Why Do Plants Need Light?

Plants are beneficial to humans and other animals in a myriad ways. The most commonly thought of benefit, that plants provide, is that they give off oxygen while taking in carbon dioxide. They, namely trees, also provide shade and cooler temperatures.

Plants are also used in manufacturing products such as paper, lighting, adhesives, medicine, clothing, cosmetics, fuel, charcoal as well as many other products. Additionally, plants provide food for people everywhere. But without light, plants- and life as we know it-  would cease to exist. All plants and animals are fully dependent on photosynthesis for their energy. While some carnivores do not eat plants, directly, the vast majority consume animals that subsist on plants. But why exactly do plants need light? How does this miracle process work?  Read More »

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Happy National Plants At Work Week!

It is no secret that plants provide many benefits to a work space.  Whether adding practicality, like reducing noise, or just increasing visual aesthetics, plants are enjoyed by office workers around the globe.  What better way to demonstrate your appreciation for plants than by celebrating National Plants at Work Week!

Every year eFIG, or the European Federation of Interior Landscaping Groups, hosts and promotes a week dedicated to informing people about the benefits of plants in the workplace and showing them different ways to incorporate greenery into the office.   This week, they will be leaving plants around London for people to take to work with them and have even named an Office Plant of the Year for 2013. Read More »

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History of a Green Thumb: Pietro Porcinai

Pietro Porcinai, an Italian landscape architect, did his best to bring ‘the look of the countryside’ to stimulate and save a country that was mired waist-deep in the classic garden tradition. Porcinai’s preference for the look of the countryside may seem unkempt to the obsessively ordered. But Porcinai saw the possibility of trees, grass and open space for all. More than anyone else, from Italy, Porcinai advocated the need for green spaces particularly in the cities. A true biophilic innovator before biophilia was even a term.

Porcinai had “farm values,” envisioning a more relaxed, friendlier man-environment culture from his Tuscan past. One such example was his creation At The Brion Tomb at St. Vito d’Altivole, that overlooks Florence. Here he had planned a rough meadow of grass as well as marguerites unlike the sown lawn that currently occupies the space.

Porcinai was born in 1910, propitiously in one of the most prestigious historical gardens in all of Italy- the Villa Gamberaia. His father was the lead gardener there and this proved substantial in Porcinai’s decision to pursue landscape design. Porcinai would go on to become the most prominent landscape designer from Italy despite the absence of any professional level undergraduate programs in horticulture in his homeland. He began with the architecture program at the University of Florence and augmented his training with the additions of ecology and botany. Read More »

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Video: July Gardening Tips

For some tips on how to care for plants indoors, click here! Read More »

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Britain’s Favourite Smells

Have you ever smelt something and immediately you were reminded of a different place or time?  Maybe the smell of cinnamon and pine reminds you of holidays with the family, or fresh cut grass calls to mind a bright summer day. Anytime you encounter that particular smell, you re-experience those memories or feelings.

Premium Scenting, or Aroma Marketing, is infusing different smells into a space so that customers or visitors have a positive experience.  Kenneth Freeman, the International Technical Director for Ambius, says, “Of the five senses, smell is the most powerful, with the ability to trigger emotions and memories of good times with friends and family, and experiences from our childhood.”  So what exactly do people like to smell?  Ambius UK recently conducted a study to find out what people consider to be the best and the worst aromas. Read More »

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