Why Women Grow

Why Women Grow

By Alice Vincent

'These rich and intimate conversations offer new perspectives on our interactions with nature' - The FT I’m Alice Vincent and I’ve been on a quest to understand why women go to ground when there’s so much else to do. In Why Women Grow I have inspiring conversations with designers, chefs, entrepreneurs, and writers in their gardens. This isn’t a podcast about gardening. Sure there’s bit of that but we discuss resistance, motherhood, spirituality, saving the planet and much more. These stories made me think differently about what it is to grow, and I think they’ll do that for you, too.

Episodes

Jamaica Kincaid on gardening as writing

Bonus episode: Writer and novelist Jamaica Kincaid redefined garden writing with books such as My Garden (Book) and Among Flowers, as well as changing perspectives on the post-colonial experience through titles such as A Small Place and Lucy. We meet the Antiguan-American author in the halls of Charleston House, Sussex, where Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant made art, a home, and a life-long relationship. In a quiet moment away from Charleston’s Festival of the Garden, Jamaica tells us about how gardening sits alongside her writing practice, how she converses with her plants and what they teach her about mortality.  This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is available from all good book shops.   The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. Thank you to Canongate and Uprooting, by Marchelle Farrell, for supporting this episode. We are grateful to our hosts at Charleston House and to Hollie Fernandes for her beautiful photographs of Jamaica Kincaid taken there. 
03/10/23·16m 24s

Paula Sutton on gardening in the pursuit of happiness

The creative mind behind Hill House Vintage and author of Hill House Living, Paula Sutton is a stylist, writer and - perhaps most of all - a purveyor of joy. After navigating a career in the fast-paced and glamorous world of fashion magazines, Paula relocated from the streets of South London to Hill House, an idyllic Georgian home in Norfolk 12 years ago. There, she decided that she was going to live - and raise her three young children - with a focus on what made her happy. Gardening is something that she has discovered later in life but has, she explains, become a crucial part of living in a more meaningful way. This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is out on March 2nd and available to pre-order now. The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. Thank you to our partners at Seedlip. We’ve also been photographing our guests and their gardens and you can see the beautiful images captured by Siobhan Watts on my instagram account @noughticulture.
27/02/23·25m 7s

Margaret Howell on a life inspired by nature

Margaret Howell has been designing men’s and womenswear for five decades, prioritising understated quality over trends: she makes beautiful clothes that work well. Fifty years after she started to design and sell clothes from her home in Blackheath, South London, there are now 80 Margaret Howell stores across the globe, from Paris to Tokyo, and she has been appointed a CBE for services to the retail industry. Margaret has been inspired by the natural world since childhood, citing the impact of growing up in a family that gardened and her fathers’ workwear as influences on her work. I love Margaret’s aesthetic, from her stores to her shirts, and was intrigued to see how this approach translated to her garden. So in this episode we visit Margaret at her home - still in Blackheath - to talk about how and why she grows. On a late spring afternoon we are immersed in the green haven that is her back garden, where Margaret works with nature, rather than against it. This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is out on March 2nd and available to pre-order now. The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. Thank you to our partners at Seedlip. We’ve also been photographing our guests and their gardens and you can see the beautiful images captured by Siobhan Watts on my instagram account @noughticulture.
27/02/23·20m 44s

Rukmini Iyer on growing to nurture

One simple concept, a million cookbooks sold: Rukmini Iyer’s Roasting Tin recipe books have transformed dinner times around the country. But the writer and food stylist is also a keen amateur gardener, growing first on a balcony and, later, in a garden on a quiet street in leafy South London. Iyer’s adventures in growing food to eat collided with the arrival of her first child, and gardening has given her a new perspective on what it is to feed and nourish. We catch up with the author of India Express at home to discuss her strategies for raising enough aubergines to feed a crowd, and why she’ll always prefer to grow from seed. This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is out on March 2nd and available to pre-order now. The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. Thank you to our partners at Seedlip. We’ve also been photographing our guests and their gardens and you can see the beautiful images captured by Siobhan Watts on my instagram account @noughticulture.
20/02/23·23m 50s

Salley Vickers on a life lived in gardens

Sally Vickers is a Jungian psychotherapist and the author of books such as Miss Garnet's Angel, The Other Side of You and, most recently, The Gardener. The daughter of two communists, Salley was a teacher before she retrained as a psychotherapist, and her writing delves into the stuff that makes us human. She is also a keen gardener, especially at her country home in Wiltshire. In the midst of the downpours that broke England’s heatwave last summer, we met Salley at Kew Gardens, a place that has held meaning for her from childhood, through raising her children and now, as a woman who fosters a close relationship with her grandchildren. Inside Kew’s steamy Temperate House, we reflected on memory, motherhood and places that make us. This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is out on March 2nd and available to pre-order now. The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and the theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. This episode features additional music by Zion, Salmon Like the Fish. Thank you to our partners at Seedlip. We've also been photographing our guests and their gardens and you can see the beautiful images captured by Siobhan Watts on my Instagram account, @noughticulture. 
20/02/23·26m 23s

Sarah Raven on growing a whole new approach to colour

If you’ve ever bought plants or seeds online, or through mail order, you’ve probably encountered Sarah Raven. The gardener, writer and teacher is also a nursery-owner and businesswoman, developing, trialling and selling plants to Britain’s home gardeners. Over the course of three decades and seven books, including A Year Full of Flowers, Sarah has changed how British gardens grow, ushering bold colours and flavourful fruit and veg into our homes and kitchens. Today we’re heading to her home and working nursery at Perch Hill in East Sussex in late summer to talk about how gardening has shaped Sarah’s life and career. This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is out on March 2nd and available to pre-order now. The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. Thank you to our partners at Seedlip. We’ve also been photographing our guests and their gardens and you can see the beautiful images captured by Siobhan Watts on my instagram account @noughticulture.
13/02/23·23m 39s

Claire Ratinon on growing for reclamation

Claire Ratinon is a food-grower, speaker and writer. In 2022, she released Unearthed, a powerful memoir about understanding what it is to become a custodian of the earth as a Black woman, and how the process of doing so helped her gain a sense of belonging in a post-colonial country. In 2012 Claire was working as a documentary producer in New York when she stumbled upon Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farm in the middle of the city. Having always felt alienated from nature, she embarked upon a journey with growing food that changed her life. Since then, Claire has worked on organic growing sites in London and the English countryside, growing produce to sell to the city’s restaurants. Today we visit her garden in East Sussex, where she grows things including the food of her Mauritian heritage. This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is out on March 2nd and available to pre-order now. The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. Thank you to our partners at Seedlip. We’ve also been photographing our guests and their gardens and you can see the beautiful images captured by Siobhan Watts on my instagram account @noughticulture.
13/02/23·27m 12s

Poppy Okotcha on gardening to save the planet

Poppy Okotcha describes herself as an ecological home grower working to inspire reconnection to the land and the living world through the story of food and herbs. She came to gardening after a shift in her personal life: having moved between the UK and South Africa during her childhood, Poppy had a career as a model. When she was left burnt out by the fashion industry, she began to cultivate a slower kind of life, growing organically on top of a canal boat in London and learning about biodynamic and regenerative growing. We were invited into her magical, Tardis-like garden in South Devon, where Poppy tends to a space that has been grown on for centuries, sharing her gentle stewardship of the land with her considerable social media platform.  This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is out on March 2nd and available to pre-order now. The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. Thank you to our partners at Seedlip. We’ve also been photographing our guests and their gardens and you can see the beautiful images captured by Siobhan Watts on my instagram account @noughticulture.
01/02/23·25m 45s

Why Women Grow: guest reveal trailer

Introducing the line-up for the first season of Why Women Grow: writer Claire Ratinon designer Margaret Howell chef Rukmini Iyer gardening gamechanger Sarah Raven novelist Salley Vickers environmentalist Poppy Okotcha and stylist and influencer Paula Sutton We talk about everything, from motherhood, to gardening for a better planet and finding your place in the world.  The first season kicks off on February 13, with episodes from the gardens and brains of Claire Ratinon and Sarah Raven. Make sure you subscribe to Why Women Grow, from wherever you usually download your podcasts, to be among the first to get it. This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is out on March 2nd and available to pre-order now. The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. Thank you to our partners at Seedlip. We’ve also been photographing our guests and their gardens and you can see the beautiful images captured by Siobhan Watts on my instagram account @noughticulture.
23/01/23·2m 6s

Why Women Grow: teaser trailer

The first listen of the forthcoming Why Women Grow podcast, launching February 2023 from Alice Vincent. This podcast is inspired by my book, Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, which is out on March 2nd and available to pre-order now. The Why Women Grow podcast is produced by Holly Fisher, and theme music is by Maria Chiara Argiro. Thank you to our partners at Seedlip. We’ve also been photographing our guests and their gardens and you can see the beautiful images captured by Siobhan Watts on my instagram account @noughticulture.
14/12/22·41s
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