Real-life Farmville and a pregnancy app for cows – mobile technology is changing the way farmers do business in Africa.
By: Jade Small
Before there was modern-day medicine and its pharmacopeia of synthetic drugs, there were plants, and ancient civilizations knew how to use them strategically to treat common ailments and even life-threatening diseases.
Below is an excellent starting point to learn how to harness the power of medicinal plants. This is only a small sample, of course, and once you get your feet wet, you’ll likely be inspired to explore more and more uses for these healing wonders.
There are 1,500 to 1,800 species of cacti. Each species for the most part fall into one of two core cacti categories, these being opuntias or cactoids. One of the most impressive feature of cactus is that this plant serves as a natural water reservoir. The liquid stored in it is not clear like water, but looks like a thick viscous substance. This liquid is absolutely safe for human consumption. It can be obtained for drinking by scratching or making a hole in the columnar cactus. This fluid has saved several lives in the desert regions.
Carnivorous plants can live on the ground or in the water. Just like other plants, carnivorous plants obtain energy in the process of photosynthesis. They absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to create food (sugar). Lifespan depends on the species, but some carnivorous plants can survive up to 50 years in the wild.
Tacca chantrierei is native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, and southern China: particularly Yunnan Province. They are understory plants, so they prefer shade (at least 60%). They grow best in well-drained soil with good air circulation, but they prefer high humidity, and need a lot of water.
Versailles Gardens, France
Paris has lots of famous attractions and Versailles Gardens are among them. Constructed in the 17th century, during the ministry of King Louis XIV (the Sun King), Versailles Gardens impress visitors with ornamental lakes, beautiful statues and numerous flower beds.
Palmengarten offers visitors a wide variety of plants, exhibited in several climatic zones. This quiet garden with a playground for kids and deck-chairs surrounded by trees is a perfect place for a family recreation. Amateur and professional photographers can find inspiration for new masterpieces.
Shalimar Garden, Pakistan
The construction of Shalimar Garden took only one year (1641-1642). The main attractions of this garden are 5 water cascades and 410 fountains.
Kew Gardens, England
Kew Gardens are a paradise for plant lovers, as they have over 50 thousand species of plants. Its famous Palm House Shelters have 10 climatic zones that allow enjoying the most exotic plants, including vanila orchids and baobab trees. If you happen to visit Kew Gardens pop over the Bonsai House exhibiting 150-year-old trees.
Jardin Majorelle, Morocco
A garden the construction of which took over 40 years is bound to impress and astonish. Jardin Majorelle with fabulous marble pools, thousands of multicoloured flowers, huge collection of cacti and over 15 species of birds, is one of the most popular attractions in Morocco. Visit Jardin Majorelle and you will never regret it!
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Washington
This 40-room mansion surrounded by a huge green garden once belonged to the founder of General Foods, Marjorie Merriweather Post. Today, this quiet place is opened for visitors and it is a perfect place to enjoy the silence and have afternoon tea. Numerous flowers, monuments and singing birds will help forget about the vanity of a large city.
Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Scotland
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is famous not for its numerous or exotic plant species. In fact, plants play the secondary role here, because Charles and Maggie Jencks, the creators of this place, wanted to demonstrate a unique combination of geometry, science, symmetry, strict lines and nature. Chess board alleys, diverse steel designs and unusual geometrical figures are harmonically combined with flowers and ornamental lakes. This unique place is opened for visitors only 1 day a year.
Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands
Keukenhof is the largest flower garden in the world. Visit the garden in spring and admire the beauty of stunning flower beds made of over seven million hyacinths, tulips and daffodils. Visitors are offered boat and bike tours and also delicious meals at local cafes and restaurants.
Butchart Gardens, British Columbia
Butchart is one of the most famous and beautiful gardens in the world. It is famous for its 300 thousand flowerbeds and a spectacular waterfall. One of the oldest ornamental gardens in the world is especially beautiful in spring, when all flowerbeds are in blossom.
Suan Nong Nooch Gardens, Thailand
Suan Nong Nooch is famous not only for its huge collection of orchids and palms. It is also the place where tourists can enjoy various shows, including Thai cultural and elephant shows. What can be more exciting that a cultural show in a gorgeous garden!
Yuyuan Garden, China
If you want to feel the atmosphere of the medieval China, just visit Yuyuan Garden. The garden which was constructed in 1550 takes visitors to the Middle Ages. Yuyuan Garden or the Garden of Contentment is always flooded with tourists and therefore is not the best place for a quiet rest.
Wisteria (also spelled Wistaria orWysteria) is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae, that includes ten species of woody climbing bines native to the Eastern United States and to China, Korea, and Japan. Some species are popular ornamental plants, especially in Chinaand Japan. An aquatic flowering plant with the common name wisteria or ‘water wisteria’ is in fact Hygrophila difformis, in the family Acanthaceae.