SG558: Finding Joy in The Garden with Nell Foster

Finding Joy in The Garden with Neil Foster

Nell Foster’s garden blog, Joy Us Garden, celebrates all things garden as she shares her passion for plants, pruning, and the great outdoors! Nell recently packed her bags and moved to Tucson, Arizona after living in Santa Barbara, California for over 30 years. I love Nell’s perspective after working almost two decades in design and landscaping.  Nell also has a fun YouTube channel which is filled with lovely DIY tutorials.

Listen to the Show

Interview Questions

Neil, how did your garden website come to be?

Time Stamp: 24:35

Do you do all of your own photography?

Time Stamp 27:35

What tips do you have for people to get out there and prune?

Time Stamp 28:40

When you think about pruning, is there a particular pruning out there that you like?

Time Stamp 30:00

You have this fantastic photo of your father holding you as a baby on the family tractor. You grew up on a farm, so what was that like for you? 

Time Stamp 31:05

Do you remember your childhood as a magical time?

Time Stamp 33:05

Horticulture, over the span of your lifetime, has taken you from the East coast to the West and then back and forth. Is Santa Barbara the perfect place for you as a gardener? 

Time Stamp 37:55

My friend said that Arizona was one of the best places to own a piano because of the humidity level. Is that the case? Is there a ‘balanced’ level of humidity over there?

Time Stamp 40:45

You owned Neil Foster Designs in San Francisco for 18 years and you were designing and installing residential landscapes. How do you think landscaping has changed over the years?

Time Stamp 41:45

What garden is your all-time favorite?

Time Stamp 45:40

Do you find for yourself, as a gardener, are you very controlled or do you let things get a little messy?

Time Stamp  47:45

People are loving air plants and you posted a while back about taking care of them. Are they hard to take care of? Any tips?

Time Stamp 48:20

In regards to succulent wreaths, can you talk a little bit about the ‘heeling over’ technique?

Time Stamp 52:55

I noticed in one of your videos, you’re standing in front of this enormous Bougainvillea. That must have been hard to leave behind?

Time Stamp 55:05

When you think about your new garden in Arizona, can you give us a virtual tour of that?

Time Stamp 56:55

What’s really inspiring you in the garden right now?

Time Stamp 1:02:15

What is one of your central strengths as a gardener?

Time Stamp 1:04:40

Design is something a lot of gardeners struggle with. Does design come naturally to you?

Time Stamp 1:06:00

What is something you wish new gardeners knew?

Time Stamp 1:07:00

When you think of your own personal growth as a gardener, what’s something you’ve learned in the past couple of years that you’re applying more and more?

Time Stamp 1:08:10

Do you have any favorite garden bloggers or garden writers?

Time Stamp 1:09:10

Help a gardener + their garden grow...
Please Share this Episode

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

Finding Joy in The Garden with Neil Foster
Finding Joy in The Garden with Neil Foster
Finding Joy in The Garden with Neil Foster

Listener Love!

I never write reviews but this is the best gardening podcast out there. 

Jennifer has interesting topics and guests and is not one bit annoying like some others are.

I love that she involves her kids at the end of the podcast - usually with poetry or music. Really good podcast.

- Barbcfc

Still Growing is one of the most 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.

- cwaigl

Best gardening podcast out there. Her preparedness leads to a good interaction with the guests and brings out the best in them. Very informative and yet personable.

- Corn bug

This is a great podcast.

Really well produced and organized with good sound quality.

I love the mix of information and personal touches. Jennifer has great guests and asks the best questions. You can tell she really does her homework. I listen to several gardening podcasts and this is my absolute favorite!

- So Cal Gardengirl

*This show is Growing STRONG*

"Jennifer is a terrific interviewer and host who brings out super information all sorts of plant and garden info.

From the present (sequoias and drought/using logs as plant stands), future (hydroponics on Mars), and past.

For me, it was my book about All the Presidents' Gardens, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue--yes, the gardens and grounds of the White House. Presidents from Washington to Obama, US horticultural trends for 2+ centuries. Stand (and garden) tall!"


*A fun podcast for gardeners of all ages and stages*

"Jennifer has a wonderful presence.

Her friendly demeanor and thoughtful questions bring out the best information and great ideas from her guests. It's a joy to listen to Still Growing no matter what the topic."

- Plant Poster

*A fabulous show and wealth of information!*

"Still Growing is an entertaining, incredibly informative show that gardeners will love. Jennifer is a fantastic host. She's incredibly personable, arranges interesting experts, and provides great questions for her guests. The podcast feels like a garden party--and everyone's invited! I wish I could sit with Jennifer in her garden and talk all day about gardening. She's a pleasure to listen to."

- Julie @ Garden Delights

*Very informative!*

"Jennifer writes detailed and thought-provoking questions for her guests, which leads to some really great, detailed answers!

There’s so much to learn in the gardening world, and Jennifer does a great job turning over every rock so her listeners receive legitimate (and helpful!) information!"

- JenMCG34

*A deep and thoughtful listen everytime!*

"I love listening to Jennifer when I'm working in the garden.

I find Still Growing to be the deep dive experience that I'm looking for while mindlessly weeding, watering, and tending to my plants. Interesting guests, great subject matter, and plenty of green-thumb knowledge is shared.

I love it - keep up the great work!"

- JennyGrows

*Jennifer's show rocks!*

"Not only is this show super informative if you're looking for more on gardening and what is happening in that world, but Jennifer herself is such a fun personality to listen to. She's witty and sharp and full of great insight and advice in her own right."

- Spiritof608

"I've listened to the podcasts and they're well done...

But, it wasn't until I had the opportunity to get behind the mic for an interview with Jennifer that I realized how much work she puts into every episode:

  • detailed questions,
  • preparation in advance,
  • and how well they're edited - seemlessly so you don't even notice.

Great stuff and glad to be a part of it.

- Josh Volk

Welcome New Members to the Listener Community!

Sean Mathews

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Tessa Lawrence

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Lisa Mudge

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Lucky Listeners

Winners of the two books by Megan Cain of Creative Vegetable Gardener:

Sheri Kump - Super Easy Food Preserving

Susan Schoeler McKenna - Smart Start Garden Planner

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.
Jennifer Ebeling
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