the show

Bringing Nature Home

encore date: December 25, 2014

original air date: November 22, 2014

Bringing Nature Home author Dr. Douglas Tallamy, University of Delaware Professor & Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, makes the powerful link between native plants and wildlife for  a future of abundant partners in biodiversity. On tour, the Gardening Club at Oak Hill Elementary keeps busy growing food, tending butterfly plants and restoring habitat to care for their school and wildlife. Daphne explains how powerful childhood garden memories influence her today. Her plant of the week is annual borage, with edible leaves and lovely flowers to attract bees. John Dromgoole takes a stroll through The Natural Gardener’s butterfly garden to illustrate how to attract crowds through the year.


Episode Segments

On Tour

Kids Gardening

This garden’s got it all: ponds, butterfly plants, hand-made bird houses, vegetables and even an orchard.  It sounds like a lot of work but it’s really a ton of fun its caretakers:  the Gardening Club students at Oak Hill Elementary.  Teacher Paul Cumings and parent volunteers, including former teacher Sue Lagerquist, guide students though adventures and learning outdoors.


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Question of the Week

Why should we introduce kids to gardening?

When adults pass along garden memories to the children in their lives, the fond lessons stick forever and keep on growing.

For me, it was my grandmother, with her vegetable garden, when I was in elementary school.  Although, my parents, unwittingly, may have sent me a bit in the opposite direction, by making me pull weeds when I was in junior high!

Being from the Victory Garden generation, my grandmother grew much of her own food, including a fair number of vegetables that I wasn’t too keen on until I was an adult.  And poke salat, one of HER favorites, I STILL haven’t learned to appreciate.

Even tomatoes weren’t my favorites until much later. No, it was definitely her sweet corn that I have the fondest memories of. And even though it was definitely the sweetest corn in the whole wide world, at least to me, that’s not why I remember it so vividly.

It was the fact that she grew it just for me, in the face of lack of pollination in our summer Texas heat, and the evil corn ear worm, (which I always had to share at least half of every ear with). Even my family always let me have the bulk of the harvest, since it was more than apparent in my dinner-time excitement when my grandmother’s corn was on the menu, that corn made me a very happy child.


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Plant of the Week



Borage is a warm weather annual herb that’s a lovely fuzzy leafy addition to your textural garden. It’s great in containers, too. Full sun is best, and the more sunlight it gets the more upright and attractive it will stay, normally getting about a foot and a half tall and equally as wide. It does easily reseed each spring, so you may need to look for and remove any errant seedlings to keep it where it belongs. Its young leaves add a cucumber flavor to salads. But one great reason to plant borage is the lovely light purple, star-shaped flowers, which are not only beautiful, but also attract bees to the garden, which will be important in pollinating other plants in your garden. Deer resistant.