So, at first I was really excited to read this explanation as to why I have been seeing more spiders this summer than in summers past. And then I read it, and it just turned into a huge scare-mongering piece about brown recluse spiders. Now, I get it; brown recluse spider bites can be very dangerous, but come on. They’re not the only spider out there, and they don’t exist in more than half the country (though I guess with this July being the hottest on record, they may be spreading). From the gardener’s point of view, more spiders are generally good; they eat pests and are generally good house guests. And this coming from someone who gets the serious heebiejeebies from the things! What are your feelings on spiders? Friend or foe? Have you seen more than usual this year? ~AR
“Do you paint?” I asked her. “Only in my mind,” she answered.”—
Robin Lane Fox, the esteemed garden columnist of the U.K.’sFinancial Times asks a very important question of the Garden’s curator of Glasshouses, Francesca Coelho, the “genius of all this planting,” also known as Monet’s Garden. Read his full review.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the woods, you should not rely on your phone for anything. If the woods are quality woods, you probably won’t have any cellphone reception in the first place, so: a. Make sure you tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back and, b. If you are allergic to things like poison oak or poison ivy please know what they look like before heading out.
No one will ever be able to say a botany degree isn’t worth pursuing ever again.
Wikipedia is a great tool but should never be your main resource.
As Lena Struwe, the eagle eyed professor of botany and director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University says, “We have lost a connection to our natural surroundings, in this case, information about a plant that could really hurt you.” Just one more reason botanical gardens and herbaria are still a necessary resource in this day and time!