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Gardening For Dummies, Mini Edition von Frowine, Steven A. (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 03.12.2010
  • Verlag: For Dummies
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Gardening For Dummies, Mini Edition

Steven A. Frowine has bachelor's and master's degrees in horticulture and is president of his own horticultural consulting firm. The National Gardening Association is a nonprofit leader in plant-based education.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 144
    Erscheinungsdatum: 03.12.2010
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781118042847
    Verlag: For Dummies
    Größe: 1329 kBytes
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Gardening For Dummies, Mini Edition

Chapter 1

Getting Ready for Gardening

In This Chapter

Understanding how plants are named

Examining flowering plants

N o matter what your main gardening interest - be it growing vegetables or making your yard colorful with flowers - chances are that you care most about the plants. Sure, gardening can also involve landscaping and lawn care, or just having a great excuse to play in the dirt, but for most people, the plants make everything worthwhile.

Of course, keeping your plants alive and making them look their best involves a lot of preparation. This book contains information on caring for your garden plants throughout, but you should especially read through the first few chapters if you really want your plants to grow, thrive, and look their absolute best.

Okay, yeah, I know, you already know you need to plan and prepare your soil to get your garden going, but you really just want to read about plants right now, right? In that case, this chapter is devoted to the most basic explanations of some kinds of plants you may encounter in the world of gardening. First, though, I explain a bit about names.

Playing the Name Game

What's in a name? For gardeners, plenty. Gardening is a blend of horticulture and botany, common names and high science, and the names can get a bit confusing. Whether you're looking at plant anatomy or simply want to know what to call a plant, understanding a bit about naming can help you wade through the aisles, ask better questions, and treat your plants right.

"Hello, my name is . . .": Getting used to plant nomenclature

Whenever you're talking about plants, knowing how they're named can help you avoid getting tangled up in the Latin. Generally, when looking for plants and flowers, you encounter two types of names - botanical and common. Read on for some info on how the naming system works, and then carpe diem - pluck the day!

Botanical names

The botanical name is the proper or scientific name of a plant. It consists of two parts: the genus name and the species name. The species name is kind of like your own first name (except it comes last in a plant's botanical name). The genus name is similar to your family name (except in botanical names, it comes first). For example, in the plant name Hosta undulata, Hosta is the genus name, and undulata is the species name. Hosta describes an entire genus of famous, mostly shade-loving plants named hostas, and undulata describes the type of hosta it is - a hosta with an undulating leaf shape.

Sometimes the botanical name has a third name, right after the species name, known as the variety. A variety is a member of the same plant species but looks different enough to warrant its own name, such as Rosa gallica var. officinalis.

Still another botanical name that sometimes comes up is the cultivar, or cultivated variety. Cultivars are usually named by the people who developed or discovered them, and they're often maintained through cuttings, line-bred seed propagation, or tissue culture. In other words, they're cultivated (humans grow, improve, and develop them). An example is Lychnis coronaria 'Angel's Blush.'

Botanical names are more common with some types of plants than others. For instance, you frequently run into them with herbaceous plants, trees, and shrubs but much less so with roses, annuals, and vegetables. You can find botanical names on the

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