Interview with a Botanist

Making the grass greener with Sara Middleton

Today we're meeting PhD student Sara Middleton from the University of Oxford, who's studying the effect of drought on a UK calcareous grassland. Sara's love for plants spreads across all aspects of her life and she runs an outreach project, YouTube channel and is also working on a documentary to get other's involved too.

Garden Plants, Wildflowers

Common Columbine

Recently on the blog, we looked at English bluebells, so this week it seemed only fitting to move on to American bluebells. With an incredibly long history in a variety of cultures, Columbine is a treasured flower in the wild and in gardens. Its shape teaches an important lesson about evolution, and its symbolism has conflicting naughty and nice origins. 

Plant Science

The Ecosystem of Humanity

In 2017, I was invited back to my secondary school as a guest speaker for an annual diversity and inclusivity event. This speech was a milestone in my career as a plant scientist and I am excited to share it with you.

Wildflowers

English Bluebells

English bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are enchanting flowers, they grow in ancient woodlands all over the UK and are often associated with magic and fairies. This flower is very close to my heart and an iconic symbol of the English countryside that's steeped in folklore and ancient mythology.

Rose blossoming from a gun
Plant science in...

Plant science in heavy metal

Arabidopsis cleaning up bomb sites? Carrots mining for gold? Black Sabbath encouraging bigger blooms in lilies? This might seem like the stuff of science fiction, but in this blog post, I'm going to be talking you through all three.

Garden Plants

Camellia: tea from your garden

What started out as a morning scroll on Twitter, turned into a productive little experiment. Researching Camellia japonica, I realised I could not only make tea from my plant, but I could do it in less than a day and with minimal effort - ideal!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Plant science in...

Plant science in Animal Crossing

With the recent release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I wanted to explore the many plants featured in this viral sensation. Discover the science behind the medicinal, parasitic and toxic plants growing in your virtual garden.