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Sep 10, 2020

The Rundown

This episode is about what plants, especially native plants, can teach us about thriving in adversity. We also discover an unlikely Japanese garden in Lethbridge and a B.C. winery where sacred geometry, a pyramid and a reverence for the earth has nurtured award winning vintages.

By the way, if you want to read Harrowsmith Magazine instead of listen to it you can subscribe to the print version online at and you can find Harrowsmith Magazine on selected newsstands across Canada. But for now, settle in for the next half hour of Harrowsmith Radio.

Lyndon Penner

Lyndon Penner is an Alberta-based garden designer, CBC plant pundit, author and sometimes garden tour guide. One of the gardens he’s helped visitors explore is the remarkable Nikka Yuko garden in Lethbridge, Alberta. The authentic Japanese garden, only one of four in Canada, was a Centennial project for the good folks of Lethbridge. It celebrates the friendship between Canada and Japan. But, because it also substitutes some native Alberta species for the Japanese maples, cherry trees and other plants native to Japan its also a lesson in how to make wise use of native plants, and how, sometimes plants, like people, thrive in adversity. I spoke with Lyndon Penner about all that, and much more.

Ezra Cipes

Ezra Cipes heads up the second generation that runs the Summerhill Winery in Kelowna, B.C. Summerhill produces organic, vegan wine and stores it within a wooden pyramid built on the principles of sacred geometry. I chatted with Ezra about his family’s reverence for the Earth, what it means for its wines and the lessons of nature. I began, of course, with the pyramid.

End Notes
Want more Harrowsmith? No problem. Visit our website. And, you can read Vanessa's story on ticks in the Spring issue of Harrowsmith Magazine. It's on selected newsstands across Canada or you can order subscriptions online at

By the way, the music in the podcast? It's by good ol' Canadian singer, composer and friend of the 'cast,  David Archibald. You can find more of his music at his website,