The Garden Press Event

The Garden Press Event

Last week we had a team outing when we all went down to London to exhibit at the Garden Press Event at the Barbican – perhaps one of the most important dates in our diary.

Each year we strongly encourage our clients to exhibit at the show as it’s a great chance to get brands and new products in front of the leading contacts in the gardening media world.

This year we decided to have our own Paskett PR stand and it proved to be a very wise decision!

We represented all of our clients on the stand meaning that journalists only had place to visit. The “one stop” approach seemed to go down very well, particularly towards the end of the day when journalists were laden down with bags and not wanting to walk around multiple stands! The plus side for us, and our clients, meant that we were able to cross-promote multiple clients from each enquiry.

The day absolutely flew past and we didn’t seem to stop! Thankfully we’d prepped the stand with gardening props and had plant pots and watering cans filled with sweets so sugar levels didn’t drop at any point! Perhaps we over-catered as we now have an abundance of sweets and chocolates left over in the office. A very dangerous problem to have…

The event generated a lot of interest and enquiries, which subsequently means we’re going to be very busy over the next few weeks following it all up!

Carnivorous plants can count, even without a brain!!

According to a study which I read in the news the other day, Venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants may have the ability to count!

dionaea-venus-fly-trap_3

This does sound like a crazy idea, but let me explain…

Certain plants possess many animal-like abilities, even though they may not have a physical brain. In this case, it’s now known that meat-eating plants can count up to at least five, which is quite impressive!!

Why is this useful you may ask? Well, project leader Rainer Hedrich of Universitat Wurzburg explained “The carnivorous plant Dionaea muscipula, also known as Venus flytrap, can count how often it have been touched by an insect visiting its capture organ in order to trap and consume the animal prey”.

For the study, Hedrich and his team used a machine to stimulate an insect touching the capture organ of a Venus flytrap. The machine emitted electric pulses to fool the plants into thinking an insect has landed on them. The researchers found that each numbered pulse/touch was associated with a particular response;

One: The plant’s trap enters a “ready to go” mode, noting the stimulation.

Two: The trap begins to close around the source of the stimulation.

Three: The trap closes tightly.

Four: The plant produces a hormone associated with the feeding process.

Five: Glands on the inner surface of the trap produce digestive enzymes and transporters that help to take up nutrients. At this point, if the stimulation were a real insect or other victim, it would be dinner…result!!

This process has further benefits to the hungry diner, as this means that the plant doesn’t immediately invest its resources that could, at the early stages, escape or be too small to satisfy the hunger. This allows the Venus flytrap to weigh up the cost and benefit of hunting”.

They are also fairly fussy eaters! The plants show a marked increase in the production of a transporter that allows them to take up sodium. The scientists are not quite sure exactly what the salt does for the plant, however, they suspect it has something to do with how the carnivorous plant maintains the right balance of water inside their cellular walls.

New research is starting off to now ask the question how plants have evolved to support their meat-loving ways.

For more information about this story please visit: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-22/venus-flytrap-plants-can-count-to-five/7106994.

This is definitely a scary thought, and I will not look at my house plants in the same way ever again.

Let us know what you think about this by emailing: sophierowe@paskett.co.uk.

Planning your glasshouse in 2016

A new glasshouse, greenhouse or orangery is always an exciting purchase and planning is critical for any new investment.  According to our client Griffin Glasshouses, by answering the questions below you can be confident that nothing is overlooked and that you have considered the most important facts to turn your dream glasshouse into a reality:

  1. What do I want to grow and how might this change in the future?
  2. Where in my garden is the best location?
  3. What style of glasshouse is right for me?
  4. How much can I afford to spend?
  5. Do I need planning consent?
  6. How do I maximise the ventilation?
  7. How will I manage the watering?
  8. Do I need an electricity supply?
  9. Will I be able to get a wheelbarrow through the door?
  10. What are the maintenance costs?

Last year Paskett PR helped Griffin Glasshouses mark its 50th anniversary at The Chelsea Flower Show and we even had journalist and television presenter, Janet Street-Porter, on the stand to help with the cake cutting ceremony!

Janet Street Porter on the Griffin Glasshouses stand, Chelsea 2015

Janet Street Porter on the Griffin Glasshouses stand, Chelsea 2015