Updated: Dec 2, 2021
In celebration of London Town’s 50th anniversary, we wanted to share 5 of our favorite Botanist’s Lens posts, penned by Director of Horticulture Meenal Harankhedkar. Each week, Meenal shares a deeper dive into the botany of London Town’s gardens. You can follow these posts on our social media channels (Facebook and Instagram), on our blog here, and in our regular garden interest emails (sign up here!).
“Seed germination is one of the most critical points in the life cycle of a plant. Seeds vary in size, structure, texture and a whole lot more. Seeds are an evolved critical dispersal unit for higher plants. The time from when the seed is formed till it germinates is very critical and involves many growth phases as well as dormancy stages…”
“London Town's garden is a sanctuary of its own. The beautiful South River wrapping around its edges makes every section of the garden feel serene, but what gives the gardens its true depth of serenity is the fact that it is home to several living collections that teach us about endemism, conservation and evolution…”
“Have you ever spotted any sports in your yard or other gardens? Nope, I am not talking about sports as in basketball, football or cornhole, but in the world of Botany and Horticulture a 'sport' is a totally different ball game! A 'sport' in the botany world means a 'genetic mutation;' one that has no explanation and no specific rhyme or reason for its occurrence. Sport is a chance genetic mutation and can occur on any plant, anytime…”
Camellia sasanqua 'Hana Jiman' (picture courtesy: Dinny White)
“Crossing plants is certainly a fine craft and more so when it comes to Camellias. London Town was extremely fortunate to have Dr. William Ackerman use London Town woodland gardens as a test site for his crosses. Seed propagation, vegetative propagation (cuttings/air-layering) has its own value but to get finer more specific traits, controlled crossing- hybridizing is the best method…”
“Saving and learning about extant, endangered and threatened species should be a resolution for every year, every season and for every gardener. One of my 2019 resolutions was to keep learning from and staying engaged with the current list of plants whose habitats are threatened and endangered. The IUCN Red list (International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List) of Threatened Species is the world's most comprehensive list to read and learn from…”