Human Flower Project
Sunday, April 24, 2011
An Eye for Plants
Direct experience is the best launching pad for botanical education. Put aside the microscope, and let naked fingers and eyes do the studying.
A walk in the park in Mendicina, Italy, with botanical vision
By James H. Wandersee and Renee M. Clary
EarthScholars™ Research Group
Horticulture today focuses systematically on scientific principles applicable to the cultivation of garden and ornamental plants, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, and landscape and nursery crops. In addition, horticultural scientists explore and explain the many contributions of plants to a healthy environment for human life and well being.
Liberty Hyde Bailey, co-founder of the American Society for Horticultural Science [ASHS], was both a horticulturalist and a botanist. Cornell University curator Elaine Engst writes, “He worked to remove the barriers between theoretical botany and practical horticulture. He believed that horticulture should be an applied science based on pure biology, and that it should reflect the application of basic botanical knowledge. As early as 1885, in a speech titled “The Garden Fence,” Bailey urged botanists and horticulturists to reconcile their interests by ‘getting the science from the field and laboratory into the garden’” (Cornell University Exhibition—L.H.B.: A Man for All Seasons; Elaine Engst, curator, 2004).
Reading the second edition of Bailey’s Lessons with Plants (1899) has been inspiration for us – as it should be for anyone interested in plant science.