Garden in a Bottle, anyone?

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Internet has been buzzing for the past few days with this quite an astounding news about The Man with a Garden in a Bottle. So, what extraordinary thing is this?

The most important thing to know about it is that for the past 40 years it has been completely sealed from the outside world. Inside is a healthy growing ecosystem comprised only of Spiderworts. The bottle garden has created its own miniature ecosystem. Despite being cut off from the outside world, it has been able to photosynthesise as its kept near to a window in Mr. Latimer’s house. It was revealed to the world quite recently when he took a photograph of it to the BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time and asked the panel of experts if it is ‘of scientific or horticultural interest’.

So, how does a bottle garden work?

Bottle gardens work as the sealed space they are in creates a completely self-sufficient ecosystem in which plants can survive by using photosynthesis to recycle all the nutrients available. The only external input needed to keep the plant going is light, since this provides it with the energy it needs to create its own food and continue to grow. The sunlight falling on the plant leaves is absorbed by proteins containing chlorophyll. Now, some of that light energy gets stored in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules. The rest is used for removing electrons from the water which is absorbed from the soil through the roots. These “free ” electrons get used up in chemical reactions  which convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, hence releasing oxygen.

But the ecosystem also uses cellular respiration to break down all the decaying material which is shed by the plant. The bacteria present in the soil of the bottle garden absorbs all the plant’s “waste oxygen”, hence releasing carbon dioxide which the growing plant then can reuse. During night time, when there is no sunlight for  photosynthesis, the plant uses cellular respiration for its basic functions by breaking down the stored nutrients.

Because the bottle garden is a closed environment, that means its water cycle is a self-contained process. The water present in the bottle gets taken up by roots and is then released into the air during transpiration, which condenses into the potting mixture, where the cycle begins again.

So, if you want to go ahead and make a bottle garden of yours this video might help !!

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