Gardening is a combination of art and science. The art component comes from the gardener, while the science is nature’s contribution. In order to keep our gardens thriving, gardeners need to work with nature.
In the garden, nature expresses itself in various ways. Let’s start with the basics—plant growth. While plant hormones guide the development of flowers, fruit, foliage, and so on, the pattern that these take is governed by mathematics. More precisely, this is based on regular fractions of a very special set of numbers called Fibonacci numbers.
The role of Fibonacci numbers is beautifully told in a groundbreaking book from Prometheus Books. “The (Fabulous) Fibonacci Numbers” by Alfred S. Posamentier et al. Don’t let a math phobia keep you from enjoying this delightful book. Written with the general public in mind, this non-technical title makes math fun.
This well written and concise book explains what Fibonacci numbers are. Readers can also learn all about their history and how they have many applications in our daily lives. These are found not only in art and architecture but in music and nature. The authors also explain the relationship between Fibonacci numbers and fractals.
A chapter is devoted to each application. There is one entire chapter on Fibonacci numbers in nature. This shows how these are applied to various kinds of plants and plant structures, such as leaf arrangements and spiraling patterns. This reveals how the numbers are expressed in a variety of plants. These include pineapples, pine cones, sunflowers, cacti, and other species.
The second edition of “Science and the Garden-the Scientific Basis of Horticultural Practice” was released by Blackwell Publishing in association with the Royal Horticultural Society. This was edited by David S. Ingram et al. It is essential for anyone who is serious about gardening. This comprehensive title covers everything gardeners and plant professionals need to know.
This addresses all aspects of gardening and plant life from the basics on soils and composting to plant reproduction and propagation. This also explains how to deal with all the various kinds of problems that plants face, such as pests, weeds, and diseases.
There is an entire chapter on greenhouses. This also addresses other issues like how plants are given their Latin names, the various parts of a plant, and how they respond to their environment. The authors also cover plant breeding, conservation, plant diversity, harvesting and storing garden produce and seeds.
The emphasis is on sustainable gardening methods. This also addresses the roles of public gardens and the many benefits of gardening. The authors also emphasize gardening for all our senses. Throughout the book are charts and boxes with additional information.