Growing Together – April 2021

After recording remotely for the last few months, Claire and Ann-Marie are happy to be back together in Ann-Marie’s garden again.

April is a busy time in the garden and, accompanied by blackbird song, they share what seeds they’ve already sown and what they’re going to sow this month.  

Ann-Marie has new arches in her garden for cobaea and squash plants to grow up and Claire discusses what small tree could work well in her garden.

With advice for colour, companion planting, seeds swaps, planting to remember loved ones and a surprise recipe, this month’s Growing Together is bursting with excitement for the coming growing season.

Growing Together from Petersfield’s Shine Radio – Saturday mornings at 7:30 and Wednesday evenings at 8 – and always online at or on your favourite podcast app.

Ann-Marie and Claire

Growing Together – March 2021

It’s March and there’s a lot to be getting on with in the garden as Spring begins and the days grow longer.  Ann-Marie and Claire discuss what seeds they’ve started to sow and where they’ve sown them – let’s just say there’s not a lot of space in their kitchens.

Ann-Marie announces news of her new book ‘My Real Garden’ and they remember a year ago when lockdown started and how important our green spaces have become.

With tips on planting summer bulbs and creating wildlife ponds for biodiversity, Ann-Marie and Claire share a few gardening confessions too.  It’s all in this month’s edition of Growing Together.

Iris reticulata ‘Pixie’
Ann-Marie and Claire

Growing Together – February 2021

In February’s Growing Together AnnMarie and Claire are recording remotely, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling connected as they discuss how lockdown can bring time to plan for the coming year’s garden – and they’re getting organised!

With tips on how to train roses, when to move dormant plants and which seeds to sow now for an early crop, Ann-Marie and Claire also discuss how this year, perhaps more than ever, gardening can bring people together.

Ann-Marie and Claire
A hellebore in Claire’s garden

Growing Together at the Petersfield Community Garden

Ann-Marie and Claire visit the Petersfield Community Garden for their January Growing Together programme.  They meet with chair Sue Edberg and volunteers Sarah, Alex and Leslie to find out more about the garden and all it offers. 

It’s the first time visiting the garden for both Ann-Marie and Claire and they are given a very warm welcome on this cold winter day. 

Open to all who wish to come along, the Community Garden is a safe place for anyone who would like to learn more about gardening, get stuck in with a project, meet new people or simply to just sit and have a cuppa.  You’ll always be met with a friendly smile and, in the colder months, a warm campfire!

With emphasis on gardening for physical and mental wellbeing, Leslie tells us that coming to the garden has helped her regain mobility and speech since her debilitating stroke a few years ago and Alex says she has changed her working hours to fit in visiting the garden. 

Sarah explains how the garden is working with local surgeries, mental health charities, youth clubs and schools to help with social prescribing and hopes 2021 brings more opportunity for the garden to help more people, both young and old.

Green-fingered talent to Shine on town’s radio service

Can you dig it?: Ann-Marie Powell, left, and Claire Vennis

Multi-award winning garden designer and TV gardening presenter Ann-Marie Powell is the latest recruit to Petersfield’s new radio station, Shine Radio.

Powell is to co-present a gardening show with Petersfield Community Radio stalwart Claire Vennis – who also co-presents the popular weekly podcast, the P pod. Powell joined Vennis and Joff Lacey on the P pod earlier in the year to talk about the challenges of gardening and its benefits for mental health.

And this proved the inspiration for the new show, called Growing Together, which will air monthly at, Petersfield’s dedicated 24/7 station which launched successfully last month.

Powell said: “It’s fabulous to be able to talk to people about what they might be doing in the garden and share what I’m doing as well. Hopefully we’ll get people growing.”

Drawing on her impressive garden-design experience and her successful ‘My Real Garden’ Instagram live broadcasts during lockdown, Powell gets back to the basics of gardening at home to offer advice and insights – all in an accessible and fun manner.

She and Vennis, an experienced amateur gardener, will chat about what to do each month in the garden as the year progresses – what they have enjoyed and what they are looking forward to, as well as garden success and failure stories as they swap tips and ideas. They may even throw in a challenge or two for each other and for the listeners to try as well.

Vennis added: “I’m thrilled Ann-Marie has agreed to join me on this garden chat. We have a great rapport and lots of experience between us. Obviously, she is the professional and I’m not – but hopefully that will make for some entertaining conversations.”

The first of the monthly shows will air on Shine Radio on Wednesday, at 8pm, to be followed by subsequent episodes at the beginning of each month. Eager to have local participation, the duo would welcome questions or comments from green-fingered listeners – email

To find out more about Petersfield’s Shine Radio and its brighter music mix – and all its additional audio content – visit or call 01730 5 55 500.