The Weekly Botanical: March 1 – 8, 2012

Out of Binghamton University came the cover article of the March 1 issue of Nature.  The discovery and understanding of a fossilized forest floor dating to 385 million years ago. Scientists since the 1800’s have discovered fossils of ancient plants in a quarry in Schoharie County. In 2010, sediment in the quarry was removed and the scientists asked to have another look, where they discovered a lost world.  Since making this discovery they were able to map out where the plants were growing, and could visualize the forest that once stood there.  They have been studying the plants relationship with one another, as well as how they affected the world around them.  This discovery with the research to go with it is one of the biggest finds in all of fossilized history, take that dinosaurs.

The New York Botanical Garden is having its 10th annual Orchid Show.  The main event is a series of living walls created by world-renown botanist, Patrick Blanc, and will be on display from March 3-April 22.  Blanc has created famous living walls all over the world, usually the walls include plants that are known for their foliage not their flowers. For the Orchid Show he needed to highlight showy orchids of all different genera.  The link to the Orchid Show above has a few videos of the installations, amazing.

Seattle has hit the news this week, with plans of creating the largest Edible Forest Garden in the United States.  An edible forest is a permaculture garden that hosts edible perennial plants.  The idea is to have a place that is self-sustaining, and provides the community with fresh produce they can pick themselves. I learned that other cities are implementing similar ideas, one is the city I live in, Syracuse, New York.   This came as a surprise as I have not heard anything about it.  A group of permaculturalists are working with Rahma Clinic, a free clinic on Syracuse’s South Side, to put in a Snack Garden.  They are currently raising money to jump-start this idea on, and having a volunteer day coming up in April.  Look into getting involved in edible gardens in your city, they can always use volunteer help.

Goat and Monkey, an alternate reality game company,  is launching an interactive theatre, The Seed, this summer.  The project will bring participants into the world of Victorian era plant hunters.  The locations for the live theatre productions will be at gardens in West Sussex, United Kingdom.

The first computer generated model of how buds grow into leaves has come out of John Innes Centre on Norwich Research Park.  They put together a video explaining how they went about it, with some views of the model.

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