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Archive for the ‘plants’ Category

Why plants die

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Our friends at ValleyCrest have put together a great list of reasons why native and “drought-tolerant” plants die. It’s a great, quick read that’s worth sharing with your clients.

Yeah! You made the effort to be green and you jumped on the conserve water, only use drought tolerant, native plants sustainability bandwagon and what happened? The plants died and you want to know WHY??? Here are 5 reasons why your drought tolerant, native plants died.

Yes, plants can be drought tolerant, but unless they are petroleum based (plastic), silk or preserved. They are going to need some water.

Often new plants are added to existing plantings. Ergo the problem. Established plants require less water than newly installed plants. Irrigation systems are often “dialed back” for established plants to conserve water and may not provide enough water for the new plants. But before you go and jack up the irrigation, check out the next reason plants die.

Get the full list here.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

August 6th, 2013 at 7:35 pm

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Some cool photos for your Monday afternoon. Via the New York Botanical Garden’s great Tumblr, here’s a collection of awesome photos from Rob Kesseler and his up-close-and-personal examination of plant seeds.

Kesseler’s primary tool is the scanning electron microscope, which scans specimens with a beam of electrons and spits out a series of super-precise files that are compiled into a single image. In Phytopic, his ongoing series of images of seeds, fruit, leaves, and pollen, he coats his samples in a fine layer of gold, and then images them using the SEM. In the post-production process, he paints layers of color and texture onto the images, he explains, “just as the original plant employs color-coded messages to attract an audience of insect collaborators.” His microscopy works have been lacquered onto ceramic kitchenware, engraved in the window panes at Oxford’s Botanic Garden, and printed on silk banners.

You can read the full story here.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

December 3rd, 2012 at 9:44 pm

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Infected impatiens

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Here’s a sneak peek from our forthcoming November issue:

Downy mildew is a fungus-like organism related to pythium and phytopthra that attacks impatiens wallriana and interspecific hybrids.

The disease has been identified in 26 states as of press time. Most are clustered on the eastern seaboard, from Massachusetts to Florida, then sweeping through the Midwest up into Michigan. Earlier this year, it was identified for the first time in Oregon. Colleen Warfield, corporate pathologist at Ball Horticulture, says high-risk areas this year are Illinois, Michigan, Southern Georgia and Louisiana.

When impatiens started dying late last year, many contractors thought it was just frost damage, or a fluke. “Everyone knew there was a problem but no one thought this was a disease,” says Warfield. “Now we’ve got it in all these states.”

The photo above shows what happens to infected impatiens. Not good.

Growers are treating for it, but it’s still a major problem in places like Florida and throughout much of the Eastern seaboard and Midwest.

To help, Ball has a quick FAQ on best practcies for landscapers to manage the disease in the landscape.

Photo credit: Alan S. Windham, UT Extension

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

October 16th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

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My personal field trials

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One of the perks of being the editor of a landscaping magazine (and there are a few) are the annual shipments of flowers that show up at our offices every spring. They come from all over the country, from all sorts of companies, and are a sure sign that we’ve officially put winter behind us.

My colleagues at Greenhouse Management and Garden Center tend to get even more material in the mail, and they’ve taken to sprucing up our offices with the fledgling plants – and they’re even building a vertical vegetable garden out on the balcony.

Today’s batch came from our friends at Proven Winners partner EuroAmerican Propagators. They’re based in Bonsall, Calif., and I interviewed their CEO and founder last year on the beach in San Diego. (Told you there were a few perks.)

Stay tuned through the summer and fall for updates on how these annuals and perennials stand up to the heat and the dozens of deer that live in my back woods. You can’t see them in this photo, but they’re just out of frame, licking their lips.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

May 18th, 2012 at 2:43 am