March Meeting

Posted by on February 13, 2018 in Events | 0 comments

March Meeting

Dear Friends, The AGM has come and gone and other than the resignation of Margie Lynch we continue with the same enthusiastic committee. Margie Lynch used to store and bring the Tea things to each meeting, and we thank her for this service. The next meeting of Gardening @ Leisure will be held on: Date – Friday 2 March 2018 Time: 10.00am Venue: Home of Clare Miller – 7 Fish Eagle Dr. Eastford Vale Speaker: Clare Miller Subject: Revival, Recovery  after the fire in June 2017   The talk will take place in the Park that Clare has created near the two pine trees just at the side of her property Remember to bring: A chair, a hat, mug for your tea/coffee/ , money for the raffle, and any plants that you are splitting up and don’t want.  Clare would make good use of them to plant in The Eastford Vale Estate Garden. Also remember a plant that you have potted up to sell at our Plant Sales table. Visitors and friends are most welcome at a charge of R20 which includes tea and eats. Remember Subs are due- still R120 pa. Thank you to all the members who paid so promptly. Tea Hostess for March Meeting are: Pru Baker, Judy Krige, Jean Dedekind, Heather Kent, Kathy Michaelides, Denise Voysey  DUTIES OF TEA HOSTESSES PLEASE BRING 1 PLATE OF EATS TO THE MEETING – THERE ARE 6 HOSTESSES AT EACH MEETING FILL UP THE URNS AND TURN THEM ON. SET OUT THE TEA THINGS. EVERYONE HELPS THEMSELVES TO TEA AND COFFEE. PLEASE TIDY UP AFTERWARDS AND EMPTY OUT THE URNS, PACK  EVERYTHING INTO THE TWO BOXES. A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE WILL TAKE EVERYTHING AWAY WITH THEM. THE CLUB IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BUYING SUPPLIES. MANY THANKS  Birthdays in March: Joan Frielich, Sue McIver, Nicky Rutherford, Louisa Spies & Marilyn Woolfrey If you don’t get your News Letters please bear in mind that this could be that you haven’t given us your correct email address . Remember also to look on our website  (gardeningatleisure.co.za) for all the news and interesting information. Hope to see you all on Friday 2 March. Love, Denise Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Chelsea 2018

Posted by on February 1, 2018 in Events | 0 comments

Chelsea 2018

Are you going to Chelsea this year?  See what is installed for you … A first look at all the Show Gardens featuring in the Chelsea Flower Show 2018 10 Show Gardens will fill the Main Avenue this year. RHS BY OLIVIA HEATH 21 JANUARY 2018  The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 is just months away, and this year, the world’s most prestigious gardening event will showcase the importance of gardening and growing plants to help tackle some of the biggest issues facing us today. Sponsored by M&G Investments, garden designs will demonstrate the positive effects gardening and green spaces have on our health and wellbeing, and how it can help tackle major environmental issues. To recap, there will be four garden categories at this year’s show: 1. Show gardens: The latest innovative designs and must-have plants, crafted with skill by highly-talented designers and their teams 2. Artisan gardens: Gardens that demonstrate traditional designs, materials and craft skills revitalised by contemporary approaches 3. Feature gardens: Special show feature gardens which are not usually part of the judging process 4. Space to grow: A new category at Chelsea this year that will feature smaller gardens offering original ideas, trends and take home messages to inspire visitors For now, get a first-look at all of the 10 Show Gardens that will be on display at Chelsea this year. 1 The M&G Garden Sponsor: M&G Investments Designer: Sarah Price Contractor: Crocus Set in a warm, sunny climate, this garden has been described as a ‘romanticised haven’. It develops a simple, timeless idea that three core elements – a wall, trees and seating – can create an intimate, sheltered and beautiful oasis of calm. The garden celebrates the expressive and sensual language of contrasts: colour and texture, light and shadow. RHS 2 The Lemon Tree Trust Garden Sponsor: The Lemon Tree Trust Designer: Tom Massey Contractor: Landscape Associates Inspired by the resiliency and determination of people in situations of forced migration and displacement, this garden will provide a sense of normalcy, wellbeing, peace and civility to broken lives. Its design simulates a garden that would be used by families in a community of refugees displaced in Domiz camp in northern Iraq, providing a way to bring order to a chaotic situation. RHS 3 Trailfinders: A South African Wine Estate Sponsor: Trailfinders Ltd. Designer: Jonathan Snow Contractor: Stewart Landscape Construction This garden is inspired by the Winelands of the Western Cape of South Africa (especially the areas of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch), which are regarded as some of the most instantly recognisable and strikingly beautiful wine producing regions in the world. Designer Jonathan Snow aims to bring a snapshot of a traditional South African wine estate, sitting in the fynbos landscape – a fire-adapted vegetation that requires regular burning in order to survive – to Chelsea. RHS 4 The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden Sponsor: Welcome to Yorkshire Designer: Mark Gregory Contractor: Landform This garden is inspired by the iconic Dales, a picturesque part of Yorkshire that epitomises the essence of the county. The Dales are world famous for artisan Wensleydale cheeses, quintessential buttercup meadows and rich surrounding flora, and this garden is intended to inspire the public to visit this iconic county and experience the culture, calm and serene beauty of the area. 5 The Morgan Stanley Garden for the NSPCC Sponsor: Morgan Stanley Designer: Chris Beardshaw Contractor: Structure Group Morgan Stanley returns for...

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Assumed safety of pesticide use is false, says top government scientist

Posted by on January 16, 2018 in Our Environment | 0 comments

Assumed safety of pesticide use is false, says top government scientist

This article appeared in The Guardian. Damning assessment by one of the UK’s chief scientific advisers says global regulations have ignored the impacts of ‘dosing whole landscapes’ and must change Damian Carrington  Environment editor@dpcarrington Fri 22 Sep 2017 12.23 BSTFirst published on Thu 21 Sep 2017 19.00 BS   Shares 6,809   The assumption by regulators around the world that it is safe to use pesticides at industrial scales across landscapes is false, according to a chief scientific adviser to the UK government. The lack of any limit on the total amount of pesticides used and the virtual absence of monitoring of their effects in the environment means it can take years for the impacts to become apparent, say Prof Ian Boyd and his colleague Alice Milner in a new article. The damning assessment of pesticide regulations that are meant to protect the global environment follows a growing number of highly critical reports including research showing farmers could slash their pesticide use without losses and a UN report that denounced the “myth” that pesticides are necessary to feed the world. “The current assumption underlying pesticide regulation – that chemicals that pass a battery of tests in the laboratory or in field trials are environmentally benign when they are used at industrial scales – is false,” state the scientists in their article published in the journal Science. Boyd is chief scientific adviser to the UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, where Milner also works on secondment, but their criticism reflects their own views. “The effects of dosing whole landscapes with chemicals have been largely ignored by regulatory systems,” the scientists said. “This can and should be changed.” They contrast this situation with pharmaceuticals, for which there is a system of rigorous global monitoring after a drug is approved in case adverse effects emerge. “Vigilance on the scale that is required for medicines does not exist to assess the effects of pesticides in the environment,” they said. They cite the UK as an example of one of the most developed regulatory systems: “Yet it has no systematic monitoring of pesticide residues in the environment. There is no consideration of safe pesticide limits at landscape scales.” The scientists’ article also criticises the widespread use of pesticides as preventive treatments, rather than being used sparingly and only when needed. Farms could slash pesticide use without losses, research reveals Read more Milner told the Guardian: “We want to start a discussion about how we can introduce a global monitoring programme for pesticides, similar to pharmaceuticals. It can take years to fully understand the environmental impact.” “Any chemical you put into the environment has the potential to be widely distributed,” she said. “We’ve known this for decades, particularly through the early work in the 1960s – the Silent Spring, DDT and so on – and you can find chemicals in places that have not been treated because of the connectivity of ecosystems. There are often quite unexpected effects [and] you often don’t see them until the pesticide is used at more industrial scales.” Matt Shardlow of the conservation group Buglife said: “Pesticides have got big on society – the thin veil of science around the approvals process has been exposed and the marketing strategies are stronger than the products they tout. “If you think the biggest governments in the world are wrapped around the pesticide industry’s fingers, that’s nothing compared to...

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Plants are capable of complex decision-making

Posted by on January 16, 2018 in Our Environment | 0 comments

Plants are capable of complex decision-making

 Earth Matters > Wilderness & Resources They might not have brains, but that doesn’t mean they’re dim-witted. BRYAN NELSON December 29, 2017, 4:51 a.m.   Are plants smarter than we think they are? (Photo: brewbooks/Flickr) Have you ever had the distinct feeling that your houseplants know more than they’re letting on? Well, your intuition might not be far off. We already know that plants are capable of learning and adapting to their environment, just like any organism. But a new study out of Tübingen University seems to suggest that plants can do more than just adapt. They can actually make decisions, and fairly complex decisions at that. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. Plants might be rooted, but their environments can be intricate, and the contexts where they’re situated can change. In fact, researchers discovered that competition and a dynamic environment are what really pushes plant decision-making to its limits. For instance, when vying with competitors for limited sunlight, a plant is faced with having to choose among a number of options. It can attempt to outgrow its neighbors, thus gaining more access to light. It can also attempt to go into a low-light survival mode, if it doesn’t deem an arms race to be worthwhile. The plant might also need to determine which way it should grow to best maximize its resources. “In our study we wanted to learn if plants can choose between these responses and match them to the relative size and density of their opponents,” said Michal Gruntman, one of the study’s researchers, in a press release. In the experiment, whenever plants were presented with tall competitors, they would go into shade-tolerance mode. Conversely, when plants were surrounded by small, dense vegetation, they would attempt to grow vertically. But there were also subtler decisions built into each of these scenarios, too. For instance, plants in shade-tolerance mode would make their leaves thinner and wider (to capture as much light as possible) relative to the level of their competition. “Such an ability to choose between different responses according to their outcome could be particularly important in heterogeneous environments, where plants can grow by chance under neighbors with different size, age or density, and should therefore be able to choose their appropriate strategy,” said Gruntman. All of this essentially means that scientists are beginning to look more closely at how plants work through their decisions. Obviously plants don’t have nervous systems, so more research will be needed to see exactly how these decision-making mechanisms operate within our flora friends. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications. Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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