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On the Down the Garden Path Radio Show and Podcast, landscape designers Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing discuss down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens, and landscapes.

Joanne and Matthew believe it's important and possible to have great gardens that are low maintenance.

Each week, they educate their listeners on how to seasonally manage their gardens and landscapes. Joanne and Matt learn right along with their listeners, from each other, from their research, and from the many guests who join them on their show. 

Listen live at on Monday’s at 7 pm ET or subscribe to download this show and past episodes from your favourite podcast app. 

Check out the website for even more garden tips and tricks.

Feb 23, 2021

This week on Down The Garden Path, we speak with author and blogger Jennifer McGuinness about her new book Micro Food Gardening, hitting shelves in April 2021.

Jennifer began regularly blogging as Frau Zinnie in 2011. You can find Jennifer’s writing, photography and personal gardening experiences in her Connecticut garden on her website, along with interviews with garden experts.

Jennifer follows organic gardening methods growing both ornamental and edible plants. She likes to experiment with growing compact and dwarf edibles in containers. When Jennifer is not in the garden, she works in the communications field as a writer and editor. She is also a professional photographer and available for gardening lectures.

What is micro food gardening? Here's an excerpt from Jennifer's book Micro Food Gardening:

WHAT IS CONSIDERED A MICRO VEGGIE, FRUIT, OR HERB? Generally speaking, it is any plant that is approximately 18 inches (46 cm) or smaller when the plant has reached harvest size. Some plants, such as vines, may grow a little larger but still produce mini-size fruits. Veggies, fruits, and herbs all offer an edible component, which makes them different than a plant considered ornamental, which does not feature any edible parts. There are even some micro edible flowers, which can add a splash of color to salads, ice cubes, and cakes.

Join us this week for our conversation with author and blogger Jennifer McGuiness.

Jennifer answered our many questions:

  • What inspired you to write Micro Food Gardening?
  • In the book, you talk about setting up your small space and the considerations when doing so. Can you share with our listeners what they need to start micro food gardening?
  • Is it best to start from seed? Do garden centres carry these dwarf vegetable cultivars?
  • If growing from seed, where do you recommend looking for micro food varieties?

Jennifer advises to search out dwarf plant seeds at any seed company paying particular attention to the plant size. Garden centres may carry dwarf plant varieties as well; now you know to look for them.

Containers are an important feature in growing micro plants. Micro Food Gardening covers different types of containers and their pros and cons. Many of the projects featured in the book use common containers in really creative ways.

  • You have so many inspiring DIY projects in the book: what is one you hope readers will try?
  • Which project do you think would be most successful on a balcony?

Jennifer's favorite project from the book? The Strawbery Cake Stand project (shown on the book's front cover).

You can find Jennifer online here.

Micro Food Growing: Pre-Order Special

Micro Food Growing will be available to order April 6th. Click here to order your copy.

Pre-Order Special: Order your copy of Micro Food Growing by April 5th and Jennifer will send you a collection of recipes. All you have to do is email her a screenshot of your order (

About Your Hosts

Each week on Down The Garden Path, professional landscape designers Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing discuss down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens and landscapes.

As the owner of Down2Earth Landscape Design, Joanne Shaw has been designing beautiful gardens for homeowners east of Toronto for over a decade.

And Matthew Dressing is a horticulturist and landscape designer. He owns Natural Affinity Garden Design, a landscape design and garden maintenance firm servicing Toronto and the Eastern GTA. Together, Joanne and Matthew do their best to bring you interesting, relevant and helpful topics. Their goal is to help you keep your garden as low maintenance as possible.