Morning Glory Aggravation & Lost Felcos

I am loathe to admit that while my tulips and clematis are doing fine, once again this year I am confounded by morning glories. The seeds will not germinate. I’ve tried soaking, soaking and scoring, bottom heat, no heat, more water, less water, complete negligence. At first, I asked other people how they got theirs to grow and was met with either a) horror that I would plant such a beast, or b) horror that I was having technical difficulties with them. Or both. It’s quite humiliating. I don’t mind their rude pushy ways, I accept them as they are. It is utterly ridiculous to me that I cannot grow morning glories. This is like failing at marigolds or having a hard time growing mint.

My spirits have taken such a beating in this matter that I cannot get into the weeding and pruning I need to do. You think I’d be motivated by the knowledge that my Felcos are out there in the dirt somewhere and I’m unlikely to discover them again until I do some actual gardening. But come on, I live in the Pacific Northwest – what are the chances they are anything but an oxidized fossil by now?


New research on auxin transport and PIN-PGP complexes

The horticulture department at Purdue University led a team of international researchers studying auxin transport and how PIN and PGP proteins work together to direct plant growth.

Auxin is the hormone that signals growth in both roots and shoots. PIN-PGP complexes direct the flow of auxin as it influxes at the apex of a plant cell and effluxes at the basal end. The arrangement of the complexes mechanically directs auxin flow, and the changing concentrations of auxin turn genes on and off locally to initiate shoots and roots.

With greater understanding of these protein complexes, it may be possible to “direct” auxin flow and control root:shoot ratios and engineer plants used for biofuels.

Scientists Pinpoint Proteins That Direct Plant Growth, Development


Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Jared Diamond

I picked this up for the agricultural history but was quickly taken with the excellent writing and comprehensive world history from ~13,000 years ago to present.

Flower Confidential
Amy Stewart

This is a look at the floriculture industry in the US, Latin America and Europe. It was eye-opening, and my single complaint is that for as much as the author talked about photo ops, the only photos are at the chapter openings with no descriptive information.