A Free On-Line Course on Plants that Begins This Week

Here is another free on-line course on plants that I found to be interesting and fun !
“What a Plant Knows” presented by TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY via Coursera.



Orange Bordered Beetle on Tibetan Gentian ( Qin Jiao )

orange bordered beetle on Tibetan Gentian

Most web listings I found on-line, list Tibetan Gentian as very rare plant, this one grows happily outside the gift shop at the farm. Originating from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains of Western China and Tibet, ” Qin Jiao ” has been used in eastern medicine for centuries.

I am having a bit of difficulty getting a positive ID on the bettle, the closest on e I have found is Largus californicus, but it’s markings are a little different. http://bugguide.net/node/view/243552

On-Line Resource e-Grow University


The short grey winter days are heading our way here in South Western BC. I tried to convince my wife that we should move to Australia so I work during the southern hemisphere’s main plant growing season and then return to BC for our spring growing season, but the idea didn’t fly, then I tried to get her to move to Yuma Arizona so I could grow lettuce during their November to January growing season… nope. Best thing I could come up with is staying home and learning more. Here is an interesting link I found this morning that is loaded with free horticulture mini courses.


Cotton Lavender

lavender cotton

Here is another plant from my summer holiday visit to the Harold and Francis Holt Physic Garden at the UBC Botanical Gardens. I really like the signage they use at this garden, it really adds to the experience.
One whiff of the distinctive aroma of Santolina and there is no wonder why it was used in medieval England as an insect repellent… it just smells to me like something that would keep bugs ( and anything else ! ) away.