The Daily Gardener is a Monday - Friday Gardening Podcast. ⏰ Every day the show features:
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1815 On this day, Mary Russell Mitford wrote about the changing times in a letter to her friend, Sir William Elford, English banker, politician, and amateur artist. Our grandmothers, when about to make a beau-pot (A large ornamental vase for cut flowers.), proceeded, I fancy, much as their gardeners when clipping a yew hedge or laying out a parterre. Every stalk and stem was in its place; tulip answered tulip, and peony stared at peony. Even a rebellious leaf was reduced to order, and the huge bouquet spread its tremendous width as flat, as stiff, and almost as ugly as its fair framer's painted fan. We, their granddaughters, throw our honeysuckles and posies into their vases with little other care than to produce the grace of nature by its carelessness and profusion. And why should we not...? 1896 Death of Nora Perry, American poet, newspaper correspondent, and writer. In her poem, What May Be, Nora wrote, When the days are longer, longer, And the sun shines stronger, stronger, And the winds cease blowing, blowing, And the winter's chance of snowing Is lost in springtime weather. Here's an excerpt from her poem, The Coming of Spring. All this changing tint, This whispering stir and hint Of bud and bloom and wing, Is the coming of the spring. So, silently but swift, Above the wintry drift, The long days gain and gain, Until on hill and plain— Once more, and yet once more, Returning as before, We see the bloom of birth Make young again the earth 1906 Birth of Enid Annenberg Haupt, American publisher and philanthropist. The president of the New York Botanical Garden called Enid, The greatest patron American horticulture has ever known. Enid was one of eight children; her parents, Sadie and Moses, had one son and seven daughters. Her father was the founder of a large publishing empire. Enid followed in his footsteps and became an heiress to the large family fortune. Enid's first marriage ended in divorce. Her second marriage to Ira Haupt launched her philanthropic activities and introduced her to the world of gardening. When they got engaged, Ira gave Enid a cymbidium orchid. Enid was immediately enthralled by it. She told Ira that for her wedding present from him, she would be very happy with a gift of 13 cymbidium orchids. Enid's brother, Walter, put her in charge of the magazine Seventeen in 1953. During her tenure, Seventeen magazine was more popular than Glamor and twice as popular as Mademoiselle. At one point, more than half of the teenage girls in the United States were reading Seventeen magazine. Enid ran the magazine until 1970. When Enid died in 2005, she had donated more than $140 million to charities. Her favorite charities involved gardening. This is how Enid became known as "the fairy godmother of American horticulture" and "the patron saint of public gardens." One of Enid's most significant gifts was to the New York Botanical Garden. Over her lifetime, Enid gave them over $34 million – $5 million of which was dedicated to restoring the stunning Victorian glass greenhouse now called the Enid Haupt Conservancy. Without Enid, the greenhouse would have been demolished. After she retired from Seventeen magazine, Enid learned that the Soviet Union was considering purchasing River Farm, the 27-acre property once owned by George Washington as part of his Mount Vernon estate. The news was abhorrent to Enid. In 1973, she donated a million dollars to the American Horticultural Society to buy the property with the stipulation that it would remain open to the public. In November 2020, the American Horticultural Society attempted to sell River Farm for $32.9 million. AHS Board Chair Terry Hayes argued that selling River Farm was the only way to effectively carry out its national mission of “connecting people with plants and to help all Americans learn about sustainable gardening.” The move caused a rift on the board after five board members — Skipp Calvert, Tim Conlon, Holly Shimizu, Marcia Zech, and Laura Dowling — argued that it was "not only morally and ethically wrong, but... fraught with serious legal issues.” A year later, in the fall of 2021, the AHS officially took River Farm off the market. The AHS board had shrunk to the five board members who had fought to keep the historic property. In a statement, they said River Farm would remain as the permanent headquarters of the AHS and as a green space open to the public in honor of Enid Annenberg Haupt. 1823 On this day, William Bartram, American botanist, ornithologist, natural historian, and explorer, wrote in his diary that there were, numerous tribes of small birds, feeding on the aphids on the apple, pear trees - towhe buntings building their nests in the garden. Sharon White summarizes William Bartram's May garden life in her book Vanished Gardens: Finding Nature in Philadelphia (2011). May was misty sometimes with a morning wind and cruel with cold rains for a week "injurious to vegitation and to the farmers. Wheat just begining to ear appears to be blasted in many instances," and young birds drowned in their nests on the ground. Now and then Bartram's notations look different, smaller script, less detail. In the last year he kept the diary his writing scrawls across one page as if his hand slipped. The green twig whortleberry is in flower on May 6 in 1802, and the next May he records that a bullfrog swallowed: large mole instantly. That May there was hard frost on the seventh that killed the young shoots of trees and shrubs. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Multifarious Mr. Banks by Toby Musgrave This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is From Botany Bay to Kew, The Natural Historian Who Shaped the World. Toby Musgrave is a plant and garden historian, independent scholar, and consultant. He is the author or coauthor of eighteen books. By the way, a multifarious person has many sides or different qualities, and you can see for yourself that Banks was a tremendous personal force in Toby's introduction: Sir Joseph Banks was only twenty-five years old when in 1768 he convinced both the prestigious Royal Society and the bureaucratic Admiralty that he should join HMS Endeavour as expedition natural historian. He personally paid a fortune toundertake the three-year voyage led by James Cook, and en route became the first European to make an extensive study of the natural history and anthropology of Tahiti,' New Zealand and Australia. He is said to have had an affair with the 'queen of Tahiti' and, upon his return, he jilted his fiancée. Later, as a close personal friend of King George III, he persuaded the monarch that he was the man to develop the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew. Under Banks's leadership it became the world's leading botanic garden, a position it still holds today. This book is 386 pages of the biography of Joseph Banks and all he accomplished during his incredible life of adventure and botany. You can get a copy of The Multifarious Mr. Banks by Toby Musgrave and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $39. Botanic Spark 1907 Birth of the English author and playwright Daphne du Maurier (“Mor-ee-aya”)(books by this author), who was born in London. She was the middle daughter of a well-to-do family of creative bohemian artists and writers. Her father was a famous actor and a favorite of James Barrie - the author of Peter Pan. Daphne's writing inspired Alfred Hitchcock - especially her novels Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, and her short story, The Birds. In 1938 Daphne published her popular book, Rebecca. It has never gone out of print. During the pandemic in 2020, Netflix released their movie version of Rebecca starring Lily James, Armie Hammer, and Kristin Scott Thomas. In Rebecca, Daphne writes about the beautiful azaleas that grow on the estate at Manderley. And she says that the blooms were used to make a perfume for its late mistress. Yet, most azalea growers know that this is likely an example of artistic license since most evergreen azaleas have little to no fragrance. That said, some native deciduous azaleas can be very fragrant. In the opening pages of Rebecca, Daphne's narrator vividly describes the wild and wooly garden of Manderley: I saw that the garden had obeyed the jungle law, even as the woods had done. The rhododendrons stood fifty feet high, twisted and entwined with bracken, and they had entered into alien marriage with a host of nameless shrubs, poor, bastard thing that clung about their roots as though conscious of their spurious origin. A lilac had mated with a copper beech, and to bind them yet more closely to one another, the malevolent ivy, always an enemy to grace, had thrown her tendrils about the pair and made them prisoners. Daphne du Maurier incorporated gardens into many of her books. Her daughters recall that their mother loved flowers and flower arranging. Their home was always filled with flowers. Yet, in her book, The King's General, as in Rebecca, the garden can feel like a dangerous place at times. I was a tiny child again at Radford, my uncle's home, and he was walking me through the glass houses in the gardens. There was one flower, an orchid, that grew alone; it was the color of pale ivory, with one little vein of crimson running through the petals. The scent filled the house, honeyed and sickly sweet. It was the loveliest flower I had ever seen. I stretched out my hand to stroke the soft velvet sheen, and swiftly my uncle pulled me by the shoulder. ‘Don't touch it, child. The stem is poisonous. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1735 Birth of Charles-Joseph Lamoral, French Field Marshal, writer, and member of the princely family of Ligne ("Leen-ya"). Charles once wrote, I should like to inflame the whole world with my taste for gardening. There is no virtue that I would not attribute to the man who lives to project and execute gardens. 1812 Birth of Edward Lear, English artist, musician, and writer. Edward is remembered for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose. He once wrote, As for myself, I am sitting up today for the first time - partly dressed - [something] the cucumber said when oil and vinegar were poured over him, salt & pepper being omitted. Edward also popularized the limerick. Here's an Edward Lear limerick for gardeners. There was an old person so silly, He poked his head into a lily; But six bees who lived there, filled him full of despair, For they stung that old person so silly. 1820 Birth of Florence Nightingale (books about this person), English social reformer, statistician, and founder of modern nursing. Florence earned the moniker "The Lady with the Lamp" during the Crimean War because she would make her rounds to visit wounded soldiers with a lamp during the night. The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used the term in his poem Santa Filomena, which he wrote in honor of Florence's work in Scutari Hospital. Florence was named after Florence, Italy - the city where she was born. As a young girl, she and her sister had their garden to plant and tend. When Florence was 13, she collected flowers with a 77-year-old botanist named Margaret Stovin. Together they gathered and pressed over 100 different species of plants. This charming story was featured in a 2008 book by Richard Mendelsohn. Today, Florence and Margaret's flowers are housed at the Natural History Museum in London. As an adult, Florence wrote, Poetry and imagination begin life. A child will fall on its knees on the gravel walk at the sight of a pink hawthorn in full flower, when it is by itself, to praise God for it. As a nurse, Florence believed flowers helped with the morale and recovery of her patients. And personally, the foxglove was her favorite flower. And Florence received a lovely bouquet every week from William Rathbone, the man who founded the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses. In 2020, one of the anticipated gardens was dedicated to Florence during the pandemic. The year 2020 marked the 200th Anniversary of her birth, and the garden was to be called The Florence Nightingale Garden - A Celebration of Modern Day Nursing. Instead, the garden debuted at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2021. The garden featured “Images from Florence Nightingale's pressed flower collection and echoes of her handwriting … on… the timber walls.” Today Florence is remembered in the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, which celebrates the life and work of the best-known figure in nursing history. She is also honored with the Florence Nightingale rose — a pretty pale pink fragrant rose. 1856 Birth of Andreas Franz Wilhelm Schimper, German botanist and phytogeographer Andreas was a significant player in the early days of plant ecology. In 1901, his work was cut short due to his untimely death at 45 after contracting Malaria in Cameroon. Andreas coined the terms tropical rainforest and sclerophyll and is honored in many species names. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation P. Allen Smith's Garden Home by P. Allen Smith This book came out in 2003, and the subtitle is Creating a Garden for Everyday Living. Well, to me, this book is a garden classic. You get to know a little bit about P. Allen Smith's biography. His family's love of gardens, his experience working in the nursery business - plus all of the great relationships that he made working in some of England's top gardens. (He could write a book on that alone.) Fascinating stories. But in all seriousness, this book is so foundational to gardening. It's a great book to give new gardeners. And it's also an excellent book for gardeners who are considering a redesign or, after a long winter, feel like they need to brush up on their skills. The bulk of this book is dedicated to Allen's twelve garden design principles. He'll talk about aspects like framing a view, having texture in the garden, rhythm, pattern, color, etc. Now I thought I'd share this little excerpt from Allen's introduction. And here he's talking about how he created the garden rooms on his own property. He writes, I began working out the various outdoor rooms to see how they related to the house itself. The shape to one another and to the of the house and the lot created a series of rectangular spaces. I recognized an opportunity to design strong unbroken lines of sight or axes from one garden room into the next. Like an open door, these visual sight lines would allow visitors to stand in one room and see directly into the next. After positioning these openings through portals or entries further divided the rectangles into nine garden rooms and began to imagine how each space could have its own personality yet remain a part of a cohesive whole. And then I love what he says next. Because he's talking about paths, and I always feel like paths are so underrated; they're almost an afterthought for so many gardeners. So Allen says, As I laid out this plan on paper, I added an entire circuit or path that looped around the house, connecting one garden room to the next. From here, I imagined hedges and fences that would serve as "walls" for each room, with arbors and gates as "doorways." And then, he goes on to talk about more ways that he created these garden rooms. And so, in this book, Allen not only goes through his 12 principles of design, but he also takes you on tour. Through each of his garden rooms because they help illustrate each of those principles. It's a fabulous book. It's a garden basic - and it's so affordable now that it's been on the market so long. This book is 224 pages of P. Allen Smith's expertise, his twelve principles of garden design, and his fantastic personal garden. You can get a copy of P. Allen Smith's Garden Home by P. Allen Smith and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $3. Botanic Spark 1943 On this day, the Belvidere Daily Republican posted an article entitled Gardeners Get Nine-Point Plan On Care Of Hose. If mindful of the rubber shortage, you're wondering how to coddle your garden hose through its important Victory-garden job this year, an expert here has a "nine-point program" for hose care that may mean the difference between a backyard farmer's success or failure. W. S. Richardson, manager of the industrial products division of B. F. Goodrich, outlines his nine points as follows: 1. Never drive a car over your hose. 2. Don't leave it lying in the sun 3. Coil it neatly and hang it up. 4. But not on a spike or sharp-edged stick. 5. Be sure it's drained first, for water left in the hose will damage the fabric reinforcement. 6. Don't turn off the water at the nozzle. 7. Don't try to stop the flow by doubling the hose back on itself for either way may give you a 'blow-out.' 8. Don't drag a hose over sharp stones in a rock garden. 9. Don't pick an oily spot on the driveway or floor of your garage as the place to coil it. He concludes, "[Oil] destroys most rubber, and you might end up with a leaky hose and a once-promising Victory garden 'burned up' by drought. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1904 Birth of Salvador Dalí, Spanish surrealist artist. Educated in Madrid, Salvador was a son of Catalonia, and he never lost his love for the beauty of his homeland. Early in his career, Salvador gravitated toward surrealism. By 1929, Salvador Dali was regarded as a leading figure in the art form. Like Sigmund Freud, Salvador Dalí used the landscape to metaphor the human mind. He once said about the coastline of his beloved Catalonia, I personify the living core of this landscape. Today, two museums are devoted to Salvador Dalí's work: the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain, and the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. And in 2020, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida, presented Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind. The exhibit's centerpiece was Flordalí, a fantastically-colored series of flower lithographs from 1968. In Flordali, Salvador created imaginary surrealist enhancements to favorite blossoms. He made Dahlia unicorns, which feature a twisted horn in the middle of the bloom. Lilium musicum has vinyl records and sheet music for petals. Pisum sensuale is a sensory plant with fingers with painted nails and voluptuous lips. Panseé (Viola cogitans) is a self-portrait with pansies for the eyes and mouth. 1907 On this day, the American botanist Nathaniel Lord Britton was in Nantucket preparing for a lecture on plant protection. Nathaniel had brought along fifty colored lantern slides from the Van Brunt collection to use in his presentation. Nathaniel and his wife co-founded the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, New York. Nathaniel's time in Nantucket was brief - only for a day - but he wrote these observations in a letter about his trip. [On Nantucket] The mayflower is the most abundant of spring wildflowers, carpeting the moors on the south side of the island and lending a rich, spicy fragrance to the ocean breezes that sweep over these exposed tracts. It is in less danger from picking than from the surface fires, which are common occurrences in spring. The later blooming wildflowers suffer more or less at the hands of summer tourists, but I was glad to observe that the residents of Nantucket as a whole are keenly alive to the importance of preserving the natural beauties of the island and carefully guard the localities for many rare plants, especially the Scotch heather and the two European heaths (Erica cinerea and E. tetralix) which occur there. 1923 On this day, a schoolyard garden reported outside of Lochness gave the following update, As sheep are constantly breaking into the garden work has been stopped till the walls are rendered sheep-proof. This little entry was discovered by the modern-day owner of the property Katharine Stewart, and she shared it in her delightful month by month garden book called A Garden in the Hills (2006). Katharine reflected on the journal entry regarding the sheep and wrote, I know exactly what he meant. More than sixty years later, the sheep, the more agile variety, are still sometimes managing to leap over the wall, where the superimposed netting has given way. That can mean goodbye to all the summer lettuce and the winter greens, not to mention the precious flowering plants and all the work that went into producing them. The little school in the Scottish highlands closed in 1958. A few years later, Katharine and her husband, Sam, bought the property known as the croft at Abriachan near Loch Ness. There, Katharine began her writing. Reflecting on her first days in the garden at the croft, Katharine wrote, When we arrived, wild raspberries, willowherb, and sweet cicely had largely taken over. To bees and butterflies and to many kinds of birds, this was paradise! For us, it held all the thrill of uncharted territory. Every day a fresh discovery was made. Even now, I come on surprises each summer. Digging [has] revealed many other interesting things-worn-out toys, pieces of pottery, a pile of school slates from a dump against the top wall, evidently discarded when jotters came in-and, most interesting of all, several 'scrapers' dating from prehistoric times. Meanwhile, I often imagine my predecessors here looking on the same outline of hills, the same scoop of the burn in the hollow, listening to the same sounds of lark and owl, the bark of deer, and many more long gone-the howl of wolf, maybe the growl of bear. The heather would have been their late summer delight, making drinks of tea or ale, thatching for their roofs, and kindling for their fires. Sometimes envy them the simplicity of their lives, though the hardships must have been great. They didn't have a Christmas to celebrate, but they knew all about the winter solstice, and they must have been happy to see the bright berries on the holly, as we do today. Late in life, Katharine Stewart went on to become a teacher and then her town's postmistress. She died in 2013 and is survived by her daughter, Hilda. 1940 Birth of Margaret Visser, South African-born writer, and broadcaster who lives in Toronto, Paris, and southwest France. Margaret writes about history and anthropology and the mythology of everyday life. She once wrote, Salt is the only rock directly consumed by man. It corrodes but preserves, desiccates but is wrested from the water. It has fascinated man for thousands of years not only as a substance he prized and was willing to labour to obtain but also as a generator of poetic and of mythic meaning. The contradictions it embodies only intensify its power and its links with experience of the sacred. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Little Library Cookbook by Kate Young This book came out in 2018, and the British food writer and author Bee Wilson gushed, What a joy this is for hungry readers everywhere: stylish, fun, and clever. If there is comfort food, there is also comfort reading, and The Little Library Cookbook is it. The publisher writes, Would you like to taste Paddington Bear's marmalade? Or a clam chowder from Moby Dick? You'll learn how to prepare the afternoon tea served at Manderley and decadent tarts the Queen of Hearts would love—all while reading food-related excerpts from your favorite books. Kate Young was inspired to write this book based on her amazing food blog called The Little Library Café. In The Little Library Cookbook, Kate offers over 100 recipes inspired by beloved works of fiction. There are dishes from classics and contemporary bestsellers with stories for people of any age. Among many others, you will find Turkish delight from Narnia, Mint Juleps from The Great Gatsby, Bread and Butter Pudding from Atonement, Curried Chicken from Sherlock Holmes, Pancakes from Pippi Longstocking, Coconut Shortbread by Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent, Black Ice Cream from The Hundred and One Dalmations, Cinnamon Rolls from Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, Spaghetti and Meatballs from The Godfather, Apple Pie from The Railway Children, and Honey Rosemary Tea Cakes inspired by Winnie the Pooh. This book is 320 pages of food in fiction brought to life by the sweet, funny, and intrepid blogger, cook, caterer, and writer Kate Young. You can get a copy of The Little Library Cookbook by Kate Young and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $15. Botanic Spark 1894 On this day, Bovina ("Bo-VYE-na"), Mississippi, reported a case of turtle hail. Newspapers said that during a severe hailstorm, a six-inch-by-eight-inch gopher turtle, fell to the ground, completely encased in ice, at Bovina, which is located about seven miles east of Vicksburg in western Mississippi. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1725 Birth of John Hope, botanist, professor, and founder of the Royal Garden in Edinburgh. John produced considerable work on plant classification and physiology. He was appointed the King's botanist for Scotland and superintendent of the Royal Garden in Edinburgh. At the time, Edinburgh was the place to study medicine, and all medical students had to take botany courses. John created a school for botanists after spinning off the school's materia medica (pharmacy) department, which allowed him to specialize exclusively in botany. John was a captivating instructor. He was one of the first two people to teach the Linnean system. He also taught the natural system. John was one of the first professors to use big teaching diagrams or visual aids to teach his lectures. John led over 1,700 students during his tenure. His students traveled from all over Europe, America, and India. John Hope Alumni include the likes of James Edward Smith, founder and first President of the Linnaean Society, Charles Drayton, and Benjamin Rush. A field botanist, John encouraged his students to go out and investigate the Flora of Scotland. He awarded a medal every year to the student who collected the best herbarium. 1818 Birth of Arthur Cleveland Coxe, American theologian and composer. Arthur served as the second Episcopal bishop of Western New York. He once wrote, Flowers are words, which even a baby can understand. 1891 Death of Carl Wilhelm von Nägeli, Swiss botanist. Although he studied cell division and pollination, Carl's claim to fame is being the guy who discouraged Gregor Mendel from pursuing his work on genetics. Gregor regarded Carl as a botanical expert and his professional hero. When Gregor sent Carl an overview of his work with pea plants in a letter, Carl dismissed the results out of hand, labeling them "only empirical, and impossible to prove rationally." Carl poo-pooed natural selection. Instead, he believed in orthogenesis, a now-defunct theory that living organisms have an internal driving force - a desire to perfect themselves- and evolve toward this goal. Over a seven-year period in the mid-1800s, Gregor Mendel grew nearly 30,000 pea plants - taking note of their height and shape and color - in his garden at the Augustinian monastery he lived in at Brno (pronounced "burr-no") in the Czech Republic. His work resulted in what we now know as the Laws of Heredity. Gregor came up with the genetic terms and terminology that we still use today, like dominant and recessive genes. Carl Wilhelm von Nägeli's dismissal prompted Gregor to give up his work with genetics. After his promotion to the abbot of the monastery, Gregor focused on his general duties and teaching. In 1884, Gregor died without ever knowing the impact his work would have on modern science. Fifteen years later, in 1899, a friend sent the Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries a copy of Gregor's work - calling it a paper on hybridization - not heredity. At the same time, Gregor's paper was uncovered by a student of Carl Wilhelm von Nägeli's - a man named Carl E. F. J. Correns. Hugo de Vries rushed to publish his first paper on genetics without mentioning Gregor Mendel. But he did have the nerve to use some of Gregor's data and terminology in his paper. Carl Correns threatened to expose De Vries, who then quickly drafted a new version of his paper, which gave proper credit to Gregor Mendel. Through his work with the humble pea plant, Gregor came up with many of the genetic terms still used today, like dominant and recessive genes. 1907 It was on this day that Francis Younghusband, British Army officer, explorer, and spiritual writer, documented the progression of spring in the Residency Garden in Kashmir. Francis shared his observations in a book called Kashmir(1909). The Residency Garden was an English country house that was built specifically for guests by the Maharajah, and so naturally, Francis loved staying there. Here's what Francis wrote in May of 1907 about the Residency Garden, which was just coming into full flower. Francis observed, By May 1st ...The May trees were in full blossom. The bank on the south side of the garden was a mass of dark purple and white irises, and [the] evening [sun] caused each flower to [become] a blaze of glory. Stock was in full bloom. Pansies were out in masses. Both the English and Kashmir lilacs were in blossom, and the columbines were in perfection. The first horse chestnuts came into blossom on May 10th, and on that date, the single pink rose, sinica anemone, on the trellis at the end of the garden, was in full bloom and of wondrous beauty; a summer-house covered with Fortune's yellow was a dream of golden loveliness; I picked the first bloom of some English roses that a kind friend had sent out... and we had our first plateful of strawberries. A light mauve iris, a native of Kashmir, [is now in] bloom; ...and some lovely varieties of Shirley poppy... from Mr. Luther Burbank, the famous plant-breeder of California, began to blossom; and roses of every variety came [on] rapidly till the garden became a blaze of color. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation Lemon, Love & Olive Oil by Mina Stone This book came out in September of 2021. Now, if you're a cookbook lover, you know that Mina's debut cookbook called Cooking For Artists was a smash hit. It was also self-published. And in fact, right now, if you go on Amazon and you try to get a copy of that first cookbook, you'll pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $150. To me, Mina's story is fascinating. She actually went to school to be a designer, and then, on the side, she started cooking for families. And then she started cooking for special events. And then eventually, she started cooking for a gallery, and that's where she started cooking for artists. Thus, the name of her first book. The story behind the second book, Lemon Love and Olive Oil, stems from the fact that whenever people would ask MIna for ingredients to make something taste great, her answer was always lemon juice, olive oil, and a little bit of salt. So, those are her go-to ingredients. Mina contends that you can make anything taste good with a little bit of her favorite three ingredients: lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. So that became the name for the cookbook, except salt was replaced with love. When this cookbook was released, it met with rave reviews. In fact, the New York times rated it a best cookbook of the year, writing, Author of the cult-favorite Cooking for Artists, Mina Stone, returns with a collection of 80 new recipes inspired by her traditional Greek heritage and her years cooking for some of New York's most innovative artists. I've watched a couple of interviews with Mina, and one thing she says over and over again was that when she was creating this cookbook is, she was constantly thinking about the love aspect of these recipes. By that, Mina was focusing on the comfort level and the coziness factor of the food. So that's what she was trying to capture with these 80 recipes. I found that so poignant, especially in light of the fact that she was putting this together during the pandemic while she's in lockdown in 2020. Mina is not the kind of person that comes up with a cookbook and then has to go out and create a bunch of recipes. That's not how Mina works. Instead, Mina pays attention to the recipes that she starts making again and again. So these are recipes that have staying power. They are the recipes that pass the Mina Test, and they rise to the top of her favorites because they are just naturally so good. Also, if you are a lover of reading cookbooks, you are going to really enjoy Mina's book. Before each section, there are essays from Mina that share stories about her family - and her grandmother, who is kind of the original Greek cook in Mina's life. Mina has great insight, not only on these recipes and ingredients but also from her sheer personal experience. I couldn't help, but think as I was reading this cookbook that Mina could write a memoir because her stories are so intriguing. In addition to the essays for each section of the book, every recipe gets a little personal introduction as well. For an excerpt, I selected a few little snippets from a section that Mina calls My Kitchen. This is a chapter about the key ingredients that Mina uses on repeat. She writes, I've always found pantry lists in cookbooks to be intimidating. Asa self-trained home cook, I never sought out hard-to-find ingredients. It never crossed my mind as an option. The ingredients in my recipes and the food found in my pantry reflect my surroundings touched with a dose of Greekness. (It can't be helped.) Here are some thoughts on how I approach cooking in my kitchen, what I like to keep in my cupboards, what I run out to the store for, and some clarification on how I wrote the recipes. Salt Sea salt is more salty and kosher salt is less salty. Because kosher salt is less salty it gives you more control over the seasoning. For example, it is great for seasoning meat because you can use more and achieve a lovely salt crust as well as the right amount of seasoning without oversalting. It is the salt up using the most. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil I like to use olive oil sparingly during cooking (this makes thedish lighter) and add the bulk of it at the end, once cooking is completed. use much more olive oil in the recipes than people are accustomed to using. suggest adding more than you would think when you're cooking from this book. That's a great little tidbit, especially if you're using olive oil for cooking with your garden harvest. There is so much that comes out of our garden that goes into the pan with a ton of olive oil. But now, maybe you can dial that back a little bit with this tip from Mina. Lemons They add floral buoyancy but, above all, a fresh form of acid that I usually prefer to vinegar. When using lemons for zest, try to always use organic ones. I've never thought about lemons that way, but I love how she describes that floral buoyancy. And, you know, she's exactly right. Personally, I also think that there's something just a little less harsh about lemon juice as compared to vinegar. So if you have a sensitive tummy, consider incorporating lemon juice instead of vinegar. Green Herbs: Parsley, Mint, Cilantro, and Basil I like fresh herbs in abundance and can often find a place to incorporate them with relative ease. In the recipes, herbs are usually measured by the handful: 1 handful equals about 1/4 cup. It doesn't need to be exact, but that is a good place to start if you need it. This advice is helpful as well because if you're planning your kitchen garden, you need to think about how many plants you need to plant so that you can have an abundant harvest. Just to give you an idea of how much Basil I use in the summertime, I usually end up buying about four to five flats of Basil. Dried Oregano Oregano is my number one dried herb. Greek oregano has a pronounced savory and earthy flavor to it, and it is my preference to use in more traditional Greek dishes. Better-quality dried oregano, which is milder in flavor, is great to use as a general seasoning for salad, fish, and meats. This book is 272 pages of more than eighty Mediterranean-style dishes and the stories that inspired them. These recipes are uncomplicated, and they're Mina's go-to recipes. And, of course, they can always be enhanced with lemon, olive oil, and salt. You can get a copy of Lemon, Love & Olive Oil by Mina Stone and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $15. Botanic Spark 2017 Death of Polly Park, American-Australian amateur gardener, speaker, and writer. Remembered as the designer of Boxford, a Canberra garden, Polly and her husband Peter created classic garden styles using their own creativity and gumption. On their half-acre suburban property, Boxford attracted visitors from across the world and featured six unique gardens: a modern garden inspired by Roberto Burle Marx, an English knot garden, a parterre garden with an Italien statue from Florence, a Chinese garden inspired by the Suzhou ("sue-joe") garden, an Indian garden, and a Japanese garden. Polly and Peter made a great garden team. Polly came up with the design ideas, and Peter was the muscle. Polly created the stone courtyard for the Indian garden and a mosaic inspired by the great 20th-century Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer ("Nee-myer") for the modern garden. Peter built the pond and meditation house for the Japanese garden. In 1988, Polly wrote a biography of their gardens in the book The World in My Garden. Although Boxford was identified as a National heritage site - after Peter and Polly sold the property in 2006 - the garden was destroyed. In 2011, Peter died. Polly followed him home six years later on this day at the age of 96. You can get a used copy of The World in My Garden by Polly Park and support the show for around $17. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day. John Hope, Arthur Cleveland Coxe, Carl Wilhelm von Nägeli, Francis Younghusband, Lemon, Love & Olive Oil by Mina Stone, Polly Park
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events National Public Gardens Week This week marks the beginning of National Public Gardens Week (May 6-15). This celebration started in 2009 as part of the effort to bring attention to the country's public gardens. Go Public Gardens is an ongoing, evergreen Association initiative to drive the public to visit, value, and volunteer at public gardens in their area and when they travel. You can be part of the celebration by visiting a public garden this week. You can find gardens near you on the interactive Garden Map. 1781 Birth of Henri Cassini, French botanist and naturalist. Henri's second great grandfather was the famous Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini; he discovered Jupiter's Great Red Spot and the Cassini division in Saturn's rings. Henri took a decidedly different path than his ancestors. He was the fifth generation of a family of star scholars, so Henri is often referred to as Cassini V. Henri became a lawyer, and like many professionals, botany was a hobby for Henri. His heart belonged to the sunflower family, and it is fitting that the genus Cassinia(the sunflower genus) was named in his honor by the botanist Robert Brown. Henri's work had staying power. Many of his sunflower descriptions and observations are still valid over two centuries later. Henri married his cousin and had no children. He died of cholera at 50, and he was the last of the Cassini name - and a punctuation mark on the wonderful Cassini legacy. 1807 On this day in 1807, Lewis and Clark returned a book they had borrowed from Benjamin Smith Barton. Before starting their incredible expedition, Meriwether Lewis visited Barton at his home. Meriwether left with Barton's copy of The History of Louisiana by Antoine le Page. Meriwether memorialized the gesture in the flyleaf of the book, writing: Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton was so obliging as to lend me this copy of Mons. Le Page's History of Louisiana in June 1803. It has been since conveyed by me to the Pacific ocean through the interior of North America on my late tour thither and is now returned to its proprietor by his friends and obedient servant, Meriwether Lewis. Philadelphia, May 9, 1807. 1860 Birth of James Matthew Barrie (books by this author), Scottish novelist, and playwright. James is best remembered as the creator and author of Peter Pan, and he drew inspiration from the real world's Kensington Gardens. In 1912, James commissioned Sir George Frampton to build a statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. It's been a favorite of visitors to the park ever since. Gardens and flowers were other sources of inspiration for James. The following are just a few samples of his garden inspired prose: There is almost nothing that has such a keen sense of fun as a fallen leaf. The unhappy Hook was as impotent as he was damp, and he fell forward like a cut flower. All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old, she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can't you remain like this forever!' This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end. James also wrote, God gave us memories that we may have roses in December. 1921 Birth of Sophia Magdalena Scholl (books about this person), German student, and anti-Nazi activist. Sophia was part of the White Rose non-violent resistance group started by her brother Hans. The two were arrested and convicted of high treason after distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich. Sophia was executed by guillotine. Her last words were, “long live freedom.” Since the 1970s, Sophia has been praised and remembered for her anti-Nazi resistance work. In 2021, Sophia was commemorated on a special sterling silver collector's coin issued on her 100th birthday. It was Sophie Scholl, leader of the White Rose Movement, who said, Who would have thought it possible that a tiny little flower could preoccupy a person so completely that there simply wasn't room for any other thought. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation Patina Living by Steve Giannetti and Brooke Giannetti This book came out in 2019, and this is The heartwarming story of how the Giannetties live and entertain in the well-designed and lushly planted gardens of their farm in Ojai, California. If you're a longtime listener of the show, you know that I recommended Steve and Brooke's second book Patina Farmjust a few weeks ago. But this is actually their third book, and it's called Patina Living, and it came out in 2019. And as the publisher says, The heartwarming story of how the Giannetties live and entertain in the well-designed and lushly planted gardens of their farm in Ojai, California. So this book is truly dedicated to the gardens there on the property. Now, I thought I'd give you a complete overview of all the Giannetti books; I think they're all fantastic. Their first book came out in 2011 and was called Patina Style. Now that book was all about their interior design. The second book, the book that I just profiled a few weeks ago, is called Patina Farm. And that's talking about basically the entire property inside and out, including the gardens. And now, this third book, Patina Living, is all about the gardens. And then, of course, there's one called Patina Homes after this one. But this book, in particular, is the one that we're talking about today, and it is Patina Living, and they don't call it Patina Gardens, essentially, because there is so much life in these gardens. There are outdoor rooms. There are kitchen gardens. There are animals. There's just so much going on outdoors for the family, which is why they chose to call it Patina Living. Now I thought it would be fun to review this power couple of Brooke Giannetti and Steve Giannetti. Brooke is a California-based interior designer. She's got her shop, and she's a blogger. And so everything that she's putting together is just so artfully done. She's a natural stylist. And then you have Steve Giannetti. He's an architect, and he works on all kinds of projects. So there's the two of them together, and they work so well together. In the introduction to Patina Living, Brooke and Steve share this incredibly heart-wrenching story of when they had to leave Patina Farm back in 2017 - five years ago when one of the California wildfires was threatening their property. And so they had to load everything up quickly, and they were prepared to say goodbye to all of it. And so here is this little excerpt from what Brooke wrote. She said, As we hurried through the now-mature grounds of Patina Farm, we were reminded of the time we had installed the new plantings that would become our outdoor rooms. Now, five years later, the gardens looked lush and lovely, softened by the pale pink haze of the fire; but they were also quiet and lifeless. Our donkeys, Buttercup, Daisy, Blossom, and Huckleberry, were not grazing the lower fields or sleeping under the pepper trees as they normally did. The protected garden and animal barn next to my office - where our miniature pygmy goats, sisters Thelma and Louise and their best friend, Dot, and our sheep, Linen, Paisley, and Cashmere, normally lounged and played - were silent and deserted. As we headed out to our packed cars, Steve asked me if there was anything else that I wanted to take with us. - looked around at the house -a house we had spent years thoughtfully designing-and realized that all I really needed to take, the soul of our house, was already securely resting in our cars. Isn't that touching? Later on, in the introduction, Brooke sets out her goals for this book, Patina Living. And she writes As we've shared our journey to Patina Farm, many of our readers have shared their desire to move toward an organic, nature-centered life. Some of you just want to add more gardens to your property or figure out how to have a few chickens in your side yard, while others dream of creating your version of Patina Farm, with farmanimals and a potager to grow your own food. We are writing this book for all of you, to share why we decided to embrace this lifestyle and whatwe have learned along the way. We will also introduce you to some of the wonderful people in our life who have helped us navigate the winding road of farm life. One of the important nuggets of wisdom we have learned is that there is not just one way to live. The idea of this book is to explain what works (and hasn't worked) for us and why. By sharing our journey, we hope to demystify the homestead farm lifestyle. If we city folk can do it, SO can you! What I love about Brooke and Steve - and what they've done here - is how authentic they are and how creative they are because they approach everything from the Giannetti angle on design and functionality. Again, it's got to work for them because this is a working farm. This is a homestead property. And so, while they want things to look beautiful, they're also pragmatists. I love that mix. Now, granted, up here in Minnesota, I'm never going to have the type of climate that they enjoy in Ojai, California. I'm never going to be able to grow rosemary and lavender year-round outdoors in my garden. But again, there is so much of what Steve and Brooke do here that can be translated into new solutions no matter where you live. So if you're looking for best practices, I think you cannot go wrong with any book by Steve and Brooke Gianetti. This book is 208 pages of gardens, gardens, gardens, outdoor living, all kinds of outbuildings, and spaces for animals - and a gorgeous potager to boot - on a high-end homestead. You can get a copy of Patina Living by Steve Giannetti and Brooke Giannetti and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $8. Botanic Spark 1938 Birth of Charles Simic (books by this author), Serbian American poet and former co-poetry editor of the Paris Review. He taught English and creative writing for over three decades at the University of New Hampshire. In 1990, Charles received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In 2007 he was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Charles is one of the most compelling modern poets writing today. He once wrote, Even when I'm stretched out in my coffin, they may find me tinkering with some poem. Here's an excerpt from his poem called In The Traffic. What if I were to ditch my car And walk away without a glance back? While drivers honk their horns As I march toward the woods, Determined, once and for all, To swap this breed of lunatics For a more benign kind who dwell In trees, long-haired and naked. I'll let the sun be my guide As I roam the countryside, stopping to chat With a flower or a butterfly, Subsisting on edible plants, I find, Glad to share my meal with deer, Or find a bear licking my face As I wake up, asking where am I? Stuck in the traffic, Mister! And here's his very brief poem called Watermelons: Green Buddhas On the fruit stand We eat the smile And spit out the teeth. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day. Henri Cassini, Meriwether Lewis, James Matthew Barrie, Sophie Scholl, Patina Living, Steve Giannetti, Brooke Giannetti, Charles Simic, Benjamin Smith Barton
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events Compost Awareness Week 1742 Birth of Jean Senebier, a Swiss pastor and botanist. Where would we be without Senebier? We'd still be breathing, but we'd lack the knowledge that carbon dioxide is consumed by plants and, in turn, that plants produce oxygen as part of the process of photosynthesis. In a nutshell, Senebier's work is crucial because he had learned the function of leaves: capturing carbon for food. Before Senebier, the purpose of leaves and what they did for plants and people was unknown. It was Jean Senebier who said, Observation and experiment are two sisters who help each other. 1754 Birth of Joseph Joubert, French moralist and essayist. Remembered mainly for his Pensées ("Pon-see") or (Thoughts), which were published posthumously, he once wrote, All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so. 1856 Birth of Sigmund Freud (books about this person), Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis. Freud once offered this humorous insight: Common sense is a rare flower and does not grow in everyone's garden. Freud offered up a few dispassionate observations regarding the natural world. He once wrote, Beauty has no obvious use, nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it. And he also wrote, Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts. Online there are many photos of Freud and his family in the garden of their home in London. The Freuds left their home in Austria to escape the Nazis with the help of Princess Marie Bonaparte (books about this person), known as Princess George of Greece and Denmark. In 1938, there was a photo of Sigmund with his daughter Anna and Martha in the garden of Marie Bonaparte's house in Paris after arriving on the Orient Express from Vienna. Anna looks happy, Martha looks at a flower, and Sigmund has a little snooze in his garden bed. The Freud home in London was much larger and nicer, and there was a large backyard with a garden. The property still boasts Freud's rose garden and is now the Freud Museum at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, London NW3, England. In 2008, the French botanist and biologist Francis Hallé wrote, Everyone knows that going to the garden does not solve the problems of everyday life, yet it relativizes them and makes them more bearable. Sigmund Freud had this late regret: 'I lost my time; the only important thing in life is gardening.' 1925 On this day, at the age of 29, the great twentieth-century reformer of Japanese gardens, Mirei Shigemori (books about this person), changed his name from Kazuo ("Kah-zoh") to Mirei (“me-RAY”). The name change was a tribute to the 19th-century French painter of pastoral landscapes and daily life, Jean Francois Millet (books about this person), who once said, It is the treating of the commonplace with the feeling of the sublime that gives to art its true power. In 1932, Mirei founded the Kyoto Garden Society. Mirei practiced the art of tea - Chado ("Cha-doe") and the art of flower arranging - Ikebana ("ick-aye-bah-na"). Mirei once advised, People who try to do research on the garden have to very seriously study the way of tea. Mirei wrote eighty-one books, including the Illustrated Book on the History of the Japanese Garden in 26-volumes, released in 1938. Mother Nature played an important role in shaping Mirei's life when the Muroto Typhoon destroyed much of Kyoto in 1934. Many sacred temples, shrines, and gardens were wiped out in the life-altering storm. In response, Mirei took action. He used his own money and became one of the first designers to survey every garden in Japan - creating records for restoration if they were ever damaged or destroyed. The tour provided a valuable service to his country and was also a means for Mirei to learn garden design - with a particular focus on incorporating rocks and stone. As a garden designer, Mirei was entirely self-taught. Throughout his fifty-year career, Mirei designed over two hundred gardens, including the checkerboard North Garden/Moss Garden at Tofukuji ("Tofu-kah-gee") Temple, Kyoto (1939), the dry landscape at Zuiho-in ("zwee-ho een" (1961), and the garden at the oldest shrine in Kyoto City, the Matsuo Taisha ("maht-sue-oh Ty-sha"(1975). The shrine is dedicated to the gods of water in western Kyoto and was an important place for sake-brewing families to worship over the centuries. In 2020, the second edition of landscape architect Christian Tschumi's book, Mirei Shigemori - Rebel in the Garden, was released. In it, Christian breaks down the profound influences and meanings behind Mirei's most iconic gardens. Christian once wrote, Shigemori's body of work is a compelling manifesto for continuous cultural renewal. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Layered Garden by David Culp This book came out in 2012, and the subtitle is Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage. Well, I'm a huge David Culp fan, and I feel like I'm telling you about this book just in time for summer because this book can help you set the stage for how you want your garden to look all year long. And since the summer lays entirely before us, this book is just in time for you. If you're planning a new garden or a garden redesign, you could do a lot worse than having David Culp be your guide. Laura Springer Ogden wrote a review that's right on the cover of the book, And it says, Garden-making in its finest form is a celebration of life and love - and David and this book epitomize this. I couldn't agree more. And by the way, you'll probably recognize the photographer's name for David's book as well - it's Rob Cardillo. Rob always does such a fantastic job photographing gardens, so this book's photos are top-notch. Now David kicks things off in this book with a quote from Francis Bacon, it's from Of Gardens (1625) - and it's one of my favorite garden quotes: There ought to be gardens for all the months in the year, in which severally things of beauty may be then in season. Of course, this sets the stage for what David is trying to teach us: how to have a garden that looks good all year long. Now I thought I would share this quick little sweet story that David shares at the beginning of his book. It gives all of us some great ideas - especially if you have young gardeners in your life. David wrote One fall, when I was about nine years old, my grandmother Thorpe gave me a bag of bulbs and said, "you go out and plant them." I felt more than a little trepidation. I had never planted anything without her supervision. But she reassured me. "You can do it. You won't go wrong." Her generosity could have been ruinous to her flower border. But I got the bulbs planted with no mishaps. The next spring, when they bloomed, I almost burst with pride. When she told all her friends, "David did that." And from that moment, I knew I was a gardener. And after all these years, it remains the core of how I define myself. I love that story for a couple of different reasons. Number one, it really does tee up what David is talking about here in The Layered Garden because as a gardener, if you dismiss specific categories of plants out of hand, like the flowers that you get with spring bulbs, then you'll likely miss one of the layers that can help make your garden beautiful all through the year. Now the other reason I like this story is for practical purposes. I hear all the time from new gardeners who are so anxious about planting bulbs, And now I'm going to say, "Hey, if David Culp - as a nine-year-old - can do it, you can too. And then last but not least, I hope this plants a tiny seed with all of us that if we are interacting with kids in the garden, we definitely need to introduce them to planting spring-flowering bulbs because the result in the spring is just so impressive and unique. It also instills that sense of pride that you can get when your garden work goes to plan, and you experience that first flush of color. It's so wonderful. Throughout David's book, he reinforces this concept of the layered garden, but I will give you just a little snippet of how he introduces it here. He goes into much more detail and offers many more tips - wonderful little nuggets and tiny ideas - for making this look work for you. Here's how he introduces the concept in his book. Garden layers are made up of a variety of plants- some with complimentary or contrasting colors, others with interesting shapes or textures. Layers are more than just perennials or annuals or bulbs or ground covers. They're more than just the ground layer of plants. That's the sole focus of many gardens. Beautiful combinations are certainly possible, even in the tiniest scale. Think of dwarf Solomon's Seal underplanted with moss - that makes a precious six-inch-high picture. But to get the most interest from any garden, all the layers need to be considered from the ground level to the middle level of shrubs and small trees up to the canopy trees. Growing plants on vertical surfaces, walls, fences, trellises, arbors, and other supports even climbing up trees, when we can be sure that they will do no harm, adds to the picture by bringing flowers and foliage to eye level and above. So there you go. An introduction to what David is talking about when he says The Layered Garden. You might be intuitively doing some layering already in your garden as you look for more ways to garden - looking for different plants - or finding and curating other ideas that you can put in your garden. But I think what David adds is his mastery because he knows how to make all of this work in a very cohesive way that's pleasing to the eye. David's book talks about how to do a layered garden and design it - which is probably the key for most of us because we often don't think about that. If we layer the garden, it can just happen organically. But then, sometimes, we can end up with a little bit of a confused look. Next, David talks about maintaining the layered garden, which is very important. Now there are two other aspects of this book that I want to share with you. So the first chapter talks about the layered garden, and it walks you all through that. But The second chapter introduces you to his garden at Brandywine Cottage. This is important because you get a garden tour here, and David shows you how he's put this layered garden technique to work right on his property. By the way, this is not David's first at-bat gardening; he's designed many gardens. So, all of his work is coming together, culminating at Brandywine. And then the last chapter, I think, is one of the most important chapters of the book. Here David shares his signature plants that he advises we consider incorporating into our gardens throughout the seasons. So, this is a great list. This is a list of plants from a garden designer - a garden lover - and someone who works in gardens every day. So right there, that's an invaluable part of this book. This book is 312 pages of layered gardening, the beauty of the garden at Brandywine, and then some of David's most treasured garden design secrets and favorite plants. You can get a copy of The Layered Garden by David Culp and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $18. Botanic Spark 1682 On this day, Louis XIV (books about this person) of France moved his court to the Palace of Versailles. Originally, Versailles was built as a country house. Nine miles from Paris, Versailles was ideally situated near neighboring forests for hunting. Today Versailles is known for its opulence - the Hall of Mirrors, stunning art, and lush gardens. The massive gardens at Versailles are the most famous in the world. The garden is home to over 1,000 statues, and in the Facebook group for the show, I shared a stunning photo of the garden sculptures at Versailles surrounded by sandbags for protection during WWII. In 2006, Ian Thompson wrote a fantastic book called, The Sun King's Garden: Louis XIV, Andre le Notre and the Creation of the Gardens of Versailles. Ian believes that Louis XIV may also have been history's most passionate gardener. Louis, the absolute monarch, was known as the “Sun King,” specifically designed the central axis to be east-west to track the sun's path across the garden. Louis worked closely for forty years with the low-born gardener André Le Nôtre to devise the original design and geometrical layout. Temperament-wise, André and Louis could not have been more different. Louis was driven and merciless. André was funny, thoughtful, insightful, and easy-going. In 1979, Versailles, including the garden, was declared a World Heritage Site. And in 2014, Alain Baraton wrote Gardener of Versailles: My Life in the World's Grandest Garden. As the gardener-in-chief, Alain lives on the grounds at Versailles. Alain has worked in the gardens, orchards, and fields for four decades. This memoir reveals Alain's connection to the grandest garden in the world. And in case you're wondering, Alain believes fall is the best time to visit. Alain oversaw the recovery from the worst natural disaster ever to hit Versailles. On Christmas night through the 26th of December in 1999, a monster winter storm with winds of up to 105 mph struck the grounds of Versaille. Alain watched in horror as century trees let go of the earth in response. In a little over an hour, the storm felled 10,000 trees at Versailles, including two tulip trees planted by Marie-Antoinette in 1783 in Trianon and a Corsican pine planted for Napoleon in 1810. Alain said, It was like the apocalypse. In one hour, 200 years of trees were destroyed. But, miraculously, all of the statues survived unharmed. Although, there was one account that I read of a tree falling on one of the great statues. And as it hit the ground, the branches parted as if to spare that statue. It gave me chills just reading that. It was quite the story. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1830 Birth of Thomas Edward Brown, late-Victorian scholar, schoolmaster, poet, and theologian from the Isle of Man. Thomas was published under T.E. Brown, and here's a little excerpt from his poem called My Garden. A GARDEN is a lovesome thing, God wot! Rose plot, Fringed pool, Fern'd grot— The veriest school Of peace; and yet the fool Contends that God is not— Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool? Nay, but I have a sign; 'Tis very sure God walks in mine. 1833 Birth of Richard Watson Dixon, English poet, and clergyman. Richard was the son of the clergyman, Dr. James Dixon. He's most remembered for that lyrical poem that begins. The feathers of the willow Are half of them grown yellow Above the swelling stream; And ragged are the bushes, And rusty now the rushes, And wild the clouded gleam. But today, I thought I would share an excerpt from his little-known poem called The Judgement Of The May. Come to the judgement, golden threads upon golden hair in rich array; Many a chestnut shakes its heads, Many a lupine at this day, Many a white rose in our beds Waits the judgement of the May. 1890 Birth of Christopher Morley, American journalist, novelist, essayist, and poet. Christopher also produced plays and gave college lectures. And in addition to all of that, He wrote little sayings, like The trouble with wedlock is that there's not enough wed and too much lock. And he also wrote Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water. And then finally, here's a Christopher Marley quote on spring. April prepares her green traffic light, and the world thinks: Go. 1921 Birth of Mavis Lilian Batey, English Codebreaker and garden historian. Mavis served as an English Codebreaker during World War II, and her unique skillset broke the German enigma code, which allowed the allied forces to stage their D-Day invasion. Mavis became a champion for forgotten, yet historically significant, English gardens. She also helped establish garden history as an academic specialty. In 1955, Mavis and her Codebreaker husband, Keith, settled on a farm in Surrey. It was this property that sparked Mavis's passion for landscape history. After moving to Oxford, Mavis and her family lived in a fantastic park designed by Capability Brown. The park was also home to a garden designed by William Mason in 1775. Mavis recalled, We lived in the agent's house right in the middle of Capability Brown Park. But it was William Mason's garden that really got me. We had to cut our way into it. It was all overgrown and garden ornaments were buried in the grass. I knew at once it wasn't just an ordinary derelict garden. Someone had tried to say something there. Mavis Batey used her wit and determination to become a force in numerous conservation organizations and missions. In 1985, Mavis was honored with the RHS Veitch Memorial Medal for her invaluable work, preserving gardens that would otherwise have been lost to time. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Magical World of Moss Gardening by Annie Martin This book came out in 2015, and Pacific Northwest magazine said this about Annie's book: Instead of eradicating this deer-resistant, pest-resistant, rootless, stemless, wonder of a plant, Annni Martin tells us how to encourage and cultivate it. Well, mosses are near and dear to many gardeners' hearts, and there have been many gardeners who try to grow and cultivate moss to no avail. And that's because moss has some special requirements. Annie writes, In my own garden, I feel angst when mosses is dry out and I obsessively respond to my compelling desire to give them a rejuvenating drink. And as they begin the saturation process, I regain my own glowing state. As I watch leaves swiftly unfold and colors, magically intensify. In addition to being mesmerizing, there are many reasons to pursue moss gardening. There are also many environmental benefits. Moss can be a lawn substitute - depending on where you live and your garden set up. If you have a shady property, you should definitely look into mosses as an option. Mosses are super carbon sequesters. They're great at erosion control and flood mitigation - and they have a built-in filtration system, which means that moss can help reclaim land in locations where cleanup is needed. Now, if Annie's name sounds familiar, it's because she is a moss expert. Her nickname is Mossin' Annie, and she's the proud owner of Mountain Moss Enterprises. I appreciate books like this because you have a true subject matter expert acting as your guide. Annie will help you identify dozens of Moss species, and she'll teach you how to propagate moss successfully. (This is something most gardeners want to know how to do). Finally, Annie is a master when designing and installing moss gardens. This book is 240 pages of down-to-earth advice on mosses in the garden. Whether you're an experienced gardener or a newbie, you will feel extra confident about utilizing moss - the tremendous green ground cover - with Annie as your guide. You can get a copy of The Magical World of Moss Gardening by Annie Martin and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $13. Botanic Spark 1821 Death of Napoleon Bonaparte, French military and political leader who ended up ruling over much of continental Europe Last year was the 200th anniversary of his death. One account of Napoleon's final moments reported that, [He died during a terrible thunderstorm that] shook the house to its foundations and would have alarmed everyone but for the all-absorbing tragedy of Napolean's departure. In 1815 after his stunning defeat in the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon was forced into exile in the south Atlantic on a little island called St. Helena. A few years before his death, Napoleon became convinced that he was dying of stomach cancer. His doctor Francoise Antommarchi ("Ahn-toe-MAR-she"), the man that would take his death mask, prescribed, among other pursuits, gardening - specifically digging in the garden. And so, on the island of St. Helena, Napoleon briefly took up gardening — and he loved it. Naturally, Napoleon wanted everyone around him - except the ladies - to join him in the garden at Longwood. There, he grew every type of vegetable that thrived on the island. Napoleon installed grottoes, alleys, and paths. And he transplanted trees and improved the soil with manure. When he worked in the garden, history tells us that Napoleon wore a loose-fitting dress and a straw hat. And at one point, Napoleon actually shot Count Bertrand's goat because it was eating his plants. In 2021, the historian Ruth Scurr wrote a short but delightful biography of Napoleon told through the lens of his interest in gardening and naturalism, and it's called Napoleon: A Life Told in Gardens and Shadows. Ruth believes that gardens were important to Napoleon all through his life. But at St. Helena in particular, he was especially motivated to garden after his doctor pointed out that he could create sunken paths to avoid the watchful gaze of his guards: British soldiers. Naturally, it was mostly Napoleon's people who did most of the digging. And although Napoleon's experiment with gardening was fleeting, Longwood House still grows a variety of plants planted by the emperor himself. Now in her book, Ruth also tells a touching story about Napoleon's brief return to Malmaison after his defeat at Waterloo. Malmaison was soothing to the emperor, and it was a place full of memories of his beloved Josephine. Her gardens were filled with fragrant roses and colorful blossoms like Dahlia's long after her death. The painter Pierre Joseph Redouté was a favorite of Josephine Bonaparte and Marie Antoinette. Still, Redouté's paintings of Josephine's flowers at Malmaison are among his most beautiful works. In Ruth Scurr's garden biography of Napoleon, she wrote: The 26th of June  was a very hot day. Napoleon spent it at Malmaison reminiscing about the past. He walked up and down with his hands behind his back in what had once been his personal garden, just outside the library. He also lingers among exotic trees that Josephine has always insisted on planting herself. There were honey locusts, cedars of Lebanon, apple trees, and tulip trees. He visited Josephine's grand greenhouse and remembered there how she checked her tropical flowers every day. It was indeed a grand greenhouse. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events Today is Bird Day! 1556 Death of Luca Ghini ("Gee-nee"), Italian physician and botanist. Luca is remembered for creating the first recorded herbarium and the first botanical garden in Pisa, Italy. Historical accounts indicate he was an outstanding and beloved botany teacher at the university in Bologna. By 1527, Luca was giving lectures on medicinal plants and essentially teaching what is considered the first official university-level classes on botany. Luca was also the first to press flowers to create a plant collection. The English botanist William Withering wrote about flower pressing in the 1770s. Luca used his pressed and dried plants the same way future botanists would - he used them to study when fresh or live specimens were not available. In this way, he could teach his students, and they could use the dried specimens to continue their studies all year long. Luca mentored his students - taking them on field trips and encouraging them to learn all about plants. And if Luca Ghini seems an obscure character in botanical history, it's because he didn't publish anything. He was too busy interacting with his botanist peers and teaching his students - through whom he left a lasting legacy. 1749 Birth of Charlotte Turner Smith, English novelist, and Romantic poet. She revived the English sonnet, was an early Gothic fiction writer and helped establish the genre. She also wrote about sensibility in her political novels. Charlotte's novels, Emmeline (1788) and Desmond (1792), reflect womanly hope and disenfranchisement with eighteenth-century Common Law. Charlotte once wrote, Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes! How shall I lure thee to my haunts forlorn! For me wilt thou renew the withered rose, And clear my painful path of pointed thorn? And here is an excerpt of Charlotte's poem called Written at the Close of Spring. The garlands fade that Spring so lately wove, Each simple flow'r, which she had nurs'd in dew, Anemones that spangled every grove, The primrose wan, and harebell, mildly blue. No more shall violets linger in the dell, Or purple orchis variegate the plain, Till Spring again shall call forth every bell, And dress with humid hands her wreaths again. Ah, poor Humanity! so frail, so fair, Are the fond visions of thy early day, Another May new buds and flow'rs shall bring; Ah! Why has Happiness—no second Spring? 1858 Birth of Sophie Emma Magdalene Grieve (pen name Mrs. Grieve), English writer and herbalist. Her friends called her Maud. In addition to her writing, Maud founded an Herb School and Farm in England. She was a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society, President of the British Guild of Herb Growers, and a Fellow of the British Science Guild. Today, Maud is best remembered for her book, A Modern Herbal (1931). Maud's Herbal is still regarded as one of the best herbals ever written. She provided detailed information about each herb she profiled, including "Medicinal Actions and Uses." Here's a sampling of her information. Purple Loosestrife: As an eyewash this invasive herb is superior to Eyebright for preserving the sight and curing sore eyes. Chives: Useful for cutting up and mixing with the food of newly-hatched turkeys. Borage: May be regarded as a garden escape. (A delicate way of saying it is invasive.) Valerian: A powerful nervine, stimulant, carminative, and anti-spasmodic. The drug allays pain and promotes sleep. It is of especial use and benefit to those suffering from nervous overstrain…During the recent War (WWI), when air-raids were a serious strain on the nerves of civilian men and women, valerian…proved wonderfully efficacious, preventing or minimizing serious results. Garlic: There is a Mohammedan legend that when Satan stepped out from the Garden of Eden after the fall of man, Garlick sprang up from the spot where he placed his left foot and Onion from that where his right foot touched. Moneywort: We are told by old writers that this herb was not only used by man, but that if serpents hurt or wounded themselves, they turned to this plant for healing, and so it was sometimes called 'Serpentaria'. Agrimony or Church-Steeple: the small root is sweet-scented, especially in spring. Lemon: It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health. English Summers: ‘It has been said, with some truth, that our English summer is not here until the Elder is fully in flower, and that it ends when the berries are ripe." 1894 Birth of Margaret Leland Goldsmith, American journalist, historical novelist, and translator. In June of 1936, in “The Perils of Gardening” for Scribner's Magazine, she wrote: For years I have avoided magenta with feverish zest. I do not like it. It kills my henna reds. It fights with the cedar brown of my cottage. Yet every year something of that hue intrudes. If it isn't Sweet William reverting to type, it is a red phlox gone decadent. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Little Library Year by Kate Young This book came out in 2020, the perfect time because it was right at the start of the pandemic. The subtitle is Recipes and Reading to Suit Each Season. Oh, I cannot tell you how long I've been waiting to share this book. It is such a treat. The publisher does a great job of succinctly telling you about Kate's book. The Little Library Year takes you through a full 12 months in award-winning food writer Kate Young's kitchen. Here are frugal, January meals enjoyed alone with a classic comfort read. As well as summer feasts to be eaten outdoors with the perfect beach read in hand. Beautifully photographed throughout. The Little Library Year is full of delicious seasonal recipes, menus And reading recommendations - (which is one of the reasons why I absolutely squealed when I first found out about Kate's book.) Now you'll be happy to know that the cover is beautiful. It truly is a cover for a gardener because she's got a little desk with a little coffee mug, and then she's got potted herbs stacked on top of books. Then, there's a little blue journal with a pen resting on top. The herbs include Pineapple Sage, Thyme, and of course, Rosemary. It is just perfect. Now Diana Henry's review of this book is right on the cover. She writes Recipes you long to cook. Suggestions for books. You want to read a sense of place and season and takes of life lived thoughtfully and well. This is a very special book written with great generosity She is so right. Now I wanted to share this little excerpt from Kate about how she broke down the seasons for her book. She writes, I have broken the year into six parts. Those long winter nights in January and February, the first signs of spring in March and April, the green months of may and June when spring is in abundance, the height of summer in July and August, the weeks when the leaves start to turn in September and October. And then the final months of the year, as the days grow short. And then she writes, I have written The Little Library Year. as a literary and culinary almanac -a celebration of each and every season and a way to capture the year in books and food. And isn't that fantastic? Well, you really should treat yourself to this book, and then if you fall in love with Kate Young, check out her author page because she has many, many delightful books. She's a great writer - one of my favorites. This book is 336 pages of garden-fresh recipes, life stories, and of course, books, books, books. You can get a copy of The Little Library Year by Kate young and support the shell using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $20, but you'll need to hurry because those used copies at that price will go quickly. You can get a copy of The Little Library Year by Kate Young and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $21. Botanic Spark 1976 Birth of Gail Carriger (Gail "Care-ah-gurr") (the pen name of Tofa Borregaard), American New York Times bestselling author of steampunk fiction and an archaeologist. In her book, Poison or Protect, the first in the Delightfully Deadly series, a sexy assassin, a Scotsman, and two lobsters attend a Victorian house party in a charming story of love and espionage. Gail introduces us to her main character this way: The assassin is Lady Preshea Villentia ("Preh-sha Vill-in-sha"), who has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn't know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea's employer. And Preshea has one final assignment. In the book, Lady Violet says, "We do not suit. You have no genuine interest in botany!” Lady Violet practically yelled her final conclusion. This was the biggest sin of them all. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events Happy National Garden Meditation Day! 1580 Thomas Tusser (English poet and farmer) died. In 1573, Thomas wrote his Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, where he advised: In January, the housewife should be busy planting peas and beans and setting young rose roots. During March and April, she will work 'from morning to night, sowing and setting her garden or plot,' to produce the crops of parsnip, beans, and melons which will 'winnest the heart of a laboring man for her later in the year. Her strawberry plants will be obtained from the best roots which she has gathered from the woods, and these are to be set in a plot in the garden. Berries from these plants will be harvested later the same year, perhaps a useful back-up if the parsnips have failed to win the man of her dreams. 1941 During this week, Martha Crone, American botanist and horticulturist, wrote some entries in her Minneapolis diary that reflect the wild swings in temperatures that can be so frustrating to gardeners in the shoulder seasons. At the start of May: [The weather is] still very warm (81 hi 59 lo) and flowers coming out everywhere, everything at least 2 weeks in advance, like midsummer, many insects and flies out. Violets - never so beautiful - as well as Trillium and other flowers. On the 3rd of May: Bitter cold all day [49-41] stove going continuously... but no mosquitoes. On the 8th: Heat unbearable [88-60] On the 19th: Hottest so far... 1942 On this day, Charles Kikuchi wrote in his Japanese Tanforan Internment camp journal: These industrious Japanese! They just don't seem to know how to take it easy. They've worked so hard all their lives that they just can't stand idleness or waste . Two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were mandated to relocate to one of the ten relocation camps in the “exclusion zone” of Oregon, California, western Washington, and southern Arizona by order of the president. Ken Helphand's fantastic 2006 book, Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime, tells the story of the gardens that were created in the camps. The gardens were part of the effort to make the camps more bearable. In addition to gardens, there were orchards, parks, baseball diamonds, playgrounds, and farms. In Defiant Gardens, Ken wrote, Entry gardens were part of the Japanese tradition of dooryard gardens, linking household to community, and functioning as entry and marker, displaying the craft and skill of the resident and embellishing both the barracks and the community space....Many persons inscribed their names in cement at the doorstep. Barracks gardens displayed great variety, using gathered cacti and rocks, transplanted plants, and plants propagated in the camp nursery. While people waited daily for the communally served meals, they enjoyed the elaborate displays of great artistry and effort that characterized the mess-hall gardens. Created with rocks and water as well as plants, these gardens were most closely identified with the Japanese American garden tradition. All these gardens brought beauty to the camps and reinforced the internees' sense of cultural identity… 1946 On this day, Frida Kahlo (books about this person) gave a painting called Weeping Coconuts to her friends Lina and Arcady Boitler as a wedding gift. Frida used two weeping coconuts to represent her pain and deteriorating health in the painting. Frida was mixing prescription painkillers and alcohol by this point in her life. The coconuts were one of fifty-five self-portraits. Her best-known self-portrait is ‘Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.' Kahlo said, I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best. Four years later, Frida's pain became unmanageable. In 1953, her right foot - and later right leg - were amputated. Frida died shortly after her 47th birthday in the summer of 1954. Before she died, she wrote in her journal: I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return — Frida. Coconuts are an ancient plant that initially hailed from the South Pacific, and because of their buoyancy, coconuts can travel the world on the ocean's waves. Plant Explorers found the coconut growingng throughout the Pacific, the Indian Ocean regions, and Africa. Like mangoes, cashews, and cherries, the coconut is actually a drupe and not a nut. The drupe is an item that has a fleshy outer around a pit. Coconuts are anti-viral, fungal, bacterial, and anti-parasite. There are more than twenty billion coconuts produced each year. The coconut palm is actually the national tree of The Maldives. Before the dominance of soybean oil in the 1960s, Coconut oil was the world's leading vegetable oil. May 8th is National Coconut Creme Pie Day. Falling coconuts kill 150 people every year – 10 times the number of people killed by sharks. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation Understanding Orchids by William Cullina This book came out in 2004, and the subtitle is An Uncomplicated Guide to Growing the World's Most Exotic Plants. Well, I myself have become an orchid lover and an orchid fan. They're my favorite plant to send to a family member for a birthday or an anniversary because they last so long, and now because orchids cost as much as the bouquet. I often opt to send an orchid instead of a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers. As a little bonus for me, some of my family members will actually bring me the orchid after it's bloomed. And then I get the honor of taking care of repotting it and getting it healthy and ready to go again so that it will bloom again - hopefully on their next birthday or anniversary. And so that's what I love to do - take care of orchids after they've bloomed. But you know, orchids are a little bit of a mystery to many, many gardeners. So if you haven't gone down the orchid path yet, but you're on the edge, and you want to become more skilled in the area of orchids will, then William Cullina's book is the perfect guide for you. William knows what it's like to be in your shoes. He writes at the end of his introduction, I still get that spine-tingling toe-tickling feeling of, wow that hooked me at the beginning. And if you're just starting out with orchids, you are in for quite an adventure. Learning to grow orchids and understand their idiosyncrasies is a true journey. The sheer number of orchid species estimates range between 25 and 40,000, including hybrids means that there will always be something new to learn something new to explore. And then he writes this incredible fact. You could start acquiring an orchid a day when you were 20 years old and still not have grown them all when you turned 80 and there is no other family of plants that offers such incredible diversity. Before I close out this review, I'll just say that the first part of William's book covers all the basics of orchids. Next, William gives an excellent overview of an area that people often struggle with: how to care for orchids. How do they like to be watered? What should you do about fertilization? How should you pot them? If you're going to Mount them? How does that happen? Then William talks about what to do if you have a pest or disease issue with your orchid. Then, if you are getting into next-level orchid growing, William will be your guy to introduce you to reproduction. He'll tell you how to hand-pollinate and propagate and hybridize orchids. And there will be no mystery to any of this. William is very clear through every page of his book. Finally, William wraps things up with a look at over a hundred of the most popular orchids to get you on your way and to get you thinking about what you want on your orchid wishlist. This book is 272 pages of orchids by an orchid lover - for orchid lovers - or for people thinking about becoming orchid lovers. You can get a copy of Understanding Orchids by William Cullina and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $20. Botanic Spark 1912 Birth of May Sarton (books by this author), Belgian-American writer and poet. In Nelson, New Hampshire, May's tiny home was her happy place. She had a garden that she loved and cared for many houseplants. She once wrote these relatable garden witticisms: I am not a greedy person except about flowers and plants, and then I become fanatically greedy. In her seventies, May reflected, A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself. Still, May could not help striving for the glory of success when it came to her garden. Living a mostly simple life, May's garden was the one place she dreamed big. What a relief it was to me when I read that Vita Sackville-West kept a pile of metal labels in a shack at Sissinghurst as proof of all the experiments that had failed! Finally, some of May's thoughts on gardening are prayerlike: Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers. and Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1772 Birth of Friedrich von Hardenberg (pen name Novalis ("NO-vol-liss")), the German romantic poet-philosopher. Friedrich's pen name, Novalis, was a nod to his 12th-century farming ancestors who called themselves the Novali, which translates to "people who cultivate new land," - and his first work under his pen name was Blüthenstaub (Pollen). In the book, Novalis advised his artistic friends to be prolific in their work, writing, Friends, the soil is poor, we must scatter seed abundantly for even a moderate harvest. Novalis is most remembered for his unfinished work Henry von Ofterdingen: A Romance. This work resulted in a nickname for Novalis as the poet of the blue flower. Henry von Ofterdingen was a fabled poet from the 13th century. In Novalis's story, his romantic yearning is symbolized by his love for a blue flower, which Novalis later revealed was inspired by a heliotrope. For centuries, Novalis has been seen primarily as a love-struck poet who mourned the death of his first love, Sophie, only to be reunited with her in heaven after he, too, succumbed to the white plague or tuberculosis. Today, blue flowers remain a symbol of desire and a striving for the unreachable. They also represent humanity's connection with nature - a rare and fragile relationship. Today, blue flowers remain among gardeners' most coveted color of blossoms - as in the Himalayan blue poppy, the delphinium, the cornflower, and the forget-me-not. In Henry von Offerdingen, Novalis wrote, I care not for wealth and riches. But that blue flower I do long to see; it haunts me and I can think and dream of nothing else... 1853 Frederick Arther Walton, English nurseryman, cactus collector, and jeweler. Born in Birmingham, Frederick owned one of the largest private cactus collections in England, and he started a cactus nursery called The Friary. He also created and edited The Cactus Journal - a monthly journal devoted exclusively to cacti and other succulent plants, which ran for 24 issues. Frederick also founded the first cactus society in England. In 1899, he traveled to America and Mexico to collect cactus, and he wrote, Possessing one of the largest collections in England, I decided to go to the native home of the cactus – California, Arizona, and Mexico. so on January 7th, 1899, I left Liverpool Fort New York; then I went to the great city of St Louis where there is a cactus a society and a very good collection of cacti in the Botanical Gardens. After spending a few pleasant days at St Louis I took the train to Kansas City… then through New Mexico and arrived at San Bernardino California where I met Andrew Halstead Alverson a very enthusiastic Cactus collector. He took me out into the desert, and for the first time in my life, I was in the midst of wild cacti. The trip was the adventure of a lifetime for Frederick. He battled snakes, scorpions, pumas, centipedes, and the harsh desert sun in an exploration of cactus country covering over 20,000 miles in the western hemisphere. In January 1900, for unknown reasons, Frederick's cactus journal and the cactus society abruptly ended. There was a mention in the final issues of The Cactus Journal that he was exploring the creation of a daffodil journal - but it was never printed. At the turn of the century, European gardeners outside of Germany had no real interest in cactus or succulents - that interest wouldn't be rekindled until the 1930s. And so, in 1905, Frederick's health was waning, and he sold his nursery. Frederick died in 1922. 1858 On this day, the poet, teacher, abolitionist, and writer Charlotte Forten started writing her poem called, To a Beloved Friend. Charlotte was friends with Sarah Cassey Smith and had lived with the Smith family while attending school. In 1856, Charlotte became Salem State's first African American graduate. Sarah and Charlotte shared a love for all flowers. The young women made and received May baskets in the springtime, and they both enjoyed spring nosegays or little bouquets. Once when Charlotte's teacher gave her a little bouquet, Charlotte wrote in her diary. Your voiceless lips, dear flowers, are living preachers. The day before this day, in 1858 (May 1st), Charlotte found herself homesick for Salem. She disliked the noisy city life in Philadelphia, and she also confronted more significant restrictions on her activities as an African American in the City of Brotherly Love. She had noted in her diary that she had been "refused at two ice cream salons." And so, when Sarah's bouquet arrived on May 1st, Charlotte quickly interpreted the meaning of each flower according to floriography or the language of flowers - a common way for people to communicate in the 1800s. Sarah's handpicked Mayflowers symbolized welcome. The little Violets represented constant friendship, and the delicate Columbine was a reference to separation. The message of friendship and love across the miles of separation was received loud and clear. From her diary, we know the bouquet lifted Charlotte's mood and inspired Charlotte's poem called To a Beloved Friend. 1923 On this day, Robert Frost's poem "Our Singing Strength" was first published in the New Republic. The poem begins, It snowed in spring on earth so dry and warm The flakes could find no landing place to form. Hordes spent themselves to make it wet and cold, And still they failed of any lasting hold. They made no white impression on the black. They disappeared as if earth sent them back. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Land Gardeners by Bridget Elworth and Henrietta Courtauld This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is Cut Flowers. Let me begin by setting the table for you - because that's precisely the cover of this book. There's a table with a beautiful tablecloth and then a variety of porcelain vases on the table, all of different sizes and shapes. Behind that is a gallery of botanical art. Resting on the table are cut tulips, all kinds of tulips. And, then in two of the vases are different arrangements of these beautiful, fresh-picked tulips. It's just an absolutely stunning cover. The Land Gardeners is a five-star book on Amazon as well. Together, Bridget and Henrietta are English gardeners, and they established a firm that they call Land Gardeners. So, the book references their work - as well as their shared passion - which is, of course, flowers. In the real world, The Land Gardeners is a cut flower operation. The book, The Land Gardeners, provides everything you need to know to set up your own cut flower garden - and then everything that comes after, including gathering the flowers, even arranging. Vogue was a fan of this book, saying, A peak into their blossom-filled world. The book reads like a meander through their tumbling English gardens. The Sunday Times wrote, One of the Best Gardening Books of the Year. And The Oregonian said, Packed with ideas and inspiration, passion and beauty... This large-size, hardcover book is filled with stellar photographs that will also inspire you to display a vase filled with flowers you grew and arranged yourself. This book is a big one. It's almost five pounds, 391 pages of cut flowers from the garden to the vase. You can get a copy of The Land Gardeners by Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $23. Botanic Spark 1893 Birth of Norman Bor, Irish botanist and explorer. He was awarded the Linnean Medal of the Linnean Society in 1962 and served as an Assistant Director of Kew. His wife, Eleanor, accompanied him to Assam and Tibet and then wrote a fabulous book about the adventure called The Adventures of a Botanist's Wife - a book I own multiple copies of - it's a favorite of mine. In 1952, a newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, featured Eleanor's book in an article called "On Top of the World." Here's an excerpt: Mrs. Bor had expected to share exciting plant discoveries and, at least, to give her name to a rare orchid. Instead, she found her husband was a specialist in grasses, and it was a new species of grass - extremely rare - but, to her, looking no more than a "mangy bit of fur" that finally bore her name. Once [ on a mountain] stepping from mist and snow, they saw below them... a blaze of rhododendrons and magnolias, and In their camp that night burned rhododendron logs. Their mountain trips were often dangerous... The Rupa bridge was especially terrifying, with only strands of cane for a foothold and tall hoops set a yard apart for the hands to grip. More menacing than cane bridges and cliff tracks were the insects. Wild animals were not alarming, but the hornets, centipedes, horse flies, dam dims, and above all, the leeches made camping in the jungle foothills a nightmare. One reviewer wrote: Here is a story told with the charm and simplicity of a life spent in the foothills of the Himalayas where Eleanor Bor and her botanist husband tramp through jungled terrain establishing friendly relations with hill tribes and villagers, discovering the enchantments of mysterious undergrowth and carrying with them the domestic problems of household pets and family happenings. Their years in the jungle...are those of a true traveler. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Podchaser Leave a Review Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events St. Robert's Day Saint Robert of Molesme ("mo-LESS-mah") was an 11th-century herbalist, abbot, and founder of the Cistercian ("sis-TUR-shin") order - a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that branched off from the Benedictines. They are also known as Bernardines ("BUR-nah-deen"), after the highly influential Bernard of Clairvaux, or as White Monks - a reference to the color of the cowl worn over their habits as opposed to the black cowl worn by Benedictines. They are commonly called Trappists. Many common wildflowers are named in honor of St. Robert. Some believe that Herb Robert, or Bird's Eye, the little Wild Geranium, was named in honor of St. Robert. Another theory is that Herb Robert is named for Robin Goodfellow, a pseudonym for the forest sprite known as Puck. 1852 On this day, Henri Frederic Amiel, Swiss philosopher and poet, wrote in his journal: I went out into the garden to see what progress the spring was making. I strolled from the irises to the lilacs, round the flowerbeds, and in the shrubberies. Delightful surprise! At the corner of the walk, half-hidden under a thick clump of shrubs, a small-leaved corchorus had flowered during the night... the little shrub glittered before me... Mother of marvels, mysterious and tender Nature, why do we not live more in thee? 1869 Birth of Agnes Chase, American botanist. Agnes was an agrostologist—a studier of grass. She was a petite, fearless, indefatigable person and entirely self-taught as a botanist. Her first position was as an illustrator at the USDA's Bureau of Plant Industry in Washington, D.C., working for the botanist Albert Spear Hitchcock. When Hitchcock applied for funding to go on expeditions, higher-ups approved the travel for Hitchcock, but not for Agnes - saying the job should belong to "real research men." Undeterred, Agnes raised her own funding to go on the expeditions. She cleverly partnered with missionaries in Latin America to arrange for accommodations with host families. She shrewdly observed, The missionaries travel everywhere, and like botanists do it on as little money as possible. They gave me information that saved me much time and trouble. During a climb of one of Brazil's highest mountains, Agnes reportedly returned to camp with a "skirt filled with plant specimens." One of her major works, the "First Book of Grasses," was translated into Spanish and Portuguese. It taught generations of Latin American botanists who recognized Agnes's contributions long before their American counterparts. When Hitchcock retired, Agnes was his backfill. When Agnes reached retirement age, she ignored the rite of passage altogether and refused to be put out to pasture. She kept going to work - six days a week - overseeing the largest collection of grasses in the world in her office under the red towers at her beloved Smithsonian Institution. When Agnes was 89, she became the eighth person to become an honorary fellow of the Smithsonian. A reporter covering the event said, Dr. Chase looked impatient as if she were muttering to herself, "This may be well and good, but it isn't getting any grass classified, sonny." While researching Agnes Chase, I came across this little article in The St. Louis Star and Times. Agnes gave one of her books on grass a biblical title, The Meek That Inherit the Earth. The story pointed out that, Mrs. Chase began her study of grass by reading about it in the Bible. In the very first chapter of Genesis, ...the first living thing the Creator made was grass. ... for grass is fundamental to life. [Agnes] said, "Grass is what holds the earth together. Grass made it possible for the human race to abandon... cave life and follow herds. Civilization was based on grass [and] this significance... still holds." 1954 Birth of Jerry Seinfeld, American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He is best known for playing a semi-fictionalized version of himself in the sitcom Seinfeld, which he created and wrote with Larry David. He once joked, Why do people give each other flowers to celebrate various important occasions? They're killing living creatures? Why restrict it to plants? "Sweetheart, let's make up. Have this deceased squirrel." 2017 On this day in 2017, The New York Times tweeted that, The Brooklyn Botanic Garden cherry blossom festival is set for today and tomorrow, regardless of when nature [decided] to push play. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Language of Butterflies by Wendy Williams This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World's Favorite Insect. If you're a fan of blue morpho butterflies, you're going to love the cover of Wendy's book because it is covered with a kaleidoscope of blue morpho butterflies. So it's impossibly beautiful. And Wendy's book is a five-star book on Amazon. Now Wendy is an author who loves spending time outdoors. She loves skiing. She loves horseback riding. (In fact, her first bestselling book was called The Horse. And Wendy has traveled the world. She's spent a lot of time in Africa, Europe, and North American mountain chains and prairies. But when it comes to just regular daily life, Wendy lives in Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her husband and her Border Collie, Taff. Now I love the way that Wendy writes because she's very conversational. And I also like how she organized this book into three main sections: the past, the present, and the future. And then, to show you how friendly her writing is, her chapters have very intriguing titles. In the section on the past, there's The Gateway Drug, The Number One Butterfly, and then How Butterflies Saved Charles Darwin's Bacon. (Great chapter.) And then, in the present, chapters include A Parasol of Monarchs, The Honeymoon Hotel, and On The Rain Dance Ranch. Great story there. And then, in the future section, Wendy's chapters include The Social Butterfly, The Paroxysms of Ecstasy, and The Butterfly Highway. And Wendy is right; butterflies are the world's most beloved insects. They've been called flying flowers, and gardeners are passionate about butterflies. And many gardeners today are working to help save the Monarch from extinction. Now The Washington Post said this about Wendy's book, Williams takes us on a humorous and beautifully crafted journey that explores both the nature of these curious and highly intelligent insects. And the eccentric individuals who coveted them. And, of course, most of those folks were scientists and or botanists. So I love this book, and I love all of those stories. This book is 256 pages Of butterflies. It's eye-opening and tender. It's an incredibly profound look at butterflies - it's a butterfly biography. And it examines the vital role that butterflies play in our world. You can get a copy of The Language of Butterflies by Wendy Williams and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $2. Botanic Spark Here's an excerpt from Karel Ćapek's chapter on The Gardener's April from his book The Gardener's Year (1984). Gardeners have certainly arisen by culture and not by natural selection. If they had developed naturally, they would look differently. They would have legs like beetles, so that they need not sit on their heels. And they would have wings - in the first place for their beauty and secondly, so that they might float over the beds. Those who have no experience can not imagine how one's legs are in the way when there's nothing to stand on. How stupidly long they are... Or how impossibly short they are if one has to reach to the other side of the bed without treading on a clump of pyrethrum (that's chrysanthemum) or on the shoots of Columbine. If only one could hang in a belt and swim over the beds. Or have at least four hands with only a head and a cap and nothing else. But because the gardener is outwardly constructed as imperfectly as other people, all he can do is to show us of what he is capable. To balance on tiptoe on one foot, to float in the air like a Russian dancer, to straddle four yards wide, to step as lightly as a butterfly or a wagtail, to reach everywhere and avoid everything, and still try to keep some sort of respectability so that people will not laugh at him. Of course, at a passing glance, from a distance, you don't see anything of the gardener but his romp. Everything else like the head, arms, and legs is hidden underneath. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Podchaser Leave a Review Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events Floralia April 28th marks the beginning of a six-day festival called Floralia in the Roman calendar. And it's held in honor of the goddess of flowering crops and plants, and she was known as Flora. Now the goal of this weeklong festival was a satisfying appeal to Flora for a great growing season, a bountiful harvest, safety for workers, and probably a solid grape harvest for good wine. 1834 Birth of Harry Bolus, South African botanist, artist, businessman, and philanthropist. If you've ever heard of the Bolus Herbarium in South Africa, it was named in honor of Harry. Harry founded the Herbarium, and he bequeathed his extensive library and part of his fortune to establish the South African College, now known as the University of Cape Town. Harry Bolus was not originally from South Africa. He was actually born in Nottingham, England. And the school that he attended, Castle Gate School, had a headmaster who corresponded with a plant collector named William Kensit. When Kensit required an assistant, Harry Bolus was the student who was selected for the job. Harry moved to South Africa and promptly fell in love with William's sister Sophia. The two were married, and they had three sons and a daughter. In 1864, when their oldest son died at six years old, a friend and fellow botanist named Francis Guthrie suggested that Harry take up botany to help heal his broken heart. Well, the rest, as they say, is history. Harry started his great botanical collection in 1865, and he soon struck up a correspondence with the most famous botanists of his day. And there's one other story about Harry Bolus that I thought you would enjoy. In 1876, Harry and Francis Guthrie traveled together to the world's Mecca for botany - Kew gardens in England - along with a large collection of plants. Even though their ship hit a reef on their return voyage and their collection was lost, Harry always referred to that trip as "Forty happy days." 1852 On this day, Henri Frederic Amiel, Swiss philosopher and poet, wrote in his journal: Once more, I feel the spring languor creeping over me, the spring air about me. This morning the poetry of the scene, the song of the birds, the tranquil sunlight, the breeze blowing over the fresh green fields — all rose into and filled my heart. 1947 Birth of Bonnie Marranca, New York City-based critic, publisher, and writer. In her book, American Garden Writing (1988), Bonnie wrote, I judge a garden by the gardener who cares for it, the one who invests space with daydreams. How well I know the downward gaze into the face of the earth, the feeling of a luxurious body and good, dark soil that slips through the fingers in the rush to return to its dirty delirium. Each gardener creates an ideal world of miniature thoughts that drift languidly into each other like flowers on a dry afternoon. Hear silence has the rhythm of wishes. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Perfect Specimen by Durlynn Anema This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is The 20th Century Renowned Botanist: Ynes Mexia. This book is a wonderful biography of Ynes Mexia - the Mexican American botanist born in 1870 and who discovered the Sierra Club at age 50. And that led her to her life's calling and her legacy as a botanist. And so I love what Durlynn wrote and the dedication of this book because she wrote, This book is dedicated to those people who gained confidence in their abilities later in life. And that is certainly the case with Ynes Mexia. She loved her experience with the Sierra Club so much that she decided to enroll in botany classes at Berkeley. In fact, over a 16-year period, she just kept taking botany classes on and off; She never had the goal of graduating. She just wanted to keep learning - so that's quite a paradigm shift. And as the mom of four young adults who are either in college or about to go to college, I love that perspective of being a lifelong learner - which is undoubtedly something that Ynes achieved. Now, I don't want to give the impression that Ynes was all about coursework and classrooms because that's really only a very small portion of Ynes's story. She was actually very drawn to fieldwork. She took countless trips through the Southwestern part of the United States into New Mexico and even into South America. She was very drawn to unique plants. She loved sunflowers, and she was a voracious collector. Many scholars argue that Ynes was one of the most accomplished collectors of her time. On her very first collecting trip, she collected over 500 specimens, which is essentially the same amount Darwin collected on his first expedition on The Beagle. Over her lifetime, Ynes collected over 150,000 specimens -500 of which were brand new plant species that had never been identified before. Ynes's story sadly came to an end in 1938 due to lung cancer. She was actually in Mexico on a plant collecting trip when she just could not go on any longer. So she cut her trip short, returned to the United States, and then died at Berkeley that summer on June 12th. And aside from her staggering amount of work, Ynes left a legacy when part of her estate was donated to the Redwood Preserve in California (which I think of as kind of a full-circle moment - harkening back to her work with the Sierra Club.) And so, forty acres of the Mexia estate were donated to the preserve, and one of the very tallest trees was named in honor of Ynes - a woman who is definitely worthy of a biography. I also wanted to share just a bit of what Durlynn wrote in the author's note at the beginning of this book because I think it does a beautiful job of outlining the extraordinary nature of Ynes's story. Durlynn writes, Most successful people, no matter their endeavor or occupation, find inspiration through either a parent, an important or inspirational person or an event. This is not the case with Ynes Mexia. A shy, quiet girl. She seemed to fade into the background with both her parents. She led a lonely life, which ironically aided her in her later endeavors. Mexia's is a story of retreat into self in the early years, and then blossoming to reach her highest potential after 50 years old. It is also the story of a doctor, who during the infancy of psychiatry and psychology, mentored this woman to her potential and became the father figure she never had. Read Marvel. And enjoy. Ynes Mexia's story. It's a good one. This book is 174 pages about the life of the renowned botanist Ynes Mexia. You can get a copy of The Perfect Specimen by Durlynn Anema and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $14. Botanic Spark 1701 Birth of Madeleine Françoise Basseporte ("Mad-ah-lin Frahn-swahz Bass-ah-port"), French botanical artist, miniature painter, interior decorator, and teacher. Madeleine was a student of Claude Aubriet, the man honored with the naming of the Aubrieta ("Aubreesha") genus. The only reason Madeleine was able to study with Aubriet was that her talent was undeniable. Despite his lack of credentials, Claude himself had risen through the ranks to become the Royal Painter of France. In 1741, Madeleine succeeded Claude as the Official Painter of the Royal Garden - an unprecedented appointment as Madeleine became the first woman to hold the position. It was a role she would carry out for over four decades. Madeleine was 40 years old when she took on this assignment. She never married or had children. Instead, she dedicated herself to her work. At a minimum, she was required to produce twelve botanical paintings for the King every year. On top of that, King Louis XV also gave her the responsibility of teaching all the princesses how to draw and paint flowers. Madeleine also taught botanical art to many other artists and scientific illustrators throughout her career. She also became the godmother to several children from academic families she knew well. Madeleine also had the honor of working as an artist and designer for the King's official mistress, Madame de Pompadour. Pompadour was a major patron of creatives in architecture, porcelain, and decorative arts. Madeleine had an instant rapport with Pompadour. After Madeleine captured the beauty of the flowers around Madame Pompadour's chateau, Madame Pompadour insisted that the King give Madeleine a pay raise. And he did. Now it's important to know that as the first female Official painter of The Royal Garden, Madeleine did not work in a bubble. She exchanged letters with the French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc and the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau who appreciated her work so much that he wrote, “nature gives plants their existence, but Mademoiselle Basseporte preserves them for us forever.” (Translation my own). Madeleine was also a contemporary of Carl Linneaus. On January 30, 1749, Bernard Jussieu wrote a letter to Linnaeus teasing that Madeleine was "very proud of the title you give her, of your second wife.” Despite her work alongside the top scientific minds of her time, her beautiful, botanically accurate art, and her groundbreaking appointment, Madeleine (unlike her predecessor Claude Aubriete) was never honored with the naming of any flower. But that doesn't mean she wasn't deserving of it. Today scholars hold Madeleine's work in esteem as scientific art - designed to show the structure and physiology of her plant subjects. To me, Madeleine's art has a delicate, sensitive quality. Her expression of leaves, in particular, shows her depth of understanding regarding her plant subjects. In 2021, Nina Gelbart wrote a book called Minerva's French Sisters by @yalepress. The book explores the biographies of six forgotten female scientists from 18th century France - including Madeleine Françoise Basseporte. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Podchaser Leave a Review Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Friends of the Garden Meeting in Athens, Georgia Register Here Historical Events 1814 Birth of Charles MacKay, Scottish poet, writer, and songwriter. In The Collected Songs of Charles Mackay, Charles wrote a song about the Meadow Sweet: Rose! We love thee for thy splendor, Lily! For thy queenly grace! Violet! For thy lowly merit, Peeping from thy shady place! But mine airy, woodland fairy, Scattering odors at thy feet, No one knows thy modest beauty, No one loves thee, Meadow-Sweet! 1851 Birth of Alice Morse Earle (books by this author), American historian and author. Alice wrote two garden books: Old Time Gardens (1901) and Sun Dials and Roses of Yesterday (1902). Alice wrote, Farm children have little love for nature and are surprisingly ignorant about wildflowers save a few varieties. The child who is garden bred has a happier start in life, a greater love and knowledge of nature. On the peony, Alice wrote: [She] always looks like a well-dressed, well-shod, well-gloved girl of birth, breeding, and of equal good taste and good health; a girl who can swim, and skate, and ride, and play golf. 1902 Birth of Thomas “Tommy” Dolliver Church (books by this author), California landscape architect. Tommy pioneered the modern California Style design style. In 1955, Tommy wrote, When your garden is finished I hope it will be more beautiful than you anticipated, require less care than you expected, and have cost only a little more than you had planned. Unlike people, gardens never strive for perpetual youth—they want to look old from the day they were born. Their greatest glory comes with maturity. 1904 Birth of Cecil Day-Lewis (books by this author), Irish-born British poet. He used the pen name Nicholas Black for his mystery stories. Cecil was the Poet Laureate for four years before his death in 1972. He was also the father of actor Sir Daniel Day-Lewis. In Cecil's Overtures to Death and Other Poems (1938), In June we picked the clover, And sea-shells in July: There was no silence at the door, No word from the sky. A hand came out of August And flicked his life away: We had not time to bargain, mope, Moralize, or pray. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Food Forest Handbook by Darrell Frey and Michelle Czolba This book came out in 2017, and the subtitle is Design and Manage a Home-Scale Perennial Polyculture Garden. Before I even get started with my review, I have to say that this book gets high praise on Amazon; it's a five-star book. The authors are passionate about growing food year-round - without fossil fuels - and increasing biodiversity on the land and wild market gardening. In the introduction to their book, Darryl and Michelle point out that the food forest is one of the oldest ways to garden. It's the edges of the forest that were the most fruitful places for both hunting and gathering. And today, food forests are making a comeback. Now you might be asking yourself, what is a food forest? Well, a food forest is simply a food-producing garden that's built around trees and perennials. I've been a passionate fan of orchards and mini orchards for the past couple of years. I'm installing one up at my cabin, planting even more trees this spring. Darryl and Michelle point out that, A well-managed food forest is an integrated system and it includes all kinds of plants, fruits, vegetables, herbs, medicinal plants, and plantings that promote beneficial insects and balanced nutrients. And in case you're starting to feel a little overwhelmed. Don't be. Because these food forests can be simple and include only a few species, or they can contain a myriad of plants. The bottom line here is that Darryl and Michelle will help you feel confident and inspired to create your own food forest, whether on a small or grand scale in your backyard, front yard, patio, or allotment. This book is 256 pages of planning, designing, and managing your very own food forest. You can get a copy of The Food Forest Handbook by Darrell Frey and Michelle Czolba and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $20. Botanic Spark 1920 Birth of Edwin George Morgan (books by this author), Scottish poet and translator associated with the Scottish Renaissance. He is remembered as one of the foremost Scottish poets of the 20th century. In 1999, Edwin became the first Glasgow Poet Laureate. In 1968, Edwin wrote, Yes, it is too cold in Scotland for flower people; in any case who would be handed a thistle? Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Podchaser Leave a Review Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1684 Death of Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Dutch ornate still-life painter. He is remembered as the most influential flower painter of his day. Jan's flowers were known for their vibrancy and realism. But gardeners would catch that Jan's bouquets were just a beautiful fantasy since the individual flowers bloom at different seasons of the year. 1785 Birth of John James Audubon, American self-trained artist, naturalist, and ornithologist. He once wrote, A true conservationist…knows the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children. The Ottowa Daily Republic published a charming story about his burial. John J. Audobon, the naturalist, and bird lover, is buried in Trinity, cemetery. There has been erected over his grave an Iona cross; the arms of which are connected by a circular band of stone, making apertures of the four corners at the intersection. In one of these, (apertures) robins built a nest last month. This fell under the eye of a caretaker, who got a pole and dislodged the nest. The birds flew about disconsolately for a time, then went away. So far as anyone knows, Audubon did not turn over in his grave, and neither did any of the carved birds on the [cross] cry out. 1798 Birth of Eugene Delacroix, French Romantic artist. He is remembered as the leader of the French Romantic school and one of the last great historical painters. Eugene received his artistic training in Paris. His striking piece called A Vase of Flowers (1833) shows a crystal vase filled mostly with dahlias. It is Eugene Delacroix's earliest-surviving flower painting. 1822 Birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, American landscape architect, journalist, social critic, and public administrator. Regarded as the father of landscape architecture, Frederick is remembered for designing many popular urban parks with his partner Calvert Vaux. Their first project was Central Park, followed quickly by Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Cadwalader Park in Trenton. Frederick wrote, The root of all my good work is early respect for, regard, and enjoyment of scenery. Frederick's firm was passed onto his sons who expanded the business under the name Olmsted Brothers. Aside from his legacy as a landscape architect, Frederick dedicated his entire life to social reform. In many ways, his designs for public spaces played an important role in his social work. His vision for Central Park was an ordered oasis for all of the city's social classes, where everyone could come together and enjoy nature. It was Frederick Law Olmsted who said, The enjoyment of scenery employs the mind without fatigue and yet exercises it; tranquilizes it and yet enlivens it. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation Crinum by Augustus Jenkins Farmer Augustus is better known as the plantsman Jenks Farmer. This book came out in 2021 - right at the very end of December - and the subtitle is Unearthing the History and the Cultivation of the World's Biggest Bulb. Well, Crinums are a passion for Jenks. What he's done in this book is he has collected every possible story and nugget of information about the Crinum species and hybrids that flourish in our gardens. Crinums are classic plants. They're also heirlooms and pass-down plants - and because of that sentimental quality, there are an endless number of stories about Crinums. Now I have to share what Jenks wrote about Crinums in the introduction to this book. He wrote, Plants that hunker down below ground reveal only a small part of themselves to people. Called geophytes or earth lovers, the below-ground bulbs are the heart of the being. Down there, a Medusa's tangle of bony, basel plates, armlong roots, and crisp bud tips explode from mother bulbs. Once you see the underground being, you understand why in some cultures Crinums represent connections to the underworld and the dead. You also understand why people carry them continent to continent and share them friend to friend. If you've ever had a sourdough starter or overplanted zucchini, then you understand the urge to share a passion, to give parts away. I'm compelled to give Crinums away. I give little bulbs to farm visitors, take them as house gifts, pass them on at conferences, offer them to strangers, or plant them guerrilla-style in parking lots. Based on my experience, growing and planting hundreds of thousands of Crinum, this book becomes comprehensive with the advice of generous Crinum professionals and enthusiasts. You'll fall for the hidden stories, the hidden plant parts in a few years you'll share too. Then you'll leave a happy trail of Crinum lilies marking your travels, telling your stories, and sharing your passion too. This book is 100 pages of a passion for Crinums by one of our modern plantsmen. You can get a copy of Crinum by Augustus Jenkins Farmer and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for $25. Botanic Spark 1951 On this day, the American physicist Charles Townes sat on a park bench and came up with a theory that would lead to the development of the laser. He recalled, I woke up early in the morning and sat in the park. It was a beautiful day and the flowers were blooming. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Podchaser Leave a Review Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events Today is National Zucchini Bread Day. 1851 Birth of George Herbert Engleheart, English clergyman and daffodil breeder. In 1889, George began breeding daffodils - some 700 varieties in his lifetime. Fans of Beersheba, Lucifer, or White Ladyowe a debt of gratitude to Reverend Engleheart. George spent every spare minute breeding, and his parishioners would often find a note tacked to the church door saying, No service today, working with daffodils. 1852 Birth of Marcus Jones, American geologist, mining engineer, and botanist. Marcus's mother loved plants, and every day, she sent Marcus to gather fresh flowers, which she displayed on the family's mantle. This daily chore was the beginning of his passion for botany. Marcus won national recognition for his work as a prominent botanist of the American West, and in 1923, he sold his personal herbarium for $25,000 - an impressive amount at the time. To this day, his collection represents the largest archive of plants from Utah. Marcus died in 1934 in San Bernardino, California. At the age of 81, he returned from a plant collecting trip at Lake Arrowhead when another driver hit his car. As seatbelts wouldn't be invented for another 25 years, Jones was ejected from his vehicle and died from a skull fracture. Jones columbine, Aquilegia jonesii (ii = "ee-eye") is named for him. It is rare and, like most columbines, does not transplant well. Jonesii plants and seeds are sold by select nurseries. 1925 Birth of Joseph Henry Maiden, English-Australian botanist. Born in London, Joseph immigrated to New South Wales, Australia, hoping that the climate would improve his health. Joseph quickly landed a job as a museum curator in Sydney, and he also married a local woman named Eliza Jane Hammond. During his time in Australia, Joseph contributed to understanding Australian flora, especially the Eucalyptus genus. After thoroughly studying Australian woods and essential oils, Joseph wrote his book called The Useful Native Plants of Australia. In 1896, Joseph was appointed the Director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens. In total, Joseph served as a botanist in Australia for 43 years. As for his Australian legacy, Joseph is remembered every September 1st, the first day of spring down under. It's also known as Wattle Day or Acacia Day. In Australia, the Wattle is a common name for Acacia. Recognizing their beauty and value, Joseph established the Wattle Day League, which fought to make the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha "ah-KAY-see-ah pik-NANTH-ah") Australia's national floral emblem, and he also worked to establish Wattle Day. Since the inception of Wattle Day in 1909, Australians have worn a Wattle blossom, which looks like a little yellow pompom, in honor of the day. The Wattle blossom is also a favorite with pollinators. As plants, Wattles are tough evergreen shrubs and trees that can withstand Australia's droughts, winds, and bushfires. There are 760 Wattle species native to Australia's forest understory, woodlands, and open scrub. The common name Wattle refers to an old germanic term for weaving and the English craft of building with interwoven flexible twigs and branches. As the English settled in Australia, they often harvested Wattle (Acacia) and used it in their building construction. And here's a fun fact about Wattles (Acacia): Giraffes love to eat them. 1873 Birth of Walter de la Mare, English poet, short story writer, and novelist. He is best remembered for his works for children. In his poem, Peacock Pie, Walter wrote: A poor old Widow in her weeds Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds; Not too shallow, and not too deep, And down came April -- drip -- drip -- drip. Up shone May, like gold, and soon Green as an arbour grew leafy June. Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs, And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes; And all she has is all she needs -- A poor Old Widow in her weeds. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Essential Garden Design Workbook by Rosemary Alexander and Rachel Myers This book came out in 2017, and the subtitle is Completely Revised and Expanded. Well, the original version of this book was a best-selling classic. This is the upgraded book that came out five years ago. In this book, the eminent designer and educator Rosemary Alexander teamed up with rising design star Rachel Myers. And what these two women did is they share new garden plans, a ton of new photos and diagrams, and updated profiles of their 50 top plants that they think are timeless and that should be used by today's designers. So there are all kinds of fantastic, modern tips and advice in this book. This is also an excellent book for designers and gardeners interested in incorporating sustainability or plant diversity into their plans. Rosemary and Rachel show how to integrate computer-aided design into the garden design process. And this book is perfect for folks wanting to start a garden design business. Now, of course, nowadays, you don't have to be an artist to be a landscape designer or to convey what you want to do with a particular garden or a job site. But you do need to know how to do the basics. You have to be able to survey a site and draw a plan to scale or use the right software to do that. Then if you're making a more significant presentation, maybe to a company or to an Arboretum, you'll need to include specific details, visuals, and even a mood board. And of course, costing if you want to land their proposal. And so this book gives you everything from soup to nuts on garden design. As Rosemary says, she believes that garden design is one of the most satisfying and rewarding professions - and I have many friends who would agree with her. Now when Gardens Illustrated reviewed this book, they said, The attention to detail at every stage is fantastic. Even if you don't want to be a designer, this book is worth having. This book is a big one. It's 392 pages of garden design - for students, professionals, and anyone looking to create a well-designed outdoor space. You can truly learn from the experts, and they will share it in detail in this book. You can get a copy of The Essential Garden Design Workbook by Rosemary Alexander and Rachel Myers and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $16. Botanic Spark 1912 Birth of Julia Francis McHugh Morton, American author and botanist. A Fellow of the Linnean Society, Julia Morton was a famous expert and lecturer on plants. She was revered especially for her knowledge of plant medicine and toxicity. Known as the poison-plant lady, Julia worked to educate the public through letters and phone calls, lectures, and articles - even creating posters designed for hospital emergency rooms. Among the many ER calls Julia received was one from a doctor in Scotland. When a patient fresh from a Jamaican holiday was gravely ill, Julia deduced that a toxic castor bean from a souvenir necklace had been ingested. Over the years, Julia was the subject of many newspaper articles. Clever headlines showcased Julia's expertise, "She gets to the root of problems" and "She leaves no leaf unturned." In 1988, The Miami News published an article about Julia's help with a murder case of a teenage girl. The girl's car was found in the Dadeland Mall parking lot. The police brought Julia a half-inch blade of grass that was found stuck to the door handle of the car and some pieces of leaves that were wedged inside the door. Julia identified the grass as Giant Burma Reed and the leaves as undeveloped leaflets of Spanish Needles. She concluded that a short distance from the Dadeland Mall (perhaps near a nursery in a tall patch of Burma Reed), police might find the girl's body. Julia also predicted there were two killers. She correctly assumed that one had wet hands and had left Burma Reed on the driver's door, while the other had closed the passenger door so quickly it clipped the Spanish Needles. The following day, police officers found an area that matched Morton's description and solved their case. Like Marcus Jones, Julia Morton died in a car accident in 1996. She was 84. It was Julia Morton who said, Plants are always up to something. So I don't take a vacation. I operate on solar energy. I can only stay indoors a certain length of time. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1619 Birth of Jan van Riebeeck, Dutch navigator and colonial administrator of the Dutch East India Company. In 1660, Jan planted a hedge, now known as Van Riebeeck's Hedge, to mark the border of the Dutch East India Company settlement in Cape Town, South Africa. The hedge was made up of native wild almond trees (Brabejum stellatifolium). Today, parts of the hedge still live in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Bishopscourt. The Van Riebeeck Hedge is not considered a National Monument in South Africa. 1752 Birth of Humphry Repton (no ‘e' in Humphry!), English landscape designer. Humphry was trained and molded by the great Capability Brown. Yet as he matured, Humphry began to forge his own path in his approach to design and led a transformation of English gardens that was all his own. He designed over 400 gardens, and his picturesque landscapes are known for their gently rolling vistas, attractive clumps of trees, terraces, and homes nestled in amongst shrubs and foliage. Humphry wanted landscapes to bring out “the natural beauty” and minimize “the natural defects.” Like many successful modern landscape designers, Humphry put a great deal of energy into planning his designs. He painstakingly created these gorgeous red leather portfolios for his clients. His red books, as he called them, showcased his design ideas. Humphry's clients could see his pastoral watercolors depicting the current state of their property. Then they would lift a flap of paper and see what their property would look like after Humphry improved it. It was a kind of popup book for their property. Today Humphry's red books are regarded as impressive works of art - and many have been preserved in public and private collections. Humphry Repton coined the term landscape gardener. He had the term carved into his pinebark business cards. In 1818, Humphry died, and per his request, he was buried in a rose garden. Humphry used these words for his epitaph: Unmixed with others shall my dust remain; But moldering, blended, melting into earth, Mine shall give form and color to the rose. And while its vivid blossoms cheer mankind, Its perfumed odor shall ascend to Heaven. 1816 Birth of Charlotte Brontë, English novelist, and poet. Charlotte was the oldest of the three Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë) who survived into adulthood. Their novels became classics of English literature. The sisters published their first collaborative work called Poems under the pseudonym of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. They wanted to hide their gender to help sales, so the sisters kept the first letter of their first names: Charlotte was Currer, Emily was Ellis, and Anne was Acton. Still, only two copies of Poems were sold. Emma Emmerson wrote a piece called The Brontë Garden. In it, she revealed: The Brontës were not ardent gardeners, although… Emily and Anne treasured their currant bushes as ‘their own bit of fruit garden'. While they may not have been avid gardeners, they knew enough about growing flowers for Charlotte to write: Emily wishes to know if the Sicilian Pea (Pisum sativum)and the Crimson cornflower are hardy flowers, or if they are delicate and should be sown in warm and sheltered situations. In her writing, Charlotte could be a little glum about flowers. In Villette (1853), Charlotte wrote, I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered, they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad. I never offer flowers to those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me. In The Professor (1857), Charlotte wrote, In sunshine, in prosperity, the flowers are very well; but how many wet days are there in life—November seasons of disaster, when a man's hearth and home would be cold indeed, without the clear, cheering gleam of intellect. 1838 Birth of John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist, conservationist, and author. John Muir was known by many names: "John of the Mountains,” “Father of Yosemite,” and "Father of the National Parks.” John's work to preserve Yosemite resulted in a famous picture of himself posing with President Teddy Roosevelt on Overhanging Rock at the top of Glacier Point in Yosemite in 1903. There's a fun little story about John and Charles Sprague Sargent, the director of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard, that was featured in a 1915 article. The two men had gone on a fall trip to hike the mountains in North Carolina. John found the scenery so inspiring that when they got to the top of Grandfather Mountain, he began to sing and dance and jump around, while Charles just stood there. This must have been a common trait among the botanists and academics John knew because he once wrote, In drying plants, botanists often dry themselves. Dry words and dry facts will not fire hearts. John is remembered with these words. The mountains are calling, and I must go. Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation Royal Gardens of the World by Mark Lane This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is 21 Celebrated Gardens from the Alhambra to Highgrove and Beyond, and the illustrated cover is spectacular. This book is a celebration of Royal Gardens, and Mark does a brilliant job of sharing the history, the plantings, and the evolution of each garden. And in addition to all of that, he highlights some of the key plant or signature plants of these spaces and then shares all the behind-the-scenes details about how these gardens were designed and laid out. Now the gardens that are profiled are located primarily in Europe and Asia. But as Mark points out in his introduction, Many more Royal Gardens are waiting to be visited and researched, and each tells its own story. Mark says, I am simply the interpreter and the messenger. Sometimes the story focuses on restoration, others follow the lives of the main protagonists and other still simply chart the course of history. It's also worth noting that history is not isolated. These gardens are a response to events occurring throughout Europe, Russia, the Far East, and elsewhere And Marriages between members of Royal households in turn introduced different ideas and creative passions which were reflected in their gardens. Now, as you can imagine, entire books have been written about each of these gardens individually, but Mark's intention here is to celebrate the art of gardening through some of the finest garden jewels that have ever been created. This book is 240 pages of a five-star book on Amazon about Royal Gardens, their history, their fantastic designs, and their signature plants. You can get a copy of Royal Gardens of the World by Mark Lane and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $25. Botanic Spark Today, April 21, is the National Day of Sa'di ("SAH-dee"), the Master of Persian prose and poetry who was born in 1210. Sa'di lived in Shiraz ("SHE-raz"). In his lifetime, and through the 19th century, Shiraz was a center for growing grapes and great wines. (Shiraz wine is from Shiraz.) Shiraz was also a center for learning, literature, gardens, and poetry. The poet, Hafez, was also from Shiraz. Now, although he was born and raised in Shiraz, Sa'di spent much of his life traveling. And over three decades, he met and interacted with people from different places, with different customs, traditions, and languages. And his constant traveling led Sa'di to a place of acceptance and love for all humanity. Sa'di once wrote these poignant words of understanding: Sa'di once wrote these poignant words of understanding, I bemoaned the fact I had no shoes Until I saw the man who had no feet. And there was a common Persian saying that goes, Each word of Sa'di has 72 meanings. Today, Persian scholars believe that Sa'di is Shakespeare-like in terms of his understanding of the human condition, and in various literary ways, he shared his insights. Now you might be surprised to learn that Ralph Waldo Emerson was a Sa'di fan. Emerson felt that study's work was biblical in terms of the wisdom that he was trying to impart. In fact, Emerson wrote about Sa'di, and one of his verses went like this. The forest waves, the morning breaks, The pastures sleep, ripple the lakes, Leaves twinkle, flowers like persons be, And life pulsates in rock or tree. Saadi! so far thy words shall reach; Suns rise and set in Saadi's speech. In terms of a legacy, Sa'di's best-known works are Bustan ("Boo-ston") (The Orchard) and Gulistan ("Goo-luh-ston") (The Rose Garden). Now there's a very old copy of the Gulistan that features a beautiful painting of Sa'di in a rose garden, and I shared it inthe Facebook Group for the show. Now I wanted to end the show today with a little something from The Rose Garden or The Gulistan because, in that book, Sa'di is led to a garden by a friend on this day, April 21st, back in 1258. And that's why today is National Sa'di Day. It's the day he was brought to a garden. And so there is a verse that is a favorite among gardeners from The Gulistan or The Rose Garden, and it goes like this. If... thou art bereft, And ...Two loaves alone to thee are left, Sell one, and with the dole Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1492 Birth of Pietro Aretino (“Pee-et-tro Air-ah-TEE-no”), Italian writer, poet, and blackmailer. He was critical of the powerful and sympathetic to religious reformers. He once wrote, Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius. 1646 Birth of Charles Plumier, French priest and botanist. He was born in Marseille and was regarded as one of the most important botanical explorers of his time. Charles served as a botanist to King Louis XIV of France. He traveled to the New World many times, documenting plant and animal species. During his third expedition to the Greater Antilles, Charles discovered the Fuchsia triphylla on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola (modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Charles named the fuchsia plant after the 16th-century German botanist Leonhart Fuchs. And because he named the Fuschia, Charles is sometimes referred to as the Father of the Fuchsia. The Fuchsia has colorful upside-down blossoms that hang from the stems, and this is how Fuchsias get the common name Lady's Eardrops. The drooping habit is also reflected in the Irish word for Fuchsia - Deora Dé - which translates to “God's Tears.” And it's worth noting that the fruit of all the species of Fuchsia is edible. However, many Fuschia fruits are bland and have a terrible aftertaste. But the Fuschia variety Splendens has flavorful fruit and can be used to make jam. In addition to the Fuchsia, Charles discovered and named both the Begonia and the Magnolia. Charles named the Begonia after Michel Begon, who was the governor of the French Antilles for three years, from 1682 to 1685. It was Begon who recommended Charles for the position of plant collector in the Caribbean to King Louis XIV. So this naming of the Begonia was a little payback by Charles to Michel Begon. On the other hand, the naming of the Magnolia was in recognition of the great botanist Pierre Magnol - who introduced the concept of plant families. Carl Linnaeus and his wife were huge Plumier fans. They used Charles's artwork to make wallpaper for their home. Today, Charles is remembered by the genus Plumeria. A tropical, the Plumeria grows in shrubs and trees. Plumeria is sometimes called the common name Frangipani. An Italian Marquis named Frangipani used Plumeria blossoms to create a perfume used to scent gloves during the 16th century. 1826 Birth of Peter Barr, Scottish nurseryman, plant hunter, and merchant. Peter is credited as the man who popularized the daffodil. In America, Peter's promotion of daffodils inspired a daffodil craze after the Civil War ended. Over his lifetime, Peter bred over two million daffodils in his Surrey nursery, which earned him the moniker "The Daffodil King." Each spring, people would travel from all around to see thousands of daffodils representing over a hundred unique daffodil varieties blooming at Peter's nursery. At one point, the Peter Barr daffodil - a white trumpet variety - commanded $250 per bulb. During his seventies, Peter gave the nursery to his sons, and he went out and traveled the world in search of daffodils in Asia and South America. After seven years of searching, Peter finally retired. He went home to his native Scotland, and once there, he pivoted away from daffodils and began cultivating primroses. Two years before his death in 1909, Peter famously mused, I wonder who will plant my grave with primroses? Today, the Royal Horticultural Society awards the Peter Barr Memorial Cup for excellence in daffodils. And in 2019, there was a Grand Blue Plaque Unveiling at Peter's English nursery along Garratt Lane. 1849 On this day, Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss philosopher, and poet, was in Geneva and wrote in his journal: It is six years today since I last left Geneva. How many journeys, how many impressions, observations, thoughts, how many forms of men and things, have since then passed before me... Three snowstorms this afternoon. Poor blossoming plum trees and peach trees! What a difference from six years ago, when the cherry trees, adorned in their green spring dress and laden with their bridal flowers, smiled at my departure along the Vaudois fields, and the lilacs of Burgundy threw great gusts of perfume into my face! Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation Flavors from the Garden by William Woys Weaver This book came out in 2021, and the subtitle is Heirloom Vegetable Recipes from Roughwood. Of course, Roughwood is a reference to the Roughwood Seed Collection of heirloom food plants that William maintains at the historic Lamb Tavern in Devon, Pennsylvania. William is an expert not only on gardening but also on food history. And he is a four-time winner of the prestigious Julia Child Cookbook Award. Now, what I first noticed about this book is the gorgeous cover, which features a simple yellow plate with a beautiful tomato salad on it, and then that is set on an old table painted and patinaed with a very light teal. It's a gorgeous cover. William creates recipes that are all about plants, and so in this book, you will find 80 seasonal recipes- everything from fresh salads and stir-fries to soups and fantastic baked goods, where the bounty of the garden harvest is the star of the show. Now William has arranged this book to follow the seasons, which means you can dip in and out as appropriate and then head to the garden to pick the in-season produce needed to make these beautiful dishes that include items like Saffron Corn Soup. There's a Ramp Pesto, and wild harvest ramps are one of the hottest new trends in pesto over the past decade. Now two things I always think of when I see a book by William Woys Weaver are heirloom gardening and herbs - and you'll find both of those featured in this cookbook. This book is 208 pages of eighty recipes that take vegetables from the garden to the kitchen and the table. You can get a copy of Flavors from the Garden by William Woys Weaver and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $24. Botanic Spark 1739 Birth of William Bartram, American botanist, artist, and naturalist known as The Flower Hunter. The son of the Quaker botanist John Bartram, William - or Billy (as he was known to his family) - was the first American to pursue a life devoted to the study of nature. Together, William and his father were the leading American plant collectors and horticulturists of their time. The two men explored colonial Pennsylvania and New York. Now in his heart, William was an artist, and his nature art was eventually widely-acclaimed. But before William's artistic success, his father, John, worried that Billy would end up a starving artist. And so, John attempted many times to no avail, to steer William toward other more lucrative endeavors. Ultimately, John came around, and he and William went on their final adventure together in Florida. During the trip, John collected specimens while William wrote and sketched. In a happy moment of discovery, John and William came upon a unique specimen, a tree that John named the Franklin tree after his dear friend Benjamin Franklin. The botanical name for the tree is Franklinia alatamaha ("frank-LIN-ee-ah ah-lah-tah-MAH-hah."), And if you're working with student gardeners, this is a fun name to teach them - just break it down for them into smaller parts: "allah-toe-ma- ha." Then put that together, Franklinia alatamaha. Now, the discovery of the Franlinia Tree became a bit of a legacy for William Bartram. In a twist of fate, William revisited the tree later in life to collect seeds for propagation. Unbeknownst to William, his seed collection of the Franklinia would prove to be his most botanically significant endeavor. By the turn of the century in 1803, the Franklin tree was extinct in the wild. And so, all of the Franklin trees that are cultivated and prized in gardens and herbariums today are descended from those seeds that William Bartram collected and cultivated over 200 years ago. And here's a little botanical fun fact: William Bartram was also the first person to describe a name, the Oakleaf Hydrangea - the hydrangea quercifolia. (Hydrangea quercifolia “kwer-sih-FOE-lee-ah”). After his trip with his father, William returned to Florida to farm. This was another career move that worried his dad. But In 1791, William's book Travels was published. In the book, William shared his 2,400-mile exploration of the American south. Travels became an immediate sensation in Europe, where people were over-the-moon curious about flora and fauna of the new world. Finally, in BJ Healey'sbook, The Plant Hunters, there is a charming summation of William's lifestory: Through his [book] Travels — one of the earliest and certainly the finest record of the American experience, landscape, and people in the eighteenth century; a book that achieved worldwide recognition and profoundly influenced Wordsworth, Coleridge, and many later writers — [William] more than proved himself a worthy son of the Old Quaker pioneer. John Bartram need not have been troubled in his later years, he would have been proud of Billy in the end. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.
Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart Support The Daily Gardener Buy Me A Coffee Connect for FREE! The Friday Newsletter | Daily Gardener Community Historical Events 1792 On this day, the Naturalist Gilbert White wrote in his Selborne journal in England: Redstart appears. Daffodils are gone. Mountain-snow-drops, and hyacinths in bloom; the latter very fine: Fritillaries going. Then, four years later, in 1796, Gilbert wrote, Sowed Holly-Hocks, Columbines, and Sweet Williams. 1797 Birth of Adrian Hardy Haworth, British entomologist, and botanist. Adrian was trained to be a lawyer, but once he inherited his family's estate, he devoted himself to the study of natural sciences. The Haworthia genus described by French botanist, Henri Auguste Duval, honors Adrian. The genus consists of around 200 species. Today, Haworthias are very popular since the are succulents. Native to South Africa, Haworthias range in color from transparent green to all shades of purple - and even black. They also vary in shape and texture. One of the most popular Haworthias is the Haworthia Fasciata or the Zebra Succulent. Haworthiopsis fasciata, or Zebra Plant, known for its zebra stripes, has pointy green leaves with bumps of white tubercles arranged in a zebra pattern. And one of the reasons that the zebra succulent is so popular is that it is so easy to grow. Haworthia fasciata is tough as nails, and you can even find it in all the major big box stores. Adrian is also remembered for his work as an entomologist. In the early 1800s, Adrian wrote one of the most authoritative works on British butterflies and moths. His book was called Lepidoptera Britannica. In his lifetime, Adrian named 22 new genera of moths. And finally, Adrian was also the first person to describe the Epiphyllum oxypetalum - commonly known as the Dutchman's Pipe Cactus, Queen of the Night, or Night-Blooming Cereus. 1889 Birth of E. Lucy Braun, American botanist, and ecologist. The "E" stood for Emma, but she always went by Lucy. In 1950, Lucy was the first woman elected president of the Ecological Society of America and an expert on deciduous forests of the eastern United States. A quiet, bright, and dedicated field scientist, Lucy worked as a botany professor at the University of Cincinnati. Lucy became interested in the outdoors as a child. Growing up on May Street in Cincinnati, Lucy's parents would take her and her older sister, Annette, by horse-drawn streetcar to the woods in Rose Hill so they could spend time botanizing. The girls were taught to identify wildflowers by their mother, and they also gathered specimens for their mother's herbarium. Lucy and Annette both got Ph.D.'s; Lucy in botany, Annette in Zoology. Neither ever married. Instead, they lived together at home in Mount Washington. The sisters turned the upstairs of the house into an indoor laboratory, and the gardens became their outdoor laboratory. Lucy was a go-getter. At the age of 80, she was still leading people on field trips in Ohio. Friends of Lucy said, "To be with her in the field was something. She made everything so real, so exciting she was just so knowledgeable." "She loved to be out in the field; rain wouldn't stop her. She could walk forever." 1943 On this day, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising broke out in German-occupied Poland during World War II to oppose Nazi Germany's final effort to transport the remaining ghetto population of Jews to death camps. In 2018, the Shalom foundation planted the Tree of Tears in a square in Warsaw. The tree is a weeping willow, and the leaves symbolize the tears of Jewish mothers who gave their children to Catholic mothers to save their lives. But April 19th is also remembered with yellow paper daffodils thanks to Marek Edelman, a cardiologist and uprising commander who passed away in 2009. When he was alive, Marek began receiving an anonymous bunch of daffodils on the anniversary of the uprising. Marek would lay the bouquet at the ghetto hero monument. Today the paper daffodils symbolize resilience and hope and represent the Yellow Star that Jewish residents were forced to wear during the Holocaust. Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation The Flower Book by Rachel Siegfried This book came out in 2017, and the subtitle is Let the Beauty of Each Bloom Speak For Itself. Before I tell you about Rachel's book, let me share a little bit about Rachel's background. In 2008, Rachel set up a flower farm called Green and Gorgeous in the Oxfordshire countryside. At Green and Gorgeous, Rachel not only provides flowers locally but also handles special events like weddings. In her spare time, Rachel and her partner, Ashley, offer floristry and gardening classes for amateurs and professionals. Rachel starts her book by walking us through how she arranges flowers. This is a little step-by-step tutorial - and if you've ever considered a career as a florist, you will get a little one-on-one here from Rachel. As Rachel mentions at the beginning of her book, she breaks down her arrangement process into three stages, which she calls the three F's: foliage, focal flowers, and then the final flourish. Rachel walks through several different arrangement types. She talks about how to do front-facing displays and centerpieces - and even a simple hand-tied bouquet. Of course, the main section of the book- the guts of the book - are these sixty flower profiles, and these are Rachel's favorite cut flowers. All of the flowers are broken down into chapters by seasons, which is very helpful because if we're working with cut flowers, we have to work with what's in season in our own gardens. One of the things that I especially appreciate about what Rachel does with each flower is she talks about how to best use them or profile them in an arrangement. She also gives little recipes that show how you can use these flowers and showcase them in their very best light. Remember, Rachel is not only a florist, but she's also a gardener. So she understands what it's like to cultivate these plants, how to grow them, the best time to pick them, how to use them, and how to maximize that blossom when you bring it indoors and put it in a container. I also want to quickly mention that the book organizes the flowers into chapters by season - and there is a special chapter devoted just to tropicals because they deserve a category all to themselves for their exotic look. The flower of tropical flowers are so architectural, and in many cases, these might not be plants that you're growing in your own garden. DK published this book - and when I see that, I know the book is going to be very clear, the photography is going to be very crisp and the instructions are going to be top-notch. So, lots to think about - and lots to learn from Rachel Siegfried, the talented gardener, and florist. This book has 224 pages of flower arranging and then sixty incredible flowers showcased in detail. You can get a copy of The Flower Book by Rachel Siegfried and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $8. Botanic Spark 1775 On this day, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord. In New England, it became common garden lore to plant peas on the anniversary of the battle of Lexington so that they would be ready by the Fourth of July. Peas are easy to grow. They tolerate the cold weather in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. Ripe peas are yellow, and historically, the French preferred a yellow pea. But since the 1600s, peas are mostly harvested when they are still immature ad green. And in China, it's the pea leaves that are considered a delicacy. Gregor Mendel experimented with peas to establish the modern science of genetics. During seven years in the mid-1800s, Gregor grew nearly 30,000 pea plants, and he took note of everything: their height, shape, and color. And it was Gregor who came up with all of the genetic terms and terminology that we still use today, like dominant and recessive genes. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.