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‘A Growing Passion’ Highlights The Power Of Plants

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April 26, 2018 1:35 p.m.

‘A Growing Passion’ Highlights The Power Of Plants


Nan Sterman, host, "A Growing Passion"

Related Story: ‘A Growing Passion’ Highlights The Power Of Plants


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Some things happen at just the right time. Justus brings opened up into full bloom in San Diego. A new season of the gardening series A Growing Passion debuts on KPBS television. I wonder if they planned it that way. One of the host visits the season is a fruit farm. Joining me now is the host of A Growing Passion, garden designer and author botanist, Nan Sterman.
It is so nice to see you, thanks for having me.
20 -- A Growing Passion has been going on for a long time now, how has it been since it started?
Like everything, you go through an evolution, initially we were making shows that were fine. We were looking at different topics and a lot of in the beginning, a lot of people are saying to as well wait, are you a garden show, well no not really. Are you a lifestyle show, well no, not really. And it took some time until he built up enough episodes for people to understand what we really are. It's about showing the power of plants in our world. And so, every season we have, kind of categories, we have a little bit of science, a little bit of gardening. A little bit of edibles, a little bit of eating, a little bit of on the farm, a little bit in the nursery, and we have all these different ways of looking at plants, so you get kind of the 360 degree view. And what I love, is when people say to me, oh, my gosh, I had no idea. That is the reward.
Now, we heard in the clip that you are heading in the season to the central valley, so this show explores more than San Diego region.
We are primarily in San Diego, but when the show takes it out of the area and we have the funds to travel, we follow the story, so for example, the particular episode which is the one that airs tonight, it is not just about fruit, it is about how fruit trees are bread, like the new varieties, how they are bred, how you cross this one with that want to make one that has a different characteristic. How they are trialed, which takes 15 years from the time that one goes from one flower to the other, until that tree is in the nursery. Or in the orchard. And, how their child, we were with the breeders, the breeders of course were testing thousands and thousands of different varieties every year, and in summer on every Wednesday, they have a tasting tour. It's like winetasting, you don't want to waste a drop, and then you get to the fourth or fifth or 61 and you go my God, how many more do I have to eat. And then you realize you tasted one. But after that, then we follow that story through to the farm where, the ones, the variety that are selected go to be propagated, and grown up, and those are the trees I go to the commercial farmers. And also come into our nurseries and they sell millions and millions of trees. Every year.
You also introduce viewers to gardening, as art. Tell us about that.
So, everybody creates a garden in their own way. And we, I happen to know quite a number of artist here in San Diego, who have gorgeous gardens. Really interesting unique gardens, and so, this has been on a rater for quite a while to go visit some of those artists and show viewers, how does people look at their spaces. How they think about organizing and plants and texture and color and their practices and how they are integrated into their artwork. With the garden and the art integrating together, so that's what we did. We went to four different gardens and, it was really fascinating. There is a couple that live in Solana Beach, who are plant collectors and world travelers and he is a spoke -- sculptor and she is a watercolor artist and illustrator. And, they live on the street of very conventional houses from the 70s. But, their house is blue. And orange. And pink, and you are in a magical wonderland and that is not even mentioning the plants.
I want to bring you back to what you and I used to talk about on this show, we are in the middle of spring and summer, we will be here before we know it. What should home gardeners be planting right now?
This is the best time of year to be planting all those yummy summer vegetables that we all love, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, hazel, squash, any of those plans where we eat the fruit, and the fruit, anything that makes the seeds, so we don't think of peppers being fruits, but they are technically, so if we are eating the fruit, then, mostly, this is when we plant them.
On top of everything else, you have a new book.
It's called hot color, dry garden. What is it about?
This is really interesting. We live in a very water poor region, and for many years, I've been talking about changing the aesthetic and changing our landscape, so that the plants we grow don't require very much water beyond what mother nature provides. One of the big concerns people have is they are going to lose color. And that is so, that is absolutely wrong. This book is about creating color filled water wise gardens. And you do that, not just by the plants you plant, but by creating a colorful background. By painting walls, by adding accessories, you do it in a multitude of ways. So this book, features 15 gardens between New Mexico Arizona and California, I wanted all of our water poor regions and I profiled those gardens and show you how these people have made incredibly color filled gardens. And of course, there is a section on how to design for color. One on how to grow, in a water poor region. Resources, and then there are several hundred plants that are listed as well, ones that are listed in those gardens, there are also a glossary of plants that you can use in your garden part
The new season of A Growing Passion debuts tonight at 830 on K PBS TV, and I've been speaking with the host of the show, Nan Sterman. Thank you.
Thank you.