"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."Naturalis Historia
was written by Pliny the Elder
between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian
, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum
, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Dec 16, 2013 -
“People have this idea, because it’s a ‘community’ garden, you’ll have a bunch of people sitting around holding hands, singing ‘Kumbaya,’” says Julie Beals, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC ). “Have you seen an actual community?”
posted by jason's_planet
on Dec 7, 2013 -
are members of the olive family
, among the earliest flowering plants
imported to the United States. Planted near the front doors of flat, bare early Colonial house facades, they helped to create "dooryard gardens
," which softened and brought beauty to a rough-hewn early America. Jefferson planted them; at Monticello, some of those bushes still bloom.
. They gave Pan
his pipes. They are employed as evocative symbols in American literature
, and poetry
, where they symbolize the sensuousness of love
in its earliest stages. Festivals celebrate
, and NOAA tracks the earliest leaves and flowers
for evidence of climate change. The inability to smell it may be an early indication of Alzheimer's disease
. No wonder people like to steal them
posted by Miko
on May 23, 2008 -
A revised U.S. plant hardiness map
has been put out by the National Arbor Day Foundation, based on numbers from 5,000 cooperative climate observation stations throughout the United States. The foundation forged ahead
with their own revisions since the official USDA map
update has stalled. One unofficial draft [PDF]
does exist. A USDA spokesperson
said their map delay is because of fine-tuning where to draw the zone lines; the agency also plans to incorporate other data such as wind.
posted by rolypolyman
on Jan 6, 2007 -
I think is the most beautiful variety of flower. If not for my black thumb I'd gladly devote some time to growing this gorgeous flowers. The main link is to the Internet Orchid Photo Encyclopedia. There's apparently a cultural phenomena involving orchids that even includes tails of theft
. A case of Nicaraguan theft has even been likened to rape
. NOVA has done an episode
on it, which sadly I haven't seen. They're an amazingly diverse species.
posted by substrate
on May 15, 2004 -
is the oldest form of gardening
known to man, the practice
centers on the moon's gravitational effect on the flow of moisture in soil and plants and, to a lesser degree, the effect of moonlight on seed germination. "I've got a large area in potatoes. We've got some planted at the right time of the moon and some crops at the wrong time of the moon. The difference is so obvious and there for everybody to see"
posted by stbalbach
on Jul 17, 2003 -
Although the physical reality of this "museum" seems a bit sketchy, you simply have to love lush color photos of carniverous plants. I mean c'mon!
Audrey II would be proud.
posted by jeremias
on Mar 4, 2002 -
Pollination Pets for the Garden.
The UK bee population has almost halved in the last 10 years due mainly to the spread
of a mite called Varroa
from Asia. The loss of such a large proportion of the bee population has implications for agriculture, horticulture and nature, bees pollinate the majority of plants with no intervention from man, there isn't a more reliable fertilisation method.
However an Oxford company has come up with a simple kit
to attract Mason bees to nest in your garden requiring no effort and no protective clothing, they're pretty docile too, so it's unlikely you'll get stung.
BTW, the US
is affected too.
posted by Markb
on May 11, 2001 -