With over 100 episodes spanning the past four years, we’ve been to a lot of amazing places and told some pretty incredible stories. And the more we do, the harder it becomes to narrow down my favorites. But one thing I can say for certain; our episode with Margaret Roach will always be one of my fondest memories.
I came to know Margaret long before I met her. If you’re familiar with her writing, you know she lets you into her life in a surprising and personal way, with admirable candor and a remarkable perspective on all that Mother Nature throws in her direction. Moreover, Margaret’s ability to not only deal with the challenges, but her tenacity for turning each into something positive, is nothing short of aspirational.
Our initial filming date with Margaret was originally planned for mid June. But shortly before our scheduled trip, a horrendous hailstorm pounded her garden, breaking branches and ripping many of her plants to shreds. Undaunted by the devastation and without knowing if we could reschedule, she already had plan B and C in place. Typical Margaret.
Fortunately we were able to reschedule for about eight weeks later, yet secretly wondering if even that would be enough time to heal her devastated garden back to primetime. But then again, we’re talking Margaret’s garden, where extreme gardening is the norm, and normal never is.
As we pulled up to the renowned gate that Margaret so often references in her books, the mid-August morning was brisk and bright, and from the looks of things, Margaret, and the garden were ready for our arrival. At the gate to greet us, she was welcoming, gracious, and yet clearly focused on her mental checklists of the tasks ahead. I found myself impressed yet unsurprised with her early morning multi-tasking, and caught myself smiling at the recognition that I was getting my first glimpse into what makes Margaret, Margaret.
Those special moments would come often over the next two days. From our first interview of the morning, to wonderful garden fresh meals, good wine and best of all, great conversation around the table where she spends most of her time when not in the garden. Her ease of response to my questions while the cameras rolled quickly transformed from an interview, into peer-to-peer conversation between two passionate gardeners—just as I had imagined. Yet what really resonated with me was not just in how effortless her responses were, but also in how she responded. Each reply painted the perfect picture, blending her passion and enthusiasm for sharing information, mixed with a healthy quest to know more about the very answers that would blow most of us away. Typical Margaret!
As we packed up our gear for the return flight home, I took in my surroundings for a final time while relishing these last few moments and reflecting on the past two days, knowing that I’d be back. I needed to come back. Something about this place, or Margaret, likely both, connected with me in a way, and at a deeper level than ever before.
At one with the land she stewards, she sees the relevance of everything in nature and its relationship to the rest of the world. You read and hear it in her words and see it in her garden. Just an army of one and sometimes two, what Margaret has managed to mold from this land that she cares for, along with the creatures that visit and live here is truly spectacular. I believe it evolves from those rare times, when over time, the gardener willingly comes to know and understand the rhythms of the land, its ebbs and flows, and ultimately, that the resiliency of nature is your friend.
Although Margaret lives alone, she is anything but lonely. She has her ever faithful companion Jack, and many friends and fans from around the world. After our departure, she had a day to rest and tidy up from the wake of our tiny crew of two…just in time for the 750 people that visited her garden two days later. Typical Margaret.
You can watch Margaret’s episode online at: Episode 418 – Margaret Roach’s Garden
And you can read Margaret’s interview of me at: Killer Compost
Jenny L. says
I would love to sit down and chat with her but watching her episode was the next best thing.
Thank you Joe for sharing this combination of visual beauty with her calming voice and wisdom.
Joe Lamp'l says
You’re so welcome Donna and thank you too. I think you summed it up perfectly.
Diana Gamble says
So excited I found your gardening websites–last week–have checked out so much wonderful new and tips on your sites thanks so much–would truly love the book!!!!
Joe Lamp'l says
Thanks Diana and glad you found us too. We’ll keep adding more news and tips often. Hope you’ll keep checking back. Good luck on the book drawing.
I really enjoyed the garden tour and her view and method for planting.
Beautiful garden margaret
Would love to read her book!
Linda McFeely says
Very inspiring for me. My take away piece of advice from Margaret is to plan my garden from the view inside the house. It takes a true visionary to realize such a simple notion and share it.
Thanks for the lovely video and insights into Margaret’s garden. I’ve been reading her blog and books for a few years now, but I had never seen her garden filmed before. Without seeing it, I had no idea what the layout was like or the scale. Now I finally know where the vegetable garden is and what the frog ponds look like! The only thing better will be visiting in person.
Elizabeth Fox says
I want frogs!
Margaret Mary Dabe says
It is so awesome you work with Margaret Roach. She is a great inspiration to me and many others I a certain.
Cynthia P. says
I started watching the show not to long ago, I believe it was around the end of season 2. The most amazing thing about the show, is the people , each one of the souls that have been part of the 200+ episodes are fill with kindness, love and consideration towards others by being kind with the environment. Needless to say Margaret Roach is one of them.
I wish you and the crew many more years to come, you have made a big positive impact in my life.
Thank you so much!!!!
Joe Lamp'l says
Wow Cynthia. What a nice thing to say. We feel the same way. We work very hard at selecting the very best people to exemplify the featured topic. We’ve been so impressed and inspired by everyone we get to feature. Thanks for faithfully watching.
Carol Hodges says
I really enjoyed the Margaret Roach episode.
Your program isn’t picked up locally so I rely on your newsletters and the web site. I have been fortunate to see Joe in person twice in Elkhart, Indiana and he absolutely inspires. He makes you feel you can do it.
The program with Margaret Roach left me wanting to know more about her and how she does all that she does in her two acres. Loved her philosophy about gardening.
Joe Lamp'l says
Hi Sandy and thanks for your very kind words!
George Benz says
Margaret stated the essence of gardening. Visit every part of the garden once each week. That is the only way to tend to weeds and gather the bounty, be it flower or fruit.
What a pleasure! I very much enjoyed seeing this episode of your visit with Margaret and her garden.
Looks and sounds like her gardens would be a wonderful place to visit From seeing the pictures, looks very relaxing place to be, sit and read a book or just sitting in the garden for a cup of tea
Brian G. says
I’m a long time fan of Margaret and her writing and of course her garden (and Jack, too). Margaret possesses a wealth of knowledge and practical advice backed up by personal trial and error. All this framed by a great personality and (slightly dark 🙂 sense of humor. Her blog in particular is a wonderful source for all things garden related and beyond. I now have the Growing a Greener World website bookmarked and I’m enjoying catching up on all episodes of your beautifully produced and presented show, Joe. Thanks again to Margaret.
Joe Lamp'l says
Thanks Brian for your insights here. I think you nailed it with Margaret. I share your admiration and appreciate the kind words about our show and website as well.