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    Archives - April 2012

  1. Thursday Factoids and Fun!

     With us being close to the end of the week, our brains are tired, were looking forward to the weekend and in need of some mental stimulation. Here are some facts, figures, challenges and general fun to keep us all occupied for one more day! Did You Know? In the Netherlands in 1643 Tulips Bulbs where more valuable than gold and in one transaction a gentle man paid 1000 pounds of cheese, four oxen, eight pigs, 12 sheep a bed and a suit of clothes for a single Viceroy tulip bulb. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis sativa (marijuana) on their plantations. According to...

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  2. The Weird and Wonderful - Parrot?s Beak

    Parrots Beak is a beautiful, but extremely rare flower found endemically in Tenerife and the Canary Islands, thought to be extinct in the wild it is kept alive in the private gardens and public parks by the residents of the island. It?s a trailing vine which makes it an excellent plant for carpeting flower beds and for growing up walls with its name coming from its unique curving petals that resemble a parrots beak. These beautiful flowers find it incredibly difficult to produce seed pods and are thus cultivated through cutting which has the problem of thinning out the gene pool and reducing the...

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  3. Top Tuesday Tips ? How to survive the house pipe ban

    With the introduction of the hosepipe ban across large parts of southern England (affecting nearly 1/3 of all UK households) we have scoured the Internet to bring you some of the top tips of how to survive this summer and still have a beautiful looking garden. The beautiful National Trust Nyams Garden survives off the mains. Collect Water Save your grey water ? water from the kettle, from rinsing fruit and veg and if you use biodegradable washing up liquid the grey water from after washing can be used. Leave the water to cool if warm and then transfer over to a watering can. Buy a water butt ?...

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  4. Rare Plant Saved By Walkers

    Here is an interesting article from over the weekend, a rare plant being saved by walkers trampling through the muddy Anglesey countryside. The tiny three-lobbed water-crowfoot has seen a doubling in its numbers over the last 10 years thanks to walkers disturbing the ground around it which aides it in two ways. First of all, this little plant loves to grow in open muddy ditches, trenches, shallow pools and even puddles and since there are no animals wandering the paths in the area its down to the walkers to continue to make these disturbances in the earth. The second key aid walkers give is that...

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  5. Thursday Factoids and Fun!

      With us being close to the end of the week, our brains are tired, were looking forward to the weekend and in need of some mental stimulation. Here are some facts, figures, challenges and general fun to keep us all occupied for one more day! Did you know? Coconuts During world II when blood supplies were low, Doctors found that the liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma. Coconuts are a great substitute as they are sterile, cool, easily absorbed by the body and doesn?t destroy red blood cells. Thistle Legend has it that the thistle is Scotland?s national...

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  6. Weird and Wonderful Wednesday ? Yellow and Purple Lady Slippers

    Most of the flowers that usual make our weird and wonderfully watching eye are from far flung places abroad, with exotic names and found only in the deepest depths of the darkest most untouched jungles. This weeks weird and wonderful plant however can be found as close to home as on a gold course in Lancashire, it?s the one and only Yellow and purple Lady Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) possibly Britain?s rarest flower. Found across Europe to Asia this unique looking orchid can grow to between 12-30 inches tall with deep purple, almost dark brown tendrils with a bright yellow bloom shaped like...

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  7. Tips for Tuesday ? Natural Dyes are all Around us

    Bored with some of your old lightly coloured clothes? fancy getting your hands a bit dirty, well why not try making you own natural dyes with the hundreds of possible natural seeds, blooms, berries and nuts. Firstly when gathering your material make sure that the blossoms are in full bloom, the berries are ripe and nuts mature. Also never gather the entire plants stock of what your wanting take up to a half and move on. When preparing to make your natural dyes firstly chop up your material as finely as possible increasing its surface area and the amount of dye that will be released. You will want...

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  8. Squirrel brings 30000-year-old plant back to life!

    This is one is something you definitely don?t hear every day. Scientists in Russia discovered a store of seeds and fruit that had been preserved in the frozen banks of a Siberian River. The frozen seeds from this cache of ancient goodies have now been regenerated and using modern agricultural techniques which has been published in the Feb 21 issues of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Fossilized squirrel burrows are regularly excavated during archaeological digs to obtain information about plant materials and food sources available in a specific and time period. In this instances...

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  9. Flower Facts and Riddles

    With us being close to the end of the week, our brains are tired, were looking forward to the weekend and in need of some mental stimulation. Here are some facts, figures; challenges and general fun to keep us all occupied for one more day and this week it?s all to do with seeds. The Scarlet Pimpernel Flower ( Anagallis arvensis) is an excellent judge of incoming weather. It will close its flowers when rain is on the way and open them up when the sun is shining. In a year a single tree can remove as much as 27 kg of pollutants out of the air! Oak trees do not start producing acorns until they are...

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  10. Weird and Wonderful Flowers ? The Incredibly Rare Jade Vine

    Found only in the tropical rainforests of the Philippines, the Jade Vine (Strongylodon Macrobotrys) is a species of perennial woody vine that can reach up to 18m?s in length. The flowers then sleeves are claw shaped and can come in a multitude of shades ranging from blue to mint green with the hanging trusses being able to reach up to three metres in the length. This species can be found growing besides streams in damp forests and has evolved in a way so that it can be easily pollinated by bats that hang upside down from it and drink its nectar. However this stunning plant has provided extremely...

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