15 Interesting Gardening Facts

Published on September 6th 2018
It's been a while since I popped a fun fact list together, so here are 15 gardening snippets that might make you smile or at least say 'ahh, I didn't know that!'.
  • There are 7.5 billion people on Earth. A single teaspoon of soil contains more microorganisms than that!
  • The vanilla bean comes from an orchid plant. At present, there is a world shortage of pure vanilla.
  • If the Roman Emperor Tiberius hadn't loved cucumbers, we might not have greenhouses today. The world's first greenhouses were built around 2000 years ago at his command, just because he couldn't bear to have a whole day without cucumber.
  • Watermelons aren't fruits - they're vegetables that are closely related to pumpkins, squash and cucumbers.
  • A sunflower is not one flower but its centre and the petals make up 1000 to 2000 individual flowers, all held together on one single stalk.
  • The first gardens were not decorative. They were only used for practical purposes - growing medicinal herbs and various foods. Decorative gardens only started to appear about 3500 years ago in Egypt.
  • There are at least 10,000 varieties of tomatoes. Unbelievably there are over 60 million tons of tomatoes produced each year, this makes the humble tomato the world’s most popular fruit.
  • Sprinkling a little baking soda to your growing tomatoes will make them sweeter. It reduces the acidity.
  • Some vegans believe that Figs are not suitable for a vegan diet, as the fig is pollinated by a fig wasp, the flower traps the wasp and then uses the enzymes within the flower to digest the wasp.
  • In the UK 54% of gardeners are women and about 68% of this group are over the age of 45.
  • Garden gnomes were first introduced from Germany in 1847 by Sir Charles Isham. There are only one of his 21 porcelain gnomes left ‘Lampy’ who is insured for £1 million. This is not him, but one of his friends... we couldn't raise the money for Lampy's photo shoot.
  • A pineapple is actually a berry.
  • As a child, we know that you place a buttercup flower under your chin 'to see if you like butter'. But this innocent flower is not as harmless as it looks. Buttercups are one of the most deadly garden plants and if eaten can cause a very painful death.
  • A new fashion is to wear plants as jewellery, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. The best plants for this are succulents.
  • The daisy family Asteraceae includes lettuce and artichokes as well as daisies.
Aster from the Asteraceae family

If you have any fun facts that you want to share with us, we would love to hear them.

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