Category Archives: In The Garden

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.)

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Nursery Pots May Doom Reforestation Efforts To Failure

The experimental protocols revealed that traditional plastic containers led to an abundance of root growth in the bottom of containers, which led to a paucity of lateral roots following transplanting. Lateral roots are critically important for stabilizing plants in tropical cyclone force winds (hurricanes and typhoons). (Click on title for full story.)

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Wine Grape Vineyards Benefit From Being Bird-Friendly

Insectivorous cavity-nesting birds can be encouraged to occupy vineyards by giving them nest boxes. New research documents that these birds reciprocate by providing significant eco-friendly pest control services to winegrape growers. (Click on title for full story.)

A “Safe” and “Natural” Insect Control That Also Kills Bees

The results we present here show that the native British bumble bee B. terrestris is remarkably susceptible to two commercially available entomopathogenic nematode pest control products. Both products caused very high levels of bee mortality after only 72 h of exposure, with the first deaths evident after 48 h. This result was unexpected: the susceptibility of bees to entomopathogenic nematodes such as Heterorhabdidtis spp. and Steinernema spp. has never previously been reported. (Click on image or title for full story)