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Hothouse is a podcast about design, ecology, and the way we garden now. Host Leah Churner sits down with experts and enthusiasts to talk about permaculture, the urban landscape, and how plants sometimes give us the feels. A meeting of the minds for plant people and the horticulture-curious, Hothouse is a different kind of gardening show: less of the how-to and more of the who, what, where, when, and why.

May 17, 2020

On this Horticulturati, we bring you stories of adaptation and change. Leah has been studying up on butterfly holometabolism -- that is, complete metamorphosis -- with assistance from her niece, nephew, and Vladimir Nabokov. Colleen describes the history of Victory Gardens, from World War I to the present day, and outlines three ways to start a “pandemic garden” of your own. But first: we revisit the sleeper masterpiece that is the Secret Life of Plants doc (1979), which is only available in bootleg on YouTube. Watch it here.

Mentioned in this episode: 

A color guide to familiar Butterflies Caterpillars and Chrysalides by Josef Moucha; Butterfly Gardening for the South by Geyata Ajilvsgi; Gayata on Central Texas Gardener;  photo of a giant swallowtail chrysalis and a monarch chrysalis; Nabokov’s 1948 “Butterflies” essay from the New Yorker; Sebastian’s rescued chrysalis and newly emerged monarch; National Audubon Society Field Guide to Butterflies of North America; A Brief History of Gardening by Neil Fairbairn; Nature’s Garden for Victory and Peace by George Washington Carver;  Victory Garden (undated propaganda film); “How to Plant a Victory Garden” (NYT Sunday Style); this article about panic gardening; this article about scallions; and Central Texas Seed Savers.

Many thanks to our young lepidopterists in the field, Sebastian and Margot.

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