WHAT DO STRAWBERRIES AND PEAS HAVE IN COMMON?

Ken Wilson

These two common garden varieties of plants seem to be strange equals. Yet we must look back to 1830 when a man was born in Rutland a small town in Tinwell England. He started off his professional life as a solicitor or in America he would be known as a (Lawyer). His interests turned towards horticulture or plant husbandry as it was called then. He started corresponded with Charles Darwin as his fascination on how more precisely plants passed on certain trait to their offspring. By 1858 at the age of 28 he was breeding Peas at a place called St. Mary’s Hill in Stamford. As his creations increased so did his corresponded to Charles Darwin about his outcomes. Darwin made several notations about his thoughts, and commented about them several times in his (Darwin’s Notes)

In his breeding process he used scientific process and accurately noted all parent’s attributes and how they followed through to their progeny. He first perceived a concept that later has been recognized as hybrid vigor. He watched closely to the susceptibility of first-generation and second-generation plants to dieses and their resistance their American counterparts added to their linage. He bred and back bred to gain the best traits of the American varieties into common English varieties.

He did this without the knowledge of Mendel who in Germany was secluded in a monastery and whose works would later be published. His motivation was to improve varieties not the how genetics worked as did Mendel.

He moved his operation to Bedfordhigh Street in 1872 and began breeding strawberries of which he produced several new varieties including the Royal Sovereign strawberry. He also developed the Superb and Lawton’s Fortune apples.

This gentleman and his sons and grandsons produced many varieties of peas that they sold through there store. Along with strawberries, currents and apples. His death was in 1893 but his works live on in one varieties of heirloom peas.

His name was Thomas Laxton (1830-1893), the pea is the “Laxton Pea”, the strawberry “Royal Sovereign.”

Thomas Laxton is considered the greatest pea breeder ever, and this century-old variety is his masterpiece. Try it and see why.

© KEN WILSON
WWW.gardeningwhisperer.com

2019

SPRING

SPRING

Spring is around the corner, if you do not consider it so then look at your maples either red’s or silvers the bids are ever so puffed up. A couple of warm days and the will be in bloom, Sunrise Tree copy smallwhich is enormous as the pollinators will have new source of food.

Just look at this picture and see the buds on this tree and the magnificent sunrise.

Hope all are having a nice spring!!!

Hosta “Curley Fries”

Hosta Curley Fries

The Hosta of the year for 2016 is Hosta Curley Fries.  In 2008 breeder Bob Solberg introduced this magnificent Hosta.  Its curly chartreuse leaves form a diminutive mound of about 6” high and 16’ high giving itCurley Fries copy an unmistakable appearance.  It was from a seedling of Hosta Pineapple Upsidedown Cake. The best color comes from growing it in an area that has morning sun with afternoon shade. This is the most distinctive hosta to be introduced in some time with its highly ruffled narrow leaves that emerge yellow and then fade to near white. In midsummer deep purple scapes emerge on top of the plant with lavender flowers. Continue reading

Book Review “The Allergy Fighting Garden” by Thomas Leo Ogren

The Allergy Fighting Garden Reviewed by Kenneth Wilson “The Gardening Whisperer”.

 

This review is prepared to be on www.Gadeneningwhisperer.com .   This book was written by Thomas Leo Ogren, 2015 and edited by Lisa Regul of Ten Speed Press.

ken cherrysThomas has a Masters Degree in Agricultural Science with an emphasis on plant flowering systems and their relationships to allergy. He is the creator of (OPALS) or Ogren Plant Allergy Scale.  He has been a teacher, business owner, landscaper, has been on TV. He has written many books and articles about plants and allergies. His whole career has been given to helping those with allergies. Continue reading