How Orchids Helped Charles Darwin Understand Nature—and How Darwin Helped Scientists Understand Orchids
Charles Darwin is known for his work in the Galapagos Islands, his study of birds and insects and the development of the theory of evolution as presented in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species. What is less well-known is Darwin’s work as a botanist and the important role that orchids played in the development of his ideas.
Look to Cabbage for Winter Color—and a Touch of Horticultural Magic
In stories of wizards and witches, transfiguration is described as the magic of turning one object into another. With the wave of a wand, a magician can turn a teacup into a hedgehog, a rabbit into a hat, or a human into a cat. Here in the real world, transfiguration remains impossible—mostly. One plant species seems to have the magical ability to transform into a bewildering variety of forms and shapes. You may have enjoyed one of these forms for dinner last night. You may be growing another in your flowerbeds. Brassica oleracea isn’t magic, but it may be as close as we muggles can get.
Celebrate Mums, Beloved Flowers of Fall and Plants Rich with History and Tradition
Walk into any garden center or nursery in October and you will be greeted by rows of yellow, red, purple and orange chrysanthemums. Many people treat chrysanthemums, or more simply mums, as annuals. They buy them every year and throw them out when they stop blooming or at the first frost. In fact, mums are hardy perennials that will withstand our winters and summers and come back just as colorful year after year. The Garden loves mums, and special displays of these plants are on view now in the Fuller Garden and Japanese Garden. Learn more about how to grow your own mums for fall color as well as the history of this remarkable plant.