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Academic English

“Garden Secrets – Script”

Listening Exercise

Watch the video about gardening ideas and read along with the conversation. Review the key vocabulary and the sample sentences.

Announcer: Hello and welcome to today’s show, Shirley’s Garden. Today, we’ll be interviewing Shirley on her amazing techniques at growing a square-foot garden.

Jeff: Good morning. My name is Jeff, and I have a special guest today, Shirley. Shirely you truly have an amazing garden. Could you let us know how you kind of put this together?

Shirley: Well, thank you, Jeff. I have tried various attempts at gardening and with different, um, degrees of success. This spring I took a square-foot gardening class, and I decided to try some of the things I’ve learned. Um, one of the most important things in square-foot gardening is that you choose a good location. You need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunshine. Um, you also need to choose a location that has good drainage, and it should be a convenient location. A garden is a lot more fun if you are walking by and seeing it all the time. Um, you need to decide what kind of containers you want, or, in my case, I used boxes, um, wooden boxes, and then I divided them up into one-foot squares. And then just decided what I wanted to plant, and based on what the final plant would look like, I had 1 per square, or maybe 3 per, um , 3 or 4 per square, 12 per square.

Jeff: Well, Shirely, I’m, I’m . . . truly amazed at the kind of the architecture of this garden. I’ve noticed these vertical beams. I’ve never seen that before. Could you explain that to us a little bit?

Shirley: Well, for example, right here we have some, um, cantaloupe, and cantaloupe take a lot of space when you grow them out on the ground, and I don’t have that much space, and so I just grow them up. Just grow them vertically. I’ve just made, um, a metal frame, and taken some string, and then I just allow them to grow up, and they will support themselves, the cantaloupe will. And all kinds of different vines you can do this with way.

Jeff: This is truly amazing. I noticed this garden, a vast amount of vegetation. Uh, can you explain to me what you have growing in this garden?

Shirley: Well over at on the far end, I have tomatoes growing vertically, and in front of those I have, um, green peppers, basil, strawberries, uh, beets, um, green beans, corn, carrots, all kinds of different vegetables like that. Right here, as I said before, I have, um, cantaloupe. Down at the bottom, I have some Mexican tomatoes called tomatillos. And down at this end, I have eggplant, another kind of pepper called banana peppers, um, cucumbers, okra, pumpkins . . . and I think that’s about it.

Jeff: Well, Shirley, this is truly amazing. I am so impressed, and I know our viewers will be impressed about this, this, this excellent garden. Just truly amazing. I’d like to thank you very much for having us in today to look at your garden [Thank you, Jeff]. In a few minutes, viewers, we will let you see the entire garden, and maybe Shirley will kind of show you around. So, we thank you very much for being with us today, and our special guest, Shirley. Have a nice day.

Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • drainage (noun): the ability of water to run off without settling in one location
    – Without good drainage, many plant roots will rot, causing the plant to die.
  • vertical: going up and down
    – Many plants will grow vertically if supported by string and poles.
  • vast (adjective): large number of size
    – A vast number of unidentified plants perhaps thrive in the rain forests of Brazil.
  • vegetation (noun): plant life
    – There is sufficient vegetation to sustain animal life in this area.
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