It’s been quite a week for gardening news, read our update here…
New Facebook game aims to protect ash trees from ash dieback
A new Facebook game has just been launched, in which players have to match coloured leaves that represent genetic ‘letters’. Scientists are hoping that by using the power of social media, Fraxinus will help them to understand more about ash dieback and the genetics of the fungus, enabling them to identify resistant ash trees to grow in the future.
Keeping bees? Make sure there’s a good food supply
The plight of the UK’s bee populations is almost constantly in the news at the moment and with good reason. Nearly 34% of Britain’s honeybee colonies have been lost because of last year’s bad weather. Many homeowners and businesses have turned to beekeeping to help restore populations, but new research shows that there isn’t enough food to support the new colonies. Growing wildflowers helps and the advice is, if you have space, to grow bee-friendly flowers such as borage, lavender, cornflowers and catmint to provide forage for bees.
Furthest travelled T&M plants?
We occasionally hear stories of postcards and letters making their way around the world and being delivered years later. But what about plants? Some time ago we received a letter from a customer in Perth, Scotland advising us that her plants were in a terrible condition. The 36 begonia postiplugs she had ordered were very dry and she didn’t expect them to survive.
However, she then noticed that there was a letter attached to the parcel – from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Western Australia! The plants had somehow been delivered to Perth, Australia and the DAFF was returning them to her. Considering the long journey the plants went on, our customer thought it was marvellous that 26 survived and grew on!
Bumper harvest for berry plants
If you’re growing blackberries and are wondering if they’ll ever bear fruit, then fear not! The late start to spring is likely to cause a delay in fruiting, but the recent heatwaves should mean that a bumper crop is just around the corner! This is great news, not just for those of us looking forward to freezers full of tasty berries, but to wildlife too. 2012 saw a dismal crop, but this year fruit-eating mammals and birds will be able to enjoy an autumn feast.