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Paul Nicholson opens the fascinating world of plants, botany, and horticulture


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Though we’re quite a few episodes into this series on tree planting and agroforestry already, I had a unique opportunity to go back to the roots and explore some of the fundamentals of the plant kingdom and how we can actively work to preserve the wonder and diversity of vegetative life. 

The truth is that the challenges of climate change and ecosystem mismanagement aren’t only having an effect on humans and animals. Despite the fact that plants make up the vast majority of living biomass on earth, they’re just as vulnerable in their own unique ways to warming climates, missing elements in their food webs, natural disasters and other challenges. 

In order to get a better understanding of both the beauty of life in the plant kingdom and the difficulties of caring for such broad and diverse lifeforms, I spoke with Paul Nicholson, horticulturalist with the Royal Botanical Gardens of Sydney Australia. 

Paul has nearly 30 years working as a horticulturist curating diverse collections such as: palms, camellias, begonias, succulents and Australian rainforest plants. He also instigated and helped develop the Cadi Jam Ora – First Encounters garden and Spring Walk and Palm Grove restoration programs. Paul is especially motivated to help people understand that plants are central to their lives, that plants are interesting, exciting, engaging and the more time you spend with plants the happier you are likely to be. His role as a tour guide and volunteer program manager has also given him an incredible ability to communicate his passion for his work and the collections at the gardens.

Since we’re already so far into this series exploring trees and various configurations of reforestation, this episode is a good chance to reconnect with the full range of the wild and wonderful world of plants, botany and horticulture in order to see it as a more complete picture.

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