I don’t have to tell you that gardening is an art. Any beautifully designed plot rich with red roses, deep blue indigo, and striking yellow sunflowers is enough to convince anyone that flowers, vegetables, fruits, shrubs, and trees can create a museum in your yard. Some of the most famous paintings in the world are proof enough that gardens are indeed art. Mary Cassatt’s “Lilacs in a Window” and Vincent van Gogh’s “Irises” have revered places in museum halls.
Gardening is also science. You can’t talk about soil composition or plant hybrids without getting into science. But “science” sounds so removed from the emotions and beauty of time in the garden. In reality, art and science can mingle and connect. Science can help us understand the art of gardening and art helps us appreciate the science of gardening. That’s exactly what you’ll find in the Gardening Science Collection.
The stories here bring us into the joys and fascinations of gardening by appealing to our spirits and the scientific explanations that feed our sense of wonder. In “The Sweet Smell of Rain,” Becky Rupp brings us to a garden still sparkling with water droplets after a storm and explains not only why the scent of an April shower is so unique, but also why it’s so evocative and memorable.
Of course, if you’d like to dig a little deeper into the science of gardening, check out “Good Chemistry,” and find out why we are all alive today thanks to a chemical reaction in plants. Sure, you may be familiar with photosynthesis as something that makes it possible for plants to turn sunlight into our dinner. You may even know that chlorophyll is the substance that makes photosynthesis possible. But did you know that it takes 137 atoms to create chlorophyll and that there are six different kinds of chlorophyll?
And if it’s still early and you haven’t had enough coffee yet for chlorophyll, take a peek at “Here Comes the Sun.” This gardening science story has a little bit of everything from the Earth’s axial tilt to an illuminated 13th-century text that depicts rabbits armed with clubs, bows, and apparently a lot of garlic. There’s even an appearance by the Roman sun god, Sol Invictus! If that’s not the makings of the next Hollywood SciFi blockbuster, I don’t know what is.
There’s all sorts of fascinating (and fun!) science in this collection. Should you play music for your plants? Send an email to your favorite tree? Learn Latin for your flowers? Discover the answer to these questions and more in the Gardening Science Collection!
Editor & Publisher