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The Daily Gardener
27 minutes | 20 hours ago
November 27, 2020 Plant Seed Spacing, Albert Etter, Karl Foerster, Phebe Ann Holder, The Vegetable Garden Cookbook by Tobias Rauschenberger and Oliver Brachat, and the Bicentenary at Kew
Today we celebrate a one of a kind American plantsman and breeder who gave us the red-fleshed Pink Pearl apple. We'll also learn about the German nurseryman and breeder who we know from a ubiquitous feather-reed grass. We’ll hear some lovely botanical poems from a New England poet. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a cookbook written around 23 essential vegetables. And then we’ll wrap things up with a story about the Bicentenary at Kew. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: A personal update from me Garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more. Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News How Plants Ensure Regular Seed Spacing | Phys Org | Heinrich-Heine Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 27, 1872 Today is the birthday of a lifelong American plantsman and master plant breeder Albert Etter. Albert was a born horticulturist. When most children are mastering the alphabet and learning to tie their shoes, Albert was learning to graft and hybridize plants. By the time Albert was 12, his plant breeding was focused on dahlias and strawberries. His local newspaper in California reported that he had over 200 varieties of dahlia, thanks to his efforts in cultivating new hybrids. Growing frustrated that his school books taught him nothing about nature, Albert dropped out at 14. Albert continued his breeding efforts and helped out on local farms. Thanks to the Homestead Act, Albert acquired 640 acres of free land on his 21st birthday. The land needed clearing, and the acidic soil required improvement. Thanks to Albert’s regular planting of cover crops like clover and vetch, his soil gradually improved. With his brothers’ help, Albert's place became increasingly self-sufficient, adding a lumber mill and raising Angora goats. Albert often wrote that his ranch provided him everything he needed - except flour and sugar. Over time, Albert’s ranch became known as Ettersburg. Although Albert’s early work with strawberries brought him fame, his work with apples made him a legend. In his apple breeding, Albert focused on a unique and relatively unknown apple appropriately called Surprise. The Surprise apple was pink-fleshed and hailed from Kazakhstan. Over his lifetime, Albert created hundreds of apple varieties descended from the Surprise apple. In total, Albert crossbred 15,000 apples and a little over ten percent of those warranted additional experimenting. Albert accelerated his apple-breeding efforts through top grafting. Here's how that works: After pollinating an apple blossom with another tree, Albert would place a bag over the flower and wait for the flower to produce an apple. (Albert’s living relatives still recall driving up to the Etter ranch and seeing an unusual sight: the orchard trees covered with little bags.) From the apple started inside a bag, Albert would plant the apple seeds. After observing the young seedlings, Albert selected the ones with the best fruit for grafting. By grafting new apple seedlings on a tree, the seedling bears fruit in just three to five years instead of waiting for ten to twenty years for fruit without grafting. In an article, Albert wrote: “How many is 15,000 apple trees? Apple trees are usually planted 30 feet apart in the row. Fifteen thousand would plant a row a trifle over 35 miles long. [In contrast,] The little seedlings [that I grow,] are top-grafted on large trees, sometimes two or three hundred on a tree.” One of Albert’s signature methods was to return again and again to the wild, foraging for new breeding stock. Now, many trained plant breeders of his era scoffed at Albert's use of wild crabapples. But to Albert, nature provided a bountiful supply of worthy strains. While some academic experts in his field dismissed Albert as a hillbilly, others recognized his cultivated wisdom honed through his love of experimenting, his unbridled innovation, and his fantastic recall for the minute details of his experiment station. The public came to know just a handful of Alberts apples in the twilight of his life. In 1944, six years before his death, six Etter apple creations finally went mainstream after appearing in The California Nursery Company catalog: Alaska, All Gold, Humboldt Crab, Jonwin, Pink Pearl, and Wickson's Crab. Three years later, Albert’s Crimson Gold was released. Today, the Pink Pearl is the most famous of Albert’s creations. With its red flesh and beautifully blushed, golden, translucent outer skin, the Pink Pearl remains a sensation. In 1950, Albert died on a Sunday in November on his ranch near Ettersburg in Humboldt County. He was 78. Now, some 70 years after his death, the race is on to find any remaining Etter apple trees before they reach the end of their lifespan. Tom Hart, of Humboldt Cider Company, is putting together a magnificent repository of Albert Etters apple trees. Tom’s goal is to take cuttings from any discovered Etter apple trees, graft them, and build an orchard - a living tribute - dedicated to the great Albert Etter. November 27, 1970 Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of the revered German plant breeder, writer, and garden designer Karl Foerster. Karl was born into an intellectual and accomplished family. His father was an astronomer, and his mother was a famous painter. Many gardeners are surprised to learn that Karl began gardening at seven after obtaining an apprenticeship. At the age of eight, Karl entered a professional gardening program and studied there for 11 years. When Karl turned 18, he took over his family’s Berlin nursery, which was a bit of a mess. Karl streamlined the business by simplifying his plant inventory. Although Karl loved plants, he was especially drawn to tough, low-maintenance, hardy perennials. Karl used three factors to determine whether a plant would be sold in his nursery: beauty, resilience, and endurance. Karl’s high standards brought success to the nursery. When he turned 24, Karl moved his nursery to Potsdam. There, Karl married a singer and pianist named Eva, and together they had one daughter. Knowing Karl’s high standards of plants, imagine how exacting Karl was as a plant breeder. Yet, Karl never pollinated flowers by hand. He wanted nature to reign supreme. Today, Karl Foerster grass is a recognized staple in many gardens and landscapes. The story goes that Karl was on a train when he spied the grass along the tracks. To seize the chance to collect the specimen, Karl pulled the emergency brake, stopped the train, and then quickly collected the specimen that now bears his name. While gardeners have heard of Karl Foerster Grass or Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis), many fail to realize the grass was successful because it first met Karl’s high standards for perennials. Karl Foerster grass was the Perennial Plant of the Year in 2001. And, Overdam is a variegated version of Karl Foerster grass. Karl’s plant performance expectations and his appreciation for low maintenance spaces with year-long seasonal interest helped shape the New German Garden Style of garden design. A Karl Foerster garden had some signature plants: grasses, delphinium, and phlox. Naturally, all of these plants were favorites in Karl’s breeding work. Karl once wrote, “A garden without phlox is not only a sheer mistake but a sin against summer." And he also wrote, “Grasses are the hair of mother earth.” Karl was an excellent speaker and writer. His books include these enticing titles: From the Flower Garden of the Future and Blue Treasures in Garden. During WWII, Karl and his nursery were in the wrong place at the wrong time. To his peril, Karl kept his Jewish friends employed all through the war. Although the war officially ended in Potsdam, the nursery and the rest of East Germany fell under the control of the Soviets. Incredibly, Karl’s nursery ended up being the sole provider of garden perennials for all of East Germany. As Karl’s work is translated from German into other languages, we continue to learn more about his fascinating career. The garden publisher and writer Thomas Fischer wrote this about Karl Foerster: "It wasn’t until I made a trip to Germany in the fall of I993 that I finally found the mother lode of Foerster delphiniums… Exercising superhuman self-restraint, I bought only two, ...two that Foerster himself considered among his best; ‘Berghimmel,’ sky blue with a white “eye” — the contrasting center of the flower — and, for balance, ‘Finsteraarhorn,’ deep gentian blue with a black eye. Back home, ...in late June, the buds opened: pure, ravishing, longed-for blueness. Delphiniums that Karl Foerster had named over sixty years ago were blooming in my garden. After the flowers had gone by, I cut them back, happy to wait a year for their reappearance. As it turned out, I had to wait only a few weeks: they bloomed again, and again, and again. That did it. Two delphiniums were not enough. I dispatched a letter … Would they consider shipping plants to the United States, providing one had the proper permit? Yes, they would. Off went an order for twenty-eight delphiniums, plus a few other odds and ends. (You have to grow something with your delphiniums.)” For his work, Karl won many honorary awards. Karl lived to the ripe old age of 96. In total, Karl spent nearly nine decades of gardening. It was Karl Foerster who said, “In my next life, I’d like to be a gardener once again. The job was too big for just one lifetime.” Unearthed Words November 27, 1824 Today is the birthday of the New England poet Phebe Ann Holder. In addition to her religious poems, Phebe wrote about the natural world. Gardeners delight in her poems for spring and fall. Phebe’s A Song of May recalls the flowers of spring: The fragrant lily of the vale, The violet's breath on passing gale. Anemones mid last year's leaves, Arbutus sweet in trailing wreaths, From waving lights of a forest glade The light ferns hide beneath the shade. — Phebe Ann Holder, New England poet, A Song of May Phebe’s A Song of October celebrates the beauty of fall: The softened light, the veiling haze, The calm repose of autumn days, Steal gently over the troubled breast, Soothing life's weary cares to rest. — Phebe Ann Holder, New England poet, A Song of October Grow That Garden Library The Vegetable Garden Cookbook by Tobias Rauschenberger and Oliver Brachat This book came out in 2015, and the subtitle is 60 Recipes to Enjoy Your Homegrown Produce. In this cookbook, Tobias and Oliver focus on 23 rockstar vegetables you can grow in your own sweet garden. These 23 vegetables include eggplant, cauliflower, beans, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, peas, fennel, cucumbers, potatoes, corn, squash, chard, carrots, peppers, parsnips, radishes, beets, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, and onions. This book is incredibly versatile, and there’s something for everyone, whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore. Standout recipes include creamy pea soup with bacon foam, stuffed zucchini rolls, Hungarian goulash, beet pizza, and an Asian chard and honey duck sandwich. This book is 176 pages of growing, cooking, and eating vegetables - a top 23 list of them - that guides you through some incredibly easy and versatile recipes for everyone at the table. You can get a copy of The Vegetable Garden Cookbook by Tobias Rauschenberger and Oliver Brachat and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $2 Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart November 27, 1959 On this day, the Edmonton Journal wrote a little article about the Bicentenary at Kew: “Less than ten miles from the heart of London lies an area of nearly three hundred acres in which color, fragrance, and birdsong are the companions of research, learning, and economics. Here the lover of plants can wander to his heart's delight while the botanist studies new and hardier strains of plants and the ecologist determines their value to man. It is officially known as the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, or to most persons Kew Gardens. Kew Gardens owes their origin to a fancy of Princess Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales, who in 1759 founded a botanical garden in the grounds at Kew House, now long since demolished. Little is known of the early formation of the gardens except that the Princess received encouragement from the Earl of Bute, an enthusiastic botanist who lived at Kew. Under Bute’s direction, the garden soon became a recognized scientific entity, although it remained separate from the Princess' gardens. Later the two gardens were united, but the name "Kew Gardens" has remained ever since. In 1841 Kew Gardens was presented to the British nation by Queen Victoria, and their functions were then outlined as scientific research, cultivation of plants from all parts of the world, propagation of useful plants for all countries of the Empire, furnishing the government with general information on botanical subjects and the instruction of the public. It is on this five-fold basis that Kew has carried on to our own time. The herbarium is perhaps the most amazing part of Kew. It is devoted to the taxonomy or the identification and classification of plants. Some six million sheets of plant specimens are preserved and grouped by class, orders, families, genera, species, and varieties. The files of this priceless collection were removed to safety during the war. Kew has become a mecca for botanists worldwide and a great guide to botanical knowledge. Soon after the founding of Kew, the practice was established of sending out a botanist on every voyage of discovery from Britain. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener. And remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
16 minutes | 2 days ago
November 26, 2020 Proper Watering, Jean-Jacques de Mairan, George Ellwanger, Washington Atlee Burpee, Sarah Addison Allen, John Evelyn, Aileen Fisher, Wall Art Made Easy by Barbara Ann Kirby and Ruth Myrtle Patrick
Today we celebrate the man who proved plants have a circadian rhythm. We'll also learn about the nurseryman who helped establish Rochester, New York, as a “City in a Forest.” We’ll remember the pioneer seedsman who started the largest mail-order seed company in the world. We celebrate Thanksgiving with some verses about this time of year. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a beautiful book of fruit prints. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of a woman who discovered the importance of biological diversity to water health. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: A personal update from me Garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more... Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News Are your plants wilting and dry despite regular watering? Keep tabs on these side effects of improper watering practices | Chicago Tribune | Tim Johnson Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 26, 1678 Today is the birthday of the French geophysicist, astronomer, and most notably, chronobiologist Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan. Mairan's job as a chronobiologist is a job one rarely hears about these days. In 1729, Mairan put together an experiment showing the existence of a circadian rhythm in plants. Mairan took a Mimosa pudica ("poo-DEE-cah")plant - the heliotrope commonly called the sensitive plant - and put it in constant darkness in a cupboard. All the while, he recorded the plant's behavior. And what do you know? The plant had a natural rhythm of opening and closing its leaves - even if it couldn't absorb sunlight. Now, Mairan didn't think that the plant had an internal clock, but he DID believe that it could attune itself to the sun - even if the plant was blocked from it. No matter the accuracy of Mairan's conclusions, his work was on to something, and it established the foundation for chronobiology or the internal circadian clock. November 26, 1906 Today is the anniversary of the death of the German-American horticulturist and nurseryman George Ellwanger ("El-WANG-ur"). In the mid-1800s, George Ellwanger and his Irish business partner and experienced nurseryman, Patrick Barry, claimed their Rochester, New York nursery was the largest in the world. Built on 650 acres along Mount Hope Avenue, George started his business on land that boasted an old pear orchard. A renaissance man, George also started writing books on a variety of topics - from gardening and gastronomy to poetry. A perpetual seeker, George returned to Europe to hunt for fine trees to propagate in America. The fruit of George’s vision is evident throughout Rochester but perhaps no more so than in the grand European beeches that dot the city streets and parks. The beeches include several unique species like fern-leaved, copper, purple, and weeping beeches. Today, Rochester has 168 different trees within the city limits, and Charles Sprague Sargent dubbed Rochester the “City in a Forest.” George and Patrick were also known for their fruit trees. In 1900, Mount Hope Nursery exhibited 118 varieties of pears at the Paris Exhibition, which won them a gold medal diploma. In 1888, George and Patrick donated 20 acres of their Mount Hope Nursery along with hundreds of plants to the City of Rochester, which resulted in the creation of beautiful Highland Park. In a Noah’s-Ark-like gesture, George and Patrick donated two of every tree specimen in their nursery toward the effort to create Highland Park. Twelve years after George died on this day, The Mount Hope Nursery closed for good. Today, Highland Park is home to an annual Lilac Festival. Each year visitors stroll the grounds to smell the lilacs, visit Warner Castle and experience the Sunken Garden. Here are some words George wrote about beech trees from his lovely book called The Garden’s Story: “If we take yellow alone for the color-standard, the beech is without an equal. A beech, indeed, is always beautiful. Its colors still remain attractive in late November, varying from rich Roman ochre to deep-brown bronze and from pale rose-buff to lustrous, satiny gray. Its harmony is of marked loveliness in winter, a faded elegance clinging to it like a chastened autumnal memory.” And here’s a thought from George regarding mushrooms from his book called The Pleasures of the Table: "Mushrooms are like men - the bad most closely counterfeit the good." November 26, 1915 Today is the anniversary of the death of the pioneer seedsman and founder of the Burpee seed company, W. Atlee Burpee - the “W” stood for Washington. Atlee died at 57; just two days after Thanksgiving in 1915. As a young boy, Atlee immigrated from England with his parents. The Burpees settled in Philadelphia, and when Burpee started his business, it was at 219 Church Street in the city of Brotherly Love. Although his father was disappointed that Atlee didn’t follow in his footsteps to become a doctor, Atlee’s mother was sympathetic to her son’s interests. The family loved to tell how Atlee started in business selling poultry with $1,000 seed money from his mother. Atlee handled every aspect of his seed business - from writing descriptions and creating the seed packaging to create a unique catalog every year. Before Atlee, sweet peas were imported from England. By WWI, Atlee sold more sweet peas than anyone else in the world, and he even outsold British seed companies in England. Overtime, Burpee became known for Atlee’s famous motto: Burpee Seeds Grow. As a result of his dedication to quality and innovation, Burpee became the world’s largest mail-order seed company. The spring of 2020 brought a new milestone to Burpee. As people worldwide experienced lockdowns due to COVID-19, Burpee sold more seed than any time in its 144-year history. And here’s a little-remembered fact about the founder of Burpee seeds: he was cousins on his mother’s side with the legendary American botanist, horticulturist, and pioneer Luther Burbank. Unearthed Words It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon. — Sarah Addison Allen, American author Chestnuts are delicacies for princes and a lusty and masculine food for rustics and make women well-complexioned. — John Evelyn, English writer, gardener, and diarist T Thanks for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather. H for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday. A for autumn's frosty art and abundance in the heart. N for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember. K for kitchen, kettles' croon, kith, and kin expected soon. S for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that abounds. That spells THANKS for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving. — Aileen Fisher, American writer, children’s book author, and poet, All in a Word Grow That Garden Library Wall Art Made Easy by Barbara Ann Kirby This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is Ready to Frame Vintage Redoute Fruit Prints: 30 Beautiful Illustrations to Transform Your Home. In this book, Barbara shares thirty beautiful fruit illustrations by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840), the renowned painter and botanist from the Southern Netherlands. The images feature grapefruit, plums, cherries, figs, raspberries, quince, pomegranate, and other fruits from France that were painted between 1801-1819. Each 7” x 10” image is ideal for framing and can be easily removed from the book by cutting along the lines. This book is 66 pages of vintage fruit illustrations by Redouté. You can get a copy of Wall Art Made Easy by Barbara Ann Kirby and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $15. Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart November 26, 1907 Today is the birthday of the botanist Ruth Myrtle Patrick. Ruth developed new methods for measuring the health of freshwater ecosystems. Today, the Patrick Principle measures the biological diversity of a stream; the greater the diversity, the greater the health of the water. Ruth learned much from her botanist father, Frank. Looking back on her childhood, Ruth said, “I collected everything: worms, mushrooms, plants, rocks. I remember the feeling I got when my father would roll back the top of his big desk in the library and roll out the microscope... it was miraculous, looking through a window at the whole other world." Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener. And remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
19 minutes | 3 days ago
November 25, 2020 Succulent Christmas Trees, Isaac Watts, Leonard Woolf, Francis Chantrey, William Lisle Bowles, Do-It-Yourself Garden Projects and Crafts by Debbie Wolfe, and Alma Gluck
Today we celebrate the clergyman who wrote hymns and poems that use garden imagery. We'll also learn about the man who loved gardens and garden design - and he wasn’t afraid of Virginia Woolf… he was married to her. We’ll recognize a sculptor whose final work was a touching monument to children incorporating a bouquet of snowdrops. We hear a hauntingly beautiful poem by an English clergyman and poet. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that teaches how to make garden crafts and projects that are totally within reach and are utterly charming with their appealing and practical sensibility. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of an Opera singer turned gardener. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: A personal update from me Garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more... Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News These Succulent Christmas Trees Are Our New Holiday Obsession | Southern Living | Meghan Overdeep Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 25, 1748 Today is the anniversary of the death of the English Christian minister (Congregational) and prolific hymn writer Isaac Watts. Known as the "Godfather of English Hymnody," Isaac’s hymns are still sung in churches today: “O God our Help in Ages Past,” “There is a Land of Pure Delight.” There’s another Isaac Watts hymn that will be getting some traction over the next month: “Joy to the World.” Isaac’s work marked a turning point for hymn writing because he didn’t just set psalms and scripture to song; he actually wrote original verse. Isaac’s hymn, “We are a Garden Walled Around,” uses garden imagery and is a favorite with gardeners: We are a garden walled around, Chosen and made peculiar ground; A little spot enclosed by grace Out of the world's wide wilderness. Like trees of myrrh and spice we stand, Planted by God's almighty hand; And all the springs in Zion flow, To make the young plantation grow. Awake, O, heavenly wind! And come, Blow on this garden of perfume; Spirit divine! descend and breathe A gracious gale on plants beneath. Make our best spices flow abroad, To entertain our Savior God And faith, and love, and joy appear, And every grace be active here. November 25, 1880 Today is the birthday of the British political theorist, writer, publisher, civil servant, and gardener Leonard Sidney Woolf. Leonard was the husband of Virginia Woolf. Leonard was the primary gardener and garden designer of Monk's House - although Virginia helped him. Virginia and Leonard lived at the house when they first purchased it in 1919 until their deaths. The garden at Monk's House was a retreat and a place where they could both escape from London’s chaos. Leonard loved to be in the garden gardening. He hated tea roses and floribunda roses. He loved fruit trees like apples and pears, and he sold the fruits to make money. Leonard's devotion to the garden was a source of consternation for Virginia. Leonard spent so much of his time and money on the garden that Virginia famously complained, “We are watering the earth with our money!” Leonard recorded all of his Monk's House garden income and expenditures in a gorgeous dark green and pink ledger book. The first line in the book is dated August 26th, 1919, and he recorded the first gardening work performed by gardener William Dedman. Virginia described Monk's House as "the pride of our hearts.’" In July of 1919, Virginia wrote that gardening or weeding produced "a queer sort of enthusiasm." When Virginia suffered bouts of depression, the garden at Monk's House was where she went to recover and heal. And, since both Virginia and Leonard kept diaries, we know today that the garden was a frequent topic. On September 29, 1919, Virginia wrote: "A week ago, Leonard's wrist and arm broke into a rash. The doctor called it eczema. Then Mrs. Dedman brushed this aside and diagnosed sunflower poisoning. [Leonard] had been uprooting them with bare hands. We have accepted her judgment." One of Virginia's favorite places to write was in the garden at Monk's House. She had a small converted shed that she called her writing lodge. Every morning on her way to the lodge, Virginia walked through the garden. The Monk's House garden was THE place where she wrote some of her most famous works. One story illustrates Leonard's devotion to gardening. In 1939, as the second world war approached, Virginia called for him to come inside to listen to "the lunatic" Hitler on the radio. But Leonard was in the middle of tending to his Iris, and he shouted back: ”I shan’t come. I am planting iris, and they will be flowering long after he is dead.” After Virginia's tragic suicide, Leonard wrote: "I know that Virginia will not come across the garden from the Lodge, and yet I look in that direction for her. I know that she is drowned, and yet I listen for her to come in at the door." And, there were two Elm trees at Monk's House garden that the Woolf's had sweetly named after themselves, “Virginia and Leonard.” Leonard buried Virginia’s ashes under one of those Elms and installed a stone tablet with the last lines from her novel The Waves: “Against you, I fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death! The waves crashed on the shore.” November 25, 1816 Today is the anniversary of the death of one of the great English sculptors, Francis Chantrey. Francis, who sculpted both kings and presidents, was commissioned to sculpt a memorial to two young girls, Ellen-Jane and Marianne Robinson. Ellen-Jane and Marianne had lost their father, Reverend William Robinson when he was in his thirties. In 1813, their mother took them on a trip to Bath. One evening as she was getting ready for bed, Ellen-Jane’s nightgown caught on fire. She died the next day. The following year, the younger daughter, Marianne, got sick and died in London. So, within three years, Mrs. Robinson lost her entire family, and she went to Francis Chantrey and asked him to make a sculpture. In turn, Francis honored her request to recreate a scene seen repeatedly with her girls: they would often fall asleep in each other’s arms. And so it was that in the year he died, Francis created his final masterpiece, “The Sleeping Children”. Francis added a touching last element to their memorial when he sculpted a bouquet of snowdrops in little Marianne’s hands. Seeing this memorial is on my bucket list. The Sleeping Children sculpture is at the Lichfield (“Litchfield”) Cathedral in England. Unearthed Words So breathing and so beautiful, they seem, As if to die in youth were but to dream Of spring and flowers! Of flowers? Yet nearer stand There is a lily in one little hand, So sleeps that child, not faded, though in death, And seeming still to hear her sister's breath, Take up those flowers that fell From the dead hand, and sigh a long farewell! Thine, Chantrey, be the fame That joins to immortality thy name. For these sweet children that so sculptured rest A sister's head upon a sister's breast Age after age shall pass away, Nor shall their beauty fade, their forms decay. Mothers, till ruin the round world hath rent, Shall gaze with tears upon the monument! And fathers sigh, with half-suspended breath: How sweetly sleep the innocent in death! — William Lisle Bowles, English priest, poet, and critic, The Sleeping Children. Note: This is an excerpt from this hauntingly beautiful poem written in tribute to The Sleeping Children sculpture by Francis Chantrey in memory of Ellen-Jane and Marianne Robinson. Grow That Garden Library Do-It-Yourself Garden Projects and Crafts by Debbie Wolfe This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is 60 Planters, Bird Houses, Lotion Bars, Garlands, and More. In this book, Debbie shares easy projects and beautiful crafts for your garden and home. With Debbie’s step by step instructions, you can make a Bird and Bee Bath, a Flower Press, a Foraged Garland, Herb Napkins Rings, Herb Drying Racks, and Unique Planters. I love Debbie because she wants her readers to use what they have - go and find your home-grown and foraged materials - and make something beautiful with them. Debbie even shows how to make personal and household items that would make excellent gifts: Herbal Lotion Bars, Gardener Hand Scrub, and All-Purpose Thyme Cleaner. If you're a gardener or DIY lover, this book is for you! Loaded with gorgeous photography, Debbie will inspire you to get out in the garden, get creative, and make something with your own two hands. This book is 240 pages of crafts and projects that are totally within reach and are utterly charming with their appealing and practical sensibility. You can get a copy of Do-It-Yourself Garden Projects and Crafts by Debbie Wolfe and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $10. Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart November 25, 1914 On this day, the St. Joseph Gazette wrote a front-page article about the Romanian-born American soprano Alma Gluck and the headline was “Miss Gluck is Quite a Farmer.” “One would scarcely expect a young and beautiful prima donna who… is recognized the world over as one of the greatest of sopranos, to know much about raising chickens. Nor is it… expected that she be a connoisseur of tomato raising… Standing beside the window of her room at the Hotel Robidoux, [Alma]... told with characteristic enthusiasm of her "farm" at Lake George, where each summer she and Miss Jewell, her companion, spend their vacations." She said, "One year, you know, we decided to raise chickens. Neither of us knew a thing about the creatures, but we bought fifty just fresh from an incubator. Our farmer neighbors told us we should have brooders to keep them at night and advised us to get cheese boxes and line them with cotton batting. We fixed them up cozy as you please and each night stuffed the baby chicks in their beds. But they began soon to die. We couldn’t imagine what was the matter with them. They just grew knock-kneed and drooped over. Our cook decided she would make an examination, and cutting open one of the chicks, what do you suppose she found? It was just lined with cotton batting. The little things had pecked all the cotton from around their beds. After that we hung a feather duster in the brooder, and the chicks hovered each night under that Just as though they had a mother. And later I myself sawed and built a little house for them. We became quite famous gardeners, too. Despite the fact, we knew nothing of such things when we started planting a garden. We raised the best tomatoes grown in that section of the state." Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener. And remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
16 minutes | 4 days ago
November 24, 2020 The Zen Garden Chaise Lounge, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Charles Darwin, Arlington Heights Garden Club, Vita Sackville West, The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner, and Mosquitoes in November
Today we celebrate a prolific writer who loved violets and wrote about a secret garden. We'll also learn about the best-selling book that hit bookstores today back in 1859, and it changed the world forever. We’ll look back at some timeless garden advice from 1966 courtesy of the Arlington Heights Garden Club. We’ll hear some words from an English garden designer about making the most of October and November. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about incorporating edibles into your garden design - and yes, it does matter which varieties you choose to use. And then we’ll wrap things up with some charming miscellany from The New England Farmer in 1843. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: a personal update from me garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more... Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News This Chaise Lounge is Designed Like a Zen Garden—and There’s Even a Pond | Apartment Therapy | Jessica Wang Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 24, 1849 Today is the birthday of the British-American writer and playwright Frances Hodgson Burnett. Frances was born in Britain. As a small girl, her family home backed up to property owned by the Earl of Derby. Frances remembered it as the “garden of Eden.” Frances’s father died when she was three years old, and his death forced her mother Eliza to leave England with her five young children and immigrate to the United States. After settling in Tennessee, Frances began writing to help her mother make ends meet. Frances published over 50 works during her lifetime, including her popular children’s novels Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden. Although Frances became America’s highest-paid woman writer, her personal life had profound low points. She married and divorced twice, and Frances lost one of her two sons to tuberculosis when he was just 16 years old. After losing her boy Lionel, she covered his caskets in the flower that symbolizes innocence, modesty, and everlasting love: violets. For Frances, whether in America or England, gardens were a place for comfort and restoration, and violets were “her flower.” It was Frances Hodgson Burnett who wrote, “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” and “Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden — in all the places.” November 24, 1859 On this day, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species reached bookstores. Over twenty years had passed since Charles departed on the HMS Beagle for a five-year voyage around the world. On this revelatory trip, Charles discovered the building blocks to his evolutionary theory in the fossils and diverse species he encountered on his expeditions. Often, Charles Darwin is depicted as an older man on the Beagle; but he was just 22 when he sailed away and still a young 27 when he returned to England with boxes full of specimens and a brain swirling with new ideas. Darwin was 50 when his book began selling in bookstores on this day in 1859. November 24, 1966 On this day, the Arlington Heights Garden Club shared their Garden tips for the week in the Arlington Heights Herald. Highlights include: Soil is alive—teeming with life—tiny insects you can see, and billions of organisms not visible with the naked eye. If cared for properly, it grows and increases in value. (This advice was 40 years before Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels) Drooping (cut) roses can be revived by making a fresh cut 2 or 3 inches from the bottom of the stem, then placing in a tall container of very warm water until they perk up. Suggested Houseplant: Shrimp Plant (Beloperone guttata or Justicia Brandegeana), a sturdy plant with shrimp-pink bracts overshadowing the delicate white flowers. (A native of Mexico, these plants can grow up to six feet tall. As houseplants, it is good to prune them back in the spring because the stems are brittle and tend to snap.) Smooth leaf house plants benefit from a soap and water sponge bath on both sides of the leaf surface. Unearthed Words If it is true that one of the greatest pleasures of gardening lies in looking forward, then the planning of next year's beds and borders must be one of the most agreeable occupations in the gardener's calendar. This should make October and November particularly pleasant months, for then we may begin to clear our borders, to cut down those sodden and untidy stalks, to dig up and increase our plants, and to move them to other positions where they will show up to greater effect. People who are not gardeners always say that the bare beds of winter are uninteresting; gardeners know better and take even a certain pleasure in the neatness of the newly dug, bare, brown earth. — Vita Sackville West, English author, and garden designer Grow That Garden Library The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner This book came out in 2013, and the subtitle is Design a Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs. This book was one of Amazon's Best Garden Books of 2013. Leslie and Stefani are the founders of the landscape design firm Star Apple Edible & Fine Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area. This book was their stylish and beautifully-photographed guide to artfully incorporating edibles into an attractive modern garden design. This modern landscape design duo specializes in artfully blending edibles and ornamentals together. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that Leslie and Stefani also show how to make edible arrangements with clippings from your garden. The team at Star Apple has refined the way they look at edibles in the Landscape, and - no surprise - they focus on beautiful, luxuriant foliage -- and flowers! If your vegetable garden looks wild and straggly or just stresses you out by the end of the season, use Leslie and Stefani’s ideas to make your edible plants as beautiful as they are productive. This book is 220 pages of garden design for veggies, fruits, and herbs - with oodles of ideas for making edibles an attractive part of your Landscape. You can get a copy of The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $10 Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart The New England Farmer shared a little post of miscellaneous news at the end of 1843 that caught my eye: Mosquitoes in November. The New Orleans Diamond, of Nov. 24th, says, "As we write, myriads of mosquitoes are hovering around us, like evil messengers. Think of that, ye frozen dwellers at the North." According to the Journal of Commerce, potatoes are now selling, in New York, for seventy-five cents a bushel. A beautiful Oriental proverb runs thus: "With time and patience, the mulberry leaf becomes satin." (A little reference to the silkworm’s only food: the mulberry leaf.) Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener. And remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
18 minutes | 5 days ago
November 23, 2020 Fibonacci in the Garden, Nathaniel Ward, Alexander Anderson, Roald Dahl, Gladys Taber, The Farm by Ian Knauer, and How to Care for Your Poinsettia
Today we celebrate one of the first successful uses of the Wardian Case on a ship in 1833. We'll also learn about the Minnesota botanist who discovered a fun new cereal. We’ll remember the beloved British children’s author who wrote in his garden shed. We salute the various ways trees drop their leaves… or not - in a verse by an American writer. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a cookbook for gardeners with a mix of old and new takes on garden to table goodness. And then we’ll wrap things up with a grower’s tips on Poinsettia care. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: a personal update from me garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more... Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News The Beauty of the Fibonacci Sequence in the Garden | Empress of Dirt | Melissa J. Will Today is Fibonacci “fee-bo-NA-chee” Day! Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 23, 1833 On this day, the ship Captain Charles Mallard wrote a letter to Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward. Four years earlier, in 1829, Nathaniel developed the first terrarium when he accidentally grew a fern in an insect jar. A fern spore had gotten into a jar Nathaniel was using to observe insect behavior. Nathaniel suddenly realized that if plants were enclosed in airtight glass cases, they could survive without water for long periods. Nathaniel constructed his Wardian cases out of wood and glass. Nathaniel’s little portable greenhouses sat on the deck of a ship where they could absorb as much sunshine as possible. The inside of the box would have some soil on the bottom. The plants would be in pots, and a series of battens would stop the plants from rolling around inside the case. After the plants were watered and safely tucked inside, the case was nailed shut, and all the seams were painted with tar to seal the case. Wardian cases were a game-changer for plant explorers who needed to keep plants alive during long voyages. Snug inside the Wardian Case, plants often lived on ships for 6 to 12 months. And so, it was on this day in 1833 that Captain Charles Mallard excitedly shared that Nathaniel’s cases worked like a charm. He wrote: “Your experiment for [keeping] plants alive… has fully succeeded.” Before the Wardian case, saltwater and sun killed most plants before they reached England. With the Wardian case, plantation crops like tea, rubber, and sugar, and medicinal and ornamental plants - could be moved among the Botanic Gardens of the British Empire. November 23, 1862 Today is the birthday of the American plant physiologist, botanist, educator, and inventor Alexander Pierce Anderson. Alexander grew up in rural Southeastern, Minnesota. His cousin, John Lind, became the governor of Minnesota. After getting a degree in botany, Alexander went on to teach at Clemson. Three years later, he went to work for the New York Botanical Garden in research. This unassuming position would lead Alexander to a fantastic discovery. Suspecting that microscopic amounts of water existed inside the nucleus of starch crystals in rice, Alexander worked on finding a way to get the water out. Alexander’s experiment produced “puffed rice,” and breakfast cereal was changed forever. Alexander shared his discovery at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. By the end of the fair, Alexander had sold over 20,000 pounds of puffed rice, and he had won the world’s attention. November 23, 1990 Today is the anniversary of the death of the beloved British children’s author, Roald Dahl. Roald was an avid gardener, and his garden shed doubled as his writing nook, where he wrote many books, including Charlie and the Chocolate factory. As sweet as this sounds to a gardener's ears, there was a practical reason behind Roald’s writing in the garden shed. It turns out, Roald chain-smoked as he wrote, and the garden shed kept the smoke out of the house. For Roald's part, he loved the idea of using the garden shed as a place to write, especially after seeing the little writing hut used by the author Dylan Thomas. If you are a gardener with a passion for roses, you should check out the Roald Dahl Rose, which honored Roald's love of gardening. The Roald Dahl Rose is an absolutely stunning English shrub rose bred by David Austin. With its blousy habit and scrumptious nonstop peach blooms, the Roald Dahl Rose has a lovely fragrance as well - and not many thorns, so that's a bonus. Throughout his life, Roald kept a diary, and there are many marvelous entries about his garden. Roald was often inspired by his garden, which is evident in his work: I liked The Secret Garden, best of all. It was full of mystery. — Roald Dahl, British children’s author, Matilda There is just one small bright spark shining through the gloom in my January garden. The first snowdrops are in flower. — Roald Dahl, British children’s author, My Year And now suddenly, the whole place, the whole garden seemed to be alive with magic… — Roald Dahl, British children’s author, James and the Giant Peach But Mr. Tibbs didn’t hesitate for long. “Tell the head gardener,” he whispered, “that I require immediately a brand new unused garden fork and also a spade. And for a knife, we shall use the great sword hanging on the wall in the morning-room. But clean the sword well first. It was last used to cut off the head of King Charles the First and there may still be a little dried blood on the blade.” — Roald Dahl, British children’s author, The BFG Mary, Mary, quite contrary How does your garden grow? “I live with my brat in a high-rise flat, So how in the world would I know?” — Roald Dahl, British children’s author Unearthed Words Weather conditions are the same for all of them, one is no more sheltered than another, and they are the same age, judging by their size. I like to think one tree decides to keep summer a bit longer and one impetuously responds to the tide of incoming autumn. Trees are not remotely like people, but I reflect that I know some people who have never let summer go and others who begin to think winter thoughts in July. Perhaps it is all temperament. —Gladys Taber, American writer and columnist, Grow That Garden Library The Farm by Ian Knauer This cookbook came out in 2012, and the subtitle is Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food. This cookbook is a compilation of fantastic original recipes from Ian Knauer ("Ka-NOW-ur"). His publisher writes: “When Ian Knauer was a cook in the Gourmet test kitchen, he quickly became known for recipes so stupendously good that they turned the heads of the country’s top food editors. His effortless combinations made the best of seasonal produce from the Pennsylvania farm that has been in his family since the eighteenth century.” Ian’s home and fresh recipe innovations are rooted in the garden. Cold-Spring-Night Asparagus Soup and Brick Chicken with Corn and Basil Salad will have you revising your plant list for 2021 and scouring your freezer for your stockpiles. Ian’s ideas will strike a chord with gardener-cooks. “You’ll find recipes that incorporate all parts of the vegetable, like Pasta with Radishes and Blue Cheese, which incorporates the radish leaves as well as the root, and spritely Swiss Chard Salad. You’ll learn how to make great food from simple ingredients you have on hand, like Potato Nachos. You’ll discover recipes for less-familiar produce from your market or your backyard, such as Chicken with Garlic Scape Pesto and Dandelion Green Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing.” This book is 256 pages of Ian’s masterpieces along with Knauer family secret recipes, and all are simple, distinctive, and satisfying, getting the best food to the table in the least amount of time. You can get a copy of The Farm by Ian Knauer and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $2 Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart November 23, 2005 On this day, the Arizona Republic newspaper shared tips on Poinsettia care from Jay Harper of Harper’s Nurseries & Flower Shop. Jay grows Poinsettias from cuttings in his nursery in Mesa. He advised: Important factors in selecting a Poinsettia are where it was grown and how long it had to travel… Your plant should be sturdy, not wilted-looking. Make sure it has not dropped any leaves, which can occur while kept in boxes for shipment. Once you get your Poinsettia home, keep it away from drafts. They don't like the heater draft or the cold air from the door being opened or closed. \ Don't put your Poinsettia right inside the doorway either. They are breakable in any high-traffic area if you walk by and brush against them. Place your Poinsettia on a table or in a corner of the room with good bright light and away from the fireplace or other heat sources. Poinsettias are members of the Euphorbiaceae family and produce a milky sap that can be an irritant. For years Poinsettias were considered extremely poisonous, but research has shown that is not the case. While eating the plant may not be lethal, it can make someone sick. If your Poinsettia comes wrapped, either remove the plant from the wrapping and water, or poke a hole through the bottom of the wrapping to allow water to escape. They don't like to dry out too much. Poinsettias do better kept a little bit on the moist side. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener, and remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
21 minutes | 8 days ago
November 20, 2020 What to Know Before Planting Bulbs, Penelope Hobhouse, Richard Fagan, August Henry Kramer, Martine Bailey, Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement by Judith Tankard, and the Misnaming of Lespedeza
Today we celebrate the gardener and writer who turns 91 today. We'll also learn about the man who created the world’s smallest rose garden. We’ll recognize the lost work of an American botanist and painter. We salute November with an excerpt from a book by an American historical crime novelist. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a fantastic book about the Arts and Crafts Movement, which gave us wonderfully inspiring homes and gardens. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of a misnamed plant - and it’s too late to change it now. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: a personal update from me garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more... Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News Things I Wish I Knew Before Planting Fall Bulbs | Family Handyman | Helen Newling Lawson Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 20, 1929 Today is the 91st birthday of the garden writer and designer Penelope Hobhouse, born on this day in 1929. When Penelope visited Tuscany, she was captivated by the villa gardens, and she began teaching herself garden design. A 2016 article in the New York Times said Penelope is, "a fixture in the minds of gardeners who love rooms and bones – the paths and walls and satisfying verticals that form the skeleton of a garden." Penelope has designed gardens worldwide, including a garden for Elizabeth the Queen Mother at Walmer Castle in Kent, an herb garden for the New York Botanical Garden, and an English cottage garden for Steve Jobs' Woodside home. Gardens Illustrated recently shared a post featuring six of her garden design principles: Think about backgrounds Large trees can be used to frame the sky; hedges provide vertical and horizontal lines as well as a background for planting, while small trees with broad, globular, or pyramidal heads act as ‘ceilings.’ Low continuous hedging can be used to frame pathways. Create a strong framework I tend to create a strong structure or framework for my gardens, with looser planting within. The architecture can be supplied by buildings, walls, steps, and pergolas, but also by plants. Don’t overuse colors The cardinal rule for planting is to use bright colors sparingly. Form is much more important than color, and flowers are fleeting, so start instead with the shapes and hues of trees, hedges and shrubs, and the leaf form and color of herbaceous plants, the shape they make, and the height they grow to. Mix plants up Choose plants that will not only do well in any particular spot but will also associate happily with any neighboring indigenous plants. Repeat, repeat, repeat To help unite the house and garden and create flow, repeat hard or soft features. Don’t forget it’s for you Gardens should also provide shade and shelter, seats for contemplation, scents, and solitude, and require just the right amount of maintenance to encourage relaxation, because, above all, they are places to be enjoyed." Despite all of her achievements, gardeners find Penelope relatable and personable. In a recent video, Penelope said, "I'm still finding my way." November 20, 1969 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Oregon Journal columnist and gardener Richard William Fagan, who died on this day in 1969. As gardeners, we celebrate Richard for installing the world's smallest rose park - Mill Ends Park - in Portland on February 23, 1954. The installation coincided with "Rose Planting Week." Richard’s Mill Ends Park is just 18 inches in diameter and was named after Dick's column, also called Mill Ends. The name for the column Mill Ends came from Dick's passion for collecting little bits and news items about the Pacific Northwest sawmills - thus, Mill Ends. In fact, the mayor of Portland once joked, "I don't know why [anyone would invite] me to talk on city affairs. Dick Fagan can tell you more." Mill Ends Park is really just a small plot in the middle of an empty lamppost hole on a cement divider on the street at the intersection of SW 1st and Taylor Street. That year, in 1954, the city of Columbus, Ohio, claimed the title of "The Rose City" - an honor held by Portland for over 50 years. Portland gardeners were incensed and began planting roses all around the city. Hearing about Ohio's competition, Dick got the idea for the littlest rose park after spying the empty spot in the road divider from his window at the Newspaper building. Dick’s Mill Ends Park consisted of a single rose bush, a little wire fence, and a small wooden marker that said: "Mill Ends Park." November 20, 1989 On this day in 1989, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shared an incredible story called Buried Blossoms by Patricia Rice, which shared the story of the long lost work of the botanist August Henry Kramer. Here's what it said: "After 40 years in basements, [Kramer's] collection of 493 botanical watercolors was scrutinized by two local art appraisers. You might imagine that art appraisers become blase about seeing another beautiful painting. But not Barbara Messing. "They took my breath away," she said. Flowering mint, California poppies, hummingbird sage, wild parsnips, whispering bells, rare alpine flowers seemed almost fresh on the paper. Each had been meticulously painted from live botanical specimens by August Henry Kramer in his spare time as a fire lookout In California and Oregon. Kramer was born ... in south St. Louis but spent his adult life in the Western forests. ... Shortly before his death in the late 1940s, he brought his paintings to his sister in St. Louis, with careful notes detailing the care of the delicate watercolors. Kramer's great-nephew, [Art] Haack, does not know precisely when his great-uncle died or where he was buried. He packed "Uncle Gus' box [of watercolors]" each time he and his ... family moved. "Every once in a while, I would take them out, and we would look at them." A few years ago, Jeanne Haack, (Art's wife) and a volunteer guide at the Missouri Botanical Garden, took her husband to an art exhibit of botanical drawings at the Garden. They immediately reminded [Art] of his uncle's work. He wrote about the paintings to the Garden's [Director] Peter Raven, who sent two staff members to look at Kramer's work. When [the appraiser, Barbara] Messing, pulled the paintings from their brown paper wrappings, it was the first time they all had been seen - outside the family - in forty years. After a couple of hours of looking at them, she felt hot tears flowing down her face. She said, "Each drawing was so beautiful. It made me cry." Unearthed Words The next morning I had to get outside, and so began a period of long walks in the park. Early November continued bright, with the last Sun of the year shining low and coppery over the woods. Striding through heaps of rusty autumn leaves, I ached to see beauty dying all around me. I felt completely alone in that rambling wilderness, save for the crows cawing in their rookeries and the wrens bobbing from hedge to hedge. I began to make studies in my book of the delicate lines of drying grasses and frilled seed pods. I looked for some lesson on how best to live from Nature, that every year died and was renewed, but none appeared. ― Martine Bailey, American historical novelist, A Taste for Nightshade Grow That Garden Library Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement by Judith B. Tankard This book came out in 2018, and the topic is a favorite of mine. In this book, the landscape scholar Judith B. Tankard shares the inspirations, elements, and evolution of garden design during this iconic movement. Judith hand-picked homes and gardens from Great Britain and North America to show the diversity of designers who helped forge the Arts and Crafts Movement. I love reading Judith's work because she does such thorough research, and then she presents everything she’s learned with great clarity and passion. Whether you are an architect, student, garden designer, or hobbyist, Judith’s book offers a compelling narrative explaining how this garden design period is still relevant to how we create and understand landscapes today. Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement features celebrated artists such as William Morris and Gertrude Jekyll. Readers will benefit from Judith’s diligence in collecting visuals like photographs, period paintings, and garden plans to convey all the important elements of the movement. This book is 300 pages of the best examples of the Arts and Crafts movement with Judith as your expert guide. You can get a copy of Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement by Judith B. Tankard and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $25 Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart November 20, 1933 On this day, the Knoxville Journal shared a story called "Department Botanists Agree Too Late to Change - Lespedeza was named in Error." Lespedeza (pronounced "Les-pah-dee-zah") is a genus of around 40 species of flowering plants in the pea family, commonly known as bush clovers. The article pointed out that the mistaken identity... "dates back to 1803 when [the] French botanist, Michaux, ...bestowed the name to honor the governor of Florida [named] Lespedez who allowed [the botanist André] Michaux to explore Florida as part of his botanizing efforts for France. [But,a botanist by the name of] P. L. Ricker, of the United States Department of Agriculture, ... [couldn't find] a governor [named Lespedez] in Florida State history. By checking [the] old histories, records revealed that the governor in 1788 was actually named Cespedes, making it clear that the name as given by Michaux was either an error or a misprint. Botanists of the department agree that it would be a mistake to try to correct the mistake now if for no other reason [than] it would lead to confusion with a family of tropical trees, Cespedesia named in honor of an early professor of botany also named Cespedes." So there you go. We're stuck with Lespedeza. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener. And remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
19 minutes | 9 days ago
November 19, 2020 The Next Generation of Gardeners, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Calvert Vaux, Elizabeth Lawrence, Julia Wilmotte Henshaw, Amy Stewart, Mini Farming by Brett Markham, and Roger Williams’ Autumn Leaves
Today we celebrate the English poet who often wrote of the Natural World and the garden. We'll also learn about the man who coined the term “Landscape Architect.” We’ll read a letter written by a garden writer about the last flowers in her fall garden. We’ll learn about the Canadian botanist and writer who had a marvelous column called The Note Book. We’ll hear some relatable words about November from a gardener and writer. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that helps you learn to become a market gardener and more self-sufficient. And then we’ll wrap things up with a number one instrumental song about fall leaves. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: a personal update from me garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more... Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News How To Encourage A New Generation Of Gardeners | The News | Brian Kidd Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 19, 1850 Today is the anniversary of the death of the English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. Alfred was the fourth of twelve children in his family, and he became one of the most well-loved Victorian poets. Today, Alfred’s walled garden on the Isle of Wight is still available for walk-throughs. Both Alfred’s home and the garden have been restored to their former glory, and the property gets top ratings on TripAdvisor. And, here's Tennyson’s most-quoted sentiment by gardeners: If I had a flower for every time I thought of you… I could walk through my garden forever. — Alfred Lord Tennyson, English poet November 19, 1895 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Landscape Architect Calvert Vaux ("Vox"), who died on this day in 1895. Calvert was born in England, but he came to the United States at the age of 24 to work on landscape projects with Andrew Jackson Downing. Together, they planned the grounds around the Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. After Downing's untimely death, Calvert named his second son Downing to honor his partner and friend. Calvert went on to work with many talented people during his career, including Jacob Weidenmann and George Radford. When Calvert Vaux came up with a public competition to design Central Park, he teamed up with Frederick Law Olmsted. While they worked on Central Park, Calvert coined the term “Landscape Architect” to describe what they were doing. Calvert said that his goal for Central Park was to, “translate democratic ideas into trees and dirt.” Since Frederick and Calvert worked so well together, they continued to work on joint park projects like Prospect Park in Brooklyn, South Park in Chicago, and the New York Reservation at Niagara Falls. In 1895, at the age of 70, Calvert was living with his son in Brooklyn. Calvert developed a morning walk ritual, and he often visited Prospect Park. On this day in 1895, the weather was foggy, and Calvert decided to walk the pier along Gravesend Bay. Two days later, after his kids reported him missing, newspapers shared this description: "Missing since Tuesday. Calvert Vaux... four feet ten inches; medium build; gray hair and full beard; ruddy complexion; wore a blue overcoat with velvet collar, blue trousers, dark mixed undercoat, no vest, black derby hat; wears gold-rimmed eyeglasses; shirt has a name on it." The following day, Calvert's body was found in Gravesend Bay. Like his dear friend Downing, Calvert had drowned. At the end of November, the Statesville Record And Landmark out of Statesville, North Carolina, ran a tribute to Calvert that read: "Calvert Vaux was… one of the most famous men in the world.... [He] created Central Park [and] people who have [visited it from] all over the world say that no park… is so beautiful. But, the Brooklyn folks say that… Prospect Park is handsomer. Yet that, too, was "created" by Calvert Vaux. [Calvert] soothed nature's rough places and... brightened her attractive features. In Prospect Park, nature left little for a man to do. But Central Park is almost wholly artificial, and it's beautiful vistas of hill and dale, lake and wood, are largely the work of [Calvert] Vaux.” November 19, 1934 On this day, the garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence wrote to her sister: “...The first of the week I picked the last of your red and yellow zinnias, just before the frost finished up everything. But Ithink gardens are just as pretty in winter. The winter grass is so fresh when you rake the leaves off the beds weeded and covered with compost, and ivy very green, and some sweet alyssum still in the path and that nice raked-up look and the air full of smoke and leaves falling. Nothing is so beautiful and sad as leaves falling. “ November 19, 1937 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Canadian botanist and writer Julia Wilmotte Henshaw. Remembered as one of British Columbia‘s leading botanists, Julia studied for a bit with the botanist Charles Schaefer and his wife, Mary Schaefer Warren. This was a happy working relationship by all accounts until Julia published Mountain Flowers of America in 1906. The Schaefers felt Julia had profited from their work and beat them to publish it. But other perspectives point out that Julia was more driven, and she was an experienced author. Over time, Julia went on to publish two additional volumes on Canadian wildflowers. A founding member of the Canadian Alpine Club, Julia had a regular column in the Vancouver Sun newspaper called The Note Book. Her peers at the paper called her “Gentle Julia.” Julia's weekly column is a delight to read even today and I tried to find some experts from her November columns. On November 28, 1934, Julia wrote: “A friend who walked through my garden yesterday and who had read in the "Note Book" last Friday the list of plants in bloom there, arrived at the house in an indignant mood and abraided me for omitting to say that the following flowers were also to be gathered: White California Poppy, Pink and Blue Larkspur, Large White Heath, Fuchsia, Thyme, Lobelia And Nasturtiums. Taken altogether, the garden is making a brave showing when one remembers that today is November 28. One thing I am sorry to note, all my best nasturtiums whose seeds should have Iain dormant till the spring, are already turned into little plants three inches high.” And here’s an excerpt from Julia's final column dated November 23, 1937 - just five days before her death: We have become so used to the "tame" mushrooms, grown in sheds and carefully reared for [year-round] sale, that October and November fail to any longer bring in their wake the old thrill of gathering wild mushrooms, the flavor of which so far surpasses that of the homegrown varieties, useful as the latter are in their steady procurableness. Fruits of the field have a flavor all their own, and one need not be a gourmet to appreciate the Wild Strawberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Crabapple, and for their own special purposes the Sloe, Hip-haw, Wine-berry and Grape. Have you ever read these delightful lines from the "Heart of New England"? Oddly fashioned, quaintly dyed, In the woods, the mushrooms hide; Rich and meaty, full of flavor, Made for man's delicious savor. But he shudders and he shrinks At the piquant mauves and pinks, Who is brave enough to dare Curious shapes and colors rare? But the toadstools bright and yellow Tempt and poison many a fellow,' Nay! a little mushroom study Would not injure anybody. Unearthed Words “Like a chain letter, I will take a plant from this garden to the next and from the next garden to the one after that, and so on, until someday I am an old woman nurturing along with a patchwork quilt of a garden, with cuttings and scraps from every garden I tended before.” – Amy Stewart, gardener, and writer, From the Ground Up Grow That Garden Library Mini Farming by Brett L. Markham This book came out in 2010, and the subtitle is Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre. Brett’s book is a #1 rated five-star bestseller on Amazon. His book is practical and evergreen with tips for how to, as Brett likes to say, “provide 85 percent of the food for a family of four and earn an income.” Brett covers garden basics like buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, and crop rotation. Brett also addresses self-sufﬁciency topics like raising backyard chickens and home canning. Brett is an engineer, a third-generation farmer, and a polymath in terms of his own experience. Brett runs a profitable, Certified Naturally Grown mini farm on less than half an acre in New Ipswich, New Hampshire. This book is 240 pages of DIY gardening and gardening for profit. I think it would make a wonderful gift for the holidays - especially if you need to find the perfect gift for someone interested in self-sufficiency. You can get a copy of Mini Farming by Brett L. Markham and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $7 Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart November 19, 1955 On this day, Autumn Leaves by Roger Williams reached the top spot on the music charts. Autumn Leaves was Roger’s most successful song and the first instrumental song to reach number 1 on the Billboard charts during the rock era. As a performer, Roger Williams was less flamboyant than Liberace. He was, however, a lifelong friend of Ronald Reagan. Roger played for so many presidents that he became known as the pianist to the presidents. For Roger’s 80th birthday, Steinway made a limited-edition, $285,000 golden piano. The piano features Roger’s signature and has an inscription: the lyrics and music for Autumn Leaves' first verse. The falling leaves drift by the window The autumn leaves of red and gold I see your lips, the summer kisses The sunburned hand I used to hold. Since you went away the days grow long And soon I'll hear old winter's song But I miss you most of all, my darling When autumn leaves start to fall. After today’s episode, you should treat yourself and ask Alexa or Google to: “Play Roger Williams Autumn Leaves.” The arpeggio-laden song conjures the quintessential image of Autumn: leaves letting go of the tree branches and falling to the ground. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener. And remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
20 minutes | 10 days ago
November 18, 2020 Winter Garden Plants, William Shenstone, Leo Lesquereux, Asa Gray, Beverley Nichols, The Kew Gardener's Guide to Growing House Plants by Kay Maguire, and Goldenrod
Today we celebrate the man who was a gardener and a poet and he inspired the trend toward the picturesque natural Landscape. We'll also learn about the Swiss botanist who specialized in mosses. We’ll remember the birthday of the Father of American botany. We’ll take a look back at a popular November fruit - I use it to make a traditional Thanksgiving salad. We salute November in the garden with wise words from a gardener and writer. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a beautiful book that will help you become a houseplant master. And then we’ll wrap things up with a little note about Goldenrod and Asters. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: a personal update from me garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more... Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News What to Plant in a Winter Garden | Seattle pi | Rita R. Robison Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 18, 1714 Today is the birthday of the poet and Landscape gardener William Shenstone, who was born on this day in 1714. In the early 1740s, William inherited his family's dairy farm, which he transformed into the Leasowes ("LEZ-zoes"). The transfer of ownership lit a fire under William, and he immediately started changing the land into a wild landscape - something he referred to as an ornamented farm. William wisely bucked the trend of his time, which called for formal garden design (he didn't have the money to do that anyway.) Yet, what William accomplished was quite extraordinary. His picturesque natural landscape included water features like cascades and pools, as well as structures like temples and ruins. What I love most about William is that he was a consummate host. He considered the comfort and perspective of the garden from the eye of his visitors when he created a walk around his estate. Wanting to control the experience, William added seating every so often along the path to cause folks to stop and admire the views that William found most appealing. Then, he incorporated signage and inscriptions with beautiful classical verses and poems - even adding some of his own - which elevated the Leasowes experience for guests. Today, a little bench at the Leasowes shares this verse from William: Here in cool grot, and mossy cell, We rural fays and fairies dwell. After his death, William’s garden became a popular destination - attracting the likes of William Pitt, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. One of the main reasons that we know so much about William Shenstone is thanks to his neighbor Henrietta (Lady Luxborough). After having an affair, Henrietta’s husband sent her to live in his ramshackle estate called Barrells. The experience was a revelation for her and Henrietta began to study landscape design. Even though he was 15 years younger than her, William mentored Henrietta and they corresponded about their landscapes and daily life. Over time, Henrietta began to do a complete landscape makeover at Barrells. And, she wrote to William: “I have made a garden which I am filling with all the flowering shrubs I can get… I have also made an aviary, and filled it with a variety of singing birds, and am now making a fountain in th e middle of it, and a grotto to sit [in] and hear them sing” November 18, 1806 Today is the birthday of a son of Switzerland, Charles Leo Lesquereux, ("le crew"), who was born on this day in 1806. Leo was born with a naturalist's heart. A self-described dreamer, Leo loved to go out into the forest, and he collected all kinds of flowers and specimens for his mother. Yet, when Leo was just seven years old, he fell off the top of a mountain. Leo was carried back to his home completely unconscious, with multiple injuries to his body as well as head trauma. Leo remained motionless and unconscious for two weeks. His survival was a miracle, yet the fall resulted in hearing loss that would eventually leave Leo utterly deaf by the time he was a young man. Despite the tragedy, nature still ruled Leo's heart. As Leo matured, he tried to provide for his family as a watchmaker. But, Leo found himself returning again and again to the outdoors. Eventually, Leo began to focus his efforts on peat bogs, and his early work protecting peat-bogs attracted the attention of Louis Agassiz of Harvard, who invited Leo to bring his family to America. When he arrived, Leo classified the plants that Agassiz had discovered on his expedition to Lake Superior. Then, on Christmas Eve, 1848, Asa Gray summoned Leo to help William Starling Sullivant. Gray predicted the collaboration would be successful and he wrote to his friend and fellow botanist John Torrey: "They will do up bryology at a great rate. Lesquereux says that the collection and library of Sullivant in muscology are Magnifique, superb, and the best he ever saw." Leo packed up his family and traveled to Columbus, Ohio, and settling near the bryologist, William Starling Sullivant. Bryology is the study of mosses. The root, bryōs, is a Greek verb meaning to swell and is the etymology of the word embryo. Bryology will be easier to remember if you think of the ability of moss to expand as it takes on water. Mosses suited Leo and William's strengths. Mosses require patience and close observation, scrupulous accuracy, and discrimination. Together, Leo and William wrote the book on American mosses. William funded the endeavor, and he generously allowed Leo to share in the proceeds. In 1873, Sullivant contracted pneumonia - ironically, an illness where your lungs fill or swell with fluid - and he died on April 30, 1873. Leo lived for another 16 years before dying at the age of 83. It was Leo Lesquereux who said, "My deafness cut me off from everything that lay outside of science. I have lived with Nature, the rocks, the trees, the flowers. They know me, I know them.” November 18, 1810 Today is the birthday of one of the leading American botanists of his time and a member of Team Darwin, Asa Gray, who was born on this day in 1810. In 1857, Asa Gray received a confidential letter from Charles Darwin. In the letter, Darwin confided: "I will enclose the briefest abstract of my notions on the means by which nature makes her species... [but] I ask you not to mention my doctrine." Asa encouraged his friend to publish his work post-haste. Two years later, Darwin revealed his concept of natural selection in his book, "On the Origin of Species." Early adopters of natural selection, like Asa Gray, helped to advance the march of all science. It was Asa Gray who said, “Natural selection is not the wind which propels the vessel, but the rudder - which, by friction, now on this side and now on that, shapes the course.” During his long tenure at Harvard, Asa established the science of botany and guided American botany into the international arena. He also co-authored 'Flora of North America' with John Torrey. And it was Asa Gray who said, “Faith in order, which is the basis of science, cannot reasonably be separated from faith in an Ordainer, which is the basis of religion.” November 18, 1843 Back in 1843, cranberries were causing a sensation in towns and cities around the country. The New England Farmer shared a charming update on the demand for the seasonal fruit, saying: "Cranberries. This pleasant fruit is now received in large quantities from the West. The crops in the East are… cut off in a great measure by frost; ...no doubt Michigan cranberries will be eaten in the very headquarters of cranberries: Barnstable, Massachusetts. We had no idea, until today, of the quantity sold in this city. But within a few days, one house on Front street sold 250 barrels of cranberries from Michigan, at $6 - $6.50 per barrel. [The demand is] more than they can supply. Of the same lot, 300 barrels, went over the western railroad to Boston, and were there sold as soon as received." Unearthed Words Most people, early in November, take last looks at their gardens and are then prepared to ignore them until the spring. I am quite sure that a garden doesn't like to be ignored like this. It doesn't like to be covered in dust sheets, as though it were an old room which you had shut up during the winter. Especially since a garden knows how gay and delightful it can be, even in the very frozen heart of the winter, if you only give it a chance. — Beverley Nichols, garden writer, and gardener Grow That Garden Library The Kew Gardener's Guide to Growing House Plants by Kay Maguire This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is The Art and Science to Grow your own House Plants. In this book, Kew guides today’s house plant gardener! If you feel like your houseplants are unhappy or if you feel you need a little upgrade to your houseplant know-how, this book is the solution. Kew shares insights into the plants that can handle neglect and the plants that need babying. Popular plants like cacti, succulents, and air plants are profiled. Kew also shares the houseplants that are prized for their flowers, foliage, fragrance, and even air-purifying abilities. Nurture your house plants and create a restorative escape using the tips and projects in this attractive guide. My favorite aspect of this book is the mix of botanical prints with modern photographs that share step-by-step instructions and inspiration. In addition to covering the basics of selecting, potting, general care, and feeding, Kay teaches you how to prune and propagate so you can make more plant babies. This book is 144 pages of beautiful advice and inspiration for houseplants and I think it would make a wonderful gift to accompany a little houseplant for someone in your life. You can get a copy of The Kew Gardener's Guide to Growing House Plants by Kay Maguire and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $2 Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart... November 18, 1881 On this day, Asa Gray received a letter from his botanical friend and colleague George Engelmann. Asa wrote him back in December: “My dear old Friend, It is shabby of me to wait so long in response to your kindly greetings, which were dated on my birthday, November 18. But I was very busy when it came, and hardly less so since, and so I let it get out of sight. Accumulated collections, [from] Lemmon, Parish, Cusick… have taken all my time up to now… And now I can think of getting at my “Flora” work again. First of all, I [need to finish] my manuscript for Solidago and Aster. Solidago ("sol-uh-DAY-go") I always find rather hopeful. Aster... is my utter despair! Still I can work my way through - except for the Rocky Mountain Pacific species. I will try them once more, though I see not how to limit species, and to describe specimens is endless and hopeless.” Since Asa’s lifetime, the Aster genus has been narrowed and now has around 180 species. Solidago’s are commonly called goldenrods and there are nearly 120 species of them in the Aster family. Finally here are two fun facts about Solidago or Goldenrod: Medicinally, Goldenrod is extremely effective for treating Urinary Tract Infection. Thomas Edison made his tires for a Model T, that was gifted to him by Henry Ford, using rubber extracted from the Goldenrod plant. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener, and remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
20 minutes | 11 days ago
November 17, 2020 Ten Ways to Rewild, Solway Moss, William Barton, William Caparne, Archibald Lampman, The Garden Chef by Phaidon Editors, and Queen Charlotte
Today we remember the momentous bursting of a peat bog in Scotland. We'll also learn about the botanist nephew of Benjamin Smith Barton. We’ll honor a British Iris enthusiast and painter. We salute the poet known as the Canadian Keats. We’ll Grow That Garden Library™ with a cookbook for gardeners. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of a Queen who helped expand Kew Gardens and was also a botanist in her own right. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: a personal update from me garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more. Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News 10 ways to rewild your outdoor space | Home & Gardens | Jennifer Ebert Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 17, 1771 On this day, heavy rains caused the ancient raised peat bog known as the Solway Moss to burst over its earthen banks and flow down into a valley and cover 400 acres of farmland. The next day, Solway Moss covered the surrounding land with 15 feet of thick feculent mud. Solway Moss was a one-by-two-mile-long moss land growing since the end of the last Ice Age. The raised bog was an estimated 50 feet higher than the surrounding farmland. The living surface of the Solway Moss was a unique mix of bog cotton, sphagnum, and heather. The porous soupy surface hosted a few shrubs and standing pools of water. But the rotting vegetation created a dangerous quagmire that no man or cattle would dare traverse throughout the year. Over two hundred years before the Solway Moss burst, the English and the Scots fought over the land surrounding the bog in the Battle of Solway Moss. After the English victory, hundreds of Scots drowned in the bog as they tried to return home by crossing the moss hillside. Like a sponge, peat expands to absorb moisture when it gets wet. And, during wet months like November of 1771, the peat swells, and in this case, the peat swelled until it bursts. The incredible event was recorded in a journal: "A farmer who lived nearest the moss was alarmed with an unusual noise. The crust had at once given way, and the black deluge was rolling toward his house. He gave notice to his neighbors with all expedition; others received no other advice but… by its noise, many by its entrance into their houses…. some were surprised with it even in their beds. [while some] remaining totally ignorant…until the morning when their neighbors with difficulty got them out through the roof. The eruption burst… like a cataract of thick ink... intermixed with great fragments of peat... filling the whole valley... leaving... tremendous heaps of turf.” November 17, 1786 Today is the birthday of the lawyer and medical botanist William Barton. William’s uncle was 18th-century preeminent medical botanist Benjamin Smith Barton, from whom he learned his passion for botany. In 1809 William enlisted in the Navy as a Surgeon and immediately fought to improve his fellow soldiers’ health. First, William tackled scurvy - the disease caused by a Vitamin C deficiency. William gave every sailor a lime or lemon. Thanks to William, permanent naval hospitals - complete with regulations and staff - popped up in port cities. And William was the first person to promote hiring female nurses to serve in naval hospitals. In terms of botany, William wrote his Vegetable Materia Medica (Medical Botany) of the United States in 1817. The book shared the botanical, general, and medical history of medicinal plants indigenous to the United States. In his book, William disputed false curative uses for plants. Specifically, William disputed alumroot or Heuchera americana as an effective cancer treatment, writing: "I do not believe that the Heuchera has cured genuine cancer: but… it has proven beneficial in [treating] some obstinate ulcers, which have been mistaken for cancer." William illustrated all the plants in his book, and his wife Esther colored many of his drawings. When his uncle Benjamin died in 1815, William assumed his post at the University of Pennsylvania. November 17, 1855 Today is the birthday of the botanical painter, plantsman, and iris enthusiast William James Caparne (“Cap-arn”). A close friend of the English daffodil grower Peter Barr, William made his way to Guernsey at midlife to become a full-time landscape and flower painter. When he wasn’t painting, William was busy plant breeding in his nursery. His favorite flower was Iris. Before Guernsey, William and Louisa lived with their two children in Northamptonshire. After Louisa died at age 46, William left his children with his in-laws and made his way to Guernsey's quiet and tranquil island. Guernsey was a balm to William Caparne. The soil and climate were perfect for growing bulbs like daffodils and iris. And his friend and fellow iris breeder, Sir Michael Foster, wrote a letter to William with some free advice about breeding. He advised, "In hybridizing, be bold.” Once William got established on Guernsey, he added an “e” to the end of his last name, and his daughter Winifred came to live with him. As his confidence grew, William went on painting expeditions, where he painted gardens all across Europe. In 1905, William found himself in the company of Monet at Giverny. Together William and Monet shared a love of flowers and painting - although they each had a slightly different chicken or the egg philosophy. Monet explained, “I became an artist because of flowers.” William reasoned, “There could never be art without flowers.” By the time William died in 1940, he was impoverished and almost blind. Still, William had introduced over two hundred new irises through his breeding efforts at his nursery. And William left his remarkable art collection of nearly 8,000 pieces of botanical mastery to Winifred. In 2005, Guernsey commemorated William Caperne with a stamp series featuring his beautiful floral paintings. Today the Caperne-Welch Medal is given to honor a Caperne specialty: new miniature dwarf bearded irises. Unearthed Words November 17, 1861 Today is the birthday of the Canadian poet and naturalist Archibald Lampman. Archibald loved camping and the countryside. The natural world inspired his verse, and he became known as “The Canadian Keats.” Due to suffering from rheumatic fever in his childhood, Archibald’s life was cut short, and he died at 37. Archibald is buried at Beechwood Cemetery, in Ottawa and a plaque near his grave is inscribed with his poem "In November.” The leafless forests slowly yield To the thick-driving snow. A little while And night shall darken down. In shouting file The woodmen's carts go by me homeward-wheeled, Past the thin fading stubbles, half concealed, Where the last plowman follows still his row, Turning black furrows through the whitening field. Far off the village lamps begin to gleam, Fast drives the snow, and no man comes this way; The hills grow wintry white, and bleak winds moan About the naked uplands. I alone Am neither sad, nor shelterless, nor gray, Wrapped round with thought, content to watch, and dream. — Archibald Lampman, Canadian poet, and naturalist, In November Grow That Garden Library The Garden Chef by Phaidon Editors and Jeremy Fox This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is Recipes and Stories from Plant to Plate. In this book, we get to go to the gardens of the world's leading restaurants, and then, we get access to more than 100 garden-inspired recipes. The forty chefs featured in this brilliant cookbook view their gardens as a direct extension of their kitchens. Now, what I love about this cookbook is seeing how vegetables are grown and used by top chefs from around the world. Even then, I have to say that the gardens and the dishes don’t seem like a stretch for the average home gardener. Plot-to-plate cooking has never been so beautifully photographed. Plus, the chefs share their hints and tips on growing or using the produce, making this cookbook a font of inspiration. This book is 256 pages of garden-to-fork inspiration, and I think it would make a wonderful gift for the holidays. You can get a copy of The Garden Chef by Phaidon Editors and Jeremy Fox and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $13 Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart November 17, 1818 Today is the anniversary of the death of the woman who was a patroness of the arts, an amateur botanist, a champion of Kew Gardens, and the wife of George III, Queen Charlotte. In addition to the astounding fact that Charlotte gave birth to 15 children, she was a fascinating royal. Born in Mecklenburg-Strelitz in Germany, Charlotte was the first person in England to bring a Christmas tree indoors to celebrate the holiday season. In December 1800, Charlotte selected a yew which was brought inside Windsor Castle and festively decorated. Charlotte brought the idea for the Christmas tree from her home country of Germany. George and Charlotte both loved botany. After his mother’s death, George gained control of Kew and Charlotte set about expanding Kew Gardens. On the property, Charlotte had a little cottage installed along with a rustic cottage garden. Her daughter Elizabeth is likely the person who painted the attic room ceiling with nasturtium and morning glory. It's very sweet. Charlotte was quite serious in her pursuit of botany. She collected plants, and she had a personal herbarium to help with her studies. The President of the Linnean Society, Sir James Edward Smith, personally tutored Charlotte in botany, along with her four daughters. And, George and Charlotte both became close friends with the botanical tissue paper artist Mary Delaney. And in a touching gesture, at the end of Mary’s life, George and Charlotte gave her a house at Windsor along with a pension. When plant hunters in South Africa discovered the Bird of Paradise flower, it was sent to England and named for Charlotte’s birthplace, Strelitz. The botanical name for the Bird of Paradise is Strelitzia reginae "stray-LIT-zee-ah REJ-in-ee.” The early part of Charlotte’s reign occurred before the American Revolution, which is why so many American locations were named in Charlotte’s honor. There are eleven cities named Charlotte, with the most famous being Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s no wonder that Charlotte, North Carolina, has the nickname “The Queen’s City,” and there’s a 25-foot tall bronze statue of Charlotte outside the Charlotte airport. And, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina and Virginia are both named for Charlotte’s homeplace in Germany: Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Charlotte died at the age of 74 at the smallest English royal palace, Kew Palace, at Kew Gardens. She had reigned for 57 years. Today, gardeners love the Japanese Anemone Queen Charlotte. It’s the perfect plant for adding late color to the garden with light pink petals and golden-yellow centers. And it's really, really beautiful. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener, and remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
21 minutes | 12 days ago
November 16, 2020 Denys Zirngiebel, Joseph Henry Maiden, Albert Francis Blakeslee, Donald Peattie, The Gardens of Bunny Mellon by Linda Jane Holden, and Elizabeth Fox
Today we celebrate the man known as the “Pansy King.” We'll also learn about the Anglo-Australian botanist who first described much of the Eucalyptus genus. We remember the American botanist who had a favorite plant he liked to use in the study of heredity - and it wasn't peas. We salute one of America’s most popular naturalists. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about one of my favorite gardeners, and ironically, she went by the name Bunny. And then we’ll wrap things up with the woman who introduced the Dahlia to England. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: a personal update from me garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show and more. Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News Revisiting Garden Dreams | The Daily Gardener Yes, I'd love to have a garden of my own — spacious and full of everything that is fragrant and flowering. But if I don't succeed, never mind — I've still got the dream. — Ruskin Bond, Indian writer, children's author, and novelist, Rain in the Mountains: Notes from the Himalayas Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 16, 1964 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Swiss-born naturalist, florist, and plant breeder Denys Zirngiebel. After marrying his wife Henrietta, the Denys immigrated to America. Once he established a home in Needham, Massachusetts, Denys sent for his wife and little boy. Denys and Henrietta had four children. Their only daughter (also named Henriette) married Andrew Newell Wyeth, and their son was NC Wyeth, the Realistic Painter. During the 1860s, Denys worked for the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University. After purchasing a 35-acre tract of land along the Charles River in Needham, Denys started his floral business. An excellent businessman, Denys expertly marketed his inventory. Each week, Denys shipped flowers to both the White House and the State Department. In a nod to his Swiss heritage, Denys was the first person in America to cultivate the Giant Swiss Pansy successfully. Denys’s Needham nursery grew so many Giant Swiss Pansies that the town adopted the flower as their floral emblem, and Denys became known as the “Pansy King.” November 16, 1925 Today is the anniversary of the death of the botanist Joseph Henry Maiden. 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 made a significant contribution 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, which is the first day of spring, also known as Wattle Day or Acacia Day. In Australia, the Wattle is a common name for Acacia. After appreciating 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. November 16, 1954 Today is the anniversary of the death of the prominent American botanist and geneticist Albert Francis Blakeslee. For his doctoral dissertation, Albert revealed incredible new facts about bread molds: bread molds can be male or female, and bread molds have sex. In 1937, Albert proved that colchicine caused chromosomes to double in plant cells, causing an outcome known as polyploidy. For plant breeders, polyploidy results in increased plant vigor and overall superiority. In addition to his work with fungi and colchicine, Albert studied the genetics of weeds. Albert was especially fond of the very poisonous and rank-smelling Jimsonweed plant or Datura stramonium (“duh-too-ruh stra-MO-nee-um"). One of Albert’s friends once remarked that Albert had two great loves — his wife Margaret and Datura, and in that order. Datura is commonly called the thorn apple or the devil’s apples, which gives a clue to Datura as a nightshade plant since nightshades were historically thought to be evil. The American lyrical poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay threw some shade at Datura in her poem “In the Grave No Flowers," writing: Here the rank-smelling Thorn-apple,—and who Would plant this by his dwelling? Well, Edna’s verse upset Albert, and he sent her a letter: "I thought I would write to you, and … answer... your question by saying that I would plant this by my dwelling and have done so for the last thirty years rather extensively. It turns out that this plant (Datura stramonium) is perhaps the very best plant with which to discover principles of heredity." A highly invasive plant, the Algonquin Indians and other ancient peoples regarded Datura as a shamanistic plant and smoked it to induce intoxication and hallucinations or visions. The name Datura is from an early Sanskrit word meaning “divine inebriation.” Now Datura's common name, Jimsonweed, is derived from Jamestown’s colonial settlement, where British soldiers were given a salad made with boiled “Jamestown weed” or Jimsonweed. For days after eating the greens, instead of quelling the colonial uprising known as the Bacon rebellion, the British soldiers turned fools, blowing feathers in the air, running about naked, and acting entirely out of their minds. Unearthed Words November 16, 1964 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Harvard botanist, Naturalist, Washington Post nature columnist, and author, Donald Culross Peattie, who died at 66. During his lifetime, Donald Peattie was regarded as the most read nature writer in America. Donald had an older brother named Roderick, who was a geographer and an essayist. Of his younger brother Donald, Roderick once wrote: “My young brother Donald was very skinny and quite philosophical. He took every faith but theosophy. He had a wonderful memory and a love of beauty, which still marks his life. Doubtless, he was a genius, but I thought him a pest.” Here are some quotes by Donald Culross Peattie: Winter is a study in halftones, and one must have an eye for them or go lonely. — Donald Peattie, American botanist, naturalist, and author, An Almanac for Moderns, 1935 Limber Pines have a way of growing in dramatic places, taking picturesque attitudes, and getting themselves photographed, written about, and cared for... — Donald Peattie, American botanist, naturalist, and author A hummingbird is a feathered prism, a living rainbow; it captures the very sunlight. — Donald Peattie, American botanist, naturalist, and author If the Oak is King of Trees, then the White Oak is King of Kings. — Donald Peattie, American botanist, naturalist, and author Grow That Garden Library The Gardens of Bunny Mellon by Linda Jane Holden This book came out in 2018, and it is absolutely gorgeous and should be; every page is Bunny Mellon. When she was alive, Rachel “Bunny” Mellon’s greatest love was garden design. Her husband, Paul Mellon, was one of America’s wealthiest men. Together, Bunny and Paul maintained five homes in New York, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Antigua, and Upperville, Virginia. In addition to designing the gardens for all of her homes, Bunny designed gardens for some of her closest friends, including the Rose Garden and the East Garden at the White House and the home of Hubert de Givenchy. These gardens are all featured in Linda’s beautiful book. In the book, Linda thoughtfully includes Bunny’s garden plans, sketches, and watercolors (which I found fascinating) along with old photographs of Oak Spring, the Mellon estate in Upperville. And Linda had the gift of conducting extensive interviews with Bunny before she died in 2014, which gives her book an increased feeling of insight and authenticity. This book is 308 pages of Bunny Mellon and her Gardens, and it really belongs in any serious garden library. You can get a copy of The Gardens of Bunny Mellon by Linda Jane Holden and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $35 Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart November 16, 1845 Today is the anniversary of the death of the English political hostess and flower lover Elizabeth Fox, also known as Baroness Holland. When she was 15, Elizabeth married Sir Godfrey Webster, who was 20 years her senior. After having five children in six years, Elizabeth began an affair with a Whig politician named Henry Fox, the 3rd Baron Holland, and she even had a child by him. Two days after divorcing Godfrey, Elizabeth quickly married Henry, and together they had six more children. A domineering woman to her husband and her children, and a zealous socialite, Elizabeth is remembered for introducing the Dahlia to England. In 1804, the botanist Antonio José Cavanilles ("Cah-vah-nee-yes") gave seed from the Dahlia pinnata to Elizabeth during her trip to Madrid’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Once she returned to England, Elizabeth’s dahlia was successfully cultivated in her gardens at Holland House. Twenty years after Elizabeth brought the Dahlia to England, her husband Henry included these words in a little love note: “The dahlia you brought to our isle Your praises forever shall speak; Mid gardens as sweet as your smile, And in color as bright as your cheek." Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener, and remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
18 minutes | 15 days ago
November 13, 2020 Frederick Lueders, Walter Bartlett, Howard Scott Gentry, Jane Powers, Candace Bushnell, Jeff Cox, P. Allen Smith's Seasonal Recipes from the Garden, and the 1916 Chrysanthemum Show
Today we celebrate the German-American botanist who lost all of his botanical work in the Columbia River. We'll also learn about the man who started the Bartlett Arboretum. We’ll remember the Agave expert who never wanted a desk job. And we’ll take a look back at an article about the relationship between royalty and the number of plants they owned. We’ll hear some inspiring quotes about the garden and the first snow. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a cookbook for gardeners by an American garden celebrity. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of a 1916 Chrysanthemum Show. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News Trees Are Time Machines | The Atlantic | Clive Thompson Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 13, 1843 Today is the anniversary of the day that the German botanist, Frederick Lueders, lost all of his botanical work. Frederick had been botanizing along the Columbia River in Oregon. For three years, Frederick had collected specimens across North America. He had just encountered the explorer John Freemont, when all of his work, which was secured in a canoe nearby, was drawn into the rapids. Frederick plunged into the river and retrieved his copy of The Flora by Torrey and Gray. The devastating loss was recorded in Freemont's journal who wrote: "In the natural concern I felt for his misfortune, I gave to the little cove the name of Lueders' Bay." For Frederick’s part, the loss of his specimens was devastating. The loss of his instruments and his correspondence with Asa Gray and Dr. Englemann was almost too much for him. Frederick determined his best course of action was to return home. He traveled south around the tip of Chile and then onto England. It took him a full year to get back to Hamburg after his mishap on the Columbia. Frederick didn't stay in Germany long; he returned to America within the next year. By 1851, he had made his way to Wisconsin; he spent the rest of his life in Sauk City, and he dabbled in astronomy, but he also became a florist. A biographical sketch said that in his old age, Frederick Lueders was mainly devoted to his flowers. November 13, 1870 Today is the birthday of the physician, naturalist, and civic leader of the south-central Kansas town of Belle Plaine - Dr. Walter E. Bartlett. In 1910, Walter started the Bartlett Arboretum by purchasing 15 acres of land on the edge of a town called Belle Plaine - about 20 miles south of Wichita. The property had good soil, and it also had a little creek. One of Walter's initial moves was to dam up the creek and create a lake for waterfowl. In the flat expanse of Kansas, Walter was tree obsessed. He planted them everywhere - lining walkways, drives, and riverbanks. Walter was civic-minded. He enhanced the arboretum with a running track, a trap shooting area, and a baseball diamond complete with a grandstand. After Walter died, the park was managed by his landscape architect son, Glenn. Glenn had studied the gardens at Versailles - noting that they were transformed out of sand dunes and marshes. Back home, the Bartlett Arboretum had similar challenges. Glenn married Margaret Myers, an artist, a magazine fashion designer, a floral designer, a Garden Club organizer, and an instructor. Combining their fantastic skillsets, Glenn and Margaret turned the Arboretum into something quite beautiful. Together, they Incorporated tree specimens from all over the world. Using dredged dirt from the lake, they created man-made islands. At one point, the Bartlett Arboretum was the only Arboretum between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. Known for its beautiful spring tradition called Tulip Time, the Arboretum featured a tulip bed with over 40,000 bulbs. In 1997, the Arboretum was sold to Robin Macy. Macy was one of the founding members of the Dixie Chicks, and she is the current steward of the Bartlett Arboretum. Naturally, Robin incorporated music into the Arboretum. The Facebook Group for the Arboretum recently shared a register page from April 7th, 1929, and across the top of the register, Walter Bartlett quoted Wordsworth. He wrote, “He is the happiest who has the power to gather wisdom from a flower.” If you get the chance to visit the Arboretum, you’ll likely agree that the folks who tend the flowers and trees at Bartlett make people happy all year long. November 13, 1982 On this day newspaper shared a great story about the author of "Agaves of Continental North America," Howard Scott Gentry: "This elder statesman of the botanical world [is] a first-class charmer when you get .... to his subject;... his love for the wilds of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico, ...the years he spent overseas as an agricultural explorer for the USDA, and how he gradually came to know more about agaves "than any other human being." After Gentry completed a doctorate in botany at the University of Michigan, he became a USDA agricultural explorer. Based in Maryland, Gentry traveled the world, locating, researching, and collecting plants for the government. During the time Gentry collected, the USDA was highly interested in plants in the agave family and the wild yam family, which contained compounds that seemed useful in treating arthritis. Because of his far-flung collecting (he traveled in 24 foreign countries), Gentry was regularly introducing (and writing about) new plants. It was high-profile work in the botanical community. Regarding his career, Gentry reflected: "I refused several times to become a desk man for USDA. It was a chance to cut out all the travel, but I told them, 'No, not me. I want to work with plants, not people. People are problems." November 13, 2010 It was on this day that Jane Powers wrote an excellent botanical history piece for the Irish Times. I especially loved this article because Jane correlated the number of bedding plants a person ordered during the middle of the 19th century and their corresponding personal wealth. Here's what Jane wrote: “In the heyday of bedding, the number of plants that a person displayed was a gauge of their wealth and status. According to the head gardener at the Rothschild estate at Halton in Buckinghamshire: it was 10,000 plants for a squire, 20,000 plants for a baronet, 30,000 plants for an earl, and 40,000 plants for a duke.” Unearthed Words Thank goodness for the first snow. It was a reminder--no matter how old you became and how much you'd seen, things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered. —Candace Bushnell, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sex and the City A garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature. —Jeff Cox, American garden writer Grow That Garden Library P. Allen Smith's Seasonal Recipes from the Garden by P. Allen Smith This book came out in 2010, and the subtitle is A Garden Home Cookbook. I fell in love with Allen’s cookbook the minute I discovered that he makes his pie crust the same way my mom taught me to make my pie crust. That little connection won my trust. As one of America’s best-known gardeners and garden designers, Allen celebrates every season with reliable recipes that showcase fruits, vegetables, and herbs at their garden-fresh best. Allen’s debut cookbook features 120 recipes: 30 for each season. There’s nothing outlandish or off-the-charts difficult here. Allen’s appeal is that he focuses on the dishes that everyone loves to eat. My favorites include: Chilled Pea Soup with Bacon and Whipped Cream Salad of Asparagus, Edamame, Arugula, and Cheese Radish Top Pasta Aunt Martha’s Corn Pudding Rosemary-Garlic Smoked Pork Tenderloin Parmesan Pecan Crisps Roasted Red Pepper Soup Slow-Cooker Lamb Stew Savory Rosemary Butternut Squash Tiny Orange Muffins Another aspect of this cookbook that I love is that Allen shares delightful personal stories with every recipe. This book is 256 pages of easy-going recipes that utilize the goodness from our gardens and will make you feel like you’re cooking with a trusted garden friend. You can get a copy of P. Allen Smith's Seasonal Recipes from the Garden by P. Allen Smith and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $4. Today’s Botanic Spark November 13, 1916 On this day, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shared a sweet little article about the 16th annual chrysanthemum flower show in Washington DC. Now, one of the guards at the show, who had been repeating, "Keep to the right! "Keep to the right!" all morning to the mass of visitors streaming into the greenhouse was interviewed for this article. And he made some fascinating comments about the show, like this one: "If you ever get the idea that people aren't interested in flowers, just give a flower show.” After careless guests damaged some of the specimens, the guard wryly observed, "Sometimes people take entirely too much interest in flowers. If you don't watch them, they will break them off and take them home as souvenirs!" During the early 1900s, chrysanthemum shows were held annually in most large cities throughout the country. Regarding the DC show, the Pittsburgh Post reported: “The question everybody asks, pointing to a big white "Queen Mary" or a small lavender pompon is: Where can I buy seeds of such varieties as this? At the show, over 250 varieties of chrysanthemums were exhibited... The whole greenhouse was a riot of color, with yellow and lavender predominating. Interest in chrysanthemums is increasing every year. National shows have been held every season for the last 16 years, but there has never been such large attendance before." Great post. Wish we could turn back time...
21 minutes | 16 days ago
November 12, 2020 Arthur Shurcliff, Gilbert Campbell, Mavis Batey, Hyacinth by Saadi, The Seed Garden by Lee Buttala, Shanyn Siegel, and Henry Clay Mitchell
Today we celebrate the Landscape Architect who had an affinity for boxwoods. We'll also learn about a passionate orchidologist who shared some advice back in 1972. We salute the English WWII code breaker who became a one-woman force for garden conservation and restoration. We’ll hear a verse about the Hyacinth - one of my favorite spring bulbs… so fragrant! We Grow That Garden Library™ with an indispensable book about saving seeds. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of a Washington gardener whose garden advice was relatable, gentlemanly, and humorous. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Curated News Want a 20-second distraction from 2020? Here are some mesmerizing pictures from 1800s seed catalogs | Massive Science | Max G. Levy Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community where you’d search for a friend and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 12, 1957 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Landscape Architect Arthur Shurcliff. After receiving his degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, Arthur discovered the field of Landscape Architecture. Although the field was beginning to take off thanks to the Olmsteds, Charles Eliot, and the Chicago World's Fair, there were no formal degree programs for the field. As a result, Arthur cobbled together his own curriculum at the Lawrence School of Science at Harvard. All his life, Arthur had a lifelong love for the outdoors. He especially enjoyed camping, canoeing, scenery, and sketching. Looking back on his pursuit of Landscape Architecture, Arthur reflected, "All led me away from mechanics toward scenery, toward planning and construction for the scenes of daily life..." In terms of his career, Arthur will forever be remembered for the work he did at Colonial Williamsburg. The project at Williamsburg was funded by John D. Rockefeller and the mission was a total community restoration. The scope was enormous. Arthur had over 30 years of experience when he started work on the project on St. Patrick's Day in 1928. In addition to his Landscape Architecture skills; Arthur leveraged his training in engineering, his meticulousness, and his personal energy, and charm. It wasn't just the buildings that needed restoration; it was the land, the paths, the streets, the gardens, and green spaces. Arthur wrote about his daily quest to uncover the past. One entry said: “Wednesday morning saw me in the old-fashioned gardens in the heart of the town. These old places… now gone to decay are filled with a kind of golden glory which is lacking in the new gardens. The old lattice trellises, ruined box hedges, and even the weed-grown paths seem to have the glamor of the sunshine from the olden days.” Every aspect of the town was fully researched. When it came to garden plans and plant selection, Arthur insisted that authenticity was paramount. For example, Arthur’s team actually searched for original fence-post holes to determine the colonially-accurate backyard. It’s no wonder that it took Arthur 13 years to finish the project. Arthur’s signature plant was the boxwood which he called Box for short. Williamsburg required boatloads of Box and Arthur wrote, “In replanting Williamsburg places much use should be made of Box… even allowing it to dominate the parterres and bed traceries… Generous use of Box in this manner [will define the] display and [help with the] upkeep of flowers especially in the dry season...” Arthur’s passion could get the best of him. The woman who lived at the St. George Tucker House, wrote this entry in her diary in January 1931: “Today I was asked to go over the yard with Mr. Arthur Shurcliff… I found him a very alarming person! Somehow the idea of changing the yard and garden is much more repellent to me than changing the house, and this is such a terribly enthusiastic man!” And, when Arthur returned in May, she wrote, “[He came] down like a wolf on the fold again today. He rushed in and out... with charts and plans for all sorts of alarming ‘landscapes’ in our yard. He has boxwood on the brain.” Luckily for Arthur, his charm counteracted any hesitance caused by his exuberance. When Colonial Williamsburg was revealed to the public in 1934, Arthur’s Colonial Revival style gardens — complete boxwood — caused a sensation. Soon, Revival Garden design appeared in suburbs all across America. Once the restoration was complete, Arthur Shurcliff had redefined Williamsburg. By reclaiming the past, Colonial Williamsburg found a path forward. And, thanks to Arthur’s incredible efforts, Revival Garden design took its place in 20th Century Landscape Architecture. November 12, 1972 On this day The Greenville News shared an article called Orchidist Finds Hobby Versatile. The orchidologist was Gilbert L. Campbell. During six years of collecting, Gilbert amassed more than 300 plants - in addition to a library of orchid reference materials. Orchid lovers can grow orchids all year long indoors in their homes. When Gilbert’s passion outgrew his house, he built a greenhouse and in a short time, he built a second greenhouse. Gilbert said, "Some orchidologists do grow their flowers in their homes... [but I advise against it. Growing an orchid is like being a fisherman. 'Some fishermen may be content to sit on the bank and fish, but most want to get out in a boat on the lake. It's a lot easier to grow orchids in a greenhouse [due to temperature and humidity control]. ” As for why Gilbert had two greenhouses, his answer was simple: the cool greenhouse was for cymbidium orchids and the “medium” temp house was for the cattleyas. To show how significant the role temperature plays in growing orchids, the difference in temp between Gilbert’s two greenhouses was about 10 degrees. Gilbert reported that, “A medium house has a minimum temperature of 55 to 60 degrees and a cool house has a minimum of 45-50 degrees.” Finally, Gilbert advises plenty of fresh air. Gilbert’s orchids are moved outside in summer and on balmy days throughout the winter. Gilbert says: "Orchids, like people, do best in a spring-like fresh-feeling atmosphere… Beginners should start with a few mature plants. Orchids like dry roots, so they should be watered thoroughly, then allowed to dry out." November 12, 2013 Today is the anniversary of the death of the World War II hero and garden historian and restorer extraordinaire Mavis Batey, who died at the age of 92. Mavis broke the German Enigma code, which allowed the Allied forces to stage their D-Day invasion. In the back half of her life, Mavis became a champion for forgotten, yet historically significant, English gardens. She also became a garden historian and writer, writing books on Jane Austen and Alexander Pope. In 1955, Mavis and her code-breaker husband Keith settled on a farm in Surrey. The property 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 a 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 like the Garden History Society, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, and English Heritage’s Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. 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. Unearthed Words If you plant spring bulbs, I hope you remember to include hyacinths. The hyacinth is in the asparagus (Asparagaceae) family. Native to the Eastern Mediterranean, they grow throughout Asia Minor, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. Nowadays, the hyacinth is mainly grown in Holland. If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft, And of thy meager store, Two loaves alone to thee are left, Sell one, and with the dole Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul. — Saadi, Persian Sufi poet, in Gulistan (The Rose Garden), 1258 Grow That Garden Library The Seed Garden by Lee Buttala, Shanyn Siegel, et al. This book came out in 2015, and the subtitle is The Art and Practice of Seed Saving. The Seed Garden won the American Horticultural Society Award for Excellence In Garden Book Publishing and it is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to save seed that is true-to-type and ready to sow in next year’s garden. This comprehensive book is a collaboration between the esteemed Seed Savers Exchange and the Organic Seed Alliance. Readers will learn the invaluable tradition of saving seeds for more than seventy-five best-loved vegetable and herb crops―from heirloom tomatoes and beans to lettuces, cabbages, peppers, and grains. I love the photos in this book - they are beautiful and relatable. The plant profiles are nicely laid out and the seed saving instructions are crystal clear - providing a thorough master class level presentation of the art, the science, and the joy of saving seeds. This book is 350 pages of indispensable and clearly written advice for growing plants and saving seed - and it’s a beautifully illustrated resource to boot. You can get a copy of The Seed Garden by Lee Buttala, Shanyn Siegel, et al. and support the show, using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $22. Today’s Botanic Spark November 12, 1993 Today is the anniversary of the death of Washington Post columnist and gardener Henry Clay Mitchell. Henry wrote mainly about gardening and miscellaneous aspects of his daily Washington life. Pragmatic and humorous, Henry’s garden advice struck a chord with his readers. His weekly garden advice was compiled into two bestsellers named after his column Earthman. A southerner and a gentleman, Henry found tranquility and restoration in his garden. Like most of us gardeners, Henry had his favorites. Of the Japanese Iris, Henry wrote, “[It’s] a fine flower for anybody who thinks nothing can be too gaudy, too overstated, too imperial. I have known rednecks who adored it.” A dog lover, Henry recognized his garden didn’t exist in a bubble but was fully part of the natural world. Henry reflected, “Squirrels eat a lot of bulbs -- they are in heaven when they find the cyclamen and crocuses -- but they keep the garden interesting for the family dog... And besides, the squirrels are more attractive than the cyclamen probably would have been anyway." And, Henry's obituary in the Washington Post shared his love of gardening: “Gardening was a part of his life almost from the time he was born. When he was a small boy, he would pick up autumn leaves or pluck the petals from tiger lilies and admire them when his mother took him walking. He had a garden from the time he was old enough to work in it. He could rattle off the Latin names of perhaps 3,000 plants. He said, he learned about gardening because he was "passionately fond of flowers." The failure of such projects as grafting a carnation onto a prickly pear cactus left him undaunted.” And, if you have a steadfast love your garden - warts and all - you’ll feel a kinship with these words by Henry from his 1992 book One Man's Garden: It is agreeable to waddle about in one's own paradise, knowing that thousands of others have better gardens with better thises and thats, and better grown too, and no weeds at all… To know this and grin as complacently as a terrier who just got into the deviled eggs, and to reflect that there is no garden in England or France I envy, and not one I'd swap for mine: this is the aim of gardening — not to make us complacent idiots, exactly, but to make us content and calm for a time, with sufficient energy (even after bitter wars with bindweed) to feel an awestruck thanks to God that such happiness can exist. For a few days, of course.
16 minutes | 17 days ago
November 11, 2020 Jean-Baptiste Van Mons, Elizabeth Coleman White, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Galileo, Foraged Flora by Louesa Roebuck and Sarah Lonsdale, and Nathaniel Wallich
Today we celebrate a botanist who gave us one of my favorite quotes about plant breeding. We'll also remember the fantastically driven woman who dreamed of providing blueberries to the nation… and her dream came true. We review some words about November by Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series, as well as a charming quote about the sun by Galileo. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book on floral arranging with foraged cuttings that’s both artistic and modern. And then we’ll wrap things up with a fascinating letter from a Danish botanist working in Calcutta. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org. Curated News How to Grow Dahlias | Hunker | Victoria Lee Blackstone Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 11, 1765 Today is the birthday of the Belgian physicist, chemist, botanist, horticulturist, and pomologist, Jean-Baptiste Van Mons. The name of the game for Jean-Baptiste was selective breeding for pears. Selective breeding happens when humans breed plants to develop particular characteristics by choosing the parent plants to make the offspring. Check out the patience and endurance that was required as Jean-Baptiste Van Mon's described his work: “I have found this art to consist in regenerating in a direct line of descent, and as rapidly as possible an improving variety, taking care that there be no interval between the generations. To sow, to re-sow, to sow again, to sow perpetually, in short, to do nothing but sow, is the practice to be pursued, and which cannot be departed from; and this is the whole secret of the art I have employed.” Jean-Baptiste Van Mons produced a tremendous amount of new pear cultivars in his breeding program - something north of forty incredible species throughout his lifetime. The Bosc and D'Anjou pears we know today are his legacies. November 11, 1954 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Queen of Blueberries, Elizabeth Coleman White. Elizabeth grew up on her dad's Cranberry Farm in the Pine Barrens of Burlington County, New Jersey. When she was a little girl, Elizabeth would take walks to pick wild blueberries - you couldn’t buy blueberries in stores. Over time, Elizabeth began to wonder about cultivating blueberries as a crop. Keeping her family’s cranberry farm in mind, she figured blueberries would make the perfect offseason crop. Also, cranberries and blueberries both grow in highly acidic soil. To get started, Elizabeth asked local blueberry pickers to bring her the plants with the biggest berries, and then Elizabeth would transplant them into her father's field. She wrote: "I used to call them swamp huckleberries and thought [a blueberry] half-inch diameter - huge. They grew luxuriantly on the margins of our cranberry bogs, and as a girl, I used to… dream of a field full of [blueberry] bushes... I knew it was a wild dream." In 1910, the chief botanist at the USDA, Frederick Colville, was also working on blueberries at his summer home in New Hampshire. When Elizabeth read about his efforts, she reached out, and the two worked out a deal: Elizabeth would grow the berries, and Frederick would perfect the science. Elizabeth and Frederick successfully crossbred the largest New Jersey blueberries with the largest New Hampshire blueberries, and the rest, as they say, is history. Elizabeth said, "My old dream was but a faint shadowing of the possibilities. Now I dream of cultivated blueberries shipped by the trainload, - blueberry specials - to every part of the country. “ It took Elizabeth five years to develop the first blueberry crop. Elizabeth’s success increased the value of the New Jersey pine districts around her farm from 50 cents an acre to $500 an acre. Elizabeth’s first harvest yielded 21 bushels of berries and netted $114. Today the US grows nearly 700 million pounds of cultivated wild blueberries, and the annual revenue is around $80 million. Elizabeth was very creative. After noticing how the Whitman chocolate Company packaged their chocolates, Elizabeth came up with the idea to use cellophane to protect and market her blueberries. The cellophane made it possible for people to see her blueberries - right through the packaging. And Whitman's ended up partnering with Elizabeth helping her source cellophane she needed from France. Finally, here's a little known fact about Elizabeth Coleman White: she was a champion of native plants. After she successfully fought to save the American holly, Elizabeth Coleman White helped found the Holly Society of America in 1947. Unearthed Words November is usually such a disagreeable month…as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it. This year is growing old gracefully…just like a stately old lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We’ve had lovely days and delicious twilights. ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Canadian writer and author of the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne of Avonlea The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. —Galileo, Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer, mathematician, and philosopher Grow That Garden Library Foraged Flora by Louesa Roebuck and Sarah Lonsdale This book came out in 2016, and the subtitle is A Year of Gathering and Arranging Wild Plants and Flowers. An artist and floral designer, Louesa Roebuck lives in Ojai and has created flora installations from foraged and gleaned materials for clients like Vivienne Westwood, John Baldessari, and Alice Waters. Just flipping through Foraged Flora conveys the striking skill and intuition that Louesa brings to floral work. What I love about studying a Louesa Roebuck piece is how she deftly accomplishes each step in the process. Louesa is a master forager, and her artistic eye guides every stem and flower. In this book, Louesa shares a modern twist on flower arranging, and I love that she narrows her palette to locally foraged plants and flowers. Her creations are on a spectrum from humble to showpiece. Louesa lets aspects of her environment play along in her work - leveraging materials in season, plants at every stage of their development, and paying close attention to rockstar natives. This book is 272 pages of authentic foraged beauty that can be found no matter where you hang your hat. You can get a copy of Foraged Flora by Louesa Roebuck and Sarah Lonsdale and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $15 Today’s Botanic Spark November 11, 1828 On this day, the Danish surgeon and botanist Nathaniel Wallich wrote William Jackson Hooker at Kew in London. Nathaniel served as the Superintendent of East India Company's Botanical Garden in Calcutta, India. From his post in Calcutta, Nathaniel was prepping a plant shipment for Hooker made up of over 300 ferns. And just to illustrate how the early botanists are just like everyday people, check this out. In his letter, Nathaniel begged Hooker to visit him, writing: “Can’t you come over this or next month? Do try… I entreat you. One month’s of hard work with you would be [like] two years to me.” While he was in Calcutta, Nathaniel wrote a Flora of Asia. Today, the Nathaniel Wallich Memorial Lecture occurs every year at the Indian Museum in Kolkata on Foundation Day. Nathaniel founded the Museum in 1814. Nathaniel didn’t stay in Calcutta. He spent the twilight of his life in London. Nathaniel is buried in Kensal Green cemetery in London alongside many prominent botanists - like James Edward Smith (a founder of the Linnean Society London), John Claudius Loudon (Scottish writer), Sir James McGrigor (Scottish botanist), Archibald Menzies (surgeon), Robert Brown (discoverer of Brownian motion), and David Don (the Linnaean Society Librarian and 1st Professor of Botany Kings College London). At Kensal Green, Nathaniel's in good company.
21 minutes | 18 days ago
November 10, 2020 Robert Morison, Dean O’Banion, Henry Luke Bolley, Henry Van Dyke, The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Tasha Tudor, and Split Pea Soup
Today we celebrate a 17th-century Scottish botanist who used the structure of a plant's fruits for classification. We'll also learn about a mobster florist killed while working with his Chrysanthemums (Dendranthema grandiflora). We salute the American author and clergyman who gave us an epic gardener’s quote about spring. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a swoon-worthy garden classic. And then we’ll wrap things up by Celebrating National Split Pea Soup Week. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 10, 1683 Today is the anniversary of the death of the 17th-century Scottish botanist Robert Morison. A contemporary of the English naturalist and writer, John Ray, Robert helped to devise the modern system of plant classification by relying mainly on the structure of a plant's fruits for classification. After fighting on the losing side of the Civil Wars in Scotland, Robert left his home country to go to France, where he got a job as the Royal Gardens director at Blois (“Blue-ah”). Blois was foundational for Robert. The experience gave him a close personal understanding of a vast number of plants. Between his encyclopedic knowledge of plants in Scotland and France, Robert quickly became one of the most knowledgeable botanists of his time. Robert stayed in France for a decade between 1650 and 1660. Like many botanists of his time, Robert was a physician, and he served both French and English royalty as a private doctor. By 1669, Robert began teaching botany at Oxford, and he released his groundbreaking book Praeludia botanica, followed by additional valuable references like his plant history book and his book on herbs. Through these works, Robert voiced his criticism of the old ways of classification - which were based on habitat, the season of flowering, leaf shape, or medicinal uses, for example. Robert felt that his system could best be learned hands-on by observing nature day after day as he had in Blois's gardens. But Robert also thought that the proper way to classify plants had been revealed biblically in Genesis 1:11-12: And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” Robert cast a long shadow on future generations of botanical leaders. He inspired the artist Nicolas Robert to pursue botanical illustration. And Robert's influence can be seen in this little story about the botanist John Wilson. By training, Wilson was a shoemaker and then a baker. But his heart was inclined toward botany. John was so intent on learning about botany that he almost sold his only cow to buy one of Morison’s books. History tells us that the transaction would have almost certainly caused John's financial ruin had a neighbor lady not purchased the book for him. November 10, 1924 Today is the anniversary of the death of the mobster florist and devout Catholic Dean O’Banion. Dean bootlegged beer during prohibition, and he led a group of mobsters in Chicago known as the North Side Gang. At one point, Dean was making almost a million dollars a year from selling his beer and liquor. In 1921, after marrying Viola Kaniff, Dean bought a stake in William Schofield’s River North Flower Shop near West Chicago Avenue and North State Street. Conveniently for Dean, Schofield's Flower Shop was directly across from Holy Name Cathedral, where he attended daily mass. The business gave him a front for his criminal operations, and the rooms above the shop served as the headquarters for the North Side Gang. At the same time, Dean had a lifelong love of flowers, and he was especially good at floral arranging. In a short while, Schofields became known as the flower shop that serviced all of the mob’s floral needs from weddings to funerals. It’s no surprise then that Dean’s murderers used the guise of a mob funeral to plan his death. Dean had encroached on the south side territory of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone, and by so doing, Dean had signed his own death warrant. After meeting with Dean to scout the floral shop, three mobsters returned on this November day. They murdered Dean as he was working with Chrysanthemums. One of the men locked on Dean’s hand in greeting as they shook hands, and the other two men quickly shot him in the head and throat and then again in the back of the head. The assassination method became known as the “Chicago Handshake,” and Dean’s death lead to a five-year gang war. Through the ages, chrysanthemums have been associated with death. In many European countries, including Belgium, Italy, France, and Austria, chrysanthemum floriography ("FLOOR-EE-ah-grah-FEE") is associated with death. In particular, White chrysanthemums are regarded as a funeral or graveside flower. November 10, 1956 Today is the anniversary of the death of the American botanist and plant pathologist responsible for eradicating crop diseases and so much more, Henry Luke Bolley. A son of Indiana, Henry was the youngest of twelve children in his family. He went to Purdue, where he was a student-athlete playing baseball and tennis. In 1887, Henry helped put together the first Purdue University football team, where he played quarterback. In their first and only game, the team lost to DePauw University. In 1890, after receiving his Master’s Degree, Henry started teaching at the North Dakota Agricultural College, now North Dakota State University, as well as working as a botanist at the North Dakota Experiment Station. Henry was a dogged research botanist. Listen to these Henry Bolley accomplishments - any one of which would have been a lifetime accomplishment for most of his peers: Henry brought potato scab under control by isolating the organism responsible and developing an effective treatment. Henry authored North Dakota’s 1908 pure seed laws and advocated for crop rotation. Using a formaldehyde treatment, Henry successfully defeated a fungus disease called smut that destroyed oat crops in the upper Midwest during the late 1800s. Henry worked with manufacturers to develop sprayers for crops, and he developed chemicals that would kill weeds but not harm the crops. Henry eradicated the fungus that caused flax wilt, which meant that farmers could grow flax year after year instead of only sporadic plantings on newly broken land. This work earned him the moniker, “Savior of the Flax Crop.” In 1902, Henry brought back a hard red variety of spring wheat from Russia. Unbeknownst to Henry, his Russian hard red spring wheat was resistant to rust, and the plant breeder Lawrence Waldron used it to create a superior variety of American wheat known as Ceres. Henry created a disease-resistant Flax that more than sextupled US Flax production in just four years. By 1940 North Dakota was producing 31 million bushels of Flax. Finally, Henry discovered that barberry bushes harbored Black stem rust, which nearly wiped out North Dakota wheat crops. In 1911, after Henry wrote an article and used the term “wheat-sick soil” to describe the over-planting of wheat, the Better Farming Association was formed by a group of bankers and businessmen who felt that Henry was threatening their profits from wheat farmers. The powerful BFA group acted quickly, and they installed a new director at the Experiment Station to do their bidding. In short order, Henry was stripped of his funding and locked out of his labs. The stalemate lasted for six years until the BFA-backed director finally resigned. In his life, Henry always managed to balance work and play. As he helped build the botany department at North Dakota State University, he also created the football program. It took him three years to recruit enough students to put together a team. And, there’s a marvelous photo of Henry taken in 1935 when he played on the plant pathology softball team at the University of Minnesota. The image shows Henry at the plate, bat in hand, and behind him is the catcher, a man from the USDA, Harry B. Humphrey, who was an uncle to Senator Hubert Humphrey. After Henry died on this day in 1956, his colleague, Harlow Walster, gave a moving tribute to his old friend, saying that, “[Henry was] a fearless trailblazer who cut deep and lasting blazes in the forest of ignorance about plant diseases." Unearthed Words November 10, 1852 Today is the birthday of the American author and clergyman Henry Van Dyke. Henry gave us an epic saying that gardeners often quote about spring. The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. —Henry Van Dyke, American author, and clergyman Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there, except those that sang best. —Henry Van Dyke, American author and clergyman Oh, London is a man's town; there's power in the air; And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair. —Henry Van Dyke, American author and clergyman Grow That Garden Library The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Tasha Tudor This book came out in 1992 and is now a rarity. There are paperback versions that sell for over $500 on Amazon. Tasha Tudor is remembered as a beloved book illustrator for children’s classic literature like A Child’s Garden of Verses, The Secret Garden, and A Little Princess. Beyond creating her utterly charming vignettes, Tasha lived an unconventional life. In today’s book, The Private World, Tasha Tudor opens the door to her nostalgic home and garden, sharing the austere 1800’s-style country life she made for herself on a farm in Vermont. And, here’s a little known fact about Tasha: she learned to love gardening from Alexander Graham Bell. Tasha raised her four children without electricity or running water. Rejecting the modern world, Tasha even wore 1800’s clothing complete with petticoats and shawls. Tasha raised a small menagerie on her farm, and nothing gave her greater satisfaction than her sprawling garden. Tasha’s love for her garden was evident in her many illustrations; she managed to sprinkle scenes from her garden into many of her delightful books - beginning with her 1938 debut Pumpkin Moonshine. This book is 134 pages of simple living with the charming Tasha Tudor. You can get a copy of The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Tasha Tudor and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $35 Today’s Botanic Spark November 10, 1969 The Pulse Growers Association established the second week of November as National Split Pea Soup Week in America. During the 19th century, the humble Split Pea Soup was started in New England. Most recipes incorporate ham or a ham bone. I like to make a thinner, brothy version during the summer and a thicker, heartier soup in winter. Warm split peas are also excellent piled on top of avocado toast so give that a try if you’re looking for something fun to make with split peas. Here’s Ina Garten’s Recipe for Split Pea Soup. My only suggestion, cooking for three growing boys, is to saute the onions and garlic with bacon and serve it with fresh parmesan and croutons. This recipe takes just 10 minutes to make, and it’s a perfect soup to make in your slow cooker. Parker's Split Pea Soup by Ina Garten 1 cup chopped yellow onions 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/8 cup good olive oil 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots) 1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small) 1 pound dried split green peas 8 cups chicken stock or water In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.
16 minutes | 19 days ago
November 9, 2020 Josiah Hoopes, Dmitry Ivanovsky, Alfred Austin, Dylan Thomas, Urban Garden Design by Kate Gould, and Carl Sagan
Today we celebrate a forgotten West Chester nurseryman and entrepreneur who pioneered the mail-order plant business. We'll also learn about the Russian botanist who made a startling discovery from the sap of diseased tobacco plants. We salute the Welsh poet and writer who died on this day in 1953 after drinking 18 straight martinis. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a really lovely book on garden design - it’s one of my favorites. And then we’ll wrap things up with some words on the natural world from an American astronomer. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 9, 1832 Today is the birthday of the West Chester Pennsylvania nurseryman, entrepreneur, and Quaker, Josiah Hoopes. Josiah loved nature from an early age. As a young man, Josiah had a desire to propagate and sell plants. After his 30th birthday, Josiah built a greenhouse on his father’s property. Within a few years, Josiah’s growing customer base prompted him to start his nursery, named Cherry Hill Nurseries. Over time, Cherry Hill grew to be known as Hoopes, Bro., and Thomas (HB&T) after Josiah recruited his brother Abner and his neighbor, an accountant named George B. Thomas. With its gravelly loam soil, West Chester has cultivated some important botanical figures through the years. The West Chester botanists David Townsend and Dr. William Darlington were lifelong friends with Josiah. Together, the three men founded Marshall Square Park, named after the colonial botanist Humphry Marshall. The three men also worked on cataloging the trees and plants in their home county. Now, for their efforts, the town appointed all three men to form the first park committee. Later, Josiah (who was younger than the other men) was tasked with improving the park. Josiah added flower beds and walking paths - as well as an extraordinary amount of “resting stations.” A history of the park shared that at one point, the park had 70 benches - 50 more than today’s total count. And today, in Josiah’s hometown, the 16-acre Hoopes Park is named for Josiah. He served as that park's original park supervisor. In addition to his local efforts, Josiah became nationally known when he developed a way to ship his nursery stock by railroad. Using moss and paper to wrap his plants, Josiah began to hire salesmen to market his plants and trees across the country. After securing a contract with the federal government, Josiah’s nursery shipped trees and shrubs to all the national cemeteries. Within a decade, H B&T became the largest commercial grower in America. Before the turn of the century, HB&T was shipping plants to Europe, Australia, and the West Indian Islands. They even had a sales rep stationed in Mexico. By 1913, the nursery occupied over a thousand acres, and it even offered a pleasure garden with a boardwalk for the locals - complete with manicured shrubs in the shape of spears and a Maltese cross. One newspaper reported, "There is no more attractive place in our borough than the grounds of this firm, including their private residences adjoining, and we as a people owe them a vote of thanks for the privilege extended us in visiting them." Josiah had a special love for trees. At Hoopes, Josiah’s fruit trees were a top seller, appealing to new homeowners in America’s growing suburbs. An 1870’s record book shows old order sheets with the words “send at once” and “immediately” handwritten on the receipt. After mastering packaging and shipping, the nursery could boast of sales to nearly every state in the union, and customers even included President Grover Cleveland at the White House. And, by the late 1800s, the nursery was the number one grower of peach trees. Like his friend Townsend, Josiah’s botanical writing was geared toward encouraging a love for growing plants and trees. Josiah regularly wrote botanical articles for the New York Tribune, and he also wrote a book called Book of Evergreens. In terms of posterity, Asa Gray named the plant Hymenoxys hoopesii (ii = "ee-eye") commonly known as Owl's Claws for Josiah Hoopes. This plant is a marvelous native mountain wildflower offering large golden-yellow flowers all summer long. The bloom is made up of long, drooping petals (resembling owl’s claws) and a button-like center cone. Josiah Hoopes died on January 16, 1904. HB&T closed for good in the 1940s. November 9, 1864 Today is the birthday of the Russian Botanist Dmitry Ivanovsky. In 1892, Dmitry researched the cause of an infection called “Wildfire” in tobacco plants in Crimea. Dmitry made a startling discovery when he learned that even after running through a filter, sap from an infected plant could still infect healthy plants. Dmitry’s testing led to the realization that the cause was something smaller than bacteria. Years later, Martinus Beijerinck ("BY-ah-rink”) would call the filtered, infectious substance a "virus,” and Dmitry’s infection is now known as the tobacco mosaic virus. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we owe a debt of gratitude to botanists like Dmitry Ivanovsky and Martinus Beijerinck ("BY-ah-rink”) and all the rest of the virology pioneers. Unearthed Words November 9, 1953 Here’s a quote from the Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas, who died on this day in 1953 at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. He had consumed 18 straight martinis. Nothing grows in our garden, only washing. And babies. ― Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and writer Grow That Garden Library Urban Garden Design by Kate Gould This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is Transform your outdoor space into a beautiful and practical escape. In this book, the award-winning garden designer Kate Gould offers refined solutions and crazy-good ideas for urban gardens. I appreciate Kate because she loves the challenge of small spaces, and she is a total maximizer in terms of her approach to design and plant selection. Kate is also passionate about helping her clients create a garden that is both personal and unique. And one of Kate’s superpowers is connecting the outside design back to the home's interior to create a cohesive feel. This book is a stunning guide for gardeners keen to transform small and awkward outdoor spaces into beautiful and practical spaces. This book is 176 pages of spot-on guidance for gardeners who want to transform their little piece of heaven in the city into a private escape from the world. You can get a copy of Urban Garden Design by Kate Gould and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $4 Today’s Botanic Spark November 9, 1934 Today is the birthday of the American astronomer, astrophysicist, and author Carl Sagan, born on this day in Brooklyn, New York. Carl helped explain space to the masses through his articles, books, and popular public television series “Cosmos." Here on earth, gardeners delight in his words about the natural world. We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever. — Carl Sagan, American astronomer, astrophysicist, and author A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic. — Carl Sagan, American astronomer, astrophysicist, and author The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff. ― Carl Sagan, American astronomer, astrophysicist, and author, Cosmos
16 minutes | 22 days ago
November 6, 2020 Bernard de Jussieu, Alice Lounsberry, Alfred Austin, American Gardens by Monty Don and Derry Moore, and Frank Kingdon Ward
Today we celebrate a son of France who developed the first natural classification of flowering plants. We'll also learn about the young female garden writer who teamed up with an Australian botanical illustrator and turned out some fabulous garden classics. We salute the English Poet Laureate who wrote inspiringly about gardens. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a tour book of American Gardens that was just released this past week. And then we’ll wrap things up with the birthday of one of the greatest plant collectors of all time. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 6, 1777 Today is the anniversary of the death of the French naturalist and botanist Bernard Jussieu. We remember Bernard for developing the first natural classification of flowering plants. And although both Bernard and his brother Antoine were botany professors in Paris, Bernard was the stronger botanist, and there's a famous story about his incredible dedication to botany: One time, after botanizing in Lebanon, Bernard was sailing back to France. Of course, drinkable water onboard a long voyage home would have been a precious commodity. Yet, Bernard Jussieu purportedly shared his precious water with a little Lebanon Cedar seedling he was bringing home. He wanted to plant the little seedling in the Royal Garden, and he was determined to bring the little tree back alive to Paris. The French say the seedling lived to be over 200 years old and grew to eighty feet high. As for Bernard Jussieu, in 1759, he was summoned to Versailles to develop the Royal Botanical Garden at the Petit Trianon. Unassuming and laid back, Bernard quietly began arranging the plants in the garden in a new way. Jussieu's system of organizing plants into a more natural order was revolutionary at the time, and his method was something he wouldn't disclose to others. However, Bernard did put together a catalog of the plants in his garden. Bernard recognized a kindred spirit in his nephew, Antoine-Laurent. Bernard trained him for four years, and when he came of age, Bernard confided his methods of plant classification. As a result, Antoine-Laurent's work extended his Uncle Bernard's ideas around grouping plants. It took Antoine-Laurent Jussieu almost twenty years of refinement and perfecting of his Uncle's work before he finally published it as the Bastille was falling in 1789. Antoine-Laurent Jussieu kept Linnaeus' binomial nomenclature in his book, Genera Plantarum, but he grouped plants by genera and then into families. He called his system natural and strived to let nature be his guide. Today, many plant families can be attributed to Jussieu. Today, there's a metro station near the Paris botanical garden named in honor of the Jussieu family - which boasted five notable botanists in the family over several generations. November 6, 1868 Today is the birthday of the botanist and garden writer Alice Lounsberry. (Note: Online databases report the date of birth as 1873 - which is incorrect as Alice was already two years old on an 1870 census with her brother and parents.) Alice was a New Yorker, and she developed a love for botany as a young girl. In her mid-twenties, she was already serving as a board member for the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). But Alice is best known for her botanical books written with her dear friend and collaborator - the Australian botanical illustrator Ellis Rowan. So we have Alice and Ellis - and here's the fabulous story of how they met. In the late 1890s, Ellis decided to travel to New York. She caused a bit of a sensation during her first trip to the States a few years earlier. This trip was no different - except that Ellis contracted influenza after her arrival, and she needed to be hospitalized. Like Alice, New Yorkers read about Ellis's illness, and they sent cards and flowers to her hospital room to cheer her. Now Alice had an enormous sense of admiration for Ellis, and she felt she needed to do something more personal for her. So, Alice decided to hand-deliver a box of fresh wildflowers she had handpicked to the hospital and gave them to Ellis's nurse. Ellis was thoroughly charmed by the bouquet and the card which read, "From one flower seeker to another - and an admirer of your work." The following day, Alice visited Ellis. Even though Alice was twenty years younger than Ellis, the two hit it off. They spent an entire afternoon discussing botany and their work. When Alice offered to show Ellis where she liked to botanize for wildflowers, it was the incentive Ellis needed to get her health back on track. When Alice invited her to illustrate a book on Wildflowers she had been asked to write, their fates as writer and painter were jointly sealed. Together, they produced three books: A Guide to the Wild Flowers (1899) describing around 500 wildflowers. A Guide to the Trees (1900) describing nearly 200 trees & shrubs. And, Southern Wild Flowers & Trees (1901) where Alice wrote in the preface: "To learn something of the history, the folklore and the uses of southern plants and to see rare ones growing in their natural surroundings, Mrs. Rowan and I traveled in many parts of the south, always exercising our best blandishments to get the people of the section to talk with us. Through the mountainous region, we drove from cabin to cabin, and nowhere could we have met with greater kindness and hospitality." While they were working on their book on Southern Wildflowers, Alice and Ellis's time together was marred by tragedy. They were surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains when a telegram came for Ellis. Her only son, Eric, had died in South Africa. He was 22 years old. After finishing these books, the two women went their separate ways. Alice continued to write after working with Ellis - but without Ellis's artwork, her books failed to attract the same level of popularity. In 1910, Alice wrote a book called Gardens Near the Sea. In this book, Alice shared her thoughts on the garden: “For the garden is not only a place in which to make things grow and to display the beautiful flowers of the earth but a place that should accord with the various moods of its admirers. It should be a place in which to hold light banter, a place in which to laugh, and, besides, should have a hidden corner in which to weep. But above all, perhaps, it should be a place of sweet scent and sentiment.” After suffering a stroke, Alice Lounsberry died at the age of 81 on November 20, 1949. Unearthed Words A garden that you make yourself becomes associated with your personal history and that of your friends, interwoven with your tastes, preferences, and character, and constitutes a sort of unwritten, but withal manifest, autobiography. Show me your garden, provided it be your own, and I will tell you what you are like. – Alfred Austin, British poet laureate, The Garden That I Love, 1894 Grow That Garden Library American Gardens by Monty Don and Derry Moore This book came out just last week, and the subtitle is 100 Contemporary Designs. In this book, the beloved British horticulturist Monty Don and world-class photographer Derry Moore take us on a diverse and mesmerizing tour of American Gardens. Monty and Derry take us on a garden adventure: from Jefferson's Monticello ("MontiCHELLo”) to Longwood Gardens in Delaware to Middleton Place in South Carolina, to Central Park in New York, Bob Hope's Palm Springs garden, Frank Lloyd Wright’s garden, and the Seattle Spheres, and many many more. This book will leave you with a richer understanding of some of America's top gardens with beautiful photography and fascinating garden stories. This book is 224 pages of gorgeous American Gardens, and I think it would make a wonderful gift for the holidays. You can get a copy of American Gardens by Monty Don and Derry Moore and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $38 Today’s Botanic Spark November 6, 1885 Today is the birthday of the British plant collector and explorer Frank Kingdon Ward. During the beginning of the twentieth century, Frank Kingdon Ward went on twenty-four Indiana-Jones-like expeditions throughout Tibet, China, and Southeast Asia to search for rare and elusive species of plants. Among his many accomplishments, Frank found the legendary Tibetan blue poppy. Frank’s accounts of his adventures are captivating. In 1942, he arrived in New Delhi after a 500 hundred mile walk over mountains and through jungles. The newspaper account said: "A thin, wiry little man in his 50s, Captain Kingdon-Ward...decided that the Japanese were getting too close for comfort, so he loaded two 60-pound bags of rice on two mules... But instead of taking the short road through the Chaukan pass, [he] decided to travel the 500-mile mule trail through Tibet... [Frank tramped] knee-deep in the snow [and] crossed the Himalayas at the 14,500-foot pass... [Frank said] "It was a pleasant walk and [my] reward is in the finding of dazzling flowers never seen before. You know they may always blush unseen — unless you manage to take them back and make them grow where others can admire them. They are a little bit of the enchantment of Asia transplanted into England or America. It is satisfying enough, if you can feel in an industrial age like the present, that you have brought home a little beauty for others to enjoy."
17 minutes | 23 days ago
November 5, 2020 Humphrey Marshall, the Chrysanthemum, John Redfield, Henry Rollins, The New Southern Garden Cookbook by Sheri Castle, and the Vancouver Chinese Garden Otter
Today we celebrate the man remembered as the "Father of American Dendrology" (the study of woody plants, trees, and shrubs). We'll also learn about the November birth flower, which was celebrated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1883. We also recognize the botanist, who was Philadelphia’s botany man during the 1800s. We hear some words about November by an American comedian, writer, and activist. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a Garden Cookbook with a southern flair. And then we’ll wrap things up with a little story about a pesky Otter and a koi pond in Vancouver. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 5, 1801 Today is the anniversary of the death of the botanist Humphrey Marshall. The Marshalls were cousins to the Bartrams - their mothers were sisters. Humphrey’s cousin, John Bartram, was known as the "Father of American Botany” after establishing the country's first botanical garden, and he ignited Humphrey's love of native plants. In 1773, after Humphrey inherited his family estate and a sizable inheritance from his father, he created the country's second botanical garden. Humphrey incorporated natives, naturally, but also exotics. Humphrey forged a friendship with the British botanist John Fothergill who paid Humphrey for his plant collecting. John was a collector and a connector, introducing Humphrey to many of Europe's top botanists and a growing customer list. John's contacts helped Humphrey source new plants for his botanical garden. And Twenty-five years before Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis & Clark on their expedition, Humphrey Marshall repeatedly suggested exploring the American West - in 1778, 1785, and 1792. A fellow friend, Quaker, and botanist Joseph Trimble Rothrock wrote this about Humphrey: "The earth abounds in beauty, all of which is open to his chastened senses. He revels in the sunlight and the breezes. The songs of the birds fall, welcome, into his ear. The colors of the flowers attract him." In 1785, Humphrey published the very first American essay on trees and shrubs. Humphrey Marshall is also known as the "Father of American Dendrology" (the study of woody plants, trees, and shrubs). Marshalltown, Pennsylvania, was named in honor of Humphrey Marshall. The genus, Marshallia, is named in honor of Humphrey Marshall. November 5, 1883 On this day in Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society held its first Chrysanthemum Show in Horticultural Hall. This would be the first of several Chrysanthemum events presented by PHS to the public. Chrysanthemums have a fascinating history. In 1790, Chrysanthemums were brought back from China and introduced to England, where they were greeted with much adoration. The greens and blossoms of the chrysanthemum are edible, and they are particularly popular in Japan, China, and Vietnam. During the Victorian times in the language of flowers, the red chrysanthemum meant "I Love," and the yellow chrysanthemum symbolized slighted love. In China, the chrysanthemum is a symbol of autumn and the flower of the ninth moon. During the Han dynasty, the Chinese drank chrysanthemum wine - they believed it made their lives longer and made them healthier. As a result, the chrysanthemum was often worn to funerals. Generally, chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and joy - but they have some unique cultural meanings around the world. On Mother's Day down under, Australians traditionally wear a white chrysanthemum to honor their moms, and Chrysanthemums are common Mother's Day presents. In Poland, chrysanthemums are the flower of choice to be placed on graves for All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Chrysanthemums are the November birth flower and the 13th wedding anniversary flower. In 1966, Mayor Richard Daley declared the chrysanthemum as the official flower of the city of Chicago. November 5, 1896 On this day, the newspaper out of Buffalo, New York, reported that John Redfield herbarium was looking for a home. John H Redfield was born in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1815. In 1836, John became friends with Asa Gray after joining the Lyceum of Natural History in New York, where Gray was the Librarian and Superintendent. They remained life-long friends. During the 1840s, Gray tried to locate a plant called the Shortia galacifolia (commonly known as Oconee bell). Gray named the plant Shortia in honor of the Kentucky botanist, Charles Wilkin Short. Originally, Andre Michaux had found the plant and had sent it back to Paris. But since Michaux, no one could identify where the plant had been harvested. In 1863 Charles Short died - and still no Shortia. Botanists like Asa Gray and John Robinson dealt with constant taunting from comments like "Have you found the Shortia yet?" In May of 1877, a North Carolina teenager named George Hyams was walking beside the Catawba River when he spied a plant he couldn't name. His father was an amateur botanist, and he sent the specimen to a friend. Somehow the specimen made it to Gray, who could be heard crying 'Eureka' when he saw it. Thanks to George Hyams, Gray had found his Shortia. In 1879, Gray and his wife invited their botanist friends John Redfield, Charles Sprague Sargent, and William Canby to see the Shortia in the wild. Soon enough, they found the Shortia growing in the exact spot Hymans had described. It was an honor of a lifetime for John Redfield to be there with his old friend. John devoted most of the final twenty years of his life to the herbarium of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. John's work at the Academy was both worker bee and preservationist. John made sure the early botanical work was indexed and mounted, preserving the city of brotherly love's precious botanical history. During John's lifetime, botanists had traditional visiting habits depending on the city they were in: they would visit Torrey if they were in New York, Asa Gray if they were at Harvard or in Boston, and John Redfield when they passed through Philadelphia. Botany folks genuinely liked John; his botanist friends noted his "strong yet tender character" when they wrote about him in his obituary. Unearthed Words I have come to regard November as the older, harder man's October. I appreciate the early darkness and cooler temperatures. It puts my mind in a different place than October. It is a month for a quieter, slightly more subdued celebration of summer's death as winter tightens its grip. — Henry Rollins, American comedian, writer, and activist Grow That Garden Library The New Southern Garden Cookbook by Sheri Castle This book came out in 2011, and the subtitle is Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers' Markets, Roadside Stands, and CSA Farm Boxes. In this book, Sheri aims to make "what's in season" the answer to "what's for dinner?". I love that! Shari’s cookbook offers over 300 recipes that will inspire new and experienced cooks, southern or not, to utilize the seasonal delights from our gardens. “Sheri Castle offers a vision for Southern cuisine that's based wholly on locally grown, seasonal foods. . . . The ingredient lists are seductive on their own, but Sheri is a warm and engaging writer with the kind of practical wisdom that enlightens any kitchen.” — Oxford American “She formulates realistic recipes in her well-equipped but ordinary home kitchen….The proof of this pudding is in the produce: fresh, with reverence and flair. Y'all dig in.” — The Pilot This book is 456 pages of garden recipes from a true southern hostess. You can get a copy of The New Southern Garden Cookbook by Sheri Castle and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $4 Today’s Botanic Spark November 5, 2019 Finally, last year during this week, the Global News shared a story called Koi Tremble in Fear as Otter makes a reappearance in the Vancouver Chinese garden. "Nearly a year after a hungry otter began decimating the koi population at Vancouver’s Chinese Gardens... The Vancouver Park Board said Saturday the otter was spotted in the koi pond on Wednesday morning after three koi carcasses were found. Park board staff began draining the pond that same day to transfer the remaining koi to a temporary holding area off-site. It’s not yet known whether this otter is the same one that ate 11 of the garden’s 14 prized koi fish in November of last year, including a prized 50-year-old fish named Madonna." When I shared this story in the Facebook Group last year, I wrote: "There Otter be a law!" In all seriousness, for pond owners, there's nothing worse than losing your koi. After watching the Vancouver park measures to prevent animals from getting into the pond area, I have to say it's pretty intense. And, it just goes to show that whether you're a big public garden or a small private garden, dealing with critters like this can require ingenuity and hard work — and even then, there are no guarantees.
14 minutes | 24 days ago
November 4, 2020 Frederick Orpen Bower, the California Fan Palm, November Folklore, Dorothy Parker, Private Gardens of the Bay Area by Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner, and Henry David Thoreau
Today we celebrate the man who is remembered in the botany building at the University of Glasgow. We'll also learn about the mystery behind the California Fan Palm. We’ll salute the Folklore of November, along with a witty poem about November by an American poet and satirist. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about some incredible private gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area. And then we’ll wrap things up with a charming 1855 journal entry from an American writer. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 4, 1855 Today is the birthday of the English botanist and Primitive Plant Expert Frederick Orpen Bower. Bower served as the Regius chair of botany at the University of Glasgow "Glahs-go." When he arrived in 1885, the department was housed in two rooms, and the herbarium was stuffed into a small attic space. To make matters worse, when Bower lectured, he had to vie for a lecture hall with other departments and faculty. Fifteen years later, the University finally constructed a new botany building, and when it was finished, the building served as England’s first botanical institute. The 1901 grand opening for the Glasgow botany building was lumped in with the University's 450th-anniversary celebration. The eminent botanist Sir Joseph Hooker opened the building. Almost a century later, the building was renamed to honor Frederick Orpen Bower, and that’s how the building became known as the Bower Building. Tragically, on October 24, 2001, the Bower building was significantly damaged by a fire. The losses included first editions of Darwin's Origin of the species and Hooker and Bower's works. Many of the oldest botanical manuscripts and books were impacted because they were stored on the third floor under the roof space. After almost four years of continuous work, the building reopened in November 2005. The 2001 Bower Building fire is a cautionary lesson for archivists and curators to digitally preserve our most precious historical artifacts before they are lost to time. November 4, 1984 On this day, the Arizona Republic newspaper shared an article about the history of the native palm of Arizona written by Vic Miller, a professor of agriculture at Arizona State University. The article starts this way: "Yes, we do have a native palm. Seeds of it were collected in Arizona; taken to Belgium and grown in a nursery; [where it was observed] and named by a German botanist, but [it is not called the Arizona Fan Palm,] it is called the California Fan Palm." The mystery of the California Fan Palm was not about how it got its name but rather where it came from - California or Arizona. In 1976, researchers made a discovery that helped solve the 100-year-old mystery. Here's the fascinating backstory: In 1879, a German botanist, Herman von Wendland, saw the palms growing in a Belgium nursery. He named the palm Washingtonia filifera “Washing-TONE-ee-ah fill-IF-er-ah” in honor of George Washington. The name seemed appropriate since Wendland only knew that the seeds for the palms had been collected in America. Wendland had no idea which state was home to the palms. Three years earlier, in 1876, the German botanist Georg Drude had noted that the seed was collected in Arizona, along the Colorado River. An [Italian botanist, Dr. Francesco Franceschi, also said that the palms were] from Arizona. But a Stanford botanist named Samuel Parish disagreed. Parish knew that the area where the seeds were supposedly collected was near Prescott. According to Parish, this was "a region of pines rather than of palms." To Parish, the seeds had to come from California. But what Parish didn't realize is that there were small groves of Arizona palms roughly 38 miles from Prescott - near Castle Creek. Next, the researchers wondered how the Arizona Palm seeds ended up in Belgium? Well, it turns out, the 1870's stagecoach line went right along Castle Creek to Prescott, Arizona, and then onto Santa Fe, New Mexico. In September 1872, the Czech botanist and Extreme Orchid Hunter Benedict Roezl was in that part of the Southwest on his way to Mexico. Roezl likely bought some of the ripe purple fruit from those Castle Creek Arizona Palms and then sent the fruit back to Germany with his other specimens. And that is how the Arizona Fan Palm was named the California Fan Palm by a German Botanist who saw them growing in Belgium. Unearthed Words Today’s Unearthed Words are a collection of folklore and sayings about November. Thunder in November, a fertile year to come. A heavy November snow will last till April. Flowers in bloom late in autumn indicate a bad winter. If there’s ice in November that will bear a duck, There’ll be nothing after but sludge and muck. November take flail; let ships no more sail. If trees show buds in November, the winter will last until May. There is no better month in the year to cut wood than November. Ice in November brings mud in December. In May, my heart was breaking- Oh, wide the wound, and deep! And bitter it beat at waking, And sore it split in sleep. And when it came November, I sought my heart and sighed, "Poor thing, do you remember?" "What heart was that?" it cried. — Dorothy Parker, American poet, writer, critic, and satirist Grow That Garden Library Private Gardens of the Bay Area by Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner This book came out in 2017. This fantastic book was written by two incredible and accomplished garden writers: Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner. The marvelous landscape photographer Marion Brenner took all the photos. Together, this team toured over thirty-five private gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, whether you’re from this part of the country or not, you will surely be seduced by the enchanting beauty of Northern California—it's a dreamscape for landscape designers and gardeners. Susan and Nancy organized their book geographically. We get to follow along as they make their way from the San Francisco Peninsula, to San Francisco, into Berkeley and Oakland, and then wrapping up in Napa, Sonoma, and Marin. You’ll gain an appreciation for so much about this area: the micro-climates, the range of plants, the drought-tolerant natives, the rock gardens, and the endless supply of gorgeous backdrops. This tour includes the 1911 masterpiece garden known as Green Gables, the salvia haven known as Big Swing, a jaw-dropping vertical garden in San Francisco, and many more. Susan and Nancy reveal the goals of each gardener and design secrets behind every garden. This book is 256 pages of garden ideas. Susan and Nancy’s coffee-table book would be a fine gift for an avid California gardener or anyone who would enjoy touring this horticultural paradise vicariously. You can get a copy of Private Gardens of the Bay Area by Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $35 Today’s Botanic Spark November 4, 1855 On this day, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal: "The winter is approaching. The birds are almost all gone. The note of the 'dee de de' sounds now more distinct, prophetic of winter, as I go amid the wild apples on Nashawtuc. The autumnal dandelion sheltered by this apple-tree trunk is drooping and half-closed and shows but half its yellow, this dark, late, wet day in the fall... Larches are now quite yellow, — in the midst of their fall... When I look away to the woods, the oaks have a dull, dark red now, without brightness. The willow-tops on causeways have a pale, bleached, silvery, or wool-grass-like look."
17 minutes | 25 days ago
November 3, 2020 William Cullen Bryant, Clarence Elliott, Robert Frost, Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, and Golden Squash Soup
Today we celebrate the American Romantic poet who wrote: "The rose that lives its little hour is prized beyond the sculptured flower..." We'll also learn about the man who made Six Hills Nursery famous. We hear some words about autumn by an American Poet Laureate. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that rocked the Vegetable Cookbook world three years ago - and here’s a hint: the author divided the year into Six Seasons. And then we’ll wrap things up with a recipe I received from a friend recently for a delicious Golden Squash Soup. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 3, 1794 Today is the birthday of the American Romantic poet and nature-lover William Cullen Bryant. As a young man, William became an attorney. His first job was in Plainfield, Massachusetts - a town seven miles away from his home. In 1815, William was walking to work one day in December when he spied a lone bird flying on the horizon. The image moved him so much that William wrote his poem called To a Waterfowl. William Cullen Bryant is a favorite poet among gardeners. Here’s an excerpt from a little poem by William called A Winter Piece: ...When shrieked The bleak November winds, and smote the woods, And the brown fields were herbless, and the shades, That met above the merry rivulet, Were spoiled, I sought, I loved them still,—they seemed Like old companions in adversity. When he was alive, William Cullen Bryant visited Wodenethe - the 20-acre estate overlooking the Hudson River purchased and sculpted by Henry Winthrop Sargent. Sargent’s naming of Wodenethe was a marriage of two old Saxon terms Woden (pronounced Woe-den) and ethe, which stands for woody promontory ( promontory ), of high land that juts out into the sea or a large lake; a headland. Sargent turned Wodenethe into a personal arboretum, where he artfully used trees to frame the Hudson's incredible views. One reviewer said it was, “a bijou full of interest for the lover of rural beauty; abounding in rare trees, shrubs, and plants, as well as vases, and objects of rural embellishment of all kinds.” William Cullen Bryant loved Wodenethe, and he was particularly charmed by an illusion that Sargent had created on the property. Sargent had created the view from inside his house to look like the lawn extended out to the Hudson, creating the illusion of a sharp dropoff - almost like the lawn ran out to the edge of a cliff. To help pull this off, Sargent would send his young son Winthrop out onto the lawn with a fishing pole where he would pretend to fish off the edge of a nonexistent cliff. On one occasion, a lady visitor commented on how SHE wouldn't let her own children play so close to that dropoff. In reality, Winthrop was sitting a good mile away from the water's edge - quite safe on the flat earth of the lawn nestled among the trees. Sargent's masterful vista created an artful and beautiful illusion - a trick that he even pulled on his good friend William Cullen Bryant. Wodenethe so moved William he wrote his poem “A Scene on the Banks of the Hudson.” Here’s an excerpt: All, save this little nook of land, Circled with trees on which I stand; All, save that line of hills which lie Suspended in the mimic sky,— Seems a blue void, above, below, Through which the white clouds come and go; And from the green world's farthest steep, I gaze into the airy deep Loveliest of lovely things are they, On earth, that soonest pass away. The rose that lives its little hour Is prized beyond the sculptured flower. November 3, 1881 Today is the birthday of the English garden writer, plant explorer, renowned nurseryman, alpine specialist, and a founding member of the Alpine Garden Society, Clarence Elliott. Clarence had a remarkable career, and he cast an enormous shadow from his legendary nursery in Stevenage called Six Hills. If Six Hills has a familiar ring to it, you might be familiar with the popular and prevalent landscape plant and stalwart of most garden borders cultivated at Six Hills: the Nepeta Six Hills Giant. Or, perhaps you were thinking of the Penstemon Six Hills - another Clarence offspring. And many gardeners have forgotten that the Mrs. Popple Fuschia - was actually a nod to the Popples - a couple who lived near Six Hills. One day Clarence spied Mrs. Popple’s gorgeous hardy Fuschia. After taking some cuttings, Clarence ultimately won an RHS Show Award of Merit for the Mrs. Popple Fuschia in 1934. Nearly a century later, gardeners still grow this beloved starter Fuschia in their gardens today. When Clarence wasn’t scouring his neighborhood (or the world in general) for new plants, he was busy mentoring other horticultural greats like Will Ingwerson and EK Balls. The great Graham Stuart Thomas worked at Six Hills for 24 years. A gardener’s gardener, Clarence even invented a little garden tool he dubbed The Widger. Somehow Vita Sackville-West ended up with a Widger, and she wrote that it was “the neatest, slimmest, and cheapest of all gadgets to carry in the pocket.” Vita continued: "[Clarence] invented the Widger, its name, and the verb "to widge", which, although not exactly onomatopoeic, suggests very successfully the action of prising up—you widge up a weed, or widge up a caked bit of soil for the purpose of aerating it—all very necessary operations which before the arrival of the Widger were sometimes awkward to perform. This small sleek object, four inches long, slides into the pocket, no more cumbersome than a pencil, and may be put to many uses. Screwdriver, toothpick, letter-opener, Widger, it fulfills all functions throughout the day… it is the perfect gadget.” Unearthed Words And the dead leaves lie huddled and still, No longer blown hither and thither; The last lone aster is gone; The flowers of the witch-hazel wither … — Robert Frost, American poet and Poet Laureate Grow That Garden Library Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden This book came out in 2017, and the subtitle is A New Way with Vegetables. This is one of my favorite vegetable cookbooks ever. Joshua’s book won a James Beard Award for Best Book in Vegetable-Focused Cooking. His book was named a Best Cookbook of the Year by the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Bon Appétit, Food Network Magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, USA Today, Seattle Times, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Library Journal, Eater, and more. “Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables is poised to join the veggie canon. . . . The flavors are big. . . . They’re also layered and complex, despite their apparent simplicity. What will really change your cooking is [McFadden’s] approach to seasoning. . . . Trust me: Read this book and you’ll never look at cabbage the same way again.” —Bon Appétit “Downright thrilling. . . . Divided into six seasons rather than the traditional four—a more accurate reflection of what’s happening in the fields—the book encourages readers to embrace what he calls ‘the joyful ride of eating with the seasons. . . .’ On page after page, McFadden presents a deliciously enlightening way of cooking with vegetables.” —Sunset This book is 384 pages of vegetable magic. You can get a copy of Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden and Martha Holmberg and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $23 Today’s Botanic Spark Speaking of recipes, I wanted to share a delicious recipe I received from a friend for Golden Squash soup. It’s a keeper. Golden Squash Soup 3 leeks (white portion only) 4 medium carrots chopped 5 Tbl. butter or margarine 3 lbs. butternut squash peeled, sliced 6 c. chicken or vegetable broth 3 medium zucchini, peeled, sliced 2 t. Salt 1/2 t. dried thyme 1/4 t. white pepper 1 c. half & half 1/2 c. milk In a soup kettle over medium heat, saute leeks and carrots in butter for 5 min., stirring occasionally. Add squash, broth, zucchini, salt, thyme, pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 min. Cool until lukewarm. In a blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth. Return to the kettle, add cream and milk, and heat through. Do not boil. If desired, garnish with parmesan cheese and chives. yields 12 - 14 servings ( 3 ½ qts )
14 minutes | a month ago
November 2, 2020 Daniel Seghers, Richard Mant, Gladys Taber, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Gardens in Detail by Emma Reuss, and Saving the Bladderwort
Today we celebrate the Flemish artist who became known for painting floral garlands. We'll also learn about the English poet who wrote about the flower known as The Traveller's Joy. We’ll celebrate the new month with some words about November. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a close look at gardens - 100 of them - in an engaging book that travels to the world's most interesting gardens to analyze why and how they are designed. And then we’ll wrap things up with a little story about the bladderwort plant - a rare insect-eating plant with pretty yellow flowers. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” It's just that easy. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts for yourself, you're in luck because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. There’s no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events November 2, 1661 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Flemish Jesuit brother and painter Daniel Seghers. Daniel was a marvelous painter based in Antwerp and focused mainly on floral still lives, and his vivid work was a favorite among his patrons and the aristocracy. As a Jesuit brother, Daniel made no money from his work - that all went to the church. But in 1649, Daniel was given a golden palette and golden brushes from a Dutch princess in exchange for some of his work. Daniel pioneered the genre of flower garland painting, and his specialty was painting flower cartouches. Daniel’s garland still lifes were especially popular in his home country of Belgium. A signature Daniel Segher Floral Cartouche would feature these voluptuous swags of flowers and flower garlands placed around a religious scene or statue that was often depicted in black and white or muted colors. These religious scenes were usually placed in the center of Daniels’ paintings, and incredibly, they were all painted by other Flemish painters. By the time Daniel received the artwork, he would immediately set about decorating the work with flowers. Daniel’s job was to create a floral tribute that added reverence, life, and excitement to the overall image. If you look at the garlands, you’ll notice that Daniel added charming, realistic touches by adding beautifully detailed butterflies and incredibly realistic flowers. Daniel also took some liberties with the flowers. Tulips and peonies are in full bloom next to roses, iris, carnations, hyacinths, and daisies. For Daniel, bloom time took a back seat to lushness and color. Also, some of the flowers conveyed additional symbolic meaning - so for the sake of Floriography ("FLOOR-EE-ah-grah-FEE"), Daniel painted the flowers he felt best suited his subject. Ornamental gardeners will find a special joy and satisfaction in viewing Daniel’s masterpieces. November 2, 1848 Today is the anniversary of the death of the English poet and Irish bishop Richard Mant. Richard wrote a little poem about the wild clematis that happens to be England’s only native Clematis. In the 17th century, the herbalist John Gerard gave it the common name “The Traveller's Joy” (Clematis virginiana). The flower has no petals but offers four delicate creamy sepals along with a copious amount of stamens and carpels. Most beauteous when its flowers assume Their autumn form of feathery plume. The Traveller's Joy! name well bestowed On that wild plant, which by the road Of Southern England, to adorn Fails not the hedge of prickly thorn... Even today in the English countryside, “The Traveller's Joy” rambles up hedgerows & trees, drapes down from branches and thorns to offer a profusion of fragrant white blossoms that transform into architectural wonders in fall & winter: feathery, silver ‘beards’ that flow from the seed pods. This is how Traveller's Joy ended up with so many common names, including “Old Man’s Beard.” Folklore says that Traveller's Joy (Clematis virginiana) was sent by the devil to smother the earth's plants by trailing over them. Anyone who has grown this woody vine, a member of the buttercup family, knows this is one tough and persistent plant. Not surprisingly, it's considered an invasive plant in many parts of the world. The poet A.E. Houseman wrote about the Traveller's Joy (Clematis virginiana) in his poem ‘Tell Me Not Here, It Needs Not Saying.’ Tell me not here; it needs not saying, What tune the enchantress plays In aftermaths of soft September Or under blanching mays, For she and I were long acquainted And I knew all her ways. On russet floors, by waters idle, The pine lets fall its cone; The cuckoo shouts all day at nothing In leafy dells alone; And Traveller's Joy beguiles in autumn Hearts that have lost their own. Unearthed Words Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moonrise. ― Gladys Taber, American author and columnist, Stillmeadow Daybook It was November — the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul. ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Canadian writer and author of the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne of Green Gables Grow That Garden Library Gardens in Detail by Emma Reuss This book came out in 2014, and the subtitle is 100 Contemporary Designs. In this book, Emma shares 100 gardens from the world over with this illustrated guide that reviews and explains each design element — from historical style to planting and landscape design. “Readers are led through the details of each garden and provided with the tools needed to understand and replicate each exemplary design—whether the site is rural or urban, a backyard or a beach, in any climate, and on any budget. Each beautiful project photo is followed by a list of key concepts, numbered close-ups that highlight aspects of the design, and expert write-ups to explain how each element serves the garden as a whole.” "A beautiful, engaging book that travels to the world's most interesting gardens to analyze why and how they are designed. This pick-and-mix book has the absorbing, time-warp quality of Pinterest. I finished reading about one garden and thought, I'll just quickly look at one more, but 20 minutes and several gardens later I was still there." —Gardens Illustrated. This book is 400 pages of inspiring garden ideas. Emma’s book is an invaluable resource for any gardener or landscape designer. You can get a copy of Gardens in Detail by Emma Reuss and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $25 Today’s Botanic Spark November 2, 1962 On this day, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram shared a story out of London regarding the Bladderwort plant. “Botanists and bird-watchers are fighting to save an acre of bladderwort plants threatened by plans for a new power station in Gloucestershire County ("Glost-uh-shur"). The bladderwort is a rare insect-eating plant with pretty yellow flowers. The Gloucestershire Trust for Nature Conservation is trying to persuade the state electricity board to shift the power station's location and leave the plants undisturbed. "You don't find much bladderwort about nowadays," said Robert George, the chairman of the Nature Trust. "It would be a pity to lose it.” Bladderwort is remarkable. It's the world's fastest aquatic carnivorous plant. It can react to and capture its prey in less than 1/10,000th of a second. Bladderworts are suction feeders, and they use small, depressurized chambers that look like bladders to catch their prey. The bladders work thanks to a trap that is loaded with bristles. When a small aquatic creature touches the bristles, a trap door opens, and the prey is sucked inside the bladder where it is dissolved and digested by the plant.
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