The Eden Project

Source:  The Eden Project    Tag:  cytoplasmic streaming

My first work experience finally arrived as I entered the fantastic world of the Eden Project. Conceived by master visionary and former record producer, Tim Smit, the Eden Project houses the world’s tallest greenhouses (or biomes as they are called). Eden was built in old china clay pit, and rises out of the crater like a hidden city from a Jules Verne novel. After a month of visiting historic gardens, spending time in this modern (even futuristic) garden was a welcomed change of pace.

The mission of the Eden Project is centered on opening the public’s eyes about our dependence on plants for almost every aspect of life, and how responsible stewardship of such gifts is vital to producing a sustainable future. Not to mention that Eden goes about promoting this message in such clever and entertaining ways, as to put even Willy Wonka’s factory to shame.

My first rotation was to assist in the “Freaky Nature” exhibit, where we were able to show kids how strange and wonderful plants can be. With our microscopes projected on a huge screen, children from all age groups were fascinated by this “bug’s eye” view of the world. They were particularly astonished to watch pollen tubes growing of all things, with the cytoplasmic streaming very easy to see on the big screen. As for myself, I have a new take on “biocontrol” after watching lacewing nymphs spearing plump aphids and sucking the life out of them. Very cool stuff.

During the rest of my week at Eden, I finally got my hands dirty working in the Nursery, the Humid Tropics Biome, and the Temperate Biome. Everyone I worked with had such a joy about them and such excitement for plants that is was a unique pleasure to be part of “Eden Team,” even if it was for such a short time. However, I look forward to returning to the Eden Team in the lead up to the Chelsea Flower Show. I will be assisting in Eden’s display this year, which will prove to be the largest in the show’s history. I’m really looking forward to being part of such a mammoth display of horticulture.