PHYLLIS ODESSEY

Shaving The Hairs Off A Stackys: Dr. Tijana Blanusa

Is Bedding Dead?
Dr. Tijana Blanusa Weighs In
“I ordered a ladies razor, so I could shave the hairs off a stachys. 
I wanted to find what part the hairs played in water rentention.”
I don’t meet many plant physiologists.  Dr. Tijana Blanusa works at the Unviersity of Redding (in conjunction with the Royal Horticulture Society), studying plants and their ability to flourish with less water.
In the US, we think about drought tolerant plants, using natives and improving our soil, we hardly ever consider the scientific implications of what effect less water may have on a plant starting with propagation.

According Dr. Blanusua, Petunias x hydrida and Impatiens Walleriana (the focus of her study) need less water than you think.  And when given less water:  flowes are smaller, leaves are smaller, but greener, and  plants still flourish.
The National Trust in the UK has published an extensive manual called Environmental Standard for Gardens and Parks.  Under the leadership of Head Gardener, Ed Ikin, Nymans is part of an ongoing study to see how little water annual and perennial beds need  in order to flourish and what changes take place in the plant themselves.
Gardeners who need annuals are like junkies who need a fix. They can’t do without them. In the past, annuals required additional water, extra fertilizer and lots of attention.  Learning from Dr. Tijana Blanusa, these same gardeners can have their cake and eat it too. 

Dr. Tijana Blanusa may be leading us down a NEW garden path.

http://www.plantnetwork.org/proceeds/rhs2006/summary.htm

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