Chemistry in the Garden Author: James Hanson

About this book

The aim of this book is to describe some aspects of the chemistry and chemical ecology which are found in the garden. In the garden there are numerous interactions between plants, the soil and with other organisms in which chemistry plays a central mediating role. The discussion concerns several of the chemically and ecologically interesting compounds that are produced by common ornamental garden plants and vegetables and by the predators that attack them. Many chemists are amateur gardeners and this book is directed at them as well as those with a general interest in the scientific processes involved in the garden.

Book content

  • Preface: Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chemical diversity in plants
  • The structure elucidation of natural products
  • The ecological role of natural products
  • Changes in the garden
  • Chapter 2: The biosynthetic relationships of natural products
  • Polyketides
  • Terpenoids
  • Phenylpropanoids
  • Alkaloids
  • Chapter 3: Natural products and plant biochemistry in the garden
  • The structural materials of plants
  • Photosynthesis
  • Oxidative co-enzymes
  • Plant hormones
  • Chapter 4: Garden soils
  • The mineral structure of the soil
  • The organic content of the soil
  • Nutrients from the soil
  • The role of pH
  • Fertilizers and compost
  • Microbial interactions within the soil
  • Chapter 5: The colour and scent of garden plants
  • Colouring matters
  • The carotenoids
  • The anthocyanins
  • Natural pigments
  • Floral and leaf scents
  • Chapter 6: Bioactive compounds from ornamental plants
  • Compounds from the Lamiaceae
  • Constituents of bulbs
  • Toxic compounds from ornamental plants
  • Compounds from ornamental trees
  • Mistletoe
  • Conifers
  • Chapter 7: Natural products in the vegetable and fruit garden
  • Root vegetables
  • Onions, garlic and asparagus
  • The brassicas
  • Lettuce
  • The legumes
  • Rhubarb
  • Tomatoes
  • Fruit trees
  • Soft fruit
  • Chapter 8: Fungal and insect chemistry in the garden
  • Microbial interactions
  • Lichens
  • Mycorrhizal and endophytic organisms
  • Interactions between fungi
  • Insect chemistry in the garden
  • Epilogue
  • Further Reading
  • Glossary
  • Index

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This book contains 158 pages.

Publication details

Print publication date
24 Aug 2007
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN

Author information

Professor J R Hanson FRSC is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sussex. Early work on gibberellic acid at ICI has lead to a long and successful career in natural product and organic chemistry, documented by numerous research papers and books. In 2008 Professor Hanson received a Service Award from the RSC journal Natural Product Reports for his dedicated contribution to the journal, as author and editorial board member. Professor Hanson continues to teach chemistry and biochemistry and is a keen gardener.