Martin aka plain, simple Garak

Started by Martin Bohnet, January 06, 2022, 03:28:53 AM

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Martin Bohnet

This is mostly a copy of my wiki contributor page, with a few updates here and there, but, as I'm still myself, most is still true... and after introduction, there may be a few showcase follow ups here and there...

I'm a chemical engineer from Göppingen, southern Germany, so obviously all my botanical and gardening ambitions are those of an (enthusiastic) amateur. But when my degree program called for a non-technical minor subject, I "wasted" this on "vegetation zones of the earth", so I can (and do) read scientific botanical literature without getting major headaches. Unfortunately, my daytime job causes most of my botanical projects to proceed slowly.

My far too little suburban garden bears nearly no traces of the boring setup of the previous owner (mostly lawn and thuja hedges), but the studio of a stone mason (said previous owner) still serves me as a shelter for my plants, cutting off high and low extremes, with some additional help from an electrical heater whenever outside daily averages drop below zero (European Engineer - I don't have to add what temperature scale I use, don't I?). Image one shows how small it really is, via Google maps (red square's the border of my kingdom, green square the frost free shelter). And it's not only me and my plants, but also my long term partner and my two cats living there...

In my plantings, I seem to have a soft spot for Iridaceae in general and tribus Tigridieae in particular, but have ongoing experiments with some Amaryllidaceae, Alstroemerias, Kniphofias, terrestrial orchids, a small bog and many other as well, often trying to push hardiness limits. One of the pictures shows off some of the monocots I have flowered - doesn't mean they're all still alive, though...

My area is considered USDA hardiness zone 7a (drifting towards 8 these days), yet the true challenge for any plant is the variability of my winter climate, which produces warm and wet phases as well as sudden severe temperature drops, often without a protective snow layer, depending if we get Atlantic climate from the west or continental climate from the east. Probably the best way to understand the surprise element of my weather is to compare average min/max temperatures to absolute min/max in the diagram based on my self-collected data of 2018 to 2021, with the shelter temperatures in green (light grey for those color troubled ones)

Mostly during my University time I've played and modded a lot of computer games, most excessively the Elder Scrolls Series. Looking for a name in these circles, I chose my favorite character from my favorite franchise: Star Trek Deep Space Nine's mysterious Cardassian but self declared "plain simple" tailor Garak. While I might have moved on from modding, the name stuck and I still use it all around the Internet, often with a leading "pmm" - thats "Planet Morrowind Modders", my creative "gang" back then. Very, very, rarely I try to look a bit Cardassian as well.

I'm part of the PBS Wiki team, providing both content and some extra PHP coding like the experimental tag search engine. Since fall 2020 I'm the operative half of the PBS EU Seed Exchange (with Uli Urban being the organizational mastermind), which has put me on the Board of the PBS. Other volunteer work I do includes being Spokesperson for the LGBT*IQ Network of my employer.
Martin (pronouns: he/his/him)