Johanna Gibbons: The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl

Rachel CrowtherStreet Wisdom

“Despite all our best endeavours… we rely on six inches of soil and the fact that it rains.”

Discover more stories of hope with Johanna and other climate innovators on the newly released ‘The Green Room – What (On Earth’s) The Story’ film on You Tube.

Full film:


Johanna Gibbons is a Landscape Architect and Fellow of the Landscape Institute. Jo was named a Royal Designer for Industry for her ‘pioneering and influential work combining design with activism, education and professional practice’. She is founding Partner of J & L Gibbons practice, Director of social enterprise Landscape Learn and a core research partner with Kings College London of Urban Mind. Jo is a panel advisor to Historic England and the Forestry Commission. She is a Trustee of Open City and publishes and lectures widely.

Time Line

00.00 – 00.45 Opening credits

00.46 – 05.37 Introducing Johanna Gibbons

05.40 – 08.19 Johnanna’s Origin Story

08.54 – 12.47 The untold story of the soil

13.07 – 16.10 How we can connect with the soil: re-wilding, composting, digging holes

16.55 – 19.15 Community effort and grass-roots

19.17 – 21.12 Day-lighting water and understanding natural processes

21.15 – 26.50 Johanna’s Four Steps

26.51 – 31.18 The Wanderful Exercise: Naming objects – Someone’s Something

31.36 – 35.05 Epilogue – Post Exercise

35.06 – 35.52 Closing Credits


“ Landscape connects our family. It’s my work but it’s also all my passions – soil diversity, urban forestry, rain water management and the connection with the natural cycles and connection with everything that feeds the soul and gives you a joy of life.” (Johanna)

“To me, a city is a landscape.” (Johanna)

“It’s not muck-away, this is one of the most important, critical infrastructures of the planet and we talk about muck-away. It comes from ignorance, it comes from a mis-understanding or nobody pointed it out in the first place.” (Johanna)

“There is a disconnect with nature and the most fundamental aspect of terrestrial life on earth… is soil.” (Johanna)

“A handful of soil has more microbes than there are people on this earth.” (Johanna)

“We do like digging holes. Because when you dig a hole you reveal all sorts of secret horizons, a layer cake of human endeavour, of natural cycles, it depends if it’s urban, brownfield, greenfield… and therein lies the story.” (Johanna)

“The whole re-cycling energy is to do with the soil and not touching it… letting it repair itself.” (Johanna)

“Nature is resilient if we would let it be.” (Johanna)

“Composting… because it is (soil) like black gold. You take your good quality waste, you put it into a hot rotter (?) and it comes back as soil. It is quite a magical thing.” (Johanna)

“Despite all our best endeavours… we rely on six inches of soil and the fact that it rains.” (Johanna)

Social Media

Johanna Gibbons


Instagram: @jlg_london

David Pearl (Host)

Twitter @DavidPearlHere

Instagram @davidpearl_here


Andrew Paine (Producer & Audio Engineer)

Twitter @ItPainesMe

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