• 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 www.growingtrends.org 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 www.growingtrends.org

      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…www.journeytodreamtime.com


      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

    • Face Time,  Garden Centers,  Podcasts

      Trends in European Garden Centers

      Ann is in Paris, France talking to Valerie Langendorff, President of a Women’s Garden Executive Club.
      Adjusted rose 1
      Valerie looks at Garden Centers from the ladies perspective in France, her ladies group have identified a number of interesting trends..

      Women make 70% of the purchase decisions.

      Currently 90% of Garden Centers are managed by men.

      They have developed an annual awards program judged by women.

      Ladies nights are arranged in the Garden Center

      They have an award for the most women friendly Garden Center.

      They have discovered that women like innovation more than men..

      You can listen to this fascinating interview here or on iTunes

      Views: 84

    • Face Time,  Garden Centers,  Podcasts

      If I were opening a Garden center today

      Garden Centers have evolved over the years, there are Independent Garden Centers often in a local neighborhood, there are larger groups with multiple locations.

      Many of the big box ‘Do it Yourself stores’ have larger and larger ‘Garden Center’ sections.

      The question recently has been where are they all heading.

      So Ann asked Sid & John – “If I were to open a Garden Center today what would be your recommendations?”

      Sid Raisch

      CEO of Horticultural Advantage (www.AdvantageDevelopmentSystem.com) , providing business expertise and extensive leadership training to small to medium horticultural businesses, primarily retail garden centers and selected wholesale suppliers.

      John Stanley.

      International retail guru is what people call me. Specialising in helping retail businesses to grow their bottom line and expand their market base. I work in 26 countries with retailers of all sizes. My expertise ranges from conference speaking to hands on management consultancy. My specialist retail areas are in perishable retailing – anything that will not last long without loving care on the shelf

      Garden Center

      Sid and John discuss future trends for gardens, garden centers, and our urban environment.

      This fascinating , very informative interview is going to have you thinking.

      Send us your thoughts to Growing Trends




      Views: 100

    • Face Time,  Gardenesque,  Podcasts

      Ann visits the Chelsea Physic garden

      It’s not often you find a garden that was founded in 1673 as The Apothecaries’ Garden

      Ann was on a trip to Europe recently and dropped in on the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden on the side of the river Thames in London.

      The garden’s purpose was to train apprentices in identifying plants. The gardens’ location close to the river created a warmer microclimate, significantly increasing the many non-native plants that could be grown.

      chelsea physic garden

      In 1700 the garden had started an international botanical garden seed exchange system, which continues to this day.

      The gardens cover some four acres and are leased on what is known as a peppercorn rent in perpetuity.

      They are without doubt one of London’s secret ‘gems’ and thoroughly worth a visit.

      chelsea physic garden

      The garden’s mission ” Linking people with plants and nature”

      The interview starts with Ann talking for around 8 minutes to a group of school children on a field trip, the gardens have over 100 such visits a year.  Ann then talks to Michael a very knowledgeable and extremely helpful member of staff. We kept all the typical inner city sounds on the recording – the enthusiasm of the children is very heartening.

      Integrated pest management is the preferred method of bug control…

      They have a project called “Shelf Life’ it is just an incredible way to show children where their food comes from

      You can also listen to Ann’s interview on iTunes at Growing Trends

      We would love to hear your comments and suggestions for a show… just send us an email to Growing Trends


      Views: 88

    • 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

      • Face Time,  Podcasts,  World Wide WEsponsibility

        Growing Potential for Algae – Part one

        Our interview this week is with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet, it’s all about the amazing properties of algae and  the work being done today that could transform many areas of our lives. This fascinating interview is in two parts, with the second part coming next week.



        Algae has some fascinating uses :-

        As an Energy Source –  a 737 plane flew from Houston to Chicago on fuel derived from algae, way back in 2011

        algae for jet fuel

        As a Fertilizer – from as long ago as the 16th century, seaweed has been used a fertilizer.

        As a source of Nutrition – China has been consuming Algae for over 2000 years, they harvest over 70 species as does Japan, Ireland, Chile, Wales,Korea, California, New Zealand, Hawaii, Scotland, Greenland and Iceland to name a few. It was an ingredient in Aztec foods.

        Oils obtained from some algae  have high levels of unsaturated fatty acids,others essential omega 3 fatty acids.

        As a Pollution control –  treating sewage with algae, reducing the use of toxic chemicals that would be used. They can absorb fertilizer run off from fields. Aquariums can be filtered by algae

        As a Pigment  – alternative to chemical dyes

        As a Medicine – helping fight malnutrition, immune health, reducing cholesterol

        algae 3

        Amazingly  there could be more than 72000 algae species worldwide.

        You can hear our interview with Bill Sosinsky and Joe Ravet on iTunes at Growing Trends or here on our podcast just click below to hear 

        We would love to hear from you,

          Views: 59

        • 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

        • Podcasts,  Time to Eat,  World Wide WEsponsibility

          School Garden Projects have many positives, you can hear many of them here


          Is this really salad ? it tastes so good like this !

          Ann & I were fortunate to talk to three amazing ladies from Tennessee a little while ago. They wanted to start a school garden at their school, here is their story, the school garden is now in its third year.

          Raised beds

          Some of the main points we heard were:-

          It’s essential to have teacher as well as parent support.

          Take time to plan carefully

          Initially growing from seed is harder , due to the school calendar. 

          Choose plants that will fit into this schedule.

          The children want to take ownership of their plants !

          Educating children in the different choices of produce increases the varieties they will eat.

          Children really take pride in taking home to their family the produce they have grown.

          In a blind radish test, the children could tell which were home grown as opposed to store bought and much preferred home grown !

          strawberry picking

          Ann & I would love to hear from you.  info@grotrends.com

          If you would like us to put you in touch with these wonderful ladies,or if you would like more information on starting your own school garden just send us an email to Growing Trends and we will be in touch. If you would like us to interview you, send us a picture of your garden along with contact details, we will be adding a section to our web site www.grotrends.com specially on School garden projects.

          Thank you Penny, Peggy and Emily, this was a fascinating interview.

          Ann & Chris





          Views: 52

        • Face Time,  Podcasts,  Time to Eat,  World Wide WEsponsibility

          Eating fresh local food

          Here in the USA its Spring, time to think about fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. It’s even more important this year with the continuing drought in California where a lot of the countries fresh produce is grown as they now have a mandatory 25% reduction in water use.

          If you are growing at home one of the most effective methods that has passed the passage of time is Mel Bartholomew’s  – Square Foot Gardening method – Ann and I will be interviewing Mel very soon.

          Square Foot Gardening

          Before we do, Ann and I were privileged to interview Nellie, she is a young mother who is passionate about eating fresh produce on a low budget.

          Our interview is inspiring for those who want to find the best way to eat fresh local food. Nellie explains how to balance your budget and yet find good healthy fresh food.

          This is one very astute young lady, who is passionate about food – her mum tells me,she is also a great cook..

          Views: 49

        • Face Time,  Podcasts,  World Wide WEsponsibility

          Country: Growing Trends -Sustainability for the world today

          Ann and Chris interview Rich Sapienza and Bill Sosinsky  we talk about sustainable solutions for the world today.

          It's fascinating, interesting and very enlightening.


          Sustainability must work on its own, grow on its own, support itself with the built-in ability to endure and grow naturally. There must be a plan. As long as we rely on subsidies and philanthropy as the means by which we re-establish our sustainable balance on this planet, we are ultimately doomed. This lack of strategy insures we run out of sufficient monies way before we have fully addressed these essential challenges. The simple answer is that everything must work together and their needs to be a singular general vision that incorporates the best efforts of all the contributing parties

          Views: 54