How to listen to gardening programmes on the BBC i-Player

There’s a lot of new technology that goes right over my head. My potting shed radio is 30 years old- and still working, I might add. But recently I made a rare impulse buy. I invested in an Apple i-pad and soon discovered I could create my own radio play list. I can download gardening programmes from all over the country and listen to them at my leisure.

Here’s how to do it. First search on line for http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio. Press “search” and type in the name of a programme on the menu.

This one shows Ben Jackson on BBC Radio Leicester. Every Wednesday between 11am and 12 there’s a gardeners’ phone-in. Quite often I’m the one in the hot seat answering all kinds of questions. It’s live and we don’t get the questions in advance. I’m new to all this, but Ben is extremely kind and takes the time and trouble to explain radio matters to me. I still haven’t quite got the hang of it.

On the right of the screen you can see some ticks. You can download the programme to listen off line. You can add to “My Radio” which allows you to easily find more from Ben Jackson. You can also share the programme by e mail, or social media. If you click the little arrow bottom right, the following screen comes up:

So now you can whizz the little red line round to 2.07.51 on the timeline where you will come to 11am and the garden phone-in. The beauty of this is that you can stop and start the programme, go back by pressing the -20, or go forward by pressing +20. So if you want to hear the name of a plant again, of write down some information it is easy to do. I must admit, I use those buttons to whizz past the news and travel and some of the music.

If you type Down to Earth in the search section you will find Radio Leicester’s hour long gardening programme which is on every Sunday between 12 and 1pm hosted by Dave Andrews. It celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Amazing to think that a programme has been running that long. I’ve been one of the team answering questions for about two years. Two of the panel members, Derek Cox and John Smith have been on the programme almost from the start. You can have a listen in to a recent programme where we were out and about giving advice in front of an audience at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05hv08r. In the studio, I often take in cakes made with produce from my garden. Recently I made chocolate pots with autumn raspberries. The recipe was on the blog- a few weeks back.

I also take in posies from my cut flower patch. If just one person is encouraged to grow flowers or fruit and veg, I shall be happy, to be honest. Here’s this week’s flowers on the potting shed window ledge.

Do you have any favourite radio programmes? Anyone else out there using the i-Player? Let me know if you have any hints or tips on listening to the radio with i-pads, computers and mobile phones. There’s no stopping me now. I can listen in whatever I’m doing, even while I’m gardening.

34 thoughts on “How to listen to gardening programmes on the BBC i-Player

    • Thank you Jennifer. How wonderful. I will go and have a look today. I am only just getting into podcasts. Another fabulous way to listen in and share information for gardeners. I would love to be on your show!

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    • Thank you Anne. I wonder if anyone knows. Will check out and let you know. It works on my iPhone. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. That was the very last of my glorious deep red Nuit de Ete dahlias. They have provided a few flowers every day since July. And only cost £1 from Wilkinson’s. Best bargain ever. And the yellow chrysanthemums are from my father in law who got them from an Aunty Doris in the 1950s. They flower until Christmas, in the poly tunnel.

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      • Ah, thank you Anne. You are so lovely. The only meaning behind the flowers is to spread some kindness and love, if I can. Flowers are more powerful than everyone realises. Thanks again for reading and getting in touch. It is much appreciated. xx

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      • Yes, just as accessible on Android devices – if I have missed the Archers I will often listen on iPlayer on my Samsung phone or tablet rather than open up my laptop. Another thing I now find useful is downloading a television programme that I have missed from iPlayer to watch on any long train journeys I might be doing – you do need a reasonable download speed when you download it but then you can watch it anywhere. Most of the R4 programmmes before the evening Archers are quite fun, but apart from that most of my listening is in the car – although I will often switch the radio on when I get home if I become engrossed in something. I have to confess I do like a bit of silence around the house generally though 😉

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      • Thank you Cathy, that’s useful to know, as I’m thinking of swooping to a Samsung phone when this I-phone dies. And I need a tablet as this I-pad pro is too heavy to travel with, although is perfect for catching up and reading in the potting shed and garden. I haven’t listened to the archers for months. I have listened loyalty for years and years, but it was all getting too depressing. I like the Radio 4 programmes before the archers, and women’s hour, which I’m thinking of trying to listen via the I-pod, if I can manage it. Silence is also good 🙂 Thanks for reading

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    • Thank you Annie. I’m always grateful when anyone tells me anything. I’m so out of touch with anything technical. I wasn’t sure I’d done the right thing buying an I-pad. But I’ve pressed many buttons and I can get it to work. I can even sit in the potting shed and write. Thanks as always for reading. Have a good day x

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  1. Very clear. The world assumes that everyone know how to use technology and so no bothers to explain it in simple language. Well done!
    I listen to “in our times” and have used the iplayer to catch up on everything missed previously.
    BBC Radio 4 extra is full to the brim with old comedy favourites and wonderful plays. When the news depresses me I always put 4 extra on the iplayer

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    • Thank you Cathy. It took me ages to work out how to use it to be honest.I couldn’t find any easy to read instructions. I know some people find these things easy, but I am afraid I don’t. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. I also like any nature programmes and tweet of the day about birdsong.

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  2. And there was I thinking I was keeping up with technology! I use i-player for catching up on tv programmes but hadn’t realised (until now!) that I could bookmark and listen to radio shows … and speed forward to the bit that I want to hear. Wonderful stuff, thank you Karen! Caro x

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    • Thank you Caro. I’ve only just learned how to do it. Didn’t realise you could go back and forward with the + and – arrows. Really useful if you want to hear the name of a plant a second time. It’s revolutionised my radio listening to be honest. Now, I must try the I-player for tv ….. might be some time 🙂 Have a great weekend. x

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  3. Karen many thanks for explaining so well and with those photos as real as being able to listen to your program. Even I have understood, with the hollow head that I am! I’m anxious to try it. I’m going to do it this Sunday with “Down to Earth”. My spoken English is horrible and I do not know anything, but since you can download the program and go with the buttons back and forth, I’ll go crazy over the radio but I’m sure I know, even if it’s not quite. That is going to happen to me with your program: I feel that my spoken English is very bad, but that it will be done. I hear your voice and then back and forth! I love the flower bouquet. It’s beautiful and your signature is written. Memories for your Mother. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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    • Thank you Margarita. This week Down to Earth is about the history of the programme. Two people who have been on the panel for 50 years each will be talking about the changes over the years. I am in the hot seat again on Sunday 19th November when there will be a gardeners’ phone-in live and not recorded. I do hope you enjoy listening to the radio. On the Ben Jackson show, the 11am phone-in is at 2.07.51 on the timeline. It’s strange hearing my voice. I don’t think it sounds like me. But anyway, thank you for reading the blog and for getting in touch. Enjoy your weekend. Love and greetings from Karen and Mum xx

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    • Yes, mine in the kitchen is a Roberts digital. A Christmas present from family. I haven’t got an I-pod. Yet! But I’m catching up. thanks for reading and for getting in touch. Have a lovely weekend Brian.

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      • I listened to some of your broadcast on the 22/10, I agree with your views on ivy and it’s value to wildlife. I have planted three variegated ones against the fence panels, I thought it would be preferable to paint.

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      • Thank you Brian. Thanks for listening in. I entirely agree with you. Ivy much preferable to paint. Yesterday I watched an enormous bumble bee buzzing around the ivy flowers. And there were hover flies too. In November! We’ve had some lovely weather here. But today the temperature has plummeted and I’m feeling cold. Today I’m watching a little wren that made a nest in the ivy this summer. I expect she’s using the nest as a roost now. Thanks so much for reading – and listening- and taking the time to get in touch. makes me feel like I’m not talking to myself on here – or on radio for that matter! Best wishes. Karen .

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  4. nice advertising the radio player but do remember that you can use it anywhere you can get on the internet unlike the TV iplayer. When we are travelling even in the remotest regions we will tune into the latest news just when we wake up and we get the BBC.

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