Garden Myths - Learn the truth about gardening

Archive for the Birth of Myth Category

Are Native Bees Dying?

Native bees are apparently in trouble. They are dying by the millions. We all need to plant more flowers to try and save the bees. Turns out that much of this is based on false information. We don’t actually know the status of most native bees.

In this post I will look at how this myth got started and discuss some real facts about native bees.

Are native bees dying? Bumblebee on flower

Are native bees dying? Bumblebee on flower

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Kamal Meattle – Plants and Air Purification

In 2014 I wrote a post called A Garden Myth is Born – Plants Don’t Purify Air, which has become one of my most popular posts. A recent comment on that post about a video by Mr. Kamal Meattle has prompted me to write today about another story related to plants purifying air.

Mr. Kamal Meattle has become well known for a short TED Talk video where he talks about converting an office building in New Delhi, into the cleanest building in India. His secret is the use of air purifying plants.

Plants cleaning the air in an office, desk designed by Julio Radesca

Plants cleaning the air in an office, desk designed by Julio Radesca

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Milk Fertilizer – A Myth is Born

A while ago I wrote about Milk As Fertilizer and concluded that although milk would add organic matter to a garden, it was no ‘magic bullet’. Since that report I have spent more time looking at the subject of milk fertilizer and tracked down how this myth was born. It a thriller full of deception and lies. Today I will dig deep into this myth and uncover some surprising facts. Then I will review the latest research on the subject.

Milk Fertilizer - a Myth is Born

Milk Fertilizer – a Myth is Born

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Anecdotal Evidence – Not Worth The Screen It’s Displayed On

Anecdotal evidence is everywhere in our daily lives. Most new products depend on it to make sales and most commercials use it to convince you to buy. In gardening, it is a very common way for people to get information about a problem. Go to any gardening social media site and ask about curing something. A dozen people will come back with different cures that they have tried – and THEY ALL WORK!


Why is anecdotal evidence not worth much? Why do we believe it so much? Good questions to ask if you are trying to understand why we have so many garden myths.

Anecdotal Evidence, Hostas don't need egg shells

Hostas don’t need egg shells, author’s garden – Aspen Grove Gardens

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A Garden Myth Is Born – Plants Don’t Purify Air

Since it is Christmas, I thought it would be appropriate to write about the birth of a myth. Gardening information is full of myths–untruths that seem to take on a life of their own. As part of my effort to understand these myths, I also want to understand how myths get started. The history of most myths has been lost but every once in a while I am able to find evidence that clearly shows how a myth is born.

Understanding how a myth is born can be very educational. It provides insight into how the human mind works. It also trains you to spot future potential myths and to better evaluate the information you are reading. So let’s celebrate this holiday by peering into the start of a myth.

a myth is born - plants don't purify air

A myth is born – plants don’t purify air

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