Book Reviews

  • Allergies,  Book Reviews,  Podcasts

    Suffering from Allergies?

    Ann and I were fortunate to interview Tom Ogren.

    Tom is the author of a fascinating ,very informative book about Allergies in the garden.

    This is a must read for avid gardeners everywhere. Especially if you are one of the many suffering from allergies.

    Allergy-Fighting Garden, cover

    You can hear our interview with Tom below or at or on iTunes at Growing Trends

    We would love to hear your thoughts and comments, please spend a moment sending us your thoughts and suggestions.

    Ann & Chris

      Views: 281

    • Book Reviews,  Face Time

      Journey to Dreamtime

      The professor takes Sophie, Dylan and their two pets Monty and Naomi on a wild adventure
      The professor takes Sophie, Dylan and their two pets Monty and Naomi on a wild adventure

      I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now, in addition with my wonderful co-host Ann we have been interviewing the fascinating people we find for our podcast

      Last year I was asked if we might develop a learning aid for children based on how we grow food, develop sustainable approaches to agriculture and cope with modern city life. I agreed because I felt we do need to help this planet of ours every so often.

      After much thinking coupled with the odd glass of wine – I’m fairly partial to a nice burgundy. This along with late night chats with friends and my lovely wife the small light bulb ( well it has to be an LED these days) began to flicker.

      “Why not make the learning an adventure story?”

      Journey to Dreamtime was born, currently available as an eBook it will soon be available as a paperback, you can see more here…


      Now available in a paperback, you can order either on Amazon or from BookLocker

      Please do let me know what you think…. book two is going to be based in America.

      Thank you.

      Views: 50

    • Book Reviews,  Healthy Living,  Podcasts

      The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion

      Cancer Survivors Garden Companion1

      Ann and I were fortunate to interview Jenny Peterson, just after her new book was published. Jenny is an amazing, extremely positive lady who is an inspiration for us all.

      A Garden that Heals.

      Pittsburgh, Pa. (October 5, 2015): When Jenny Peterson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, it rocked her world. Her cancer treatment was hard, emotional and often deeply depressing. But Peterson, a garden designer and Master Gardener, did not let the cancer diagnosis define her. She used her desire to garden and dig in the dirt again to pull her out of the darkness. And she discovered that gardening is good medicine –for the body, mind and spirit.

      The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion:

      Cultivating Hope, Healing and Joy in the Ground Beneath Your Feet
      (St. Lynn’s Press, January 2016) tells Peterson’s story and explores the therapeutic benefits of this vital “earth connection,” including inspirational profiles of other cancer survivors, both men and women, whose gardens became their partners in healing.

      With gentle empathy, beautiful photographs and easy how-to steps. Peterson shows others how to create their own backyard haven for healing – a personal restorative garden – with well-grounded guidance about diet, exercise, mental focus and spiritual renewal. Her book adds a fresh voice to the growing fields of horticultural therapy and therapeutic gardens.

      What others are saying about The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion:

      “Jenny’s tips for incorporating gardening into your life for mind, body, and spiritual health are ingenious!


      What other authors are saying.

      As a cancer coach, I will definitely be suggesting this book to my clients.” – Susan Gonzalez, BSN, CPCC, co-author of 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, and editor of The Savvy Sister blog

      “Jenny’s beautiful book reminds us all that life can be found in the healing, meditative act of gardening. By lovingly tending a garden, we can learn to nurture ourselves, restoring our mind, body and spirit in the process.” – Ray Anne Evans, Executive Director, Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas

      “Jenny’s connection with gardening, garden design, and simply being in nature remained strong throughout her cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. In fact, it was part of what helped her through. And now she is helping others to learn from her powerful experience.” – Naomi A. Sachs, Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network; co-author, Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces

      The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion will teach readers how to use the garden to heal, find hope and feel joy.

      About the Author.

      Jenny Peterson is a landscape designer and Master Gardener specializing in xeriscaping and small urban spaces. She is a cancer survivor who found hope and healing in her garden, even during the darkest days of chemotherapy and radiation. In the process, she made deep connections with the cancer support community, including physicians, nutritionists, bodywork practitioners, psychologists and spiritual counselors.

      Peterson co-authored Indoor Plant Décor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013) with Kylee Baumle. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her fiancé, 19 chickens, two dogs, two quails and a goat.

      You can listen to the interview here :   Interviewing Jenny Peterson

      If you would like to purchase the book : The Cancer Survivors Garden Companion

      Views: 146

    • Book Reviews,  Face Time,  Podcasts

      Grandy’s Long walk – The Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia

      Grandy's long walk 1


      Ann and I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Stanley  after she had completed this 1000km walk.

      Linda undertook this walk on her own, it took the best part of 8 weeks to complete and more than three months to prepare for.

      Linda isn’t your average walker by any means,  she suffered some serious injuries  breaking her back in an accident. Being a somewhat determined lady she set about challenging herself  to literally get back on her feet again.

      We interviewed Linda in her new home, a beautiful chestnut farm in Nannup, Western Australia just after the launch of  the children’s book she wrote about her journey.

      ‘Grandy’s Long Walk’ is written for young children, superbly illustrated about her walk.

      Linda wrote the book out of a concern that children today spending less and less time with nature and more and more time in front of the small screen. She hopes to encourage more children to get outside and discover the same senses of wonder and joy of nature that she had experienced on her long walk in the forest.

      You can listen to her telling us all about this amazing journey below.

      We were so curious about this really long walk that during our research we found some youtube videos of other people who travel from all over the world to walk this track.

      Darren is one such person, he created  a video and kindly gave us permission to include it in this article. His video is just a part of the walk, you can view it here Bibbulmun track video   Darren is raising money for Diabetes  you can see his web site here   Darren’s website

      There is also a specialist web site filled with information for those who want to plan their own walk..The BIbbulman Track


      Views: 74

    • Book Reviews,  Healthy Living,  Planting,  Podcasts

      The right-sized Flower Garden

      Kerry Mendez has a passion for gardening, in her latest book “The right-sized Flower Garden” she discusses how to develop a garden that you can manage, often this will reduce the amount of work involved. As she explains it’s all … Continue reading

      Views: 79

    • Book Reviews,  Face Time,  Podcasts

      Growing Trends : How we look at Food Tourism today

      Ann and I interviewed John Stanley of John Stanley Associates  recently about his new book, he jointly wrote with his wife Linda,

       Food Tourism – A Practical Marketing Guide.

      Food tourism

      The fastest growth in tourism today is the culinary sector.

      Listen to John as he explains the overall direction of food tourism, including how he sees future development.

      A few snip bits:

      Do you grow soil?

      25% of the food we buy comes from 2% of the farmland around our cities, which is being swallowed up by development.

      Farmers used to make 38 cents on every dollar now its down to an average of just 6 cents

      Eating local seasonal food saves you around 25%, and is actually healthier for you!

      You can hear this really informative interview here (click below) or on iTunes at Growing Trends

      Views: 49

    • Book Reviews,  Face Time,  Podcasts

      Heaven is a Garden – Jan Johnsen

      A few years ago I read a paper about how grasses ‘moved’ to music, then I read about the effects of harmonious sounds on plant growth.

      Just using white summer bedding is very effective in such a large garden

      Why do I mention this?

      Well a few weeks ago we were talking about Tesla and his discoveries, which led us to talking about vibrations, sound waves, force fields etc., then a strange thing happened.

      Ann and I interviewed a wonderful lady landscape architect Jan Johnsen, about her new book “Heaven is a Garden” we talked a little about how at a very young age she discovered during a science fair competition – which against all the odds she won – the effects early morning birds singing have on plants. The sound waves, which are similar to a violin stimulate a plant to open its stomata taking in carbon-dioxide to help it grow quicker.


      Jan has written a book called Heaven is a Garden, it’s a really fascinating and informative read.  Jan has ‘connected’ the dots so as to speak, between the natural world and our emotions. How the Four Winds are important when laying out a space,the careful use of curves, and my favorite Golden Rectangles and the Divine Proportion. – Phi is the mathematical proportion ( 1 : 1.618) we see in every natural form. Using this proportion ensures a sense of harmony in any outdoor space that contains it. I’ve always tried to use these proportions in my designs.

      Jan then talks about Trees – natures rechargers as she puts it… The Celts  shunnache,  the Hindu tree devas, and Greek dryads are really references to light energy? The Chinese call this energy chi…the Japanese consider the health giving properties of trees the basis of a medical therapy called ‘ Forest bathing’, it helps reduce stress.

      Jan then discusses the magnetic attraction in a Zen garden – rocks in these gardens reflect a deep understanding of the geomagnetic properties of stone and its impact on a place.

      Finally the benefits of color in a garden.

      Be inspired by Jan Johnsen's Book
      You can listen to our truly fascinating interview with Jan Johnsen  or if you prefer on iTunes at Growing Trends  or just click on the arrow below to start the interview

      We would love to hear from you if you like this interview

      Ann and Chris,


        Views: 139

      • Book Reviews,  Podcasts,  Time to Eat

        Did you know you can ‘Eat your Roses?’

        A Gardening lover’s recipe book….

        It’s that time of year again, as we move from Spring into Summer all sorts of tasty treats abound in our gardens, our interview today is with a lady who has taken this to a new dimension.

        Eat your roses

        Ann & I caught up with Denise Shreiber, recently to interview her about her fascinating book, all about edible flowers.

        Being a transplanted ‘Brit’ it was interesting to hear that her book was born after a trip to England where she sampled ‘Rose Petal Ice Cream’,

        Here I was, under the illusion that everyone visited our wonderful gardens and stately homes for the good old English “cuppa” with perhaps a scone, butter, jam and clotted cream !

        You can listen to Denise here..

        It’s that time of year again, as we move from Spring into Summer all sorts of tasty treats abound in our gardens, our interview today is with a lady who has taken this to a new dimension. Ann & I … Continue reading


        Views: 1

      • Allergies,  Book Reviews,  Environment,  Landscapes & Gardens,  Podcasts

        Suffering from Allergies?

        It’s allergy awareness week in  England . A subject that has become more and more important to my family over the past few years. My grandson Callum was born with severe allergies , which appear at the slightest opportunity, so … Continue reading

        Views: 64

      • Book Reviews,  Podcasts,  Time to Eat

        Sustainable food for the Globe an interview with Norma Burnson

        Ann and Chris interview this remarkable lady, Norma is on a mission.

        Norma’s mission is “Sustainable Food for the Globe, One Square Foot at a Time,” and that is also the title of Norma Burnson’s book, available on At Burnson & Associates, we are passing along the baton of youth leadership development and involving our U.S. Veterans in our projects and workforce.

        sustainable food for the globe

        Be inspired to help Norma, but first listen to our interview.

        Views: 222

      • Book Reviews,  Podcasts

        Interview with Dr Charles Rawlings author of Living Shells

        Living Shells

        Ann and I were very fortunate to interview Dr Charles Rawlings MD , he has an interesting passion, studying & photographing ‘living shells’, a scuba diver for the past thirty or so years Dr Rawlings has been observing, studying & photographing ‘living shells’ all over the world.









        His knowledge of these creatures, their habits and habitats is extraordinary.

        Recently he produced a beautiful coffee table book of pictures of these amazing creatures.

        We caught  up with Dr Rawlings as he was planning yet another trip.

        You can hear our interview at on our iTunes Podcast   

        Or just scroll down a little further

        We hope you enjoy the interview, do send us any comments you may have.

        Chris & Ann,


          Views: 205

        • Book Reviews,  Landscapes & Gardens,  Podcasts

          Could we ask for a little help from you?

          An exhibition garden

          I’ve been really surprised at all the positive comments the site has been generating from everyone – Thank you all so much, it’s fun to write, improves my awful spelling, maybe my grammar as well ?

          You can let me know on that one !

          Some of you asked if I would make it possible to donate on this site, I’ve tried to avoid that, as well as adverts as I was trying to be impartial, with the content.


          As you may know we do have a fun internet radio show, where we interview folks from around the globe about their Gardens & Landscapes.

          Find some inspiration for your Yard today…

          When we started this radio show the aim was to find interesting people who had a passion for their Garden or Landscapes. Little did we know what would happen. In just a few months we have an audience stretching across the globe in 43 countries.

          We soon added a web site to provide details of schedules, information on guests and sponsors, and a growing information area with details of techniques, ideas and examples of projects.

          Working to complete an exhibition garden

          The show Growing Trends concentrates on the clients, the designers, the creators, the maintainers and the experts that help them, we would welcome any suggestions on who we should contact – the schedule is filling quickly, which brings me on to how you can help.

          Note how clean the working area is

          We have two one hour shows a day seven days a week, with a little funding help we can update the interviews more often, and tell the story of you, or your friends work, or your garden or landscape.

          Can you help us in just a small way ? Contributing just $5 ?

          Here’s the link to StartSomeGood   the crowdfunding source we are using for this fund raising campaign

          A Japanese style garden exhibition

          Growing Trends is fun, friendly, informative, interesting, amusing & entertaining.

          A project in Florida

          This one acre pond has a water change almost once per hour !

          A final interesting project from just outside New York. This fully structural gravity wall is almost 27ft high !

          Fully structural timber wall

          Note the access is less than 4ft !

          We really would appreciate your support, so we can interview maybe you, or your colleagues or friends, across the globe – thank you all for your support & comments.

          You can also find us on Facebook 

          Ann & Chris.


          Views: 102