A VLOG to celebrate the 5th birthday of the #AdventBotany blog series

This post IS about science blogging, but not about link rot in blogs, as promised yesterday. That post will come later this week. From its inception, I have contributed to the University of Reading in the UK's Advent Botany blog series, now in its fifth year. My posts have allowed me to indulge my passion for plants outside of my research. In teaching undergraduates over 30 years, I have found that talking about plants and people is the best way of developing their interest in botany.

During Advent Botany, I have blogged about poinsettias, cranberries, red-osier dogwood, amaryllis, white cedar, balsam fir, paperwhites, ivy, candy cane chrysanthemums, and less traditional plant species associated with the British festive season, like arctic cotton grass and willow, and gourds.

Canadian gardening magazine dead webpage for the Advent Botany 2014 parsnip pear recipe

Canadian gardening magazine dead webpage for the Advent Botany 2014 parsnip pear recipe

I also contributed recipes to posts about dates and parsnips, although on checking, I discovered that link rot has set in to the parsnip and pear soup recipe. At least Canadian Gardening included a page about this. Here's a live link to another parsnip and pear soup recipe, but I would drop the celery.

Over the years, Advent Botany bloggers have become more international and diverse, which has been wonderful to watch.

This year, I proposed something a bit different to Professor Alastair Culham, who co-founded this very cool science blog series with Professor Jonathan Mitchley. I had an idea for the Advent Botany VLOG. This is how I felt after I realized what it actually entailed: 😱.

Western trees off the USA

I'm always happy to dust off botany books from my shelf

While this may not make it into the 2018 series, here is my first, and perhaps last attempt at a va-log. My daughter informed me that it is not pronounced vee-log!

Naturally, I had to do some botanical detective work after I toured the local shops, and I discovered that the magnolia leaves in the video are a popular Christmas floral decoration in the south of the USA. And the large cones aren't yellow pine but probably sugar cone pine (Pinus lambertiana). It's always fun to learn something new about Advent Botany, especially about different species of pine cones, which are kinds of gymnosperm strobili!

Dawn Bazely's Advent Botany VLOG Dec 2018 from Dawn Bazely on Vimeo.