Category Archives: In The Garden

Toxic Squash Syndrome: Who Knew?

Although it’s rare, other cases of cucurbit poisoning have been described in the medical literature; in those cases, people developed food poisoning after eating bitter-tasting squash, zucchini and other gourds, according to the new report. But these are the first two reported cases linking the consumption of bitter-tasting gourds with hair loss (Click on title for full story.)

Rediscovering Ancient Gardens And Why Our Ancestors Created Them

Beginning in the mid-twentieth century, archaeologists started to apply the full range of methods available to identifying and understanding ancient gardens. As technology has evolved, researchers have not only been able to discover where gardens were located and, generally, what they were used for, but also to determine which individual plants were cultivated and how long they thrived. Along with written sources, this has allowed researchers to see how gardens changed over time and what they can tell us about the people and cultures who nurtured them. (Click on title for full story)

Devastating Plant Disease May Be Coming Our Way

Experts describe Xylella fastidiosa as one of the “most dangerous pathogens worldwide”. The bacterium invades the vessels that a plant uses to transport water, causing it to display symptoms such as scorching and wilting of its foliage, eventually followed by the death of the plant. (Click on title for full story.)

The Little 19th Century Terrarium That Changed Our Lives

If you’ve ever eaten a banana, changed a car tire, or accidentally killed an orchid, then you have the Wardian case to thank. Unfortunately, you can probably also blame this small, sealed container for the rapid spread of both European colonialism and invasive plant species in the 19th century. A predecessor of the modern terrarium, it held plants, and was made of glass and closed such that it would self-regulate its internal climate. (Click on title for full story.)

Agricultural Fields With Cover Crops A Haven For Wildlife

We think cover crops, such as cereal rye, likely provide migrating birds with more vegetation and a safe area to escape from the elements and from predators, Cover crops also increase insect abundance, another food source for birds. The increased number of insects allows migrants to fuel up faster and move on to their breeding grounds. (Click on title for full story.)

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Gardening Benefits Children In A Great Many Ways

Whether in your own little plot or as part of a larger space, gardening can provide children with a variety of benefits few other activities can. (Click on title for full story.)

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How A Changing Climate Will Change Gardens

As the world warms and weather patterns shift, the study by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) concludes that British gardens will need to adapt. (Click on title for full story.)

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Our Wildlife-Friendly Gardens Are Killing More Birds

Are wildlife-friendly yards that are filled with native plants and tall trees less or more deadly to wild birds? Previous work hinted that bird feeders might actually increase bird-window collisions (ref), so the obvious follow-up question to that work became; “Does the distance of feeders from windows affect the number of collisions? (Click on title for full story.)

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Diseased Historic Trees Being Saved By Garlic Injections

Injecting trees with a concentrated form of garlic might help save trees in the UK from deadly diseases. Widespread use of the injection process is impractical and expensive. But it could potentially help save trees of historic or sentimental value. (Click on title for full story.)

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Predicting Urban Tree Health From Impervious Surface Cover

The impervious surface threshold can be used to identify planting sites where red maples will thrive. Trees surrounded by < 33% impervious surface cover (at 25 m) will most likely be in good or excellent condition. Trees surrounded by 33% - 66% are likely to be in fair condition. Trees surrounded by 67% or more tend to be in poor condition. Landscape architects, urban planners, arborists, landscapers, and other tree care professionals can use these impervious surface thresholds to reduce red maple management and replacement costs.. Arborists rate tree condition as poor, fair, good, or excellent. Impervious surface cover can be measured from satellite images with software such as ArcGIS or by using the Pace to Plant technique described. (Click on title for full story.)