As I’ve mentioned in the blog, I am studying through the RHS. I started out wanting to gain more skills but have found myself asking “why?” constantly, like an annoying 3 year old… Why do plants do this? what makes that happen? What is it needing to pick it up? All of these fall under horticulture – nutrient deficiency, environmental or pest damage, water or lack of…

Horticulture; watching the first leaves growing from a seed, giving the correct growing medium, water, light and protection, nurturing that seed and bringing it into maturity where it flowers and bears fruit is what attracts all who study plants, botany, horticulture and ecology. They are not separate while being different.

I have a desire to know changes on quite specific areas and that requires botany. Learning both botany and horticulture requires, from what I’m seeing, an understanding of a whole new language. I’m not saying we all need to learn latin or ancient greek, however there are a lot of bits of words that are easily recognisable after a while. They may already be known but not related to the plant names you see.

Helianthus annus – Helios (Sun God in Ancient Greek) and in the specific epithet ‘annus’ is the plural Latin for annual)
Sunflowers belong to the family Asteraceae – the daisies. Capitulum flowers

An understanding of botany helps in horticulture, amateur or professional. The pages in this section are purely for interest or learning. Hopefully they will help people studying RHS level 2 although they are about to change the syllabus so i don’t know what will become redundant… It’ll hopefully be interesting reading even if no longer included!

I’ll look at soil and nutrients, pests and diseases/disorders, plant science and family trees to name but a few topics… It will help me remember it all and hopefully help you with your journey into this weird and wonderful world of plants.

The gorgeous glasshouse set as the feature image on this post is taken at Serge Hill, a garden open through the NGS once a year in conjunction with Tom Stewart Smith’s ‘The Barn’, just next door. It is in a stunning walled garden created when landowners were encouraged to grow veg to support the war effort. Gardening was a superb form of rehabilitation for those returning from the war as well. Never underestimate the power of plants!