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Julia Bradley

Culture city Hull faces garden dilemma

by Julia Bradley on January 7, 2014

The former Lord Mayor of Hull has urged councillors to redevelop the city’s once-resplendent Queens Gardens before 2017, when Hull becomes the UK City of Culture.

Addressing a council planning committee, Danny Brown said: “We all want the best for the city and Queens Gardens always tends to be referred to as the jewel in the crown of the city centre.

“Redeveloping Queen Gardens has to take place because we have been given a great incentive with Hull being awarded City of Culture in 2017.


Twelfth Night but the Holly days continue

by Julia Bradley on January 6, 2014

Twelfth Night is traditionally the day that Christmas decorations are supposed to come down.

But the January 5 occasion has been colourfully celebrated in London with actors decoratively dressing up, including a Holly Man donning a green gown and evergreen foliage.

Crowds lined the banks of the River Thames near Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to witness Sunday’s mix of modern festivity and ancient tradition.


Spring flowers one of 2013’s winners

by Julia Bradley on January 5, 2014

Spring flowers have been among the many wildlife beneficiaries of Britain’s weather this year.

A hot July and August helped put memories of six successive poor summers behind us.

But a cool spring also provided a long flowering season for spring flowers, according to the National Trust (NT).


‘Wi-Fi killed off our cress seeds’

by Julia Bradley on January 3, 2014

Exposure to Wi-Fi radiation may damage the health of plants, the findings of an experiment carried out by a team of Danish schoolgirls suggest.

The students, whose findings have prompted a debate on the issue in Denmark, conducted their research after finding their concentration levels in the classroom seemed lower after sleeping next to their mobile phones at night.

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Plant DNA is key to flower evolution

by Julia Bradley on December 30, 2013

Researchers have sequenced for the very first time the genome of the Amborella plant, one of the two oldest lineages of flowering plants.

The discovery could potentially address Charles Darwin’s “abominable mystery” – the question of why flowers proliferated on Earth millions of years ago.


What to do with your Christmas tree

by Julia Bradley on December 28, 2013

If you were lucky enough to have a real tree this Christmas, what can you do with it now the festive season is over?

Replant it

If you bought a tree that has been grown in a container or potted with its roots intact, you can plant it in your garden after the festivities are over.


Poinsettias brightening up campus

by Julia Bradley on December 27, 2013

Horticultural experts in Northern Ireland have immersed themselves in the festive spirit by growing some of their very own bright red poinsettias.

The plants, which are a relatively new Christmas decoration in the grand scheme of things, have been produced at the Greenmount campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).

It is part of a project that teaches students about a species that is native to Mexico and also allows the students to raise money for a final year study trip by selling the poinsettias to colleagues and staff on campus.


City kids ‘losing exposure to nature’

by Julia Bradley on December 26, 2013

Sir David Attenborough has warned that the loss of green areas in schools is cutting off city children from their only exposure to nature.

In his opinion, too many schools are responding to pressure for places by building new classrooms on playing fields and areas set aside for nature study.

Pupils in cities across the country therefore have less chance of becoming accustomed to the various plants and wildlife of the natural world.


Scotland in bloom this winter

by Julia Bradley on December 24, 2013

Plants are flowering and bulbs are emerging in gardens across Scotland as this year’s warmer winter continues.

After the weather flipped from storm-force gales to balmy temperatures in less than a week, the nation’s flowers have been left somewhat confused.

The fragrance of flowers is in the air at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, while many other parks and gardens are experiencing a rare flurry of colour for December.


New strategy to safeguard UK plants

by Julia Bradley on December 23, 2013

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has announced that a new government strategy to protect plant health will be launched in the spring.

The objective is to safeguard plants of all types, and not just trees, by focussing on border control and raising awareness.