SG540: Double Feature with Laura Eubanks of Design for Serenity and Benedict Vanheems of Big Bug Hunt

Welcome to Still Growing's first double feature!

Our first guest is Laura Eubanks from Design for Serenity. Laura's work on succulent plants has been featured all over the country and she is an absolute master on creating beautiful and creative succulent designs. I was blown away by Laura's succulent pumpkins when I first saw her work in the 2014 August edition of Country Gardens.

Our second guest on this week's podcast is Benedict Vanheems of The Big Bug Hunt. He is also my first guest who is based out of the UK! The Big Bug Hunt is a citizen science project that reports pests in the area. It is also a fantastic app for gardeners who want to deter these bad bugs from reaching their garden in an organic way; as many organic control methods need to be place on the plant before the pests arrive.

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“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson.

Country Gardens Spread Plant a Pumpkin Laura Eubanks on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast 6ftmama blog
The Big Bug Hunt on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast 6ftmama blog

Interview Questions

Laura, when I saw your beautiful pumpkin feature in Country Gardens, I knew I had to track you down. I'm not alone on this either, your work has been sought after by a lot of people, correct?

Time Stamp: 10:20

Tell me about this whole pumpkin process. You're a trained master on succulent plants. What kind of pumpkin should we be looking for?

Time Stamp: 17:10

What is the purpose of the moss between the pumpkin and the succulent?

Time Stamp: 23:15

If people are going to have this creative arrangement in the house, what should people do to prepare for a rotting pumpkin?

Time Stamp: 27:35

Do your pumpkins last much longer in the San Diego climate?

Time Stamp: 30:05

In the Country Gardens magazine, you were using a spray adhesive, but you're saying any glue works?

Time Stamp: 30:35

You were in Sunset Magazine and that featured a green pumpkin. Do you use all kinds of colors and shapes for this?

Time Stamp: 32:35

I feel so bad applying hot glue to these little succulent plants, but does it really harm them?

Time Stamp: 36:30

Please give us some tips on how to work on the top of the pumpkin.

Time Stamp: 39:05

When I'm working with head planters, I'll use those flower pins to keep my succulent in place. Would you do the same for the pumpkin?

Time Stamp: 43:10

Do people ever write to you with questions about how to design the pumpkin?

Time Stamp: 44:15

Should you put these in full sun or should you protect these from the sun? What do listeners need to know?

Time Stamp: 45:55

Why don't we start the interview by first sharing a little bit about who you are, Benedict?

Time Stamp: 51:25

You reached out via email about this project you were working on and I was very intrigued. Can you give the audience an overview of what The Big Bug Hunt is about?

Time Stamp: 54:25

Can we walk through the process for our audience on how to report a bug on your website?

Time Stamp: 57:00

Do you mind if we take a moment and go through some of the bugs that are in the bug identification guide for the US?

Time Stamp: 1:03:10

Let's continue through the bug identification guide. Are there any specific bugs you'd like to highlight?

Time Stamp: 1:18:50

The bug identification guide relies heavily on people submitting their bugs, correct? Let's dive into the citizen-science angle of The Big Bug Hunt.

Time Stamp: 1:20:00

One of the things that struck me about your project is that there are not many good garden apps out there right now.

Time Stamp: 1:21:15

Benedict, can you please tell us about your newsletter?

Time Stamp: 1:22:35

You must have pockets too where people are doing a better job of reporting in other area. Is your app more popular in the United Kingdom?

Time Stamp: 1:25:05

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Still Growing is one of the reliably informative gardening podcasts from North America. The format consists of an intro (personal gardening status chat, seasonal remarks), an extended interview with a guest, and an outro with funny outtakes, side remarks, and some chatter (poems, readings) from the host's children. The podcast is focused on reliable knowledge - the guests are typically experts like academics, master gardeners, gardening entrepreneurs or public garden leaders. The intro and especially the outro give it a homey feel. Given I live in the high northern region, just a little below the Polar Circle, I'm always looking for more cold-weather oriented gardening information. Jennifer Ebeling is in Minnesota, so that's helpful to me! Vegetable gardening (my main interest) gets a good share, but is not predominant. Most topics transcend your specific gardening interest and are applicable to many styles: landscaping principles, vermicomposting, greenhouses. The episodes are typically an hour long, which is just fine for me.

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Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
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