I have been impressed by a couple of things this week.

The first was the absolutely stunning blossom on a Handkerchief Tree in a ‘new’ Client’s garden.  I was 'doubly-impressed' as I had already been fascinated by the large green fruits which stayed on the tree most of the winter, but which I didn’t recognise.  Every time I worked at the garden I thought ‘I must research that when I get home’ and every time I got home, I had forgotten. 

Described as, “A beautiful tree native to South-west China, Davidia involucrata has masses of glorious, white flower bracts in May and June (up to 15 cm long) on mature specimens. These beautiful flower bracts dance on wind, looking like fluttering handkerchiefs or doves and are followed by large green fruit later in the year. The leaves are oval and bright green, sometimes turning shades of plum purple before falling in autumn.  One of the most spectacular flowering garden trees once established!”

That last sentence is a ‘polite warning’ that that these trees are famous for not flowering as young plants.  The flower bracts usually appear any time after the tree’s 15th birthday but have occasionally been known to flower at only eight years old.  I recall Dad being very fond of these magnificent trees, and have to say, having been reminded just how majestic they are, I would say it’s well worth the wait.

Another thing that impressed me, although I have only read about it and not actually witnessed the results, is the ‘Plantsurge’.  Marketed as being, “Powered by magnets, proven by science and endorsed by growers. Plantsurge creates structured water that will give you stronger, healthier plants, abundant flowers and bigger yield.”

Yes, please!

Further exploration revealed that the inspiration behind Plantsurge was Guy Cinnamon, keen gardener and founding member of London company Ecocamel, who himself had enjoyed almost a decade of success with the highly popular Ecocamel Descaler, a magnetic water softener for domestic homes. With the discovery of magnetic water being used to irrigate crops on a huge scale in Australia and horticultural journals recording dozens of studies showing benefits to seeds, fruits, and plants, Guy decided to evaluate magnetic water on plants in his own garden using an adapted descaler device.

When results showed the clear-cut benefits of magnetic water on his garden crops including tomatoes, peppers and courgettes and plants like dahlias and sunflowers, a decision was made to fund independent UK plants trials. Trial results proved to be remarkably successful.

If you have you ever noticed just how vibrant and healthy your plants and gardens look after a thunderstorm, it’s because these effects are caused by the electrical charge in the rainwater. Plantsurge harnesses the power of magnets to give a similar effect on your plants, effects proven from independent plant trials, observations by commercial growers, professional gardeners and hobby plant enthusiasts – without flattening your plants!

The science behind magnetic water can be traced back to the work of French scientist, Louis Pasteur, who in the last century began experiments on magnets and plant growth.  More details at www.plantsurge.co.uk

I am a huge fan of these ‘woo woo’ things (as my brother refers to them).  I have seen magnetic discs – from World Development Systems have an amazing effect on the health of my own plants (and beehives!) www.wds-water-treatment-quality.com/plant-enhancer.aspx  and of course the Music of the Plants, and Cleve Backster’s fascinating experiments and documentation is just as compelling all these years on. 

And as I always say, when someone asks, “How does it work?”

“Very well, thank you.”