This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Endophytes and Plants, Pear Fireblight, Show Gardens Preview

Gary Samuels

There is an interesting new concept in prospect when it comes in future to identifying and naming the plants in our garden. The genus, species or cultivar may not be enough. According to a spokesperson from the Agricultural Research Service in the United States, "That’s because if you were to zoom in on, say, an oak leaf and view its clusters of tiny cells bunched up alongside one another, you’d see that those cells are not alone. Cozying up next to them, between them, and on top of them are cells belonging to a vast array of fungi. Called endophytes, they live inside leaves, roots, and even bark without harming the plant."

While plants and fungi have been part of the natural scheme of things for thousands of millennia, scientists are just beginning to understand the exact nature of their unusual relationship. Gary Samuels, a mycologist at the Agricultural Research Service Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory (SBML) in Beltsville, Maryland, is blazing a trail in this new fungal frontier, helping to identify endophytes that he and his colleagues collect on fungi-hunting missions around the globe. In some cases, he’s naming species for the first time. "What’s so exciting," he says, "is that researchers think endophytes are protecting their host plants against disease." Through various mechanisms, resident fungi appear to be fending off outsider fungal pathogens that might otherwise parasitise a plant and harm it. But Samuels explains that the relationship between a plant and its fungal invader can be tenuous. "It’s a fine balance. If something in the outside environment tips it, some endophytes will seize the opportunity and take over the plant."

Pear Resistance to Fireblight Results
Experiments for the evaluation of the susceptibility of pear cultivars to Fire Blight disease have been conducted under controlled greenhouse conditions in Hungary.

Alien Species Causing Huge Damage to Biodiversity
Invasive alien species, especially plants that are garden escapes, are causing billions of Rands of damage to South Africa’s economy every year, and are the single biggest threat to the country’s biodiversity, according to the Working for Water Progamme.

Water Gardening Month
July has been designated Water Gardening Month in the US.
For more click here.

Garden Design News

Tatton Park Show Gardens Preview
Out of Africa

Newcomers and Gold and Silver medallists from last year’s Tatton show, Louise Ward and Lucy Hunter, have joined forces this year to create an Art Deco-style show garden, inspired by the film Out of Africa.
For more click here.

Hampton Court Show Gardens Preview

The Sunshine Garden
Designed to resemble a typical London back garden, and featuring a range of drought-tolerant plants and other water-saving and eco-friendly ideas.

Love, Life & Regeneration
This garden is inspired by Oliver, Trevor Tooth’s one year-old baby boy, as well as Jake and Evie, new members of Rik Godfrey’s family who collaborated with Trevor on the design.
For more click here.

GardenMessenger Garden Guides
Many more Gardening Guides have been added over the past few days. To visit the index click here.

GardenMessenger Plant Guides
The first of the GardenMessenger Plant Guides have been added to the web-site. These will be developed as a series of primer plant profiles. To visit the index click here.

Happy Gardening



If you have enjoyed this publication, you may also like to visit the monthly SeedMessenger gardeners’ seed saving and seed exchange blog click here.
and the weekly water gardening blog PondMessenger click here.

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here

To visit the SeedMessenger seed exchange web-site
click here

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