August 6, 2008

Discovering Gardening Podcasts

A new Podcast series available for free from Bulb experts Brent and Becky Bulbs on iTunes
On my last trip to Japan, I spent some time loading up my iPhone with entertainment for iTunes. During online searches, I discovered the joy of the free uploads of many podcasts, and video. Podcasts are available for you to subscribe to, mostly free, from many sources, from lectures from the major universities such as Dartmouth or Yale on many subjects, including entire course lectures. This was a side of digital entertainment that I never new existed, for I am hardly a digi-geek. The simplicity of joining iTunes, and searching for my favorite subjects to listen to resulted in hundreds of blogs and lectures for me to download, far more than I could ever listen to on an 18 hour flight, but now, I am discovering the joy of burning these to a DVD or CD, to listen to in my car during my one hour commute to and from work.

At last count, I saw over 200 podcasts about gardening, but there are plenty more if you search under such subject listings and plants, or orchids, or horticulture - all on iTunes, many of these, once selected, will have a dozen or more podcasts, each often an hour long.

I only share this, since you may not be aware of these podcasts, and, some of them are extremely good ( others, not so good!, but it is fun to see for yourself). Imagine, last Saturday, while driving my 95 year old dad up to Kennebunkport Maine, we listened to Beth Chatto for two hours talk about Species tulips and her gravel garden, all downloaded for free from the podcasts made available on iTunes from the BBC Gardening Magazine. Videos, too are now available, to watch during lunch at work or on your iPhone, or other device, even while waiting in the car, if the kids are at soccer practice. I just downloaded a video podcast of the last lecture by Christopher Lloyd.

Our local TV weatherman at our ABC affiliate in Boston, Dave Epstein, is also a horticulturist, and now has a podcast available on iTunes. Expect experts, amateurs, maybe even me soon, with such podcasts. They are all fun, and informative in some way, but many are professional and very well done. Look for the BBC Gardening series, Kew, The Missouri Botanical Garden, The New York Botanical Garden, Ken Druse's DIRT, and many more.

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