The monastic lifestyle leaves monks with an abundance of time on their hands. So it is no surprise that significant discoveries have been made over time by these cloistered fellows. But most of them pale in significance when compared to the achievement made by a little-known German monk of the 13th century. This man's astounding discovery predated that of Benoit Mandelbrot by over 700 years! Read on for the incredible facts . . .
Pressure-treated wood seems the perfect solution for outdoor wood construction such as decks and sheds. However, until relatively recently, the pressure treating process involved arsenic, a poison that is able to leach out of the wood and into the soil around the wood structure. If you have old pressure-treated structures on your property, or have had them, you'll want to read this article . . .
One of the banes of gardeners worldwide is cold temperatures. We even have zone designations to tell us if our area is too cold for certain kinds of plants to grow in. But what if you could change your hardiness zone without moving and without a greenhouse? This revolutionary idea is actually a breakthrough on the verge of coming on the market - read on for a BIG surprise . . .
Now that your experiment is set up and ready to run, you need to consider the "what and how" of your research. This means what kind of information, or data, you wish to collect and how you intend to collect this data. You'll also need to decide how long your experiment needs to run before you stop collecting data from it. . .
So you are out in your garden and you notice something very unusual going on with one of your plants. You've never seen this before, and you want to learn more about what is going on. In this article, I'll show you, step by step, how to go about doing your own open-source research. You can even collaborate with other Dave's Garden members and publish your findings on a forum!
Think of the word "research" and images of labcoat-clad technicians busy in a spotless laboratory might come to mind. To be sure, much scientific research is performed in just such an environment, but that doesn't have to be the only place where discoveries are made. You may be surprised to learn that very important discoveries have been made by individuals working in their gardens. Read on to see how you, too, can be one of them . . .
While many folks think of colorful waxy flowers from Hawaii when the word "Anthurium" is mentioned, the genus Anthurium consists of a host of different plants, only a few of which produce colorful flowers. Here you'll find diminutive creepers, vines and even huge-leaved behemoths that remind one of the larger Alocasia plants . . .
It's the day after a night when temperatures dipped near freezing, but all your plants look OK in spite of it. Are your plants off the hook? Not necessarily, because many plants don't show injury or damage until a week or more after exposure to near-freezing temperatures. Read on to learn more . . .
Once you have your drip irrigation system up and running, you might find that you have extra time on your hands; time you used to spend watering your plants by hand. I suggest you reserve some of this time for regular reviews of your system's operation and performance and, yes, upgrades . . .
Here is where the pipe hits the ground, as it were! You know where your water is coming from, you've planned for filtration and valving, and you have an idea about what kind and how many of the drip emitters you want in each zone. Let's piece it all together and see what we've got . . .
Once you've reviewed your plant collection and determined (roughly) how many zones you will need in order to water all your plants, it's time to begin the building process. Your first consideration is water filtration, followed by what kind of valves you'll use and the type and number of drip emitters you will need. So let's get started . . .
If you are anything like me, you have plenty of potted plants of many sizes around (and in) your house and/or greenhouse. This makes for a wonderful environment, except when it comes time for a vacation. Who will care for your beloved plants while you are away? If you've ever entrusted your plants to someone, only to return to find struggling or dead plants, this ongoing story is for you . . .
Of all the types of Philodendrons, this group is most diverse. Some of our most beloved and well known house plants are in this group, as well as some of the most exotic and difficult to grow members of the genus. Join me for a look at these attractive vines . . .
Now we'll move on to a larger scale than ground level plants and animals. I'm talking about mountains, clouds, rivers, valleys, and the like. Fractals play a vital role in the manifestation of all of these. So let's start exploring . . .
Plants are the most conspicuous source of fractal structures, some of which are very similar to those generated from the Mandelbrot Set. Leaves, too, show the fractal structure clearly in some instances. So the geometry is there, hidden, yet manifest at times in nature and tantalizing us with questions . . .
This group of Philodendron plants is among the most ornamental of all, having a variety of leaf textures, colors and shapes that are rivaled only by the climbing members of the genus. If you like these plants, you owe it to yourself to obtain some of these for your collection . . .
The name "Philodendron" means literally "tree loving", which most likely refers to the tree hugging/climbing habit characteristic of many Philodendron species. However, not all members of this genus hug or climb trees, but many of them are eminently suitable as indoor or house plants. And if you are fortunate enough to live where you can grow these in your garden, well . . .
Money doesn't grow on trees, but if you look quickly at the thumbnail picture here, you'll get the idea that birds might! As amazing as this may seem, it is a real bloom on a real plant and the photo has not been retouched or tampered with in any way. The story is, as you might expect, quite a winding road. Read on to learn more . . .
The headline is more than just an attention-grabber, as you can see from the thumbnail picture. As incredible as it appears to be, this organism was not cooked up in a top-secret transgenic lab somewhere. The Crawling Leaf (Elysia chlorotica) is a naturally living and breeding life form that has been on this planet since well before humans started tinkering with recombinant DNA. Read on for the startling story . . .
Aglaonemas are durable, versatile plants that are very popular for use indoors and for interiorscape settings. The old standby varieties and newer hybrids come in shades of green with silver or white stripes or splotches. However, the incredible dawn of a new day for this plant is nearly upon us, as you will soon see. Read on to learn about the revolution to come . . .
Did you know that keeping certain plants indoors can actually improve the air quality of your home or office? The Peace Lily, or Spathiphyllum, is one of these plants, and while they help clean up your inside air space, these plants are beautiful and durable as well. Read on to learn more . . .
In a previous article I introduced you to a parasitic jungle plant called Rafflesia, the world's largest single flower. Here I'll introduce you to a group of parasitic desert plants that are even more bizarre. One species actually flowers underground! Read on to learn more about these enigmatic plants . . .
After considering the world's largest organism, one might wonder what the world's smallest flowering plant is like. You'll be surprised to find out that this extremely diminutive plant is actually small enough for a specimen in full bloom to sit on the head of a pin! Read on for the incredible facts . . .
The topic of stem cells is in current discussion and not free from controversy. In plants, however, the existence of cells that can produce any kind of plant tissue, or even a whole plant, is vital to plant propagation and survival. Read on for more about this fascinating subject . . .
The concept of the world's largest organism conjures up images of some immensely large animal or monstrously huge tree. Actually, the world's largest living organism could be missed entirely if you didn't know it was there. The great bulk of this organism is located underground; read on to learn more . . .
Sexual reproduction in flowering plants involves the production of seeds, while asexual reproduction takes place by way of plant parts such as offshoots, cuttings, corms or tubers. Plants resulting from asexual reproduction are identical copies, or clones, of the original plant. However, some plants can produce seeds that yield new plants identical to the parent. This unusual type of reproduction promises tremendous possibilities for the future of agricultural crops. . .
The beauty of our everyday plants is one reason why we garden and keep plants in our environments. However, sometimes Nature throws us a curve ball and we find an intriguing anomaly to add to our collection. Read on to learn more about a most unusual phenomenon . . .
In the realm of living organisms, motion is most often associated with the animal kingdom. The surprise is that plants move as well, and some move fast enough so that their motion is visible to a casual observer. Read on to learn more about how and why plants move around . . .
Few nature experiences are as awe-inspiring as an encounter with one of the tallest trees in the world. Pictures simply do not do these trees justice, as they are so large as to be difficult to wrap your mind around. Many think that the giant redwoods are the tallest trees, but a few others are contenders for the title . . .
As avid gardeners, we treasure our plants and trees and want only the best for them. Sometimes, we call in professionals to help with landscaping of our homes, or are involved in commercial landscaping of some type. Often everything goes well, but sometimes wonderful trees are ruined by lack of care or attention
Plant growth and development is mediated by biochemicals known as plant growth regulators, or plant hormones. The discovery of these compounds has made possible the reproduction of plants via micropropagation, or tissue culture. Read on to learn more about these hormones, and what they do . . .
One would think that the world's largest flower would be found on a plant of considerable size, if only to support the flowers! In reality, the world's largest flower has no roots, leaves, or stems; read on to find out how this is possible . . .
Here I intend to make plant growth and reproduction at the cellular level--a very complex subject--much more understandable. As a trained scientist, I, too, have found many descriptions of these processes to be difficult to grasp. My hope is that you will have a good handle on these after this article...
The process of photosynthesis in plants is of such import that were we to understand it completely and be able to duplicate it industrially, we could solve many of today's economic woes. For our purposes here, though, understanding the basics of the process is our objective . . .
This little plant is quite familiar to me as I have had them spring up as volunteers from time to time in pots containing other plants. I have a nice group of them growing among the tightly packed roots at the base of a large Royal Palm. This is no problem for these plants, as they have no roots. No leaves, either! Whoa. . .read on to learn more. . .
A stroll through your garden will reveal flowers, fruits, stems, branches and leaves, but you'll have to do some digging to see the rest of your plant. Here I'll introduce you to the underground plant parts, including roots and a variety of underground storage organs that are used by plants and by us as food sources . . .
Once I get a new plant, I like to know what kind it is. This means that I want to know the genus and species of the plant, and perhaps what variety it is. Most gardeners may not realize that this simple desire is not so easily met, even amongst scientists who specialize in the accurate identification and ancestral lineage of plants. Read on to see why this is so . . .
We continue our exploration of the varied types of leaves by focusing on leaf margins, leaf tips and leaf arrangements. These characteristics vary as widely as the others I've covered in previous articles. Knowing more about them will aid you further in properly identifying and distinguishing different plants. . .