Archive | Garden Science

For Science Topics – Garden Science -scroll down for excerpts of Plant Evolution from Book

Welcome to all Teachers Instructors and Students . ūüôā RHS Schools Gardening Campaign Web site  (Free 25 Gardening Power – Point Download in Secondary Science Resources for Teachers .)

DO QUICK CHECK THROUGH CATEGORIES MENU .LOOK OUT FOR NEW SCIENCE SNIPPETS COMING UP  !

SCROLL ON FURTHER DOWN FOR FOLLOWING  ūüôā 

GREAT PICTURES ‘Evolution of land Plants’ Garden – University College Dublin .

SCIENCE FOR THE GARDENER BOOK  PLANT EVOLUTION excerpts 1,2,3,4 .

CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF HORTICULTURE SCIENCE STATEMENT PRESIDENT STATEMENT PROF OWEN DOYLE 2017

2016.BILLIONS OF UNPAID WORKERS IN YOUR SOIL NEWS ITEM 

DO QUICK CHECK THROUGH CATEGORIES MENU .LOOK OUT FOR NEW SCIENCE SNIPPETS COMING UP  

Experiment to observe a Recyclable plastic by Editor

Plastic waste horror is world wide ,plastic armageddon has actually arrived in my view but lets be positive ,as a scientist  I feel we  should  all actually try to do something to encourage and also monitor the good efforts many  smaller and larger  businesses are making to produce and use recyclable consumer materials such as this  recyclable  takeaway coffee mug that my hot drink arrived in this summer .The gardening industry ( The Horticultural Trades Association) in the UK is making a great effort to make plant pots more recyclable .

Here are some photos Ive taken simply of two recyclable coffee mugs  I purchased at a typical sea side ( North  Cornwall UK cafe in Widemouth Bay nr Bude) .This seaside cafe is one of probably many small businesses that are  making the effort to contribute to reduce plastic pollution thats literally threatening to engulf us all over the world judging from the grim world news video reports.  Many of us have seen the damage to  all marine life especially when plastic is breaking down into damaging minute particles .!!.Genuine recyclable material must completely break down in U Nations monitoring view .

I buried  the two cups in my garden 6 weeks ago and simply pulled back the soil after about 6 weeks .Guess what I found .Have a look a the photographic evidence below .

What will remain after 12 and 18 weeks ?

Your comments are welcome please by e mail on CONTACT or easier on the Facebook page .These are the the photos taken of the recyclable mugs  but what about the protective lids !? I think  the main mug material will be possibly a natural polymer such as cellulose or a potato -starch type or even bamboo is an interesting possibility . I am studying up the latest natural and non natural materials, however the two lids  looked and felt like normal semi rigid polythene which takes a lot lot longer to deteriorate .

Recently this year The National Trust has used  a potato starch wrapping  to deliver  members magazine and it looked very good to me  as a subscriber . I say well done  ,a great effort to have tried that out. I will ask  it its likely to work out as a permanent wrapping .

See Editors note

As a Polymer science person who once specialised after graduating in Polymer technology and engineering and  chemistry  I hope this brief non -scientific experiment inspires us all in our society to put considerable pressure to make and buy recyclable materials.  I think this little experiment  shows a very simple but encouraging and interesting result of what can be achieved as the mug had virtually rotted away.!

JAN 2019 UPDATE .

As previously seen the recyclable cups have completely rotted away ,so a very successful selection of paper -cellulose type of  material .However the lids made of rigid but slightly flexible polythene will take in my judgment three years to just break up into smaller pieces .Can we select a more appropriate recyclable material for the coffe cup lid .!!??

Amswers comments please on Facebook or e mail on CONTACT page Header

  More on recycling in the book Science for the Garden chapter Chapter 4 Plants for Industry and also A growing debate Chapter 12 

Tony Arnold MCIHort Editor

DIG A SPACE IN FRESHLY  TILLED (OXYGENATED) GARDEN SOIL TO BURY CUPS

1 RECYCLABLE USED MUGS BEING BURIED IN FRESH GARDEN LOAM SOIL

2 AFTER 6 WEEKS AFTER BEING BURIED IN GARDEN LOAM SOIL SHOWING MUGS AND MUG COVERS

 

3 MORE DETAILED LOOK AT MUG COVERS COMPARED WITH THE MUG MATERIAL THAT HAS DETERIORATED CONSIDERABLY .

DETERIORATION AFTER 12 WEEKS COMPLETED BUT RIGID POLYTHENE CUP COVERS ONLY SHOW CRACKING AND BREAKING UP VERY SLOWLY .

4  FURTHER VIEW OF THE MUG DETERIORATION AND MUCH LESS THE MUG COVERS

MAY SCIENCE AND ART FROM A HEAD GARDENER 2018

JESS EVANS center WINNER YOUNG HORTICULTURIST OF THE YEAR 2015

 

Science and Art and Thoughts from a Head Gardener in May 

One of the things I love about horticulture as a career is the mixture of science, art and experience. I never had a particular favourite subject in school and took A levels in art, biology, maths and design, horticulture has allowed me to bring all of these interests together pretty well every day. With an understanding in science we are able to make judgements on how the weather and ground conditions may affect a plant and our plans in the short and long term and also to help us to come up with better and more effective ways of working. We are able to understand what happens when we prune, plant, water, feed and propagate our plants. Science helps us with management of our plant collections including controlling pest and diseases, naming and identifying plants and caring for them from the propagation bench through to maturity in the garden. Horticulture is a career choice that requires you to have a broad understanding of climate, soil, entomology, plant physiology and biology, identification and taxonomy as well as to have an eye for design and what looks right in your garden. Some of my fellow students have taken the science in horticulture to a whole other level and have gone on to specialise in and study for PHDs in plant genetics and ecology around the world. On a more local level in my job in the garden science helps me to understand how to give the best possible conditions to the plants in my care individually and as a community and to give good reason for the high standards we work to in the garden. A good pruning cut is about more than just looking right, it is key to the plant you leave behind going on to heal properly to avoid pest and diseases getting into the wound and also to the plant continuing to grow as you need it to.

Jess Evans
Head Gardener

 

National Trust Knightshayes

Tiverton | Devon | EX16 7RQ

Editors Note :We are so pleased to welcome Jess Evans important contribution especially this time of the year Hopefully if time permits she may provide another valuable Head gardeners experience on a regular basis .

NB Jess was winner of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture (prestigous )Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015 a great achievement.

 

 

 

THE EDITOR SIGNING SCIENCE FOR THE GARDENER BOOK RECENTLY LAUNCHED THIS SPRING 2018

SPRING AT LAST

SPECIAL EDITION May Gardener  

 

May is a wonderful month with just about everything growing after the long dismal winter.

 

We all hate weeding but do it now as it’s easy with the ground so wet.  It’s also a good time to move perennials and shrubs.

 

Remove faded blooms from spring bulbs, retaining the leaves until they turn yellow to re-energise the bulbs – vital to feed the bulbs for next year.!

 

Prune spring flowering shrubs after flowering but before the next buds start re-growing.¬† Lightly trim pre-July flowering Clematis woody stems ‚Äď post July Clematis soft stems need to be cut hard back, as the latter flower on new annual growth.

 

May Azaleas

Sow fast-maturing annuals and summer bulbs, plant out Dahlia tubers, and prepare hanging baskets.

 

Kitchen garden jobs to do:

Plant vegetables out, but check the ground is well prepared and rotate the vegetable position from last year to avoid generating pathogens.Use netting as pigeons are watching you planting with great glee.!

 

Cover ground under strawberries to prevent slugs and snails, collar cabbages, cauliflowers and sprouts to prevent very damaging root fly and earth up potatoes.

 

Plant families worth exploring

If you have a selection of plants that are growing well in your garden environment it may be worth researching the plant family. Many plants have similar characteristics such as being woody or herbaceous, foliage, fragrance, flowering length, hardiness and soil preference such as acidic or limey and shade or sun position.

 

Pea family (Leguminaceae or Fabaceae)

Good mostly long flowering plants, many with very attractive ornamental foliage, some fragrant, most hardy.  Sweet peas, Coronilla, Lupins, Broom, Cytisis, Genista, Wysteria Laburnum, Robinia and of course vegetable peas all belong to this important family. (Beware though, some seeds in this family are poisonous!)

 

Foxglove Family (Scrophulariaceae or Plantagenaceae)

Many ornamental and hardy plants.  Good flowering with long tubular flowers, attractive to pollinators.  Foxgloves, Penstemon, Veronica, Verbascum, Antirrhinum and moisture loving Mimulus all belong to this family.

 

Rose family (Rosaceae)

Contains a wide range of hardy, ornamental plants many of which are fragrant.  Ornamental and fruiting Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry.  Many berry shrubs, Cotoneaster (very good for pollinators), Chaenomeles, Pyracantha, Kerria, Spiraea, Sorbaria, Potentilla, Geum as well as, of course, and maybe the best of all, the huge variety of Roses.

 

Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae)

Again, a wide range of tough, woody, many hardy, and very fragrant long flowering plants.  Viburnum, Abelia, Honeysuckle (shrubs and climbers), Sambucus, Weigela, Leycesteria,  Snowberry  and many more are all in this family.

 

Bell flower family  (Campanulaceae)

Many long flowering plants which are excellent for summer borders, containers and hanging baskets.  Lobelia, Campanula

 

Daisyfamily  (Asteraceae)

 

One of the must haves flowering from Spring through Summer into late Autumn.  Many long flowering plants, a mixture of perennials and annuals (some tender so treat as annuals.)   Helianthemums (rockery perennial), Heliopsis (border perennial), Helianthus (annual and perennial sunflower), Heleniums (sneezewort), Cosmos, Gaillardia, Rudbekia,  Aster,  Doronicum and some  tender annual south African cape daisies (Osteospermum) and not forgetting reliable hardy Erigeron.

 

Have a truly wonderful May and dare I say the weather is promising  but do we know what in the UK !!

Tony Arnold

 

 

 

Welcome to Teachers Instructors and Students from RHS Schools Campaign

Welcome to Science for the Gardener to all those following the link from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website.

Have you taken up the FREE offer of the teacher’s 24 PowerPoint Download on the RHS Secondary Science Resources News page? ¬† A valuable easy teaching tool with accompanying detailed notes, developed especially for students of any age interested in studying the science behind gardening and horticulture.

To help you prepare gardening science support lessons for your students Рto obtain the  full copy of the 55 PowerPoint Slide Presentation FOR only £9.99 along with the accompanying notes.   Go to SHOP now.

There are  more Science topics to look at on Science for the Gardener especially the Garden Science page keep scrolling Рdown with illustrated excerpts from Chapter 1 Plant Evolution Algae to Angiosperms from the  Book РScience for the Gardener internationally available on the Home page direct link to Amazon .

News has various thoughtful editorials on Happy and Healthy Gardening , Young Horticulturist, Community Gardening and Gardening for the Blind etc ,just have an explore .

Garden Science page with a very special message from a leading figure in the horticultural world.Prof Owen Doyle

Follow Tim Peake’s experiments in space with RHS seeds experiment , what effect did zero gravity have on those seeds?

Regular updates will aim to provide interesting aspects in the advancement of basic gardening science for students keen to know how the world benefits from the growing of plants.