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BOTANY : A Blooming History ..TV. Series... and Garrya pics.

100 comments


Television mini-series ~ BBC 4 ~

Tuesday 24th January. 8.00 pm – 9.00 pm.

How mankind developed its understanding of plants.

First of three episodes ~ originally broadcast in 2011.

First instalment is called A CONFUSION OF NAMES

Episode 1 of 3

Duration 1 hour

What makes plants grow is a simple enough question. The answer turns out to be one of the most complicated and fascinating stories in science and took over 300 years to unravel.

Timothy Walker, director of Oxford University Botanic Garden, reveals how the breakthroughs of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, Chelsea gardener Phillip Miller and English naturalist John Ray created the science of botany.

Between them these quirky, temperamental characters unlocked the mysteries of the plant kingdom and they began to glimpse a world where bigger, better and stronger plants could be created.

Nurseryman Thomas Fairchild created the world’s first artificial hybrid flower – an entirely new plant that didn’t exist in nature.

Today, botanists continue the search for new flowers, better crops and improved medicines to treat life-threatening diseases.

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2nd instalment is called PHOTOSYNTHESIS

Episode 2 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

The air we breathe, and all the food we eat, is created from water, sunlight, carbon dioxide and a few minerals. That’s it, nothing else. It sounds simple, but this process is one of the most fascinating and complicated in all of science. Without it there could be no life on earth. It’s that important.

For centuries people believed that plants grew by eating soil. In the 17th century, pioneer botanists began to make the connection between the growth of a plant and the energy from the sun. They discovered how plants use water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce sugars – how, in fact, a plant grows.

The process of photosynthesis is still at the heart of scientific research today. Universities across the world are working hard to replicate in the lab what plants do with ruthless efficiency. Their goal is to produce a clean, limitless fuel and if they get it right it will change all our lives.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Third instalment is called HIDDEN WORLD

Episode 3 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

For 10,000 years or more, humans created new plant varieties for food by trial and error and a touch of serendipity. Then 150 years ago, a new era began.

Pioneer botanists unlocked the patterns found in different types of plants and opened the door to a new branch of science – plant genetics. They discovered what controlled the random colours of snapdragon petals and the strange colours found in wild maize.

This was vital information. Some botanists even gave their lives to protect their collection of seeds. American wheat farmer Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel peace prize after he bred a new strain of wheat that lifted millions of people around the world out of starvation.

Today, botanists believe advances in plant genetics hold the key to feeding the world’s growing population.

Enjoy :o)))

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My Garrya elliptica James Roof …

… an amazing shrub .. doing well again this year.


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I’ve added this photo from February 2009, of JR in the snow… he didn’t mind the cold at all.. :o)))


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Comments

 

thanks TT i shall look out for that.

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks, TT.
Love the Garrya. Was on my wish list until I discovered it was not fully hardy. Pity. I'll just have to continue admiring a friend's one!

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks ST ..

Ojibway93 ... My JR survived last winter's freeze with no problems at all. I have it on a south-facing fence. I reckon you could have one of these... just choose carefully where you plant it... JR is so wonderful it is worth the risk. ! :o)

.....................................................................................

More on Garrya Elliptica James Roof, written by Monty Don in this week's Daily Mail TV supplement's gardening section...

He says ... G. elliptica is found in the forests and brushwood of the western US. From southern California to Oregon, it grows in regions up to 2,000 ft. so is exceptionally hardy and happy in the shade of a North-facing wall.

21 Jan, 2012

 

That sounds interesting TT

21 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Sheila.

I missed the programmes first time around, but will give them a try this year. :o)

21 Jan, 2012

 

Garrya looks splendid against the blue canvas of the sky,Terra.

21 Jan, 2012

 

I missed the last of the three last time TT..But I will have to wait until it is on iplayer.

Q re Garrya I have been offered one, if I dig it up. When would be best to do it...I think it is too late now.

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks Meadowland ...

Hi Pimpernel ...
How large is the JR you've been offered ?

In 2010, I made some baby JR's from cuttings and planted them out the following springtime of 2011 and they seem happy... but during any bright weather of 2011, I put shading over them to protect the leaves from strong sunshine.

My advice would be to replant spring or autumn... so not when the ground might be frosty, nor when the weather is hot and too much sun on the top growth... Keep roots well-watered.

I hope this helps :o)

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks TT I may just try taking a few cuttings. It is large over 10 years old and I would be keeping it in a large pot. I would rather take cuttings than lose it.

21 Jan, 2012

 

Yes, if it is large and 10+ years, taking cuttings seems a better idea. Good luck :o)))

21 Jan, 2012

 

will look out for that Tt

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks for blogging that info on the programme. I'd be really interested in watching it.

21 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Yorks and Balcony.
I think this series was first broadcast last summer [June 2011] so we were probably all outside working on our gardens....

...better to watch this type of programme in the winter time. :o)

21 Jan, 2012

 

I most certainly agree with you there,TT! :-))

21 Jan, 2012

 

:o)))

21 Jan, 2012

 

Will also be looking out for this - need to really learn the theory side myself - lovely shrub the james roof, it is in the Weekend this week too Monty Don's part

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks Terra, will definitely keep my eyes open for that :-)

21 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Paul and Surreylad ..

I've just added another photo above ...
... to show JR in the snow.

Let's hope the Botany mini-series is good viewing. :o)

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks TT will try and remember!!!!!

21 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Linda...
I'll put a reminder on this blog on Tuesday :o)

21 Jan, 2012

 

That sounds like a fascinating mini-series, TT, I shall go and try to programme them into our TV. Thanks for the advice!

21 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Gattina...
I hope you'll be able to watch the shows on your TV. :o)))

21 Jan, 2012

 

If Timothy Walker is ever giving a talk in your area, get there quick! He is an excellent speaker, very knowledgeable, very entertaining and will leave your sides aching with laughter.

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks Andrew ... Useful tip :o)

21 Jan, 2012

 

TT, our satellite reception in Italy, as long as the weather is reasonable, on BBC4 at that time of night is generally pretty good. The only thing we shan't be able to do is record it, so if we miss it the first time round, we've had it. If, however, it's snowing or very windy either in the UK or up here, we'll be watching dvds, reading, washing up or going to bed early, 'cos the reception just packs up all together! We learn not to count on anything. :o))))

21 Jan, 2012

 

Gattina ...
Hoping the weather will be favourable for you !

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks Terra that sounds very interesting, I must put that on my planner, lovely pics as well..

21 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Sue... Thanks ...
Started off as a TV blog and then sort of side-tracked to Garrya. Lol.
I'll add a reminder about the TV here on Tuesday :o)

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks Terra for that info and I love your Garrya Elliptica, which is another one I always mean to get but don't!

21 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Rose... I hope you get your own special JR ;o) x

21 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks TT. Lovely photos!

21 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Karen... love my JR ;o)

21 Jan, 2012

 

Don't blame you, it's a good plant. I should get one for here. :)

21 Jan, 2012

 

How quickly do they grow TT?

21 Jan, 2012

 

Karen ...

I get up to all sorts of mischief with JR ;o)

JR has several babies now, growing around my garden...

21 Jan, 2012

 

My mind is boggling! :)

21 Jan, 2012

 

Lol. ;o)))

21 Jan, 2012

 

Karen.. just saw your question above... the Garrya can get rather large after a while... quite fast-growing once established...

21 Jan, 2012

 

The programmes sound fascinating must look out for them ! Your Garry is beautiful love his long dangling earings;0)

21 Jan, 2012

 

Interesting Programmes TT thank you for the reminder I love Garrya your's looks really well mischief did him no harm!
I saw Monty's article yesterday reminding me.....my Mother sent me a picture of one years ago as an ideal addition to my garden perhaps now I'll obey!!

22 Jan, 2012

 

I'll be glued to the TV for that one TT! Since joining this fantastic site I realise I want to know much more than "what's wrong with this plant." I want to know HOW and WHY and this programme looks as though it will satisfy my queries. It may even be a 'keeper' on our recorder! :o)

22 Jan, 2012

 

"Ear-rings" Lol, Carole ... I like that :o)))

Neena... yes, as part of your future plans ...
... planting your very own "JR" :o)))

Hi Nariz ..,. I agree with you. Let's hope the programmes are well presented and full of interesting content.. I shall record them also. :o)))

22 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks :)

22 Jan, 2012

 

:o)))

22 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks Terra I hope so too.

22 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Terra - just spotted this in time - will definitely be watching - thanks for the tip off.

24 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Rose and Frybo ..
I'll be putting a reminder on this thread this evening..
Let's hope the broadcast lives up to expectations ;o)

24 Jan, 2012

 

All lined up, TT. I shall make sure I don't fall asleep tonight. Of course, we're an hour ahead of you lot, and by 9, after dinner, I'm beginning to relax and start dropping off. I missed chunks of a lovely programme all about the Tudor kings and illuminated books last night. :o(((((
I don't want to miss a minute of this one - Botany was one of my degree subjects.

24 Jan, 2012

 

I hope you can stay awake... :o)

24 Jan, 2012

 

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R E M I N D E R .. B O T A N Y..T V..S H O W

T H I S..E V E N I N G..BBC 4 .. 8 pm ~ 9 pm

M o r e .. d e t a i l s .. o n .. t h i s .. b l o g

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24 Jan, 2012

 

8.53pm I was bored of the football so looked on GOY - ahhhhh I've missed it dam! thanks anyway TT.

24 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Kay .. That's a pity you missed it.
I enjoyed the first episode.
Let's hope the next two are also interesting. :o)

24 Jan, 2012

 

Wasn't that interesting? I managed to stay awake for all but the credits. I became a dreadful but enthusiastic bore, identifying all the plants out loud as we went along. OH fell asleep.

25 Jan, 2012

 

Glad you stayed awake, Gattina.
Yes, the programme was fascinating. :o)

25 Jan, 2012

 

I saw these programmes the first time round - they were pretty informative. If you missed them, I have no doubt they'll be repeated again in a couple of months or so anyway.

25 Jan, 2012

 

Yes, I shall put a note on this thread if they are repeated in a few months from now. BBC often repeat this type of mini-series several times.

25 Jan, 2012

 

I enjoyed this series first time round, and was disappointed that we didn't get it repeated here in Wales :o( They're more interested in sport :o(

Your Garrya eliptica is lovely TT. There's a nice one in Ammanford town centre :o) I wonder it gets left alone ...

28 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks, Hywel ..
That's a pity you didn't get the Botany series repeated in Wales.

I'm very pleased with JR, and I hope his three babies I'm growing around my gardens will put on new growth this year. :o)

28 Jan, 2012

 

Good luck to the baby JRs :o)

28 Jan, 2012

 

:o)))

28 Jan, 2012

 

Thanks for flagging this series up, TT. I was able to watch it on the BBC iPlayer on Thursday. I must see the other episodes as well! I enjoyed it very much indeed & I'm looking forward to the next episodes! ;-))

I also watched the new series of "Survivors" about animal species that have managed to survive for millions of years without hardly changing. The series tried to provide an answer as to why these species have been around so long & what the key might be to their success - it seems the most likely explanation is principally their habitat which has remained virtually unchanged in all these millions of years. Though Man is changing that, unfortunately, & they may not be able to survive us! :-((

29 Jan, 2012

 

Hi Balcony ..
Glad this blog is useful.
Yes, I found the first Botany episode fascinating and educational, and am looking forward to more.

It seems logical that species, both flora and fauna, are more likely to survive where environment and habitat remain unaltered. But, as you say, Man interferes. :o(((

29 Jan, 2012

 

Yes, Balcony - I found "survivors" too, quite by chance. Fascinating, wasn't it? This is why British television has a reputation second to none. We never, ever bother to watch Italian TV - it's all quiz shows, dubbed American B movies from the 70's and discussions featuring lots of over-made-up ladies with short skirts and low necklines. The sort of drama and science, geography and history programmes we have readily available in the UK, we take too much for granted. If you can sift them out from among all the game-shows, soaps, "Do-up-your-house-and-sell-it-at-a-profit" shows and American rubbish, we have some real treasures available. Not least, "Gardeners' World". Can't wait for it to come back.

29 Jan, 2012

 

We often thought the same in Spain & feel almost the same here in the UK. Nevertheless Spanish TV sometimes made some very good series, especially documentaries, that would rival the BBC!

We have cable TV with the basic package as neither of us watches it hardly now. It seems a shame to see so many channels available but never to find anything of interest!

Practically the only good thing about our package is the ability to show you the programmes that you missed, for whatever reason, at a later time. We can see programmes from the BBC, ITV, Four & Five up to 7 days later. We can also see a few films on the film channel but I, at least, never find anything to interest me there. My wife used the film channel a lot for a couple of years but now she no longer seems to watch it. Nor do we watch TV on Demand. As neither of us is the least bit interested in Football we never watch sports programmes. I do like to watch the Formula 1 races & when we lived in Spain I'd never miss a motorbike race! I missed that a lot when we moved back here. But I NEVER miss a F1 race! I used to record them on the video recorder till we bought a new TV, at least 8 years ago, & I discovered I could no longer do it. But most of the races were repeated if not shown at a "decent" time so that became less of an issue.

I'm really looking forward to Gardeners' World returning! I just wish there were more gardening/or related programmes on TV.

I spend a lot of my free time posting on 3 different forums! I find it much more relaxing & satisfying than watching the "dumb box"!

VIVA GoY! :-))

(& similar forums!)

29 Jan, 2012

 

Any time I spot a gardening-related TV show coming up, I'll try to mention it on GoY.. :o)

29 Jan, 2012

 

Thank you, TT, you are a star!

30 Jan, 2012

 

:o)))

30 Jan, 2012

 

Thank you, TT! You're great! :-))

30 Jan, 2012

 

:o)))))))

30 Jan, 2012

 

*********************************

R E M I N D E R .. B O T A N Y..T V..S H O W

T H I S..E V E N I N G..BBC 4 .. 8 pm ~ 9 pm

M o r e .. d e t a i l s .. o n .. t h i s .. b l o g

*********************************

31 Jan, 2012

 

I'll have to watch it on the iPlayer again as I'd forgotten all about it! Thanks for the REMINDER! LOL!

2 Feb, 2012

 

Hi Balcony... Lol.
I'll put a reminder on here next Tuesday.

I put a little quiz blog on GoY yesterday..
I bet you can do it. ;o)

2 Feb, 2012

 

No iPlayer, no reception, no programme! BooHoo!

3 Feb, 2012

 

Oh, that's a pity, Gattina. If the shows are repeated I'll let you know.

Episode two concentrates on photosynthesis, and how people used to think plants survived by eating soil.

But then scientists did experiments with the sunshine, and realised the importance of sunlight for plants to grow.

3 Feb, 2012

 

I managed to see the programme today & found it every bit as interesting as the first one! :-)) Now looking forward to the next one!

Snowed here a little about an hour ago (now 7.30pm).

4 Feb, 2012

 

Hi Balcony. Some snow here too..
I wonder if you'll ever catch up. Lol.

I've published three quiz blogs and also another blog telling of more TV garden shows next week ! :o)

4 Feb, 2012

 

You're sooooo prolific in writing blogs it's a wonder you have time to read & comment on other people's blogs/photos! :-)) LOL!

Snowed heavily over night & we had about 3 inches here this morning when we got up! We've lost about an inch during the day but more than enough remains to make life "interesting" for tomorrow! LOL!

5 Feb, 2012

 

Hi Balcony...
I try to keep up with pics and blogs ...
... can't always manage to do so !
Lol.

Yes, Midlands and East caught lots of snow...
I hope nothing damaged on your allotments !

5 Feb, 2012

 

No, apparently everything is fine - well, as well as one can tell when everything is under a 3" blanket of snow that is!

I went down this morning for a few minutes to take some photos & to ventilate the GH. As most of the seedtrays are covered with transparent plastic covers & then some bubblewrap over the top they needn't to be opened so as to get rid of the condensation. I hadn't been down since last Friday.

I'll have to make a blog with some of the photos I took today of our allotments covered in snow!

Did you get much where you live? Some of it is melting away today but I dread to think what the roads & pavements will be like tomorrow morning when all this snow melt freezes! My wife had to get a taxi to work this morning as we dared not walk in the dark as we normally do.

6 Feb, 2012

 

Yes... lots of snow...
I've just published a blog with pics.
I'll look forward to seeing the photos of your snowy allotment :o)

6 Feb, 2012

 

What you and your wife need, Balcony, is ice spikes for your shoes - I've got some, rubber straps that fit tightly,
spiked bottom, fantastic on ice and frozen slush - I just walk about normally with those on. But you do need to remove them once you're off the ice, doesn't do pavements and other surfaces any favours - easy enough, and I pop them in my bag afterwards.

6 Feb, 2012

 

Bamboo... good idea..
maybe a photo..
for GoYpedia Wellies and Footwear category ?

6 Feb, 2012

 

I thought it was just wellies - but I'll take a couple of shots tomorrow if you like - maybe with them off and one with them on boots...

6 Feb, 2012

 

Thank you :o)

6 Feb, 2012

 

*********************************

R E M I N D E R .. B O T A N Y..T V..S H O W

T H I S..E V E N I N G..BBC 4 .. 8 pm ~ 9 pm

M o r e .. d e t a i l s .. o n .. t h i s .. b l o g

*********************************

7 Feb, 2012

 

Thank you, Terra!

7 Feb, 2012

 

Hi Gattina...
I hope you are able to watch the programme.

7 Feb, 2012

 

Hi, TT, managed to watch the new programme on BBC2, but the BBC4 Botany one I am afraid we lost shortly after it started. I do hope it will be repeated: what I have managed to watch has been fascinating. Science has moved on SO much since the days when I was learning about it. It's almost impossible to keep up with new developments and thinking, but great fun trying. Doesn't the Beeb do this sort of thing so incredibly well?

8 Feb, 2012

 

Yes, both programmes are very good.

8 Feb, 2012

 

Some of the finest documentaries in the world are made by the BBC! Though when I lived in Spain some they made there were as, if not better, than the BBC's.

The BBC has picked up lots of awards over the years for its documentary series.

I haven't seen either of the series this week so far but I'll probably see both tomorrow on the BBC iPlayer. Make up for not being able to work on the allotment this week!

9 Feb, 2012

 

the Beeb is excellent at nature documentaries, though, to be fair, I've not seen any from another country, which could be just as good if not better. But, for UK [or American?] TV, the Beeb is tops - who else could have, or would have, made the David Attenborough "Life" series?

I don't watch TV, so keeping up with new programmes is always somewhat problematical! I often don't even find out about them until months later. My first port of call is usually Amazon, to see if it's on DVD - I just went there and put "botany" in, got lots of books, so put "botany dvd" and got:

1 - Bild-DVD, Nelson, Cox: Lehninger Biochemie: Die Abbildungen Des Buches [???????]
2 - Andre Rieu live in Australia
3 - The botany of desire with Michael Pollen
4 - BBC Natural History box set [ah-ha!] but no Botany - and it's on Blu-Ray.

Looks like I'll have to wait a while. Or, of course, buy a TV licence!

Gattina, can you not watch the programmes via PC? BBC doi "catchup", though not sure if all programmes would be available, or for how long. Just thought, I could do that myself! so put "bbc catchup botany" into Google, found the page - no programmes available. sigh.

17 Feb, 2012

 

I've just answered this point on another blog - a lot of tv programmes are not available to us ex-pats because of some sort of international broadcast copyright laws, but radio programmes don't appear to be subject to the same strictures.

17 Feb, 2012

 

The reason the Botany programmes aren't available on the iplayer, though, is because they generally hold them for viewing for a week -it's been longer than that since the last episode was transmitted.

17 Feb, 2012

 

ah, right, Bamboo. I'll have to wait till the Beeb put them on disc - did try the BBC shop, but it told me the nearest thing it could find to "botany" was "Wotan" and offered me a Patrick Troughton Doctor Who story!

17 Feb, 2012

 

there's another programme running at the moment on BBC2 called How to Grow a Planet - three episodes, they've already screened the first 2, last one next week, think it goes out on a Tuesday. Fascinating overview of how life began (with plants).

18 Feb, 2012

 

damn, I might end up buying a TV licence after all!

18 Feb, 2012

 

Bamboo...
My recent blogs feature all the recent BBC plant and garden programmes with times and dates.
I hope this helps :o)

18 Feb, 2012

 

They might be available on the Iplayer though, Fran

18 Feb, 2012

 

they are, Bamboo, I'm listening to one right now; having to keep pausing it while I try to get a name down, spelling it as it sounds - then going to Google to see if it can supply the proper spelling. lol 45 minute programme, been going on for over an hour so far, with all the pauses!

18 Feb, 2012

 

I didn't realize that I had seen all 3 episodes of Botany till I read through this blog again! I was sure I'd only seen two but now I realize I've seen all three!

I was watching the 'Butterfly' one last night, I hadn't realized that the series was made over a couple of years till last night! I found her "fight" to convince so many people to put more emphasis on insect friendly plants very interesting. As I haven't visited a GC in 3 years I knew nothing about her campaign for a Bee Friendly logo. As we were in Spain last year visiting our family I missed the Chelsea Flower Show ;-(( so I didn't even know about it from there! Monty Don on GW hasn't mentioned it at all in spite of the fact he is always talking about bee friendly plants!

18 Feb, 2012

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