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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.

Nov 29, 2022

This week on Down the Garden Path podcast, Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing wrap up authors' month by speaking with The Mocha Gardener, Ashlie Thomas, about her new book How to Become a Gardener. In it, Ashlie teaches readers how to empower themselves by creating food security at home.

About Ashlie Thomas

Ashlie Thomas is an author, food security and gardening advocate, and entrepreneur known on social media as The Mocha Gardener.

For nearly seven years, Ashlie worked in the scientific research sector and managed healthcare-based projects in academia. With a background in biology and chemistry, she is currently pursuing her graduate studies in food and nutritional science and undergoing training as a certified health and wellness coach through Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Outside of work and school, you will find Ashlie consulting and working with organizations to help bridge the gap between food security and chronic diseases in underserved and low-resourced communities. Using her passion for gardening and training in health coaching, she seeks to bring awareness through practice to growing issues of food insecurity, while empowering and educating others on how to take control of their wellness through growing the very thing that sustains them: good nutritious food.

Tune in to hear Joanne and Matt speak with author Ashlie Thomas about creating food security at home.

Here are some of the questions and topics covered in this episode:

  • What inspired you to write How to Become a Gardener?
  • You start off with defining a garden. What is a garden?
  • What’s the history of Food to Table?
  • Why are we, the gardeners, important?
  • In the book, you draw the “journey to becoming a gardener.” What does that look like?
  • Later in the book, you say “gardening is rarely a solo adventure because you need something from someone, whether it be tools, soil, an extra set of hands, or even advice.” At the beginning of Chapter 3, you have 13 useful tools for your garden. Can you tell us about your top three favourite tools?
  • What is "Ashlie’s Dozen?"
  • How to Become a Gardener is more than a how-to guide. It’s about empowerment. Tell us more.
  • You finish off the book with lessons in the garden. Without spoiling the book, what are some of the lessons you feel are most important?

Find Ashlie Thomas online:

Down the Garden Path Podcast

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. A horticulturist and landscape designer, Matthew Dressing owns Natural Affinity Garden Design, a landscape design and garden maintenance firm servicing Toronto and the Eastern GTA. Together, they do their best to bring you interesting, relevant and useful topics to help you keep your garden as low maintenance as possible.

In their new book, Down the Garden Path: A Step-By-Step Guide to Your Ontario Garden, Joanne and Matthew distill their horticultural and design expertise and their combined experiences in helping others create and maintain thriving gardens into one easy-to-read monthly reference guide. It's now available on Amazon.