GLEANINGS compiled by Wayne Handlos

Reds for your beds: Queen Victoria's favourite flowers 'geraniums' are superbly dependable summer plants

By Nigel Colborn (Daily Mail, UK) PUBLISHED: 2 June 2013 "Queen Victoria was so taken with those first 'geraniumsí outside Buckingham Palace, that she insisted they be planted there every year - and they still are."

California Cut Flowers & Fewer Pesticides?

(Jennifer Duffield White, Green Talks, June 7, 2013)

"California growers are required by law to report all of their pesticide applications. With more than 20 years of data on the books now, an interesting snapshot of agriculture is emerging. Most notably, the use of pesticides among cut flower growers declined 50% from 2001 to 2010.

"The folks at University of California Davis have investigated what, how and why. Youíll get a good overview of the factors at play by reading "Pesticide Use on the Decline in California Cut Flower Production: The Untold Story," by Michael Parrella, Christine Casey, Andrew Melicharek, Machiko Murdock and Daniel Klittich.

"Itís a quick read, and it might be a good article to remember the next time someone questions the cut flower industry."