English language podcast to help you with English language listening practice . Learn English vocabulary while you listen to natural spoken English. With our free natural spoken English lessons for English learners. This week we are going to be talking all about UK gardening habits of a UK home.
Along the way, learn some gardening specific vocabulary and some UK specific gardening habits. As always, we try our best to keep you interested as you improve your English listening comprehension skills. Are you looking for more Listening practice? Why don’t you try this one this week.
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Plants Impersonal Festival Foliage Neglected Orchid
Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. How about we do a fairly easy podcast today? We’ve tackled some difficult subjects lately – so let’s have a change! And if you’re someone who’s not been learning English very long, I’ll give you something that you can understand more easily in this one. It’s just me talking, chatting about something I find interesting – and something which I’ve noticed is a thing!
A little while ago, I was on Airbnb, looking for a place to stay in Amsterdam. European travel isn’t super easy yet – there are rules that you have to comply with to travel, but travel is starting up again. And I’m really pleased. I’ve missed it!
Anyway I was looking on Airbnb for somewhere to stay. And believe me, I’m not paid by that company to say this, but I do love an Airbnb. I’ve stayed in some really nice places – and not ‘nice’ because they were super expensive or fancy.
They were nice because they were personal and different and individual. Much nicer than staying in some impersonal hotel. ‘Impersonal’, IMPERSONAL means – ‘nothing personal in it’ – not very human! It’s like you visit someone else’s life for a weekend when you rent an Airbnb– you sample the benefits of where someone lives. I love it.
Anyway, I was looking for somewhere nice to stay in Amsterdam and I noticed how absolutely beautiful and stylish the places were. In common with many cities, people in Amsterdam tend to live in flats, apartments without having necessarily any outside space.
No garden, not even a balcony, necessarily. But these places are often beautiful, with big windows and often with views over the canals. And they’re furnished in a nice way, with paintings, old furniture, rugs. And one of the things I noticed – if there isn’t outside space, people often make up for this by having what we call ‘house plants’.
Plants, PLANTS are green and grow in the ground normally. But there are large numbers of types of plants, which we’ve put into pots and brought inside our homes and given them reasonable growing conditions there. And the presence of houseplants in apartments and flats can make a huge difference – it brings something of nature into your home environment. It seems to have become really popular again over the last ten years.
One of the trends which I’ve noticed though – and IKEA are guilty here – the trend for having plastic plants inside your house. We went to Ikea last week to get some other things and noticed just how many plastic plants in pots they sold in pots.
Fortunately they do sell real ones as well! But why is plastic plants a trend? Surely we should be veering away from plastic towards nature and natural things – not making more plastic objects? Anyway, to me that seems to ‘defeat the object’ – a plastic plant! To ‘defeat the object’ means that ‘it has the opposite effect from what was intended.’ Anyway – sorry if you have plastic plants.
But back to the real ones. I do have house plants in my house – but I must say that because I have a garden and I like gardening, the houseplants do get a bit neglected, shall we say, in the summer. In summer, I’m busy dealing with the plants outside. But at this time of year in the autumn, I’m trying to keep the garden outside looking nice, keep the flowers going a bit longer but the weather is getting colder and there’s less light – and I will be defeated eventually when the frost comes. But in the autumn I do like to turn my attention back to my houseplants. Sorry plants, I have neglected you a little, but now I’m here to look after you again.
I’ve noticed this trend for houseplants amongst young people too. In my elder daughter’s flat in London, there are loads of houseplants. All four flatmates brought house plants with them – and then they’re inherited even more from people who’ve left the flat and who gave their plants away.
Fortunately, they’ve got big, wide windowsills and lots of light, so the plants do well. My younger daughter is at university now – and she’s already got plants in her room as well. A Monstera for starters – if you’ve ever grown one of these, they tend to take over your house. They are indeed a ‘monster’ in terms of size. They’re also known here as ‘Swiss Cheese Plants’ – I think because of the holes which appear in the leaves – a bit like Emmental perhaps! So I’ve got two of these plants – and they’re getting out of control.
Even my son, who’s 13 has a variety of cactus on his windowsill or ‘cacti’, I suppose. So houseplants – including Swiss Cheese Plants were big in the 1960s and 1970s, but then they were unpopular for a very long time. But they have been popular now for at least the last 10 years, and there’s no sign of this popularity decreasing.
A photograph of house plants on a window sill. Let’s have fun with this English lesson as we try to improve your listening comprehension skills.
London even is holding – or by the time you hear this, ‘they will have held’ (there’s some good verb tense practice!) - a ‘Houseplant Festival’ at the Garden Museum, 23rd to 24th October. And this event is in its third year and it drawa lots and lots of people who have a passion for houseplants. So it seems that they’re more popular than ever.
People start very often with a simple plant – one that’s difficult to kill! Like what we call here ‘a spider plant’ – the Latin name is Chlorophytum, in case you know it. Spider plants have lots of baby plants on stalks – that you can pot up and make a new plant. So even if you kill the first one, you may have lots of babies! Another popular plant to start off with is an orchid – that’s ORCHID. And some orchids are difficult, but there is one that you see everywhere, called Phalaenopsis. Maybe plants are a bit like drugs – you move onto the ‘harder stuff’ sooner or later.
In our eco-conscious world, nurturing a bit of nature, looking after a plant – and having it reward you with its nice foliage, that’s FOLIAGE – that means ‘its leaves’ – perhaps it’s better, perhaps it’s more green than keep buying flowers every week to put in a vase? I’ve got plants which have been with me for at least 10 years – like old friends!
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They just need feeding and re-potting occasionally Occasionally they have their leaves cleaned too, but that’s probably only about once a year. And re-potting? That just means putting them in a bigger pot. So hello, old friends! I have been a little neglectful over the summer, but I’m back now looking after you properly – and you can play your part in helping me feel happy when it’s winter time, and there’s nothing much going on outside.
If you don’t have any houseplants, why not try one? It doesn’t matter how small the space you have – just one plant on a windowsill can make a difference. And it may be the start of something bigger!
Anyway, I hope that talk gave you some easy vocabulary practice, with words for objects and things that go on in the home – things that are common to all of us. If you liked this podcast, and you are really keen to continue working on your English language, then we have lots more podcasts for you on our website at adeptenglish.com.
You can buy our podcasts in bundles of 50 for a small fee. Each bundle gives you many, many hours of podcast listening – on lots of different topics – all of which is helpful to your English language learning. So just visit our website today and have a look – there are some great deals on podcast bundles – and these are podcasts which you can’t get online!
Anyway, enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.