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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 9, 2018

Leah sits down with Linda Lehmusvirta, the producer of KLRU’s Central Texas Gardener, to find out what goes on behind the scenes of this long-running, award-winning public television show. Linda’s been producing CTG since the beginning, in the 1980s, when it began as a live call-in show. Viewership has now expanded beyond its namesake region, as CTG now airs weekly on PBS stations from Amarillo to Corpus Christi, and from Myrtle Beach to Tucson. Over the years, Linda has filmed hundreds of gardens, interviewed countless locals, and embarked on a personal garden education of trial and error. Hear about the history of CTG and the many myths and misconceptions Linda’s encountered along the way. Also: How to retain a sense of humor when foul weather, downed limbs, or busted pipes destroy your best-laid garden plans. 


Leah is teaching a free class, “Urban Permaculture for Austinites,” on Saturday, May 12 at 10am at The Natural Gardener. Visit for more details. 


Here is Linda’s article in Organic Life magazine that she mentions in the episode. Here are the CTG segments referenced: Elizabeth McGreevy on “Gravel in the Garden,” David Cristiani on “Drought Garden Mistakes,” and Christy Ten Eyck on “Drought Garden Design.” On tour segments: Leah’s balcony garden, and Sandy Stone’s shady wildlife garden. 


This interview was recorded in February 2018 at Permanent RCRD Studios in Austin, Texas. Hothouse is produced by Leah Churner and engineered by Mike Moody. Visit us at  Email the show with plant questions and feedback at and follow us on Instagram @hothousepodcast. Music by Moonsicles.