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gardening

gardening

all things gardening
Melis Donovan
No body can compare with little animal.http://www.mytopcut.com/
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Spidra Webster
World crop diversity survives in small farms from peri-urban to remote rural locations - http://phys.org/news...
World crop diversity survives in small farms from peri-urban to remote rural locations
"As much as 75 percent of global seed diversity in staple food crops is held and actively used by a wide range of small farmholders—workers of less than three to seven acres—with the rest in gene banks, according to a Penn State geographer. Karl Zimmerer, professor of geography and his colleagues in the GeoSyntheSES (Geographic Synthesis for Social-Ecological Sustainability) lab including Steven Vanek, postdoctoral fellow, looked at new census data from 11 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and combined that data with field observations to develop an understanding of who is farming what and exactly where. "These new surveys provide information that is much more detailed than what is available from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization," said Zimmerer. "The sources include information on Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nepal Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Nicaragua, Colombia and Peru, and cover staple food crops like maize, rice, wheat, potatoes and even teff in... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
What nobody told me about small farming: I can’t make a living - Salon.com - http://www.salon.com/2015...
What nobody told me about small farming: I can’t make a living - Salon.com
"On the radio this morning I heard a story about the growing number of young people choosing to become farmers. The farmers in the story sounded a lot like me — in their late 20s to mid-30s, committed to organic practices, holding college degrees, and from middle-class non-farming backgrounds. Some raise animals or tend orchards. Others, like me, grow vegetables. The farmers’ days sounded long but fulfilling, drenched in sun and dirt. The story was uplifting, a nice antidote to the constant reports of industrial ag gone wrong, of pink slime and herbicide-resistant super-weeds. What the reporter didn’t ask the young farmers was: Do you make a living? Can you afford rent, healthcare? Can you pay your labor a living wage? If the reporter had asked me these questions, I would have said no. * * * My farm is located in the foothills of Northern California, 40 miles east of Sacramento on 10 acres my partner, Ryan, and I lease from a land trust. In the heat of summer, my fields cover the... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra, what's your opinion about this article? - Greg GuitarBuster
I am by no means super-familiar with ag. If I end up going to UC Davis, that will probably change some. But it sounds accurate not just for organic small farmers but for a lot of farmers. The part about people romanticizing it and therefore thinking it's okay that it doesn't pay certainly reminded me of the way people treat writers, musicians and artists. - Spidra Webster
I think farmers who are very savvy businesspeople and marketers on top of being talented farmers are probably doing better than what she's describing... as long as they're near someplace like the SF Bay Area or Portland where there are enough affluent people who want to buy organic and want to be supportive of independent farmers and have the means to do it on a regular basis. But the... more... - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Urban foraging: can it feed people? | UC Food Observer - http://ucfoodobserver.com/2015...
"Nathanael Johnson (@savortooth of Grist) explores urban foraging, providing a point and counter-point to an incredibly interesting topic. The piece is informative and philosophical. It posits a simple question: “What if we connected the people most in need of healthy food with the expensive, nutrient-dense greens that just happen to be growing between the cracks in their driveways?” Johnson accompanies UC Berkeley researcher Philip Stark on his field research project, which is mapping edible plants in low-income neighborhoods. Stark’s team is trying to create a website that will help local residents find edible plants close to their home. (Stark’s research is funded by the UC Berkeley Food Institute, which is co-convening Edible Education 101, a live-streamed course featuring thought leaders such as Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle, Raj Patel and others. It’s offered on Monday evenings through April 2015). What some might consider edible, others consider a nuisance. Johnson writes: “On... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
There's a lot more food out there than people think there is. However, I'd be worried about it having Roundup or worse on it in some places.... - Spidra Webster
Also I can't imagine anyone in my poor neighborhood who would want to scavenge enough weeds to feed themselves even one meal. Especially when there's cheetos at the corner store and a taco truck around the corner. - Starmama from FFHound(roid)!
I think it's good to know for emergencies at the very least. A lot of Americans could be surrounded by edible plants and starve to death from ignorance of what food looks like. - Spidra Webster
People are starting to get more into scavenging edible plants around here, and it helps that the groups promoting it are also the ones helping put in raised gardens for people and teaching them how to use them for free, so it is just another kind of harvest. Also, it's pretty lush around here in the spring and early summer, so good greens are ridiculously easy to find. - Jennifer Dittrich
If I didn't dislike most greens so much, I'd certainly be foraging more of my diet, if only to save $. There's a lot of free food growing in parks and vacant lots if you like greens. As it is, I rely on the produce swap I belong to. It's not a direct swap. I offer produce when my garden produces it and others do likewise. So a lot of the time I'm getting free food. - Spidra Webster
Everything goes around, I guess. About 25 years ago. LA (city and county) made it illegal to forage because black, Asian and Latino were doing it. That's part of the reason our public landscaping changed in the mid-90s. Voters allowed bond money to get rid of food plants so people wouldn't forage. There used to be wild mustard greens growing along the 10 fwy near my house. They put up a wall and paved the hillside. - Anika
Halil
London's Sky Garden: the more you pay, the worse the view - The Walkie-Talkie crashes into view behind Tower Bridge. - http://www.theguardian.com/artandd...
London's Sky Garden: the more you pay, the worse the view -  The Walkie-Talkie crashes into view behind Tower Bridge.
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The Sky Garden was meant to be a free public space with the most spectacular views of London. But it feels like you’re trapped in an airport, you can barely see the city because of a steel cage – and the more money you shell out, the worse it gets - Halil from Bookmarklet
In fact, wherever you are in the sky garden, the views feel frustratingly distant. The city is separated from your gaze by a buffer of external parapets to the north and a smokers’ terrace to the south; nowhere can you put your face to the glass and look right down. The whole of London spreads out below, but you’ll have to crane your neck to see it. - Halil
So what about the much-vaunted garden? The glade of full-height trees, promised in the computer visualisations and used to sell the project to the planners, is mysteriously absent. It has been replaced by a pair of planted slopes dotted with hefty steel watering columns. Designed by landscape practice Gillespies, it is supposed to appear “as if you’re coming across a mountain slope,” a... more... - Halil
Spidra Webster
Farmers beating back the desert in Burkina Faso, field by field - doing the 'impossible' | Mail & Guardian Africa (Mobile edition) - http://m.mgafrica.com/article...
Farmers beating back the desert in Burkina Faso, field by field - doing the 'impossible' | Mail & Guardian Africa (Mobile edition)
"IN Burkina Faso, what was once stony semi-wasteland is now covered in verdant crop fields, rescued from relentless desertification. Using simple agricultural techniques largely spread by word-of-mouth, this West African state has rejuvenated vast stretches of scrubby soil over the past 30 years, proving they are not doomed and giving hope to other vulnerable areas in the region. One success story is Rim, a peaceful hamlet of about 3,000 people in the country’s north, close to the border with Mali. Below the village as far as the eye can see, tall stalks groan under the weight of fat cobs of “baniga”, a white sorghum grown in this part of the country. “This place was a desert. But the people succeeded in regreening the region,” said Amanda Lenhardt, a researcher with Britain’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI), who authored a report on farming developments in Burkina Faso. Called “zai” or “stone contour”, the low-cost techniques were devised from some of the region’s traditional... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Anika
Garden design courses - landscape design post-graduate diploma - http://www.garden-design-courses.co.uk/
Garden design courses - landscape design post-graduate diploma
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"You can now train as a garden designer from home, wherever you are in the world via our virtual classroom which utilises the latest internet-based technology. The Oxford College of Garden Design is widely regarded as one of the top contemporary garden design schools in the world and together with our sister school MyGardenSchool is the industry leader in on-line education. Our postgraduate level garden design diploma course is internationally renowned and one of the only garden design courses in the world to benefit from video based lectures, allowing students to revisit lessons on-line time and again." - Anika from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Ow.ly - image uploaded by @RBG_Melbourne - http://ow.ly/i/8clWg
Ow.ly - image uploaded by @RBG_Melbourne
Flowers of Grevillea ‘Peaches and Cream’ in Australian Garden turn from cream to pink as they age http://ow.ly/i/8clWg #FloweringFriday - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Climate Change Threatens Quechua and Their Crops in Peru's Andes - http://truth-out.org/news...
Climate Change Threatens Quechua and Their Crops in Peru's Andes
"Pisac, Peru - In this town in Peru's highlands over 3,000 metres above sea level, in the mountains surrounding the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Quechua Indians who have lived here since time immemorial are worried about threats to their potato crops from alterations in rainfall patterns and temperatures. "The families' food security is definitely at risk," agricultural technician Lino Loayza told IPS. "The rainy season started in September, and the fields should be green, but it has only rained two or three days, and we're really worried about the effects of the heat." If the drought stretches on, as expected, "we won't have a good harvest next year," said Loayza, who is head of the Parque de la Papa or Potato Park, a biocultural conservation unit created to safeguard native crops in the rural municipality of Pisac in the southeastern department or region of Cuzco. In the Parque de la Papa, which is at an altitude of up to 4,500 metres and covers 9,200 hectares, 6,000 indigenous... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Inbreeding/genetic narrowing in modern apple cultivation, DIVERSITY website - http://www.suttonelms.org.uk/apple-v...
Inbreeding/genetic narrowing in modern apple cultivation, DIVERSITY website
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"H.-J. Bannier, Pomologen-Verein, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany Translated by Reinhard Schomberg-Klee (Göttingen) and Nigel Deacon (Leicester). ABSTRACT & KEYWORDS & COPYRIGHT DECLARATION Introduction A hundred years ago there were, in Germany, over a thousand apple varieties documented in the literature (see Diel 1799 to 1832, Dittrich 1839, Langethal 1853, Illustrirtes Handbuch der Obstkunde 1859-1875, Lauche 1883, Engelbrecht 1889, Müller et al. 1905 -1934). The actual number of cultivated apples was probably higher than this; it is unlikely that all of them were fully documented. Many apple varieties spread over the whole country, others were confined to a region or a few villages. Some apples from Germany achieved international fame, and some foreign varieties ended up in Germany. In this way a "variety pool" of mixed origins arose. It was genetically diverse, with a wide range of fruit and tree characteristics, and some resistance to diseases and pests. Today the global fruit... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Some newspapers are giving run-downs on a selection of new laws that will come into effect in CA in 2015. LA Times includes this one: "Gardens: Landlords may not prevent residents of condominiums and apartments from growing their own fruits and vegetables in portable containers."
The devil may be in the details, though, so consult the actual law phrasing if your landlord has previously made a fuss and you'd like to start growing. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
BBC News - Branching out: Major Oak aims to win 'Eurovision for trees' - http://www.bbc.com/news...
BBC News - Branching out: Major Oak aims to win 'Eurovision for trees'
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"Reputedly used as a hideout by Robin Hood and his merry men, Sherwood Forest's Major Oak has been picked as England's "Tree of the Year". In 2015 it will take on 13 trees from across Europe in what has been dubbed "Eurovision for trees". The Major Oak had to see off fierce competition to be chosen as England's "best". Both the tree which dropped an apple on Sir Isaac Newton's head, reputedly inspiring his Theory of Gravity, and the Runnymede yew, where King John signed the Magna Carta, were left in the shade. Major Oak, Sparkling Sherwood Legend claims the Major Oak sheltered Robin Hood as he hid from the Sherrif of Nottingham Perhaps more than 1,000 years old and weighing an estimated 23 tonnes, the Major Oak has been described as "a stately home" in the forest. "It is so impressive to look at and it is doing remarkably well," says Sherwood Forest site manager Izi Banton. "It still has a full canopy, which is amazing for its age." Ancient tree specialist Jill Butler, of the Woodland... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Cooperative Extension solves farm problems - Press Enterprise - http://www.pe.com/article...
"The bell peppers’ new leaves were bleached at small farms in Riverside County. Tests for viruses and nematodes, a worm-like parasite, were both negative. University of California researchers solved growers’ mystery. The vegetable crops needed more phosphorous, potassium and manganese, said Jose Luis Aguiar, vegetable and small farms adviser for UC Cooperative Extension in Riverside County. Cooperative Extension has been helping farmers large and small with problems for 100 years by spreading information about university research or asking the university to figure out problems such as the one plaguing pepper growers. Extension also runs the Master Gardener program as well as providing research results and nutrition guidance to homemakers and teaching children to be leaders through 4-H throughout Riverside County. It is based in Moreno Valley and works not only with researchers at UC Riverside but also researchers other UC campuses throughout California. Aguiar’s job with county... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Succulents and More: My recipe for fast-draining potting mix - http://www.succulentsandmore.com/2011...
Succulents and More: My recipe for fast-draining potting mix
Succulents and More: My recipe for fast-draining potting mix
"I find that most commercially available cacti and succulent mixes either contain peat (which is almost impossible to rewet after it has dried out) or too much organic matter, resulting in soil that stays wet too long after watering. That, in turn, could lead to rot, especially in combination with colder weather. The only brand I feel comfortable using unamended is Black Gold Cactus Mix; the formulation for California contains 40-50% pumice, which guarantees excellent drainage. For a while now I’ve been making my own succulent soil mix. It’s cheaper than Black Gold Cactus Mix, it allows me to control all the ingredients and ratios, and it’s fun in a geeky sort of way. I use only three ingredients: 1 part coir 1 part commercial potting soil 2 parts pumice Coir is the coarse fiber from the outer husk of coconuts. Check out this earlier post about coir. I like it because it loosens up the mix while adding a bit of water retention. In contrast to peat, coir rewets easily and doesn’t... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
If you're able to watch iPlayer, check out "Glorious Gardens from Above". At first I thought it was a weird idea for a series (viewing gardens by balloon), but it's really deeper than that. The formula includes talking about the climate & terrain of the region, focus on one major garden, but also visiting other local gardens, including some
edible gardening programs that help at-risk persons or that act as therapy. They talk with volunteers and gardeners about their experiences. They talk with visitors and you hear stories about people's connection with the gardens. And so far there has been an art moment of the ones I've seen where something is given to the garden - a reproduction of an original wooden urn decoration in one case and a pastel painting of the garden in another example. - Spidra Webster
I love Christine Walkden on BBC Gardeners' Question Time and she hosts this one. I'm impressed with the rather clever format they've chosen. Check it out! Some eps are still downloable with BBC iPlayer Desktop, some can only be viewed online and 6 eps have already expired. :( - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
At ICRAF, the African Plant Breeding Academy graduates elite scientists - Agroforestry World Blog - http://blog.worldagroforestry.org/index...
At ICRAF, the African Plant Breeding Academy graduates elite scientists - Agroforestry World Blog
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"Among the machines humming in the seed lab stands Alice Muchugi, Genetic Resources Unit Manager at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Alice has been with ICRAF since she was a Masters student at Kenyatta University. She is now integral to the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) and the African Plant Breeder’s Academy (AfPBA), which graduates its first class of plant breeders on Thursday, 11 December 2014. The goal of the AOCC is to use the latest scientific equipment and techniques to genetically sequence, assemble and annotate the genomes of 101 African orphan crops for the development of robust and nutritious food. The 23 breeders graduating will be the first of many – the Academy aims to train 250 plant breeders and technicians over 5 years in techniques to create improved planting materials for African smallholder farmers. “The bulk of the crops we focus on are important to the rural livelihoods of people who practice subsistence farming,” says Alice. “If these crops have... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
2014 Advent Botany – Day 11 – Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Advent Botany – Day 11 – Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) | Culham Research Group
2014 Advent Botany – Day 11 – Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) | Culham Research Group
"#AdventBotany Day 11 brings the Christmas rose (Helleborus niger). This handsome herbaceous perennial is native to the Balkans but widely planted in gardens in Britain for its large white flowers in mid-winter. In fact it can already be seen flowering in some gardens this year – enough to justify the common name “Christmas Rose” (although it is in the family Ranunculaceae and nowhere near Rosaceae!). However the plant sometimes does not live up to it’s common name and in some years the Christmas Rose flowers even later than the Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis). Furthermore, being in the family Ranunculaceae, the flowers are not always exactly what they seem! And so what appears at first sight to be white petals are in fact persistent sepals (technically tepals, since there are no distinct sepals and petals). One of the endearing features of Helleborus niger is it's tendency to flower when having no leaves. One of the endearing features of Helleborus niger is it’s tendency to... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
2014 Advent Botany – Day 9 – Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Advent Botany – Day 9 – Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) | Culham Research Group
2014 Advent Botany – Day 9 – Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) | Culham Research Group
"It’s not surprising that the red stems of this native North American shrub are a staple element of seasonal decorations across the continent. Red-osier dogwood is common in damper areas of forests. My local florist, Candice, told me how she would cut branches from bushes in ditches and woodlots for arrangements. As well as occurring naturally, red-osier dogwood has been cultivated and is a popular ornamental shrub in north America. Some cultivars with variegated leaves, like the one growing in my garden. Can you spot the black grey squirrel on the fence? As well as the decorative value, this shrub is useful for stabilizing ditch banks with its extensive root system. It is readily propagated by stem cuttings that root very readily which makes it cheap to use as well as very pretty! Reference: USDA NRCS Plant Guide: REDOSIER DOGWOOD http://plants.usda.gov/plantgu..." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Photos © Dawn Bazely. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
2014 Advent Botany – Day 8 – Cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Advent Botany – Day 8 – Cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) | Culham Research Group
"The cranberry is a small bog plant in the U.K.; Vaccinium oxycoccus, the wild cranberry is a diminutive plant of acid bog-lands, and most British botanists will tell you that they have not seen it produce more than a spoonful of fruit, let alone a jam jar full. Cranberry fruit (c) Jonathan Mitchley Cranberry fruit (c) Jonathan Mitchley The cranberry of sauce fame is not the product of the European cranberry but its rather more robust American relative Vaccinium macrocarpon – a remarkable crop, because although it’s hardly been domesticated from the wild, it has perhaps the most high tech cultivation system of any modern crop. There are even festivals to celebrate the cranberry harvest such as Warrens Cranberry festival and the Chatsworth Cranberry festival. Today, cranberry juice and cranberry sauce is available everywhere in copious quantities and not just at Christmas but throughout the year. The juice is valued for its anitoxidant properties and has a high concentration of quercetin that may have some anti-cancer activity in purified form." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
2014 Advent Botany – Day 7 – Almonds (Prunus dulcis) | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Advent Botany – Day 7 – Almonds (Prunus dulcis) | Culham Research Group
"Day7 of #AdventBotany – did the almond tree grow from Agdistis’ severed genitals or was it created to honour Phyllis’ wait for Demophon? Almond, Prunus dulcis – a tree that provides both sweet and bitter nuts. Prunus dulcis, the almond Prunus dulcis, the almond Maria Christodoulou, a member of this research group, was brought up with one of the Greek legends about this tree “Described as crazy by locals in the Mediterranean the almond tree, Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A.Webb, is certainly one of the eccentrics in the region. Its early flowering times, sometimes as early as February, have made it a symbol of hope and regeneration. Being a flowering time pioneer however has its costs, with the first flowers often destroyed by frost. Considered one of the first nuts to be domesticated, the almond tree has a most definite dark side. The seed in its wild state produces sufficient levels of amygdalin which are transformed into cyanide when eaten. The domestication selection process, aided by... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
2014 Advent Botany – Day 6 – Myrrh (Commiphora myrrah) | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Advent Botany – Day 6 – Myrrh (Commiphora myrrah) | Culham Research Group
2014 Advent Botany – Day 6 – Myrrh (Commiphora myrrah) | Culham Research Group
"Day 6 #AdventBotany – staying in the Burseraceae, Commiphora myrrah or Myrrh is an anti-inflammatory, flavouring and scent but over use can lead to side effects including rashes and nausea. Used in ancient Egyptian embalming of mummies. Now used to keep skin looking young. Myrrh is often used in the form of a liquid extract rather than as a solid resin. Myrrh was the third gift of the Magi to Christ. Commiphora myrrah Commiphora myrrah The Song of Solomon includes verses mentioning both Frankincense and Myrrh. “Who is this coming up from the wilderness Like palm-trees of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, From every powder of the merchant? Till the day doth break forth, And the shadows have fled away, I will get me unto the mountain of myrrh, And unto the hill of frankincense.” A fascinating history of Myrrh and Frankincense is available from the Institute of traditional medicine." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
2014 Advent Botany – Day 5 – Frankincense (Boswellia sacra) | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Advent Botany – Day 5 – Frankincense (Boswellia sacra) | Culham Research Group
2014 Advent Botany – Day 5 – Frankincense (Boswellia sacra) | Culham Research Group
"Day 5 #AdventBotany – resinous sap of Boswellia sacra (and other related species), from southern Arabia, called Arabia Felix for its providence in having such a valuable plant. Frankincense was arguably the fuel of the first global economy (ca. 500BC-500AD) and the ‘Land of Frankincense’ is now a World Heritage site (http://whc.unesco.org/en...). Famed in Christian cultures as the 2nd gift of the Magi to Christ. Grade one Omani Frankincense Grade one Omani Frankincense Frankincense is a slow growing tree demanding warmth for good growth. Cultivated Boswellia sacra in flower." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 4 – Gold | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 4 – Gold | Culham Research Group
"Perhaps the most obvious plants to write about are the numerous species with gold (aurea and its forms) in their names. These range from Abrus aureus, a climbing vine in the pea family that is native only to Madagascar, to Zizia aurea or “Golden Alexander”, a yellow flowered member of the carrot family native to north America however this is not the most interesting story of gold to be reported by far. Several plant species are able to accumulate metals, some in quite high concentrations by accumulation from the soil. This process is known as phytomining and can be the most cost effective way of concentrating low levels of heavy metals from soil. A major report by the US geological survey in 1968, Metal Absorption by Equisetum (Horsetail), suggested that reports of horsetail (Equisetum) accumulating high levels of gold from the environment were questionable although it did contain some gold. Other plants have been shown to accumulate a range of metals including Gold, prominent among... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 3 – Ilex | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 3 – Ilex | Culham Research Group
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 3 – Ilex | Culham Research Group
"3rd day of #AdventBotany – Ilex is the only genus in the family Aquifoliacaeae. In Europe we know Holly (Ilex aquifolium) which is the third of our Christmas evergreens alongside Ivy and Mistletoe. Holly was brought in to houses in pagan times to keep evil out but was then adopted by Christians as a representative of the crown of thorns at Christ’s crucifixion. However there are around 400 different holly species and many do not have prickly leaves. Ilex paraguariensis is used to make the infusion Mate, the caffeine rich national drink of Argentina. In contrast, Ilex crenata is grown in Japan, China and Korea as a small decorative shrub used in complex topiary displays. Botanical illustrations of <i>Ilex paraguariensis</i> (Mate) and <i>Ilex aquifolium</i> (Common Holly) Botanical illustrations of Ilex paraguariensis (Mate) and Ilex aquifolium (Common Holly) Common European Holly has numerous cultivars varying in the pricklyness of the leaves, colour of the berries and variegation of... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 1 – Hedera helix | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 1 – Hedera helix | Culham Research Group
"1st day of #AdventBotany – Hedera helix – highly variable evergreen leaves symbolize eternity and resurrection. Ivy has a distinctive waxy sheen to the upper surface f the leaf. It’s reputed to keep witches away if you grow it up a house wall. Long associated with mid-winter festivals including Christmas because it stays green even in this cold dark season. All leaves in the first photo are from a single plant while each from the second is from a different taxon! Ivy contains falcarinol, a natural fungicide." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 2 – Viscum album | Culham Research Group - http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/crg...
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 2 – Viscum album | Culham Research Group
2014 Botanical Advent Calendar – Day 2 – Viscum album | Culham Research Group
"2nd day of #AdventBotany – Viscum album – another evergreen but this time more sinister. This hemi-parasitic plant grows on a range of broadleaved trees including apple, linden and oak. It has a long tradition in Druidic ritual and the Romans report the harvesting of the species from Quercus (oak) by celtic druids using a golden sickle. This poisonous plant contains the lectin viscumin which is similar to ricin. From the 16th century mistletoe became associated with kissing in some Christian cultures. In the photo below you can see part of the entry on Viscum from Lyte’s ‘A niewe Herball’ published in 1578. This is the oldest book held by University of Reading Herbarium. Viscum album in Lyte's Herball of 1578 Viscum album in Lyte’s Herball of 1578 Among the herbarium specimens of Viscum album we have a collection of correspondence and phtographs from the 1930s when UK botanists seemed keen to find this hemi-parasite on new hosts." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Dormant Sprays for Peach Leaf Curl - Pests in the Urban Landscape - ANR Blogs - http://ucanr.edu/blogs...
Dormant Sprays for Peach Leaf Curl - Pests in the Urban Landscape - ANR Blogs
"Winter is a key time for gardeners to take preventive actions against peach leaf curl in some areas in California. Caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans, peach leaf curl causes distortion, thickening, and reddening of foliage as peach and nectarine trees leaf out in the spring. Damaged leaves often die and drop, but they will be replaced with new, healthier leaves once the weather turns dry and warm. An untreated leaf curl infection will contribute to a tree's decline over several years. To prevent peach leaf curl in areas where the disease occurs, treat susceptible trees with preventive fungicides during the dormant season, ideally in late November or December. A second application should be made in late winter or early spring just before buds swell. In some places, a third treatment may be necessary. Treatment isn't effective if applied after symptoms appear. Removing affected leaves or shoots will not reduce the problem. A few peach varieties are resistant, including Frost,... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
"culticycle Short description: A pedal powered tractor for cultivation and seeding, built from lawn tractor, ATV, and bicycle parts. Speed is 3 - 4 mph depending on choice of gearing and pedaling speed. Better for operator's body, less soil compaction, no fuel use, cheaper than a tractor; easily adaptable to specific needs." - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
BBC News - Food crop wild relatives endangered - http://www.bbc.com/news...
BBC News - Food crop wild relatives endangered
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"Scientists have released the most complete database of the wild relatives of common food crops. These wild relatives are closely related to our crops, but grow naturally under a wide range of environmental conditions. This makes them essential for the development of more resistant and adaptable food sources. However, many of them grow in conflict zones in the Middle East, where their conservation is threatened. Scientists from the University of Birmingham have highlighted "hotspots" around the globe, which are areas where many different types of wild relatives are concentrated. Here, they could be conserved to secure future global food resources. Farmers crossbreed the wild relatives with existing crops to produce varieties of grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and tubers that are more adaptable to local climates. Lead scientist Dr Nigel Maxted from the University of Birmingham told BBC News: "Our goal is not only crop wild relative conservation, but to promote use of the conserved... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Crassula capitella 'Campfire' | Flickr - Photo Sharing! - https://www.flickr.com/photos...
Crassula capitella 'Campfire' | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Really beautiful display and surprising to see these colors on a Crassula (I may be too inexperienced with Crassulae). - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
The colors tend to change depending on sunlight they receive. Mine are red in the front, but green in the back. I'd rotate, but it's so pretty. - Anika
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