WHAT IS A WALNUT?





The walnut is an edible seed of any tree of the genus Juglans, best known of which is the Persian walnut - Juglans regia, although in North America you could argue that it is in fact the native Black Walnut.

Technically, a walnut is a drupe, not a nut, since it takes the form of a fruit enclosed by a fleshy outer layer which parts to reveal a thin shell with a seed inside. As walnuts age on the tree, the outer shell dries and pulls away, leaving the shell and seed behind. Whether you call it a nut or a drupe, walnuts can pose risks to people with allergies, so use them with caution in cooking.

All types of walnuts are quite hardy, and actually require a cold winter period in order to thrive. So anyone living in warmer climates won’t have much success with their own walnut trees.

Walnuts will start to produce nuts at around 10 years of age, give full production at 30 years and keep on producing for more than 50 years. Depending on the specific variety of the walnut tree, they can grow up to 100 feet in height.

The walnut nut!

Walnuts are rounded, single-seeded stone fruits of the walnut tree. It is enclosed in a green, leathery, fleshy husk, but this husk is inedible. After harvest, the removal of the husk reveals the wrinkly walnut shell, which is in two halves. This shell is hard and encloses the kernel, which is also made up of two halves separated by a partition.

Walnut seeds are high density source of nutrients, particularly proteins and essential fatty acids. Like other tree nuts, walnuts must be processed and stored properly. Worryingly, poor storage makes walnuts susceptible to insect and fungal mould infestations; the latter produces aflatoxin - a potent carcinogen. Mould infested walnut seed batch should not be screened then consumed - the entire batch should be discarded.

The seed kernels - commonly available as shelled walnuts - are enclosed in a brown seed coat which contains antioxidants. The antioxidants protect the oil-rich seed from atmospheric oxygen so preventing rancidity.

As mentioned previously there are two major varieties of walnuts grown for its seeds — the English walnut and the Black walnut. The Black walnut is of high flavour  but due to its hard shell and poor hulling characteristics it is not grown commercially for nut production. The commercially produced walnut varieties are nearly all hybrids of the English walnut.

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 Based on an article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walnut and http://treenotes.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/how-to-grow-black-walnut-tree-from-seed.html and http://www.gardeningblog.net/how-to-grow/walnuts/
Image care of http://www.redbubble.com/people/rosiea100/works/4013033-walnut-tree and http://plants4presents.co.uk/giftoptions.aspx?gif=337 and http://www.pingminghealth.com/article/631/walnuts-and-incontinence/

WHERE TO FIND RED SQUIRRELS




Although common throughout the forests of Europe and Asia, the red squirrel is now rare in Britain. The exact reasons for its decline are not precisely known, but currently to blame are the competition for food from its larger cousin – the grey squirrel, and the destruction of suitable woodland habitat.

The red squirrel currently enjoys full protection in Britain today, but it was only 100 years ago that measures were taken to eradicate the red squirrel from Scotland because of the damage it caused to its trees.

Where does the red squirrel live?

With powerful hind legs and sharp claws, the red squirrel is perfectly adapted to climbing slender boughs and for leaping from branch to branch in its woodland environment.

In continental Europe, the red squirrel is found in coniferous forest. In Britain, it lives mainly on broad leaved woodland and – unlike the grey squirrel - it is now rarely seen in the towns or cities.

For most of the year outside of the breeding season, the red squirrel is a solitary animal although it frequently shares its nest with others for warmth – especially during our cool winters.

The red squirrel nest is either a drey or a den. A drey is a 30cm domed ball of twigs and leaves built on a twig platform usually in the fork of a branch. The dome is packed out with leaves, soft bark and given a soft lining of feathers, thistledown or dried grasses. A den is often an old, enlarged woodpecker’s nest found in a tree hollow, lined with the same soft materials.

The red squirrel moults and grows a new coat twice a year. In summer it has a short, mainly chestnut coat. This is replaced in August to November by a thicker, dark brown coat, when its ear tufts become prominent.

It is quite easy to mistake a red squirrel for a grey squirrel in summer when its ear tufts are indistinct and its fur is partially grey.

For more information click onto:
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Discovered - Giant Monitor Lizard
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The Decline of Butterfly and Caterpillar Habitat
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Based on an article from Based on an article from MXM IMP BV/IMP LTD WILDLIFE FACT
Images care of http://www.rsst.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=91

HOW TO GROW STRAWBERRIES





If like me the thought of home grown English strawberries is enough to make your mouth water then now is the time to start getting to work. You can't beat the flavour of home grown strawberries - the greengrocers just can't touch it. Of course, to get the very best flavour you will need to pick your strawberry straight from the plant, and the best way to achieve this is to grow your own strawberry plants!

If you‘re starting afresh then you should be able to find a good selection of plants in any good plant retailer from the beginning of March. Alternatively you can grow strawberry plants from seed.

Although the strawberry is a heavily associated with the English high tea and Wimbledon, the strawberry is not a native of this fair and pleasant land. In fact, the strawberry was first bred in Brittany, France, in the 1750s via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile by Amédée-François Frézier in 1714.
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How to grow strawberries

For that perfect summer flavour I can recommend ‘Cambridge Favorite’, a king amongst strawberries, but to ensure a good yield remove any runners before they start to creep along the ground as leaving them will only sap energy from your existing plants.

However if you need new plants for next year, pinch off the flowers from a couple of selected parent plants as this will encourage shoots and runners instead of fruit. Remove them carefully from parent plants in early autumn and pot them on separately using John Innis No 1 or No 2.

To grow strawberries successfully outside all you need is a little preparation. Strawberries do not produce deep roots and can be prone to damage from water logging so they appreciate the soil being both well drained and well-dug before planting. If you can, prepare the soil at least one month before planting and incorporate as much organic matter as possible. You can even give a little extra help hand by adding bonemeal at a rate of two handfuls per square metre. Then - a few days before planting - you can apply a general fertiliser as Strawberries are greedy feeders over a relatively short period of time.

Plant them 13-15 inches apart along the row with each row being about 30 inches apart. They will need regular watering until they establish - again don't allow them to become water-logged at which time watering can usually be left until they come into fruit. You will also need to keep control of weeds growing near strawberries as they will compete for nutrients and can drastically reduce cropping.
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As the fruit develops their weight will cause them to drop to the ground, but before this happens it’s important to cover the surrounding soil with straw or black plastic. This prevents the fruit from rotting on the soil. In fact it’s from the traditional use of straw that strawberries got their name. Where plastic is used, punch small holes in the plastic to help drainage and to stop water pooling under the fruit.

If you have a problem with birds then the plants will need to be protected with light weight plastic netting. Put this in place when the fruits begin to swell, making sure that netting is well clear of the plants. Depending on your situation you may wish to invest in a fruit cage.
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For more information click onto:
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Buy Melon Seed
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How to Compost
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How to Grow Watermelon Plants from Seed Outdoors
How to Overwinter Strawberries
How to Plant and Grow Strawberries
How to Propagate Strawberries
How to Protect Fruit from Birds
How to Collect and Prepare Strawberry Seed for Propagation
How to Plant and Grow Blackcurrants
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Strawberry Jams
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The Pineapple
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What is a Kiwi fruit?
What is a Papple?
What is Persimmon?
When do you pick Rhubarb
When to Prune Apple Trees
Where can you Grow Blueberries?

HOW TO TAKE CUTTINGS FROM BAMBOO




Hardy bamboo make fantastic ornamental garden plants. They are also very popular as they are evergreen, easy to grow, and extremely 'pest and disease' resistant. Not only will bamboo provide form, structure and height in the garden, they will also provide a pleasing rustling sound from the slightest breeze.

However, the trouble with bamboo is that they can be expensive, so you have a choice - you can either lift a root cutting from an existing plant growing in the ground, or you can buy a containerised bamboo and decide it into several smaller plants.

How to take a root cuttings from bamboo

This is a very simple operation, just make sure you have gained permission from the plants owner. Done carefully, this is a job that can be done at almost any time of year - weather permitting - but best results will be obtained during early spring and autumn.

First, dig around the outside of the clump you wish to remove with a spade. Then gently lift the clump from the soil, trying to keep the root-ball as intact as possible. If you need to, get someone to help with this in order to prevent the fibrous roots from becoming damaged by the root ball falling apart under its own weight.

Look over the clump and decide where you want to make your division.Each division should have at least 3 culms (the large woody stems), and make sure that you get a reasonable amount of root and foliage for each division. Discard any pieces that don't have both roots and culms.

Use a sharp pruning saw, divide the bamboo clump in several pieces. If you do not have a saw and your chosen divisions are big enough, you can always cut through the clump using a decent spade - but you are more likely to cause more root damage this way.  If a significant amount of root is lost in lifting the root-ball, you can still save your root cutting by reducing the amount of foliage that the remaining roots need to support Remember that roots will only support a certain amount of foliage. Too much foliage and your cutting will dry out and in all likelihood die. Just make sure  that when you cut back the culms, there are some green leaves left so that the new plant divisions can photosynthesise.


You can either plant your divisions directly into the ground where you expect them to remain and spread or you can pot them on into a suitable container.

When planting them directly into the ground, start by digging a hole with the same depth as the root cutting and about twice its width.

The most common mistake made is to dig the hole too deep and too narrow.

Planting a bamboo too deep or narrow will inhibit the roots ability to absorb oxygen and gather nutrients. Do not disturb the root system when planting as this can inhibit the speed at which the plant can establish itself in the new environment.


It is generally advised to avoid using fertiliser or manure during the initial planting, as this too can potentially damage the root system. High levels of nitrogen in a fertiliser can actually burn the young rhizomes. Keep in mind that, bamboos do not grow well in soggy or heavy soils, and if you need to contain the spread of the rhizomes, it may be necessary to install some kind of root barrier.

Once the newly planted bamboo is secured in the hole, it is worth testing its stability. You may need to secure it to a suitable point so that strong winds will not be able to knock the plant over while its roots are establishing themselves.

Bamboo will thrive best with a regular layer of mulch to protect the roots and rhizomes. The mulch not only serves as protection from pests and weeds, it will also help to retain water and providing nutrients.

How to plant Bamboo in to pots


Fill suitably sized container halfway with potting soil that is rich in organic matter and fast draining. Then set your bamboo division in the middle of your container. Adjust the soil so that the top of the root ball sits a couple of inches below the surface of the container then top dress with potting soil to 1 inch below the rim of the pot - leaving room for water.
>Water your roots cuttings thoroughly, then place the new plants in a sheltered location in partial shade. Avoid     having the root cuttings in direct sun until new growth appears, and water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch.

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How to Grow Bamboo
How to Grow Banana Trees from Seed
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How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Cuttings
HOW TO GROW NANDINA DOMESTICA - The Sacred Bamboo
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How to Grow Plants
How to Grow the Sago Palm from Seed
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How to Propagate Bamboo?
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How to Take Cuttings from Bamboo
How to Take Cuttings from Bougainvillea
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How to take Cuttings from Fuchsia
How to Take Cuttings from Lavender
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How to take Cuttings from Roses
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Lavender
Magnolia x soulangeana
Monkey Tree
Rosemary
SCOTCH THISTLE - Onopordum acanthium
Strelitzia
Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex'
The Dragon Blood Tree 
The Dragon Lily
The Hardy Begonia - Begonia grandis
THE MIMOSA TREE - Acacia dealbata
The Monkey Puzzle Tree - Araucaria araucana
The Snowdrop
What is an F1 Hybrid?
What is Bamboo?
What is Lavender?
What is Lobelia?
What is Seed Dormancy?
When and how should you prune back Lavender?

Images care of http://bamboosourcery.com/catalog.cfm and http://seattlebamboo.com/pip.html

ALL ABOUT ANIMALS



The 'Garden of Eaden' strives to promote the planet's wildlife together with the unique environments they inhabit. The more we learn about these fascinating subjects the better the chance we have of safeguarding them for our future. Please click on the relevant title in order to be directed to your chosen article.

ALLIGATOR
1. Alligator
2. The Differences Between Crocodiles and Alligators
3. What do Alligators Eat?
4. Where do Alligators Live?






AMPHIBIANS
1. What is the Difference between a Frog and a Toad?
2. What is the Worlds Largest Amphibian?
3. What is the Worlds most Poisonous Frog?
4. The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus)






BIRDS
1. What is the Worlds Largest Eagle?
2. Caring for insect eating birds in winter
3. How to protect fruit from birds
4. What is the Worlds Fastest Bird?
5. Seed bearing plants for attracting wild finches
6. British birds of paradise
7. The decline of insect eating birds



CHIMPANZEE
1. All about Chimpanzees
2. Chimpanzee
3. Chimpanzee Facts
4. What do Chimpanzees Eat?






CHEETAH
1. Cheetah
2. Cheetah Facts, Videos and Photographs
3. What is a Cheetah?
4. Where do Cheetahs Live?





CROCODILE
1. The Differences Between Crocodiles and Alligators









CUCKOO
1. What is a Cuckoo?









DINOSAURS
1. Coelacanth
2. Dinosaur: Archaeopteryx
3. Dinosaur: Did Pterosaurs hang upside down?
4. Dinosaur Facts and Movie clips - The Spinosaur
5. Dinosaur: The Pterodactyl
6. Dinosaur: The Spinosaur




DOLPHINS
1. All about Dolphins
2. Can Dolphins Kill Sharks?
3. Dolphin
4. How do Dolphins Communicate?
5. How do Dolphins Breath when they Sleep?
6. What do Dolphins Eat?
7. What do Dolphins do?



ELEPHANT
1. Baby Elephants
2. Elephants
3. Elephant Facts
4. The African Elephant
5. What do Elephants Eat?
6. What is the Difference between African and Indian Elephants?
7. Where do Elephants Live?
8. Why do Elephants have Big Ears?


FISH
1. Do Fish Sleep?
2. Flying Fish
3. How Long can a Flying Fish Fly for?
4. How to Catch Crayfish
5. LIVING DINOSAURS - The Coelacanth
6. The Coelacanth - a living, breathing fossil
7. What is the Worlds Fastest Fish?



GIRAFFE
1. Giraffe Facts
2. What do Giraffes Eat?
3. Where do Giraffes Live?
4. Why do Giraffes have Long Necks?






GORILLA
1. Gorilla
2. What do Gorillas Eat?








ICE AGE GIANTS
1. Where did the Saber-Toothed Tiger Live?
2. Why did the Saber-Toothed Tiger become Extinct?
3. How do you Clone a Mammoth?
4. Saved from Extinction - The Mammoth?






INSECTS AND MOLLUSCS
1. How Fast is a Snail?
2. What is the Difference between a Moth and a Butterfly?
3. What is the Worlds Largest Insect?
4. World's Largest Insect
5. What is the Difference between a Millipede and a Centipede?
6. The Hummingbird Moth




JAGUAR
1. What do Jaguars Eat?
2. Where do Jaguars Live?









KILLER WHALES
1. What do Killer Whales Eat?
2. Where do Killer Whales Live?








KOALA
1. What do Koalas Eat? 
2. The Koala
3. Is a Koala Bear a Bear?







LION
1. All about Lions
2. Lion
3. Lion Facts
4. What do Lions Eat?
5. Where do Lions Live?





MANATEE
1. Where do manatees live?
2. What is a Manatee?








OWL
1. The eagle owl - friend or foe
2. The Eagle Owl
3. The Snowy Owl







PANDA

1. Panda
2. Panda Bear
3. Panda Facts
4. Polar Bear Facts
5. What do Pandas Eat?
6. What is a Panda?
7. Where do Pandas Live?


PEACOCKS
1. What do Peacocks Eat?
2. The Peacock








POLAR BEAR
1. What do Polar Bears Eat?
2. Where can you Find a Polar Bear?
3. Polar Bear

RHINOCEROS
1. The Indian Rhino
2. The Black Rhino








REPTILES
1. What is the Difference Between a Tortoise and a Turtle?
2. How do lizards run on water?








RODENTS
1. What is the Difference between a Rat and a Mouse?









SHARKS
1. Can Dolphins Kill Sharks?
2. Living Dinosaur Shark - The frilled shark
3. What is the Worlds Biggest Shark?






SNAKES
1. Venomous Snakes
2. What is the Most Poisonous Snake in India?
3. What is the World's most Poisonous Snake?







SNOW LEOPARD
1. The Snow Leopard
2. What do Snow Leopards Eat?
3. What is a Snow Leopard?
4. Where do Snow Leopards Live?




SPIDER
1. What is the World's Largest Spider?
2. What is theWorld's most Poisonous Spider?






TIGER
1. What are the Nine Sub-Species of Tiger?
2. The Bengal Tiger
3. Tiger
4. Tiger Facts
5. Tigers
6. What do Tigers Eat?
7. What is the World's Largest Species of Tiger?
8. Where do Tigers Live?

WHALES
1. How Big is the Blue Whale?
2. The Blue Whale
3. The Whale
4. What are Whales?





ZEBRA
1. Are Zebras Black with White Stripes or White with Black Stripes?
2. What is the Difference between a Zebra and a Horse?
3. Where do Zebras Live?
4. Zebra




Images care of http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/american-crocodile/ and http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/channel/newsitem.asp?c=11&cate=__9504 and http://matthew-atanasiu.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/about-t-rex.html and http://blogs.dfid.gov.uk/2011/04/why-did-the-gorilla-cross-the-road/ and http://ryecityschools.midland.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=&pageid=162782 and http://freeimagesarchive.com/img2326.search.htm and http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/99893/ and http://shark-in-the-water.blogspot.co.uk/ and http://celltoday.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/can-stem-cells-help-save-snow-leopards-from-extinction/ and http://www.dwarforca.com/faq.php and http://www.the-livingrainforest.co.uk/living/view.php?category&id=7 and http://sodlikeproductions.motion-forum.net/t1566p15-the-anthropic-principle and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bald.eagle.closeup.arp-sh.750pix.jpg and http://www.capetownselfcatering.biz/travel-blog/suzanne-duncan/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year/
All about Animals

HOW DO YOU GET ACID RAIN?




You may think that 'acid rain' is a relatively modern concept, but it was actually first used over 100 years ago to describe worrying conditions in Manchester, England.

However, acid rain is certainly not a new phenomenon brought on by modern industrialization as all rainfall has a certain amount of natural acidity. It is just that pollutants released from industrialization increases this acidity a thousand fold! And don't think it's just rain you need to worry about as acidity can also be present - and be just as damaging - in snow hail, cloud, fog, mist and even air borne dust!

What causes acid rain? 

Approximately 300 million years ago, huge areas of the Earth were forested. Over time, tress came to the end of their natural life and died. Where they fell, they were gradually transformed into seams of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

 Today we mine and burn fossil fuels in enormous quantities to generate electricity, heat our homes and power our factories. Unfortunately, burning fossil fuels releases releases huge amounts of pollutants - notably sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons - into the atmosphere.

Once they are in the atmosphere, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and the hydrocarbons react with sunlight to produce a selection of secondary pollutants such as ozone.

These secondary pollutants react with the sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide to form sulphuric-acid and nitric acid in the tiny droplets of water that go to make up our clouds. In this form the acids are carried on the wind to fall as 'acid rain' , often great distances away. Today, in spite of growing environmental awareness all around the world - and so is the damage caused by acid rain., large scale industrialization is still increasing.

The damage caused by acid rain

Over 1,000,000 square kilometres of Europe's forests have suffered the effects of acid rain, with conifers being damaged the most. The sulphur dioxide from burning fossil fuels may damage and kill many trees, but this is compounded as acid rain reacts with vital plant nutrients, preventing their uptake through root systems.

Even slight damage to a mature tree caused by pollution can be enough to kill it because it reduces the trees frost hardiness and its resistance to fungal and pest attack.

American studies have indicated that even where forests are showing none of the easily visible external signs of acid rain damage, pollution is nevertheless limiting their growth.

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Based on an article by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainforest
Photo care of http://article.wn.com/view/2009/02/13/Government_to_tap_Brazils_agriculture_expertise/  and
Images care of http://aml0839.edu.glogster.com/environmental-effects/ and http://conservationreport.com/2010/06/21/acid-rain-is-increasing/