Introducing our new podcast series

The Subversive Gardener - Tackling the thorny issues for contemporary gardeners. Diggers has always embraced controversial gardening topics through our magazines, events and online because we feel that lively debate and provocative conversations help us all to be better gardeners and live more sustainably.

 In this first series of our new podcast, we explore the topic of ‘Eucalypts: Friend and Foe’ asking the question of how appropriate the enthusiastic and prolific planting of gum trees is around our living environments? Listen in to hear experts in the fields of ecology, sustainability, horticulture and garden design discuss the pros and cons of this Australian icon, the Eucalypt.

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Series One:

Eucalypts: Friend and Foe

Australia’s favourite tree, according to last year’s ABC poll, is the River Red Gum and six of the top ten were Eucalypts. 

We seem to have a patriotic passion for this genera as the trees are (mostly) endemic to the Australian continent, but on the flipside, Eucalypts are highly flammable, somewhat ungainly in shape and are prone to limb failure.

 Diggers first raised the issue of the dangerous flammability of Eucalypts more than 28 years ago and we ask now whether the time has come to question the enthusiastic and prolific planting of gum trees in and around our living environments? 

Listen in to hear experts in the fields of ecology, sustainability, horticulture and design discuss the pros and cons of this Australian icon, the Eucalypt.

Meet the Host

Chloe Foster

Renowned horticulturist, broadcaster and educator Chloe is a lifelong horticulturist.

She began her career working in wholesale and retail nurseries, before moving into more high-profile horticultural positions with the Melbourne Zoo and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, specialising in the cultivation of hard to grow species.

Chloe loves creating engaging gardens and helping people select the ‘right plant for the right place.’ This philosophy spills over into her teaching Horticulture at Melbourne Polytechnic, where she spends her days getting students excited about plants and gardening.

She is a co-host of the successful 3CR Gardening Show, and is writing a book to help the home gardener better understand the fundamental principles of horticulture.

Episode 1 

Jeremy Francis

After the disaster of 2009, Jeremy (creator of Cloudehill Gardens) was invited to present a submission to the Black Saturday Bushfire Royal Commission on the role of vegetation near buildings in bushfire risk and how this might be used to mitigate the problem. Since the publication of the ‘World’s Biggest Estate’ by Prof. Bill Gammage in 2011, Aboriginal land management has become an interest and has since been working on a project examining how principles underlying Traditional Caring might be employed to deal with this devastating problem.

In this episode,we kick off the discussion on the suitability of eucalypts for gardens with Jeremy Francis, the creator of the internationally acclaimed Cloudehill Gardens in the ranges on Melbourne’s peri-urban fringe.

Episode 2

Dr. Greg Moore

Apart from a general interest in horticultural plant science, revegetation and ecology, Greg has a specific interest in all aspects of arboriculture, which is the scientific study of the cultivation and management of trees. 

He has contributed to the development of Australian Standards in pruning and amenity tree evaluation and has been a major speaker at conferences in Australia, Israel, Hong Kong, USA and New Zealand in recent years. He was the inaugural president of the International Society of Arboriculture, Australian Chapter.

Episode 3

Clive Blazey AM

Clive and Penny Blazey founded The Diggers Club in 1978 and subsequently established The Diggers Foundation in 2011. Clive is the author of eight gardening books and was instrumental in achieving five awards for The Diggers Club for the preservation of heirloom vegetable seeds.

Clive is a self-taught passionate gardener and current Diggers Club magazine editor who campaigns against corporate control of our seeds via seed patents, monoculture agriculture and its impacts on our soils, our climate and health. Clive was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his “significant service to horticulture, to conservation and to the community.

Episode 4

Joost Bakker

Dutch-born Joost Bakker is the creator of hospitality venues Greenhouse by Joost and Silo By Joost, as well as the building company Built By Joost.

Over the last two decades he has worked on a multitude of concepts and products that have encompassed sustainable design practices.

Episode 5

Bruce Pascoe

He has published numerous essays and journalism both in Australia and overseas. he is also a farmer and grows Australian Aboriginal Grains and tubers. He is a Board Member of First Languages Australia, Black Duck Foods and Twofold Aboriginal Corporation.