Thriving since 1960, my garden in a bottle: Seedling sealed in its own ecosystem and watered just once in 53 years.

To look at this flourishing mass of plant life you’d think David Latimer was a green-fingered genius. Truth be told, however, his bottle garden – now almost in its 53rd year – hasn’t taken up much of his time. In fact, on the last occasion he watered it Ted Heath was Prime Minister and Richard Nixon was in the White House.

For the last 40 years it has been completely sealed from the outside world. But the indoor variety of spiderworts (or Tradescantia, to give the plant species its scientific Latin name) within has thrived, filling its globular bottle home with healthy foliage.

The bottle garden has created its own miniature ecosystem. Despite being cut off from the outside world, because it is still absorbing light it can photosynthesize  the process by which plants convert sunlight into the energy they need to grow.”

So how does it work exactly?

Bottle gardens work because their sealed space creates an entirely self-sufficient ecosystem in which plants can survive by using photosynthesis to recycle nutrients.

The only external input needed to keep the plant going is light, since this provides it with the energy it needs to create its own food and continue to grow.

Light shining on the leaves of the plant is absorbed by proteins containing chlorophylls (a green pigment).

Some of that light energy is stored in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that stores energy. The rest is used to remove electrons from the water being absorbed from the soil through the plant’s roots. Read more…

1 year ago 17,603 notes

Biologists will often use dyes to make the objects they study easier to see. Use food dye to see how plants get the water and nutrients they need through tiny tubes that use capillary action.  

1 year ago 130 notes

Gardeners keep soil, water, and sun in balance – bringing abundance and beauty to the land. Create your own container gardens out of pots, jugs, cans and trays. You don’t need much space to build one and you can raise healthy plants almost anywhere.

1 year ago 76 notes

A Modular City Of Plants That Can Be Controlled Online

The Plant-In City project features interconnected Arduino-equipped planter frames with sensors that measure soil, water, and light. The Arduino connection means that the plants can be controlled from anywhere; a smartphone app keeps track of their vitals and allows plant guardians to adjust water and light settings.

1 year ago 20 notes