Are you ready to spring forward: Clocks will move ahead 1 hour to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday at 2 a.m meaning we’ll lose an hour of sleep. Not to worry though, this just gives us more time to play in the garden. Enjoy the sunshine!
A symbol of the Geneva, Switzerland, watch industry of world renown, the famous flower clock, located at the edge of the Jardin Anglais (English Garden), was created in 1955. It is a masterpiece of technology and floral art. The Flower Clock is the pride and glory of the city, honouring the importance of the watchmaking industry as well as the skilfulness of its gardening team. It changes every year to accommodate the seasonal colours and requires around 6500 flowers, trimmed to the millimetre by horticultural specialists. Formerly only decorative with its sole dial comprising over 6,500 flowers, the new millennium provided it with decisive artistic dimensions thanks to the ingenuity of the gardeners of the Service of Green Spaces and the Environment.
Created in 1955, the clock has been captured through the lenses of millions of cameras every year. In 2002, because the sidewalk in front of it was not wide enough for tourists to capture the whole picture without being run over by passing cars, it underwent minor surgery and resurfaced with a new and more modern look. The seconds hand of Geneva’s Flower Clock is the largest in the world (it is more than 2.5 meters long).
The floral clock was truly enchanting. It had 12 divisions for the hours, and each hour would see the flowers in one of the divisions open or close. People who knew how it worked could leave their wristwatches at home when they visited this garden. A flower clock is a working timepiece. Floral clocks, as they are sometimes referred to, are public clocks, set in prominent locations, that not only display the time but the beauty of the season through the planting of flowers. Therefore at night time flowers are closed but with sunrise they open their heads. Round-the-clock schedule of petals movement is result of irregular growing of upper (inner) and lower (outer) their sides. If upper side grows faster then petals opens out and flowers opens. On the contrary, more fast growing of lower surface leads to deviation of petal inward and closing of flower.
However, there are flowers that open only at night, among them sweet-scented tobacco (Nicotiana alata), enotera, night beauty. This effect related to the fact that they are pollinated by night insects. Flower clocks are good only during sunny weather, during cloudy days they lie. Periodicity of opening and closing of flowers and inflorescences depends not only from nature conditions but from place of plant vegetation. Many plants have a biological clock, which regulates the time of day that their flowers open and close. For example, the flowers of catmint (Nepeta cataria) – also known as catnip – open between 6am and 7am; orange hawkweed follows between 7am and 8am; field marigolds open at 9am and varieties of Helichrysum wake up for 10am. Other varieties follow, with Convolvulus opening at noon.