Lowick Gardening Club

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From Lowick Gardening Club committee, thank you to everyone who has contributed to making Lowick look attractive again this year.

Although we’ve not been part of the ‘in Bloom’ competition, which has given people more freedom in the planting used, it is obvious that much thought and effort has been put into continuing the work that was started by the in Bloom team, by many people in the village.

Members and guests enjoyed a talk by Paul Langdale titled Gardening in Genes. He drew on his knowledge of microbiology to explain that genes can be imagined as nature’s barcodes.

Every individual living plant and animal has an individual ‘barcode’ but instead of a sequence of black lines, the gene contains a code made up from four simple chemicals.

When the genes join together they form the DNA which contains all the genetic information for cells to produce proteins, divide and join together in millions to form the plant we can recognise.

Paul then discussed how nature’s mechanisms over the millennia have altered the gene structures of plants and how this has led to the immense diversity of plants that we now know.

He included the influence of man on these mechanisms, whether the gardener or the scientist, trying to introduce desirable traits into plants.

Methods discussed were cloning, which produces identical offspring of the original plant; cross pollination, which relies mainly on insects, wild animals and the wind to spread pollen from one plant to a closely related other; hybridisation, which man has used to improve the characteristics of agricultural crops such as wheat, and genetic engineering, which involves extracting the genes for a trait in one plant and transferring it to another.

At the next meeting on October 7, at 7.15pm in Lowick Village Hall, members and guests will have the opportunity to taste a range of wines derived from plants associated with British gardens and hedgerows, as well as a selection of the locally-produced Doddington cheeses. This event is free for members and £3 for guests.