Botany - The Science Bringing Beautiful Bounty

When young one of our staff used to wonder about the point of plants (a BBC Infinite Monkey Cage episode lightheartedly asks this very question here). Older and perhaps wiser we now know that without plants we are cactus. Actually no, much worse - humans and aerobic life on Earth is kaput! This collection celebrates some of the botanical beauty we have around us and the plant-ologist phyla that study them.

There is consistent research too that suggest we are genetically predisposed to love nature and benefit from being close to nature and botany gives us this … in spades (or in pots or forests), even in space!

Also change your garden to be more insect and environmentally friendly with Professor Dave Goulson of Sussex University - watch his youtube channel here and / or read his book “The Garden Jungle: or Gardening to Save the Planet” here.

(As well as the Botanicals designs see's “Love the World You’re On” & “Appreciate The Earth” collections and their deeper dive into the design background)

And a hat tip to our fungi friends (and algae with research here and here highlighting they can produce lots of useful things) with this quote:

“No fungi, no forests, no forests no future” Emeritus Professor Tony Whalley

Some Podcasts, books and videos

Space Boffins – Flowers In Spacefeaturing Emma Doughty discussing the first growth of a fruiting vegetable in space and inspiration for the astronaut Scott Kelly announcing “There’s mould on me zinnias” picture.

Emma Doughty’s Gardeners of the Galaxy podcast and her related site

The Unconventional Gardener

Branch out – a fascinating podcast series from the Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney

BBC’s 5 Live Science’s Sally Le Page (from the Naked Scientists) visits a passionate ‘paludiculturist’, Lorna Parker, at the Waterworks Project on the Great Fen of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northhamptonshire Wildlife Trust with the podcast here (about 22min 45 sec in). Read about the project here

Also find out more about the overall Irish & UK peatlands programme here

Cuvette Centrale region in the Congo Basin is the world’s tropical peatland discussed on Deutche Welle’s Living Planet with Sam Baker here and listen to her podcast on the connection between air-conditioning and peatlands here

And we are seeing Siberia’s permafrost thawing and peatlands releasing more methane indicating a critical tipping point may be very near.