are and words and action come together beautifully in her newest book Wildscape, Trilling Chipmunks, Beckoning Blooms, Salty Butterflies, and other Sensory wonders of Nature. Together this week, we delve into her newest research and reporting on the complexity and richness of the sensory life of other than human lives: from the botanical to the birds, bugs, mammals, amphibians other wildlife all around us.

Wildscape is eye, ear, nose and heart opening! Listen in!

All photos courtesy of Nancy Lawson, author photo by Jennifer Heffner. All rights reserved.

You can follow Nancy Lawson online at:

and on Instagram: @humanegardener/

HERE IS THIS WEEK'S TRANSCRIPT by Doulos Transcription Service:

CultivatingPlace - Lawson - 07-20-23_final
Download PDF • 133KB


you might also enjoy these Best of CP programs in our archive:

JOIN US again next week, when we head to Wisconsin to check in with Horticulturist Erin Presley on all the botanical updates and innovations at the stellar Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison where they are celebrating and centering native plants, native peoples, and the incredible cultural literacy offered to us in gardening at its largest. That’s next week – listen in.


Speaking of Plants and Place is on summer vacation - back in August!


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supporting initiatives that empower women and help preserve the planet through the intersection of environmental advocacy, social justice, and creativity.

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Recent Garden Conservancy news includes the announcement of the second two episodes in the Sissinghurst through the seasons series – the Fall episode airing on Thursday September 21st and the Winter Episode airing on December 7th; as well as the announcement for the release of a new film trailer which highlights their forthcoming documentary about the Anne Spencer House and Garden in Virginia – the trailer and registration for the Sissinghurst series are both up at the now and the full Anne Spencer House & Garden documentary will be released later this year – should be excellent. And of course, registration is also now open for the Conservancy’s inaugural Garden Futures Summit being held at the New York Botanical Garden on Sept 29th and in gardens across NYC and surrounds on Sept 30th – can’t wait to gather then. Go to for more information.



Thinking out loud this week:

Circling back to something that Linda Vater said last week about "raising a garden." This vision stuck with me: how we raise gardens like we raise children, how our gardens help to raise us into the next iterations of who we will be - might be - could be? Does this ring true for you? I think of the garden I partner with right now - for going on 10 years. This is one of the longest garden partnerships I have ever had due to moves - and this garden has held me through so much - grown me through so many growing pains, but also successes, accomplishments. In her - my garden - I can see my own growth chart as sure as it was marked in a penciled dash across the top of my head on the hall doorjamb.

And both this idea and this conversation with Nancy leave with this reminder about a perennial truth - certainly one of the truths gifted to us by the garden on a regular basis - sometimes in delight and sometimes as tough love: we never know it all; we always have more to learn.

Sitting still and listening is never a bad option.




Cultivating Place is a co-production of North State Public Radio, a service of Cap Radio, licensed to Chico State Enterprises. Cultivating place is made possible in part listeners just like you through the support button at the top right-hand corner of every page at Cultivating

The CP team includes producer and engineer Matt Fidler, with weekly tech and web support from Angel Huracha, and this summer we're joined by communications intern Sheila Stern. We’re based on the traditional and present homelands of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria. Original theme music is by Ma Muse, accompanied by Joe Craven and Sam Bevan.

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