The Daily Gardener

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Today we celebrate the writer inspired by the Oxford Botanic Garden - a place he saw every day. We'll also learn about medicine with roots in the soil in Indiana. We’ll hear a lovely excerpt about a harbinger of spring: Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) We Grow That Garden Library™ with a fantastic book about botanical baking with a master baker. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of a surprise found in a botanist’s garden.  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 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 Predicting the New Year's 2021 Garden Trends | Ag Week | Don Kinzler  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsJanuary 27, 1832  Today is the birthday of the English mathematician and writer Charles Lutwidge Dodgson - also known as Lewis Carroll. Lewis had worked as a librarian at Christ Church College in Oxford. His office window had a view of the Dean's Garden. Lewis wrote in his diary on the 25th of April in 1856 that he had visited the Deanery Garden, where he was planning to take pictures of the cathedral. Instead, he ended up taking pictures of children in the garden. The children were allowed in the Deanery Garden, but not in the Cathedral Garden, which was connected to the Deanery Garden by a little door. And so, it was the Oxford Botanic Garden that inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland. The same garden also inspired the authors, JRR Tolkien and Philip Pullman. In Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking-Glass is this favorite passage among gardeners:“In most gardens," the Tiger-lily said, "they make the beds too soft-so that the flowers are always asleep.”  January 27, 1950 On this day, Science Magazine announced a brand new antibiotic made by Charles Pfizer & Company, and it was called Terramycin. Last year, when I shared this item, I don't think many of us were as familiar with the word Pfizer as we are today - living through the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 1950s, Pfizer was a small chemical company based in Brooklyn, New York. And it turns out that Pfizer had developed an expertise in fermentation with citric acid, and this process allowed them to mass-produce drugs. When Pfizer scientists discovered an antibiotic in a soil sample from Indiana, their deep-tank fermentation method allowed them to mass-produce Terramycin. Now, Pfizer had been searching through soil samples from around the world - isolating bacteria-fighting organisms when they stumbled on Terramycin. Effective against pneumonia, dysentery, and other infections, Terramycin was approved by the USDA. And the word Terramycin is created from the two Latin words: terra for earth and mycin, which means fungus - thus, earth fungus. And Terramycin made history: Terramycin was the very first mass-marketed product by a pharmaceutical company. Pfizer spent twice as much marketing Terramycin as it did on R&D for Terramycin. The gamble paid off; Terramycin, earth fungus, is what made Pfizer a pharmaceutical powerhouse. And so, there's a throughline from the vaccine we are using today, all the way back to that bacteria found in the soil in Indiana that ultimately became Terramycin.  Unearthed Words In much of North America, skunk cabbage has earned the widespread reputation as the first flower of spring. It might be more accurate, however, to call it the first flower of winter. “The skunk cabbage may be found with its round green spear-point an inch or two above the mold in December,” reported naturalist John Burroughs. “It is ready to welcome and make the most of the first fitful March warmth.” Henry David Thoreau observed that new buds begin pushing upward almost as soon as the leaves wither and die in the fall. In fact, he counseled those afflicted with the melancholy of late autumn to go to the swamps “and see the brave spears of skunk cabbage buds already advanced toward the new year.” People living in colder parts of North America have long watched for skunk cabbage as a sign of spring. The tip of the plant’s spathe or sheath begins to push through the still-frosty earth and to stand tall when the first faint breaths of warmer air begin blowing. This process can occur in January with an unusually long January thaw—a “goose haw,” as some New Englanders call it—or it can happen as late as March. — Jack Sanders, Hedgemaids and Fairy Candles, The First Flower of Winter  Grow That Garden Library Botanical Baking by Juliet Sear This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is Contemporary baking and cake decorating with edible flowers and herbs. In this book, celebrity baker Julia teaches how to make and decorate the most beautiful botanical cakes – using edible flowers and herbs to decorate your cakes and bakes. After working in the baking industry for two decades, Julia knows what flowers are edible and what flowers have great flavor. She also shares everything you need to do to work with edible flowers:“how to use, preserve, store and apply them, including pressing, drying and crystallizing flowers and petals.” Julia shares 20 botanical cakes that feature edible flowers and herbs. Her creations include a confetti cake, a wreath cake, a gin and tonic cake, floral chocolate bark, a naked cake, a jelly cake, a letter cake, and more. Known in the U.K. for her beautiful bloom-covered cakes, Julia counts royalty and celebrities among her many clients. This book is 144 pages of botanical baking with edible flowers and herbs. You can get a copy of Botanical Baking by Juliet Sear and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $13  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartJanuary 27, 1994 On this day, The South Bend Tribune out of South Bend, Indiana, shared an article by Doug Glass called, “Botanist Finds Endangered Plant in His Garden.” “For someone who makes his living studying plants, George Yatskievych is an indifferent gardener. It took [him] several months to notice that a load of topsoil delivered to his home in St. Louis was sprouting several clusters of trifolium stoloniferum, also known as Running Buffalo Clover. This native plant had all but vanished in Missouri.“I was out weeding a flower bed near this topsoil, down on my knees, when I sort of came nose to nose with these things,” said George, who works at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis."You spend all this time and effort looking for this in nature. . . . (The discovery) was so unexpected."  Yatskievych and other botanists took the six clovers found in his topsoil and began a project to reintroduce the plant to Missouri. Now, some five years after his discovery, the Missouri Department of Conservation oversees some 700 seedlings in 25 experimental plots statewide.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a disabled botanist who felt no area could be considered fully explored. We'll also learn about the tree that honors David Douglas. We’ll hear some thoughts about the future and our need to turn to nature, which will only grow in importance. We Grow That Garden Library™ with an old book that taught us how to cook with garden herbs, vegetables, and fruit. And then we’ll wrap things up with a humorous story about a poet, a coachman, and street trees.  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 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 Lessons from Festival Beach Food Forest in Austin, Texas | Fine Gardening | Karen Beaty  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsJanuary 22, 1917 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Presbyterian minister, writer, and American botanist Ellsworth Jerome Hill. Ellsworth was born in Leroy, New York. When Ellsworth was only 20 years old, one of his knees stopped working, and a doctor suggested he study botany. So, Ellsworth would crawl from his house to the orchard, where he would pick a few flowers and then crawl back to the house to identify them. And the following year, Ellsworth, who used to canes when he walked, moved to Mississippi, where the climate was warmer. After Ellsworth met and married a young woman named Milancy Leach, she became his daily helpmate. When Ellsworth was feeling especially lame or simply lacked strength, Milancy would step in and finish the work for him. However, by the time he was 40, Ellsworth somehow put his lameness behind him. In the back half of his life, he seemed to be better able to manage his physical challenge. Thanks to Milancy’s guidance, Ellsworth had learned how to cope with the symptoms. In a touching tribute to Ellsworth after his death, the botanist Agnes Chase wrote:“Most of these collections were made while Ellsworth walked on crutches or with two canes. Ellsworth told me that he carried his vasculum over his shoulder and a camp stool with his crutch or cane in one hand. To secure a plant, he would drop the camp stool, which opened of itself, then he would lower himself to the stool and dig the plant. Ellsworth recovered from his lameness but often suffered acute pain from cold or wetness or overexertion. But this did not deter him from making botanical trips that would have taxed a more robust man. In the Dunes, I have seen him tire out more than one able-bodied man.“ Ellsworth recognized the value in revisiting places that had been previously botanized. It was Ellsworth Jerome Hill who said,"In studying the flora of a restricted region, no matter how carefully it seems to have been explored, one is frequently surprised by new things... No region can be regarded as thoroughly explored until every acre of its wild areas at least has been examined. Some plants are so rare or local or grow under such peculiar conditions that a few square rods or even feet may comprise their range."  January 22, 1927 On this day, The Placer Herald out of Rocklin, California, shared a story called “Douglas Fir Entirely Distinct Tree Species.”“The Douglas fir, a native of the Northwest but now being planted extensively in the East, is becoming a famous Christmas tree.The species was named for a Scotch botanist who discovered it on an expedition in 1825, but its scientific name is Pseudotsuga, meaning "false hemlock." As a matter of fact, it is neither a hemlock nor a fir, and though it is sometimes called a spruce, It isn't that either.The tree belongs to an entirely distinct species. The tree most commonly used for Christmas trees is a real fir: the balsam - so-called because its blister-like pockets yield a resinous liquid known as Canada balsam, which is used, among other things, for attaching cover plates to microscope slides.” The Douglas-fir is not a true fir, which is why it is spelled with a hyphen. Anytime you see a hyphen in the common name, you know it's not a true member of the genus.  Unearthed Words Almost 40 years ago, clinical psychologist and pet therapy expert Boris M. Levinson was asked to speculate on what the human-pet world might look like in the year 2000 and beyond.  Levinson turned out to be quite the soothsayer, predicting an explosion in pet acquisition thanks to the computer-driven, technological world. In January 1974, he said:“Suffering from even greater feelings of alienation than those which are already attacking our emotional health, future man will be compelled to turn to nature and the animal world to recapture some sense of unity with a world that otherwise will seem chaotic and meaningless ... in the year 2000 pets will become a very important safety valve in a sick society.” — Your Brain on Nature by Eva Selhub and Alan Logan  Grow That Garden Library Betty Crocker's Kitchen Gardens by Mary Mason Campbell  This book came out in 1971, and the illustrations are by Tasha Tudor. This is a vintage book for the gardener cook  - a 50-year-old classic with Betty Crocker recipes designed to incorporate herbs and vegetables. This book is 170 pages of adorably illustrated garden recipes. You can get a copy of Betty Crocker's Kitchen Gardens by Mary Mason Campbell and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $20  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartJanuary 21, 1901 On this day, The Danville News out of Danville, Kentucky, shared a story about the English Journalist, poet, and short-story writer, Rudyard Kipling. It turns out after Rudyard Kipling left Vermont, he rented a place called The Elms in the little English village of Rottingdean between 1897 and 1902. Now for some reason, Rudyard did not get along with a local bus driver named Boniface.  Apparently, when Boniface would drive his bus past Rudyard's property or see Rudyard outside, he would point his whip at him and snarkily say, "Here we have Mr. Kipling, the soldier-poet." Rudyard endured this character for a while, but then Boniface had an accident right outside Rudyard's home, and his bus hit one of Rudyard's favorite trees. Upset by the damage and the character of this man, Rudyard sent Boniface a stern complaint letter. Now Boniface happened to own a local tavern called “The White Horse Inn.” And after receiving Rudyard's letter, Boniface read the letter to his customers at the tavern, and while some of the customers advised ignoring the letter, one of the more wealthy customers bought the autographed letter from Kipling for 10 shillings. As for Rudyard, when he didn't hear anything back, he sent Boniface a second, more-strongly-worded, letter. Again, Boniface read the letter to his customers at the tavern. This time, one of his customers paid him a pound for the letter. After hearing nothing in days, you can imagine what happened next: Rudyard finally went to The White Horse Inn to meet Boniface in person, and he angrily asked why his letters went unanswered. Boniface smugly replied,"Why didn't I answer your letters, sir? Well, I was hoping you'd send me a fresh one every day. They pay a great deal better than driving a bus!"  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate the first woman to describe Fungi ("funj-eye") using the Linnaean system of classification. We'll also learn about a little-known prolific nature and floral writer from the 1800s. We hear a little recollection by a garden writer who received an armload of Forsythia from a friend named Alice, just when she needed it most. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that encourages you to garden confidently - putting anxieties and fear behind you and creating the space of your dreams. And then we’ll wrap things up with the roots of roses - they’re deeper than you think.  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 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 30 Unique Plants That Attract Butterflies | Tree Hugger | Meghan Holmes  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsMarch 1, 1717 Today is the birthday of the German artist, children's book author, translator, editor, and pioneering female botanist Catharina Helena Dörrien (“Durr-ee-in”). Catharina was born into an intellectual family in Hildesheim, a community Southeast of Hannover. Her father, Ranier, believed that while beauty fades, ignorance can be a lifelong affliction. And so, Rainier made sure that his daughter Catharina was educated. After the death of her parents and her brother, Catharina sought work as a governess nearly 200 miles away in the town of Dillenburg. Catharina worked for the Erath (“AIR-rit”) family - Anton was an attorney and scholar, and Sophie was a childhood friend to Catharina. Catharina could not have found a more like-minded household to her own family than the Eraths. Like her own parents, Anton and Sophie wanted both their sons and their daughters to be educated. Ultimately, the Eraths would become Catharina’s second family. As a teacher, Catharina turned to nature to teach about all subjects and life as well. Realizing there were few resources for teaching women or children, Catharina wrote her own textbooks, which were heavily focused on botany and the natural world. It was rare enough that Catharina was teaching children and women about the natural world; it was nearly miraculous that she could research and write her own instructional guides. As the Erath children grew, Catharina was able to focus on her botanical work. Anton helped Catharina gain membership to the Botanical Society of Florence - something unheard of for women of her time. Catharina would go on to be a member of the Berlin Society of Friends of Nature Research and the Regensburg Botanical Society. During Catharina’s time, Dillenburg was part of the Orange-Nassau principality, and she gradually came to the idea of creating a Flora for Orange-Nassau. Using her spare time to travel throughout the region, Catharina visited most areas at least twice to capture plant life in different seasons. During the winter months, Catharina dedicated her focus on the smallest plants: lichen, mosses, and fungi ("funj-eye"). In 1777, Catharina published her 496-page flora, which used the Linnaean system to organize and name each specimen. Catharina’s flora was remarkable for the 1700s - not only for using the Linnaean system and for the inclusion of new plants and plant names but also for the sheer fact that it was the work of a woman. Catharine became the first woman to name two new fungi ("funj-eye") during the 1700s. During her fieldwork, Catharina created over 1,400 illustrations of local flora and fauna. Yet, these masterpieces never made it into her flora. Instead, Catharina’s botanical art became an heirloom that was passed down through the generations of the Erath family. In 1875 a few pieces of Catharina’s work were shown at an exhibition. However, fifteen years later, a large collection of paintings by a man named Johann Philipp Sandberger was bought by the Museum of Wiesbaden. Johann was a dear friend of Anton Erath’s, and today, his work is considered to be copies of Catharine's original watercolor masterpieces. And yet, Sandberger’s pieces are precious because they give us a glimpse of Catharine’s breadth and depth of talent. Without Sandberger, all would be lost because the bulk of Catharine’s work has been lost to time. The curator Friedrich von Heinbeck once said that the precision of Catharine’s brush strokes was like that of an embroiderer who stitched with only the finest of thread. From a historical standpoint, Catharina became an invaluable part of Dillenburg's history when she created drawings and drafts of the destruction of Dillenburg Castle. It seems her interests extended beyond botany to the world around her. Catharina was a true Renaissance woman. Following in the fifty-year-old footsteps of botanical artists like Maria Sibylla Merian and Elizabeth Blackwell, Catharine managed to distinguish herself not only by her exquisite botanical art but also by her botanical work and in the naming two plants - two little lichens, she named major Doerrieni (“Durr-ee-en-ee”) and minor Doerrieni. Over the past three decades, Catharine’s life story has been rediscovered. In 2000, Regina Viereck wrote a biography of Catharina called "Zwar sind es weibliche Hände: Die Botanikerin und Pädagogin Catharina” Helena Dörrien (1717-1795) or "They are the hands of a woman” - the botanist and educator Catharina Helena Dörrien. And in 2018, Catharina’s story became the subject of an elaborate musical by Ingrid Kretz and debuted in Dillenburg; it was called Catharina Dörrien - A Life Between Love and War.  March 1, 1877 Today is the birthday of the children’s author, volunteer, poet, and teacher Lenore Elizabeth Mulets. Born Nora Mulertz in Kansas, Lenore’s mother died when she was just ten years old. Raised by her uncle’s family, Lenore left for Chicago’s Wheaton College to become a teacher. She found a position in Malden, Massachusetts, and then served as a YMCA canteen worker during WWI in Germany and France. I pieced together Lenore’s life story by reading the letters she sent to her sister Mildred during her time in Europe. Mildred shared the letters with the local Wellington Kanas newspaper. In addition to teaching, Lenore was a marvelous children’s author. Her books were always charming and uplifting. Her titles include Stories of Birds, Flower Stories, Insect Stories, Tree Stories, and Stories of Trees, just to name a few. In the preface to Flower Stories, Lenore wrote,“When the flowers of the field and garden lift their bright faces to you, can you call them by name and greet them as old acquaintances? Or, having passed them a hundred times, are they still strangers to you?In this little book of "Flower Stories," only our very familiar friends have been planted. About them have been woven our favorite poems, songs, and stories.” Regarding the seeds, Lenore wrote,A wonderful thing is a seed; The one thing deathless forever; Forever old and forever new; Utterly faithful and utterly true – Fickle and faithless never. Plant lilies and lilies will bloom;Plant roses and roses will grow;Plant hate and hate to life will spring;Plant love and love to you will bringThe fruit of the seed you sow. And long before Twitter, in her book Stories of Birds, Lenore wrote:Such a twittering and fluttering there was when this news came.  Unearthed Words My first winter in this country was long and bitterly cold, and I was desperate for spring, which I then was used to seeing appear far earlier. One day a new friend brought me an armful of Forsythia branches still covered with half-melted snow — sensing my homesickness, she had denuded one of her bushes for me. I had nowhere cold and bright in the apartment in which we were living, so that Forsythia had to be put in a hot, unlighted hall. But this particular present came to me late in the season and at a time when Forsythia will flower even when forced under intolerable conditions. And when it last in this strange country, something came to life through my efforts. I began to feel that here was truly home. Now each year, as the Forsythia flowers again for me indoors, I remember that incident as the turning point in my feelings about this country, and I recall with deep affection the sensitivity of that friend. — Thalassa Cruso, British-American gardener, writer, TV presenter and ''the Julia Child of Horticulture”, To Everything There is a Season, Alice and Forsythia Grow That Garden Library Fearless Gardening by Loree Bohl This book came out in January of 2021, and the subtitle is Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You Love. In this book, the woman behind the website, The Danger Garden, teaches us how to live on the edge and in the beds of our Gardens without fear or anxiety. Loree lives to “inspire people to look at plants differently and see their gardens through new eyes—to treat gardening as an adventure, to embrace the freedom to explore a new type of plant, and then to plant it just because they want to.” The roots of horticulture in academia have provided a framework of do’s and don’ts cloaked within a fortress of botanical nomenclature and complex terminology. It’s no wonder gardeners feel anxious. As Loree says,“Why not surround yourself with plants you love? Who cares if they’re not supposed to be planted together, might eventually crowd each other, or aren’t everyone’s cup of tea? It’s your garden and you should love it; you should be having fun.Remember, there's always room for one more plant…” This book is 256 pages of gardening without a rulebook or guilt or all the should’s and oughta’s from a woman who made her garden her own way through courageous experimentation, zone-pushing, an artistic eye, and an adventurous spirit. You can get a copy of Fearless Gardening by Loree Bohl and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $18  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartMarch 1, 1979  On this day, The Call-Leader out of Elwood, Indiana, published an article called The Roots Of Roses Go Back Many Years.“If you were to trace the ancestry of today's rose, you'd have enough "begats" to fill a book, maybe two! In fact, a fossilized rose found at Crooked River, Oregon, some years ago established that this particular species grew on our continent 35 million years ago. And some paleobotanists believe the rose dates back to the Cretaceous Age 70 million years ago. This would make the rose older than any known civilization ... and a forerunner of the Garden of Eden. Since 1979 has been designated "The Year of the Rose," perhaps a little rose history is in order, says John A. Wott, Purdue University extension home environment horticulturist. Briefly, all of our roses came from species. Cross-species gave us a new hybrid type of rose, and crossing of types provided another new type. Rosa gallica, the Adam of roses native to the western hemisphere, crossed with Rosa moschata begat the Autumn Damask; Rosa gallica, crossed with Rosa canina, begat the Alba, and crossed with Rosa Phoenicia begat the Damask. The Damask, crossed with Alba, begat centifolia, and on and on... All of these western hemisphere crosses yielded roses with an annual flowering, except for the Autumn Damask. In the late 1700s, botanists discovered everblooming roses growing in the gardens of the sub-tropics in China. Because of their tea-like fragrance, they became known as Tea Roses. When these tea roses were crossed with descendants of the gallica, the first result was the bourbon. And bourbon, crossed with a tea, produced hybrid perpetual. Hybrid perpetual, crossed back to tea, begat hybrid tea, and... Now for some interesting facts about roses: Did you know no rose species are native to any land areas south of the equator? Did you know the name rose appears in no fewer than 4,000 published songs? Did you know the rose is the official state flower of New York, Iowa, Georgia, and North Dakota? Did you know that in all polls ever taken to determine the most popular flower, the rose is the overwhelming favorite? Did you know the rose has been sniffed by royalty for centuries? We owe much to Empress Josephine of France for our modern-day roses… [It was Josephine who] assembled the leading hybridizers of her time and sponsored their experiments to develop new strains and varieties.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate the woman who donated her entire orchid collection to begin the Belle Isle Conservatory. We'll also learn about a woman who Burpee honored with the naming of a Marigold. We hear an excerpt from a garden diary for this week of March. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a very delightful book that teaches how to make your own floral cocktails. And then we’ll wrap things up with a little story that shares five favorite perennials for country life.  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 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 4 Things You Can Plant in March, the Very Beginning of Outdoor Gardening Season | Apartment Therapy | Molly WilliamsFacebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsMarch 5, 1866 Today is the birthday of Anna Scripps Whitcomb. Anna was born to James and Harriet Scripps. Anna's father was an entrepreneur; he founded the Detroit News and helped found the Detroit Museum of Art. In 1891, Anna married Edgar Whitcomb and together they raised two children. The couple lived on a beautiful estate in Gross Pointe and along the way, Anna nurtured her passion for orchids. The Whitcomb property boasted two large greenhouses which were largely devoted to orchids. During the first half of the 1900s, Orchids were still very challenging to grow and they had a very poor germination rate. Anna’s success with orchids was in large part thanks to her longtime gardener and propagator William Crichton who worked for Anna for almost 30 years. William often had the help of a small staff of gardeners and the team worked together to show many of Anna’s orchids at the Detroit Flower Show. A charming article about Anna’s orchids highlighted William’s expertise this way,“With a fine brush, [William] transferred the pollen of one gorgeous flower to another. The seed pod of the fertilized flower would contain a quarter million seeds, a few hundred thousand of which would be planted and half of them would bloom nine years after spring.Because the modern orchid grower studies the ancestry of his plants... [William] can predict their possible forms and colorings and qualities. But exactly what will happen,  [William] must wait nine years to learn.Until recently the orchid breeder could count upon no more than five percent of selected seeds surviving to germinate. Now the famous Cornell University method has raised the life expectancy of orchid seeds to 50 percent. With this method seeds are sown in a propagating jelly, which looks like library paste. It is composed of chemicals, salts and nutrients made from seaweed.[Each year, William] will cross but one, possibly two, pair. [William] will save perhaps 10,000 to 20,000 seeds and plant half of them… Five flasks filled with the Cornell agar jelly [are] sufficient to fill a small orchid house with bloom.[And] Each flask [is corked with cotton and covered with a glass and] hold[s] [between] 500 to 1,000 seeds, fine as star dust, In ten months flecks of green appear on the thick, white gelatine within the flask. Minute seedlings are ready for the outside world, where, for eight or nine years more, they must face the hazards of life. Drafts, germs, insects, diseases, changes in temperature, careless hands would destroy them.Little pots filled with a special orchid moss, known as Osmunda fiber, are prepared, perhaps 10 or a dozen, for the benches of the private orchid house. The grower transfers the bits of green, washing off the jelly, scattering the thousands of seedlings, like chopped parsley, over the smooth, spongy surface of the moss.Years pass. The infant plants are moved from the nursery to less crowded quarters. Weak individuals are discarded. Finally, each survivor stands alone in a pot, guarded, sprayed, scrubbed with soap, watered and fed, by day and by night, in controlled degrees of heat and humidity.” Before Anna died, she made arrangements for her orchid collection in the event of her death. And in April of 1953, Anna’s entire orchid collection - all 600 of them - to the Belle Isle Conservatory owned by the city of Detroit. Built in 1904, the domed conservatory had gradually deteriorated. Without Anna’s gift and the commitment of 450,000 to renovate and improve the wooden structure with aluminum beams, the 50-year-old glass-domed building would have likely met its end. The very month Anna’s orchids were gifted, the conservatory was renamed as The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. Today the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is the oldest continually-running conservatory in the United States - and people just refer to it as the Belle Isle Conservatory.  March 5, 2012 Today The Akron Beacon Journal shared a story about some of the wealthiest women in Akron Ohio during the Victorian era. One of the women profiled was the gardener, composer, songwriter, and philanthropist Idabelle Firestone. As you might have suspected, Idabelle was the wife of rubber baron Harvey Firestone. In 1929, Idabelle generously started the Idabelle Firestone School of Nursing at Akron City Hospital with a founding donation of $400,000. A lover of gardens and gardening, David Burpee of Burpee Seed fame even named a marigold in Idabelle’s honor. Idabelle incorporated gardens and nature into her musical compositions. Ida even wrote a song called “In My Garden,” which starts out with someone missing their sweetheart and then ends with this verse:A garden sweet,A garden small,Where rambler rosesCreep along the wall.Where dainty phlox and columbineAre nodding to the trumpet vine.And now each flower is sweeter dearI know it’s just because at last you’re here. Idabelle was a kind woman and a reporter once wrote,“Idabelle Firestone doesn’t need a grand mansion to be a lady. She’d be a lady in a shack.”  Unearthed Words [March is] the watching month, the month in which to watch the ground for the bright spears of green of daffodil and iris, and for the bloom of species tulips; for the snowdrop, the earliest crocus, the color in the stem of shrub and tree. [And] the first injunction for every month of the year should really be this: keep a garden notebook. If this has not been started in January, then this is the time to buy the book and make the first entries. — Mrs. Francis King (aka Louisa Boyd Yeomans King), The Flower Garden Day by Day, March 1 and March 2  Grow That Garden Library Floral Cocktails by Lottie Muir This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is 40 fragrant and flavourful flower-powered drinks. In this book, Lottie helps us learn to take flowers from the edge of the glass as a garnish and make them the star of the show - the main focus for gorgeous and flavorful libations and beverages. Lottie’s recipes include a heady honeysuckle syrup, a fabulous raspberry and scented geranium drink, a lavender gin, a nasturtium rum, a gorse flower syrup, and a rose petal vodka, just to name a few. Lottie was the perfect author for this book because she is the creator of The Midnight Apothecary pop-up, a unique cocktail bar set in a roof garden in London. Lottie’s creativity with flowers has evolved into glorious cocktail creations for gardener mixologists. This book is 64 pages of plant-powered cocktails created to delight your senses and feature your favorite blossoms from your own home garden. You can get a copy of Floral Cocktails by Lottie Muirand support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $5  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartMarch 5, 2017 On this day The Herald-Palladium out of Saint Joseph, Michigan shared an article called “Flowers for the Country Border” by Maureen Gilmour. In this article Maureen shares a glimpse of farm life - a busy lifestyle where Maureen says, “With all the chores to do, few have time to sweat the details, seek perfection or create glossy magazine looks.” And so, the perennials that make it on the farm are tough and dependable and require little fuss. As Maureen says,“In early farms and ranches, the first perennials [were] the stalwart wildflowers of range and prairie. Planted from gathered seed, or roots transplanted to the yard from wild stands, these big bold perennials took hold and flourished. They have proven to take the worst conditions and survive, to bring color, wildlife, and flavor, without toxicity to pets, livestock or kids.” Next Maureen recommends five favorite perennials for country life: 1.Bee Balm“Monarda didyma is a vigorous North American native perennial ... In the colonies, it’s foliage was an alternative to boycotted tea after the Boston Tea Party.”  2. Blanketflower“Gaillardia pulchella grows low and dense, producing flowers heavily, and then self sows for many new volunteers next year. This species is not as picky about soil quality for success” 3. Purple Coneflower“Echinacea purpurea is best known as a supplement, but this is the finest native for borders.” 4. Shasta Hybrids“This plant is … a curious hybrid invented a century ago by Luther Burbank. Snow white flowers of the original have many size variations, with the original proving as long-lived and resilient as many natives.” 5. Fennel“This popular kitchen garden herb produces tall plants with umbelliferous flower heads that fill the air with these delicate forms late into the winter. The plants will flourish so they grow together into a dense mass. This blocks sunlight to the soil beneath so weeds are less likely to sprout.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a man who wrote the book on growing and selling orchids. We'll also learn about a very special Arbor Day to honor Luther Burbank. We hear a touching excerpt about the final days of an incredible gardener, teacher, and friend. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about the beautiful flowers of Japan. And then we’ll wrap things up with a sweet little advertisement about the Gladiolus and Dahlias - two beautiful flowers that most gardeners are ordering and shopping for this month (if they haven’t already).  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 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 toJennifer@theDailyGardener.org Curated News 5 Perennial Herbs You Should Grow | Hunker | Michelle Miley  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsMarch 4, 1847 Today is the birthday of the German-English orchidologist and nurseryman Henry Frederick Conrad Sander. As a young man of 20 years old, Conrad met the Czech plant collector Benedict Roezl. Benedict’s heart lay in exploration and acquisition; he did not enjoy the marketing and sales aspects of plant hunting. Instead, these skills were Conrad’s strengths. The two men struck up a business plan that left Benedict free to explore and collect and Conrad to sell, sell, sell. Conrad set up shop in St. Albans, and Benedict was soon sending shipments of orchids from Central and South America. Benedict collected for Sander for 40 years. Even though Benedict was 6'2" tall and had that imposing iron hook for a hand, Benedict was robbed 17 times and, once, even attacked by a jaguar during his collecting days. After his quick success with Benedict, Conrad expanded his operations. Soon Conrad was managing inventory from over twenty collectors, growing orchids in over sixty greenhouses, and entertaining visitors that included Europe’s top collectors and even royalty. As a result of his business success acquiring, breeding, and selling orchids, Conrad became known as the King of Orchids. Leveraging his incredible expertise, Conrad wrote a masterpiece in two volumes on every variety of orchid. The book was folio-sized, with text in three languages - English, French, and German - and the botanical drawing of orchids were life-sized. As a sign of great respect, Conrad named his book Reichenbachia in honor of the legendary orchidologist Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach. Reichenbach had named more orchids than any other person, and in his will, he asked that his herbarium be closed for 25 years to protect his work with orchids from his competitors. In turn, in 1882, Heinrich honored Sanders by naming the “Queen of Philippine Orchids” after Sanders - naming it the Vanda Sanderiana, which the locals called the waling-waling orchid. The waling-waling is considered one of the rarest, most beautiful, and most expensive orchid, and it is also one of the largest species of orchids in the world. Orchids are some of the world’s oldest flowering plants, producing the world’s tiniest seeds. A single Orchid seedpod can contain three million seeds! Orchids are also the largest family of flowering plants in the world. With over 25,000 species, Orchids represent about ten percent of all plant species on earth, and there are more orchids on earth than mammals and birds! Now, once they are germinated, Orchids can take five to seven years to produce a flower. And if you look at the orchid bloom closely, you’ll see that the blossom, like the human face, is perfectly symmetrical, which only adds to their visual beauty. And, by the time you are buying that Orchid at Trader Joe’s, it is likely already decades old. But never fear, Orchids are long-lived and can reach their 100th birthday. The vastness and complexity of orchids can be frustrating. Charles Darwin grew so discouraged writing his book about orchids that he wrote to a friend,“I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everybody and everything.”  March 4, 1949 On this day, the Santa Cruz Sentinel out of Santa Cruz, California, published a lovely story about the upcoming Arbor Day celebration. The story featured a wonderful photo of a tree being pruned with the caption,“Santa Rosa Citizens To Plant Trees In Commemoration Of Birth Of Famed Luther Burbank: Nurseryman Joe Badger, who in his youth used to steal fruit from Luther Burbank's trees, prunes a flowering plum tree as Burbank's widow looks on. On Arbor Day, which this year will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great horticulturist, this tree will be planted in Mrs. Burbank's garden at Santa Rosa, Calif, near the spot where her husband is buried. ”  Burbank’s widow said,“No, there will be no wreath-laying on Luther Burbank's grave... Laying a wreath is only a ceremony... It doesn't make things grow." she said. Instead, she and Nurseryman Joe Badger, who as a youngster stole plums from the Burbank experimental gardens, will plant a flowering plum tree adjoining the Redwood highway, where passersby can enjoy it. "That is the way he would have wanted it without ceremony. Mr. Burbank never liked fanfare. His interest was in things alive like a tree or a plant or a flower. Or a group of school children coming to sing to him on his birthday."  The flowering plum was developed by her husband. He gained world fame with his Burbank potato, his spineless cactus, and many other horticultural achievements. Her husband now lies buried under a huge Cedar of Lebanon tree in a simple unmarked grave. Beside him lies his white mongrel dog, Bonita, who was his constant companion until Burbank died in 1926. Burbank requested that no marking be placed above his burial place. Instead, he was buried beneath his Cedar of Lebanon. He, himself, had planted the seed sent by a friend in Palestine. He had said,"When I go, don't raise a monument to me; plant a tree," Unearthed Words We were not to live and practice with Alan Chadwick again until eight years later, when he returned to Green Gulch at the end of his life. Despite the unrelenting grip of his illness, Alan continued to rage against the dying of the light. He announced with dignity, “I intend to be in the garden tomorrow.” “We will welcome you,” I murmured… Alan never made it to the garden. Instead, we brought the garden to him. I cut armloads of fresh flowers for him every few days, winter jonquils and Korean lilac, wind-blown anemones and stiff Coral Quince that Alan recognized from his original gardens at Green Gulch, and a single blood-red poppy grown from seed gathered from the World War II battlefields of Flanders. During these months, the garden itself upwelled with a rare treasure trove of bloom, and Allen drank long draughts from the bottomless pool of flowers. — Wendy Johnson, Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate, Chapter 1: Valley of the AncestorsGrow That Garden Library Flora Japonica by Masumi Yamanaka This book came out in 2017, and Masumi is an award-winning botanical artist based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. In this book, Masumi begins by revealing the history of Japanese botanical illustration with a lovely overview of the influential botanist and illustrator Tomitaro Makino's work. Next, Masumi shares beautiful artwork that showcases the indigenous plants of Japan. Flora Japonica showcases eighty specially-commissioned paintings from thirty-six of Japan’s best modern botanical artists. Daily Gardeners will love that each painting also shares detailed information about the plant’s habitat and history, as well as a botanical description. This book is 240 pages of botanical art that highlights Japan’s glorious and incomparable flora. You can get a copy of Flora Japonica by Masumi Yamanaka and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $4  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartMarch 4, 1956 It was on this day that the Chicago Tribune ran two advertisements for Gladiolus and Dahlias by R. H. Shumway. The Gladiolus were being sold as a rainbow mixture. 50 bulbs cost $1.00, 100 bulbs cost $1.75 and 200 bulbs cost $3.25. The Dahlias were the New Giant variety, and two bulbs cost 25 cents, and that also covered the cost of postage. Right about now is the perfect time to order Gladiolus and Dahlias. Gladiolus are the official flower of August. Gladiolus's etymology is Latin and means “little sword” in reference to the shape of the flowers. The corms have been used medicinally to help extract slivers or thorns. In cold climates, once you plant your gladiolus and enjoy their blooms in late summer, you can dig the bulbs up in the fall and store them until you can plant them again in the spring. And I’ll never forget what my friend Joel Karsten, the author of Straw Bale Gardening, told me about how easy it is to plant gladiolus in conditioned straw bales. Once the flowers are done blooming in the fall, you just kick the bale over, and all the corms fall out for easy gathering. As for the beautiful Dahlia, it was originally grown as a food crop. It turns out the tubers are edible and taste a little like other root vegetables: the potato and the carrot. The Dahlia is named to honor the Swedish botanist Anders Dahl. Dahlias are in the same family as Common Daisies and Sunflowers. Dahlias come in all shapes and sizes, and some are as large as dinner plates. And, here’s a little fun fact about the Dahlia: it’s the official flower of the city of destiny and goodwill: Seattle.  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate the man who is remembered in one of the garden’s sweetest summer annuals - the lobelia. We'll also learn about the man who invented the telephone - he also happened to love gardening and the natural world. We hear a great memory about rhubarb from one of my favorite garden books from 2020, and the author is an incredible artist to boot! We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book to help you develop positive, meaningful mantras in your life. And then we’ll wrap things up with some little-known facts about the birth flower for March.  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 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 Planning and Designing a Productive Vegetable Garden | The Ukiah Daily Journal | Melinda Myers  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsMarch 3, 1616 Today is the birthday of the  Flemish physician and botanist Mathias de l'Obel ("ma-TEE-us dew Lew-bell"). Mathias practiced medicine in England. And among his accomplishments, Mathias was the first botanist to recognize the difference between monocots and dicots. Today we remember Mathias de l'Obel ("LEW-bell") with the Lobelia plant. Before researching Mathias, I pronounced obelia as "LOW- beel- ya". But now, knowing the French pronunciation of his name, I will say it "LEW-beel-ya." It's a subtle little change (LOW vs. LEW), but after all, the plant is named in Mathias's honor. Now, for as lovely as the Lobelia is, the common names for Lobelia are terribly unattractive and they include names like Asthma Weed, Bladderpod, Gagroot, Pukeweed, Vomit Wort, and  Wild Tobacco. These common names for Lobelia reflect that Lobelia is very toxic to eat. Despite its toxicity, Lobelia is one of the sweetest-looking plants for your summer containers. This dainty annual comes in pink, light blue, and royal blue. Personally, every year, I buy two flats of light blue Lobelias. But no matter the color you choose, lobelias are a favorite of pollinators. The delicate blossoms frequently host bees, butterflies, and moths, which only adds to their charm.  March 3, 1847 Today is the birthday of the Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. In 1855, Alexander co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, known today as AT&T. And although most people know about Alexander's story with regard to the telephone, most people are unaware that Alexander had a love for gardening and the natural world.  Early on in his childhood, Alexander was drawn to the natural world, and he collected botanical specimens and conducted experiments. After attending school for only five years, Alexander took personal control over his lifelong love of learning. Growing up, Alexander's best friend, Ben Herdman, was from a family who owned a flour mill. When Alexander was 12 years old, he created a device that rotated paddles equipped with nail brushes and the family used this dehusking machine in their mill operations for years. As a gesture of thanks, Ben’s father made a space for the boys where they could invent to their heart's content. Now many people are unaware that Alexander’s mother was deaf, and Alexander had dedicated himself to helping the deaf his entire life. As a young man, Alexander opened a school for teachers of the deaf. While he was in Boston, he even worked with a young Helen Keller. Later on, he worked with a young woman named Mabel Hubbard, who became deaf as a child from scarlet fever. After five years of courtship, Alexander and Mabel married. At the ceremony, Alex presented Mabel with a special wedding present: nearly all the shares of the stock in a company called Bell Telephone. Alexander and Mabel shared a lifelong love of gardening. The couple built a summer home in the charming village of Baddeck, Canada, in 1889. Mabel would stroll the neighborhoods and ask about the plants that were growing in the gardens. Generous and kind, Mabel donated many flowers to the people of Baddeck. Today the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site features a lovely garden that boasts flowers, shrubs, and trees - including a magnolia which was a favorite of Mabel’s. Recently Candian scientists revealed that they suspect that Alexander may have planted Heracleum mantegazzianum, commonly known as Giant Hogweed, in his garden. Even now, there remains an impressive cluster of dangerous giant hogweed near Baddeck. The sap of Giant hogweed causes sensitivity to sunlight and UV rays, which can lead to severe skin and eye problems — including blindness, which would have been very upsetting to Alexander. And, here’s a little-known fact about Alexander: The gardener and children’s book illustrator Tasha Tudor learned to love gardening from Alexander Graham Bell. Tasha’s well-connected family had visited Alexander at his home in Maryland when he was a young single man. Tasha was five years old, and she recalled that fell in love with Alexander’s roses during that first visit. Tasha always credited the vision of Alexander’s rosebeds with inspiring her decision to become a gardener.  Unearthed Words Every Sunday, my immediate and extended family gathered for dinner at my grandpa's house. Everyone congregated in the kitchen, and there was always a television on in the corner. There was a smiling pink plastic pig from RadioShack that sat in the refrigerator and oinked at you when you opened the door. We giggled in front of the antique glass cabinet, peeking in at the vintage salt and pepper shakers shaped like boobs that were supposed to be hidden. It felt like an adventure to explore the house and play with old decorations and trinkets. When it was summertime, we gathered on the back porch, where there were mismatched chairs and benches and another television in the corner. A baseball game was always on, and you could hear the hum and buzz of a bug zapper in the background. Rhubarb grew on a small knoll near the house. My cousin, sister, and I were told not to eat the big, broad green leaves, but we did pick and snack on the ruby-pink stalks straight from the ground, our mouths puckering from the intense sourness. — Katie Vaz (“Voz”), My Life in Plants, Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)  Grow That Garden Library Find Your Mantra by Aysel Gunar  This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is Inspire and Empower Your Life with 75 Positive Affirmations. In this inspiring book with a delightful botanical cover, Aysel takes you through the steps to developing positive, meaningful mantras in your life. Now, this is not a gardening book, but it is about developing aspects of life that many gardeners seek: peace, love, happiness, and strength for your own personal journey. Aysel’s book is full of beautiful illustrations and design. You’ll find plenty of positivity and mindfulness. Aysel encourages us to be present, embrace love and light, choose joy, and recognizing our blessings. If you're looking for something for yourself or a friend, Aysel’s book is truly a gift. This book is 144 pages of affirmations to help you be more present, free yourself from worry and anxiety, and embrace all that is good in your life - like our gardens and our many blessings - and lead a more rewarding life. You can get a copy of Find Your Mantra by Aysel Gunar and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $7  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heart The birth flower for March birthdays is the Daffodil. Daffodils are also the 10th-anniversary flower. A bouquet of Daffodils means happiness and hope, but a single Daffodil is an omen of bad luck in your future. In England, back in 1889, the Reverend George Herbert Engleheart began breeding Daffodils - some 700 varieties in his lifetime. Fans of ‘Beersheba,’ ‘Lucifer,’ or ‘White Lady,’ have Reverend Engleheart to thank. George spent every spare minute breeding, and his parishioners would often find a note tacked to the church door saying,“No service today, working with Daffodils.” Daffodils were highly valued in ancient times because the Romans believed that the sap could be used for healing. Today we know that all parts of the Daffodil are toxic, and the sap is toxic to other flowers, which is why you must soak Daffs separately for 24 hours before you add them to a bouquet. And if you do this, don’t recut the stems because that will release more sap, and then you’ll have to start all over. If you’re wondering, the compounds in Daffodil sap are lycorine and calcium oxalate crystals. Found in the leaves and stems of the Daffodil. the calcium oxalate crystals can irritate your skin, so be careful handling Daffodils. The toxic nature of Daffodils means that deer and other animals won’t eat them - unlike other spring-flowering bulbs like tulips. And contrary to popular opinion, daffs can be carefully divided in the early spring. Once the soil has started to thaw, you can take divisions from large clumps and then pop them into new places in the garden. As long as the bulbs are carefully lifted with plenty of soil attached to the roots and promptly replanted, they will still bloom this year. Generally, it is advised to separate and move bulbs after they have bloomed, but that can push the task into early summer when there is already so much to do. Finally, there's really one poem that is regarded as the Mother of All Daffodil Poems, and it's this one. I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden Daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the Daffodils. — William Wordsworth, English Romantic poet, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate the man who went to Mexico as an ambassador and sent back the plant that became synonymous with Christmas. We'll also learn about a gardener who worked for 50 years to create one of England’s top gardens. We hear a charming account of spring’s flower show. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a fantastic book for gardeners looking to ferment their harvest this year. And then we’ll wrap things up with a sweet little story about the State Flower of Idaho.  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 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 Urban pollinators get almost all their food from backyard gardens | UPI | Brooks Hays  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsMarch 2, 1779 Today is the birthday of the physician, botanist, and American statesman, Joel Roberts Poinsett. In the 1820s, President John Quincy Adams appointed Joel to serve as a US ambassador in Mexico. Joel was introduced to a beautiful plant that the Aztecs called the cuetlaxochitl (“qwet-la-SHO-chee-til”) but today it's better known as the Poinsettia. The Aztecs used to extract a purple dye from the Poinsettia, which they used for decorative purposes. Like euphorbias, the Poinsettia has a white sap that the Aztecs used that white sap to treat wounds, skin diseases, and fever which is how it got the common name “Skin Flower.” The Aztecs also used the leaves of the Poinsettia to make a tea to increase breast milk in nursing mothers. In warm climates like Mexico, the poinsettia grows year-round and can grow up to 16 feet tall. In 1825, when Joel Poinsett sent clippings back home to South Carolina, botanists had new common names for the plant: “the Mexican Fire Plant” or “the Painted Leaf.” The botanist Karl Wilenow (“Vill-ah-no”) named the Poinsettia the Euphorbia pulcherrima. Pulcherrima means “very beautiful.” And already in 1836, English newspapers were reporting about the Poinsettia in great detail:"Poinsettia Pulcherrima, the bracts which surround the numerous flowers, are of the most brilliant rosy-crimson color, the splendor of which is quite dazzling. Few, if any of the most highly valued beauties of our gardens, can vie with this.Indeed, when we take into consideration the profuse manner in which it flowers, the luxuriance of its foliage, and the long duration of the bracts, we are not aware of any plant more deserving in all select collections than this lovely and highly prized stranger." Every year, on December 12th, the day Joel Poinsett died, we celebrate National Poinsettia Day.  March 2, 1875 Today is the birthday of the head gardener at Warley Place, John Jacob Mauerer. Jacob’s story is intertwined with the enormously wealthy English horticulturalist Ellen Ann Willmott, who was 17 years older than him. In 1875, the year Jacob was born, Ellen’s parents moved to Warley Place, a beautiful natural property set on 33 acres of land in Essex. As it turned out, Ellen lived there for the rest of her life. Every member of the Willmott family loved gardening, Ellen’s parents often invited the Swiss botanist and world-renown alpine specialist Henri Corravon to be a guest in their home. When Ellen’s wealthy aunt and godmother, Countess Helen Trasker, died, Ellen inherited some significant money. And when her father died, Ellen became the owner of Warley Place. With her large inheritance and the keys to the property she had grown to love, Ellen planted to her heart's content. Ellen also quickly hired over 100 gardeners to help transform Warley Place into one of the world's top botanical gardens. One time, while Ellen was visiting Henri Corravon’s nursery in Switzerland, she learned that he was quite pleased with a new gardener named Jacob. After watching him work, Ellen hired him away with a promise to provide him a retirement package, which included a house to live in and a pension of £1 per week. The year was 1894, and Jacob Mauerer was 19 years old when he left Switzerland for Warley Place. Well, Ellen proved to be a hard taskmaster and a cold, unfeeling boss. She fired any gardener who was deemed responsible for allowing a weed to grow in one of her beds. And, Ellen once derided her own sex, saying,“Women would be a disaster in the border.” (and by that, she meant the garden.) Ellen blew through her inheritance quickly. She used her money to set up three lavish homes - each with impressive gardens of their own: one in France, one in Italy, and Warley Place. And Ellen also funded trips for plant explorers like Ernest Henry Wilson, and in return, she not only received the latest plants, but many were named in her honor. For all her fortune and connections, Ellen died penniless and heartbroken. Ellen had been wreckless with her spending, and her personality could be distasteful, haughty, and demanding. By the mid-1900s, Ellen’s top breeders began to leave Great Warley. Jacob became Ellen’s most trusted employee, and he stayed on with his large family living in a building on the property called South Lodge. Today, while there are many people who long to restore Warley to its former glory, most folks forget that Ellen’s Warley Place was created on the backs of men like Jacob Mauerer, who worked unbelievable hours without recognition or regard. Jacob raised his family at South Lodge in impoverished conditions on 18 shillings a week while he worked 6 days a week at Warley. To supplement the family’s food, Jacob grew onions, leeks, and potatoes, and he tended to these crops in the evening after his daily job was finished. Occasionally he would find partridge eggs on the edge of the pond. The eggs were the only bonus Jacob ever received. And while Jacob could write in English very well, he had trouble speaking English. Jacob and his wife Rosina had four sons: Max, John Jacob Jr., Ernest, and Alfred. Their five daughters came next, and Jacob named them all after flowers: Rose, Violet, Lily, Marguerite, and Iris. Iris’s delivery was difficult, and Rosina developed tuberculosis and died a year later. Ellen tried to find a place for Rosina to get treatment, but when she couldn't find a facility, she did nothing else to help Rosina or Jacob’s family. Iris was born in May of 1917, and by the following May, Rosina died. She was just 34 years old. The most heartbreaking passages from Ellen’s biography are when Audrey describes the conditions of Jacob’s work. Like when botanical guests from Kew and Universities would visit. While the distinguished guests could tell that Jacob was very knowledgeable and was an excellent gardener, they couldn’t understand him when he spoke during tours, and so invariably, they would just turn and leave him in the garden. All the credit for the garden would invariably go to Ellen. In fact, Gertrude Jekyll once said Ellen was,"...the greatest living women gardener on the planet." Today we know that feat was accomplished with the help of over a hundred men and by Jacob, who worked at Warley for half a century. Then there was this passage that really gives a glimpse into Jacob’s life as the head gardener:“Ellen would never actually cross the threshold of South Lodge, for it would have seemed to her a very undignified thing to do. Instead, she approached as nearly as she thought she could do without loss of face, and, standing just inside the yard but not inside the bones of the little hedge which separated off the vegetable garden, she would yell “Jacob! Jacob!” in a high-pitched authoritative staccato. At whatever time of the day or night, and whether or no he was in the middle of a meal, Jacob hastened to the call: he was bred to obey, and she expected it of him.” There is so little information about Jacob that I put together a family tree for his family on Ancestry. I could see that he remarried the Warley Place caretaker’s daughter Maggie after losing his wife. I could see that he had died in Switzerland. What I discovered in Audrey’s book was that Jacob was 69 years old when his boss Ellen Willmott died, and Audrey describes what happened next to Jacob this way:“Jacob suffered greatly from the dismembering… of the garden, he attended so faithfully…  he sorrowfully packed up his beloved plants.  (Apparently the whole garden was taken apart, boxed up, and shipped away.)And he had the worry of what… to do when the estate was finally sold:  he saw the promise of a little house and the 1 pound per week pension which had first persuaded him to leave Geneva fading before his eyes. He saw his life's work crumble. [His] anxieties press too hard... He began to show fears of being followed and persecuted…South Lodge was sold, and Jacob and his wife had to leave.Jacob felt the need to return to his native Switzerland.  There he lived with Maggie for two unhappy years of increasing mental anguish, until in the summer of 1937 he committed suicide — the bitter end of a lifetime of labor and a hard reward for a kindly and lovable man.” Isn't that terribly sad? Today, Warley Place is a wild nature reserve maintained by the Essex Wildlife Trust in England.  Unearthed Words The goddess spring is thought of as being truly rural, but that is a mistake. She makes her first appearance in great stoney cities like New York. When the suburban garage roof is still white with frost, and the perennial bed is a glacier, spring comes to town. Here, just around the corner from billion-dollar banks, are show windows filled with downy new-hatched chicks,  and along the curb are thickets of naked young apple trees and clumps of bundled-up evergreens. Further uptown... spring hires a hall and displays... a flower show. Bless her kind heart. [And] in walk the familiar creatures loved of old, and wonderful blushing debutantes: a proud young Rose; a yellow Darwin tulip whose bulb is worth its weight in Silver; new sweet peas, showing off their lustrous frocks; dainty Primrose visitors from the old world; strange bright Gallardias from western deserts; new Gladioli from Nepal by way of Indiana; new Welsh daffodils Americanized in Virginia — all these move in spring’s procession.“There is one thing about it,” says spring as she mops her fevered brow... “I don't have to [market] my goods. My customers like [everything] that I display. They are already persuaded.” — Leonard H Robbins, Cure It With a Garden, Spring’s Fashion Show  Grow That Garden Library Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey This book came out in 2014, and the subtitle is Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes & Pastes.  In this book, Kristen and Christopher share how to make fermented foods, and with their straight-forward guidance, you’ll soon realize it is the easiest and most miraculous activity you’ll ever experiment with in your kitchen. The Shockey’s are pros when it comes to fermenting, and they share their top recipes for fermenting 64 different vegetables and herbs. Fermentation is not a mystery, but it can be intimidating without a clear understanding. Kristen and Christopher’s step-by-step directions will help you master the process of lacto-fermentation - a classic preserving method - from brine and salt to techniques and seasoning. In addition to their tried and true recipes, Kristen and Christopher add suggestions, tips, and advice for each vegetable. This book is 368 pages of fermentation basics that will help you create nutrient-dense live foods packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and probiotic goodness for you and your family. You can get a copy of Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $12  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartMarch 2, 1931 On this day, the Idaho State Flower was officially adopted: the Mock Orange. In the 1800s the Mock Orange was known as the Syringa. And the botanical name for Mock Orange Philadelphus Lewisii help us know that Meriwether Lewis discovered this plant on the Lewis and Clark expedition on the 4th of July in 1806. Native Americans used the straight stems of Mock Orange to make Arrows which is how it earned the common name Arrowwood. Both the leaves and the bark contain the compound saponin, which tells us that Mock Orange is a natural source of soap. Mock Oranges are a gardener’s favorite shrub, thanks to their beautiful flush of late spring/early fragrant summer flowers. A 1924 article said,“The Mock Orange comes in the wake of the Lilac, a little more resplendent and more carefree... as if to ease our sense of loss for that fair daughter of the springtime.” And I thought you would enjoy learning how the Mock Orange came to be the State Flower of Idaho: The story centers on a woman named Emma Sarah Edwards. Emma’s father, John Edwards, had served as the Governor of Missouri. John and his wife Emma Jeanne had raised Emma in Stockton, California. As a young woman, Emma had attended an art school in New York. But, on her trip back home to California, she stopped in Boise to visit friends. Her visit ended up being a turning point in her life when she landed a job as an art teacher. To her surprise and delight, Emma won the state contest for her design of the Idaho State Seal, which Emma described this way:“The State Flower, the wild syringa, the Mock Orange grows at a woman’s feet while the ripened wheat grows as high as her shoulders.” Well, Emma lived the rest of her days in Idaho. And she had the distinct honor of being the only woman to design a state seal. In 1957, Emma’s signature and the Mock Orange was removed from the seal when it was updated by the artist Paul Evans. But, in 1994, after a public outcry, Emma’s name was restored to the state seal - along-side Paul’s. However, the Mock Orange, the State Flower of Idaho, did not get put back on the seal and it remains omitted to this day.  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate the first woman to describe Fungi ("funj-eye") using the Linnaean system of classification. We'll also learn about a little-known prolific nature and floral writer from the 1800s. We hear a little recollection by a garden writer who received an armload of Forsythia from a friend named Alice, just when she needed it most. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that encourages you to garden confidently - putting anxieties and fear behind you and creating the space of your dreams. And then we’ll wrap things up with the roots of roses - they’re deeper than you think.  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 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 30 Unique Plants That Attract Butterflies | Tree Hugger | Meghan Holmes  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsMarch 1, 1717 Today is the birthday of the German artist, children's book author, translator, editor, and pioneering female botanist Catharina Helena Dörrien (“Durr-ee-in”). Catharina was born into an intellectual family in Hildesheim, a community Southeast of Hannover. Her father, Ranier, believed that while beauty fades, ignorance can be a lifelong affliction. And so, Rainier made sure that his daughter Catharina was educated. After the death of her parents and her brother, Catharina sought work as a governess nearly 200 miles away in the town of Dillenburg. Catharina worked for the Erath (“AIR-rit”) family - Anton was an attorney and scholar, and Sophie was a childhood friend to Catharina. Catharina could not have found a more like-minded household to her own family than the Eraths. Like her own parents, Anton and Sophie wanted both their sons and their daughters to be educated. Ultimately, the Eraths would become Catharina’s second family. As a teacher, Catharina turned to nature to teach about all subjects and life as well. Realizing there were few resources for teaching women or children, Catharina wrote her own textbooks, which were heavily focused on botany and the natural world. It was rare enough that Catharina was teaching children and women about the natural world; it was nearly miraculous that she could research and write her own instructional guides. As the Erath children grew, Catharina was able to focus on her botanical work. Anton helped Catharina gain membership to the Botanical Society of Florence - something unheard of for women of her time. Catharina would go on to be a member of the Berlin Society of Friends of Nature Research and the Regensburg Botanical Society. During Catharina’s time, Dillenburg was part of the Orange-Nassau principality, and she gradually came to the idea of creating a Flora for Orange-Nassau. Using her spare time to travel throughout the region, Catharina visited most areas at least twice to capture plant life in different seasons. During the winter months, Catharina dedicated her focus on the smallest plants: lichen, mosses, and fungi ("funj-eye"). In 1777, Catharina published her 496-page flora, which used the Linnaean system to organize and name each specimen. Catharina’s flora was remarkable for the 1700s - not only for using the Linnaean system and for the inclusion of new plants and plant names but also for the sheer fact that it was the work of a woman. Catharine became the first woman to name two new fungi ("funj-eye") during the 1700s. During her fieldwork, Catharina created over 1,400 illustrations of local flora and fauna. Yet, these masterpieces never made it into her flora. Instead, Catharina’s botanical art became an heirloom that was passed down through the generations of the Erath family. In 1875 a few pieces of Catharina’s work were shown at an exhibition. However, fifteen years later, a large collection of paintings by a man named Johann Philipp Sandberger was bought by the Museum of Wiesbaden. Johann was a dear friend of Anton Erath’s, and today, his work is considered to be copies of Catharine's original watercolor masterpieces. And yet, Sandberger’s pieces are precious because they give us a glimpse of Catharine’s breadth and depth of talent. Without Sandberger, all would be lost because the bulk of Catharine’s work has been lost to time. The curator Friedrich von Heinbeck once said that the precision of Catharine’s brush strokes was like that of an embroiderer who stitched with only the finest of thread. From a historical standpoint, Catharina became an invaluable part of Dillenburg's history when she created drawings and drafts of the destruction of Dillenburg Castle. It seems her interests extended beyond botany to the world around her. Catharina was a true Renaissance woman. Following in the fifty-year-old footsteps of botanical artists like Maria Sibylla Merian and Elizabeth Blackwell, Catharine managed to distinguish herself not only by her exquisite botanical art but also by her botanical work and in the naming two plants - two little lichens, she named major Doerrieni (“Durr-ee-en-ee”) and minor Doerrieni. Over the past three decades, Catharine’s life story has been rediscovered. In 2000, Regina Viereck wrote a biography of Catharina called "Zwar sind es weibliche Hände: Die Botanikerin und Pädagogin Catharina” Helena Dörrien (1717-1795) or "They are the hands of a woman” - the botanist and educator Catharina Helena Dörrien. And in 2018, Catharina’s story became the subject of an elaborate musical by Ingrid Kretz and debuted in Dillenburg; it was called Catharina Dörrien - A Life Between Love and War.  March 1, 1877 Today is the birthday of the children’s author, volunteer, poet, and teacher Lenore Elizabeth Mulets. Born Nora Mulertz in Kansas, Lenore’s mother died when she was just ten years old. Raised by her uncle’s family, Lenore left for Chicago’s Wheaton College to become a teacher. She found a position in Malden, Massachusetts, and then served as a YMCA canteen worker during WWI in Germany and France. I pieced together Lenore’s life story by reading the letters she sent to her sister Mildred during her time in Europe. Mildred shared the letters with the local Wellington Kanas newspaper. In addition to teaching, Lenore was a marvelous children’s author. Her books were always charming and uplifting. Her titles include Stories of Birds, Flower Stories, Insect Stories, Tree Stories, and Stories of Trees, just to name a few. In the preface to Flower Stories, Lenore wrote,“When the flowers of the field and garden lift their bright faces to you, can you call them by name and greet them as old acquaintances? Or, having passed them a hundred times, are they still strangers to you?In this little book of "Flower Stories," only our very familiar friends have been planted. About them have been woven our favorite poems, songs, and stories.” Regarding the seeds, Lenore wrote,A wonderful thing is a seed; The one thing deathless forever; Forever old and forever new; Utterly faithful and utterly true – Fickle and faithless never. Plant lilies and lilies will bloom;Plant roses and roses will grow;Plant hate and hate to life will spring;Plant love and love to you will bringThe fruit of the seed you sow. And long before Twitter, in her book Stories of Birds, Lenore wrote:Such a twittering and fluttering there was when this news came.  Unearthed Words My first winter in this country was long and bitterly cold, and I was desperate for spring, which I then was used to seeing appear far earlier. One day a new friend brought me an armful of Forsythia branches still covered with half-melted snow — sensing my homesickness, she had denuded one of her bushes for me. I had nowhere cold and bright in the apartment in which we were living, so that Forsythia had to be put in a hot, unlighted hall. But this particular present came to me late in the season and at a time when Forsythia will flower even when forced under intolerable conditions. And when it last in this strange country, something came to life through my efforts. I began to feel that here was truly home. Now each year, as the Forsythia flowers again for me indoors, I remember that incident as the turning point in my feelings about this country, and I recall with deep affection the sensitivity of that friend. — Thalassa Cruso, British-American gardener, writer, TV presenter and ''the Julia Child of Horticulture”, To Everything There is a Season, Alice and Forsythia Grow That Garden Library Fearless Gardening by Loree Bohl This book came out in January of 2021, and the subtitle is Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You Love. In this book, the woman behind the website, The Danger Garden, teaches us how to live on the edge and in the beds of our Gardens without fear or anxiety. Loree lives to “inspire people to look at plants differently and see their gardens through new eyes—to treat gardening as an adventure, to embrace the freedom to explore a new type of plant, and then to plant it just because they want to.” The roots of horticulture in academia have provided a framework of do’s and don’ts cloaked within a fortress of botanical nomenclature and complex terminology. It’s no wonder gardeners feel anxious. As Loree says,“Why not surround yourself with plants you love? Who cares if they’re not supposed to be planted together, might eventually crowd each other, or aren’t everyone’s cup of tea? It’s your garden and you should love it; you should be having fun.Remember, there's always room for one more plant…” This book is 256 pages of gardening without a rulebook or guilt or all the should’s and oughta’s from a woman who made her garden her own way through courageous experimentation, zone-pushing, an artistic eye, and an adventurous spirit. You can get a copy of Fearless Gardening by Loree Bohl and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $18  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartMarch 1, 1979  On this day, The Call-Leader out of Elwood, Indiana, published an article called The Roots Of Roses Go Back Many Years.“If you were to trace the ancestry of today's rose, you'd have enough "begats" to fill a book, maybe two! In fact, a fossilized rose found at Crooked River, Oregon, some years ago established that this particular species grew on our continent 35 million years ago. And some paleobotanists believe the rose dates back to the Cretaceous Age 70 million years ago. This would make the rose older than any known civilization ... and a forerunner of the Garden of Eden. Since 1979 has been designated "The Year of the Rose," perhaps a little rose history is in order, says John A. Wott, Purdue University extension home environment horticulturist. Briefly, all of our roses came from species. Cross-species gave us a new hybrid type of rose, and crossing of types provided another new type. Rosa gallica, the Adam of roses native to the western hemisphere, crossed with Rosa moschata begat the Autumn Damask; Rosa gallica, crossed with Rosa canina, begat the Alba, and crossed with Rosa Phoenicia begat the Damask. The Damask, crossed with Alba, begat centifolia, and on and on... All of these western hemisphere crosses yielded roses with an annual flowering, except for the Autumn Damask. In the late 1700s, botanists discovered everblooming roses growing in the gardens of the sub-tropics in China. Because of their tea-like fragrance, they became known as Tea Roses. When these tea roses were crossed with descendants of the gallica, the first result was the bourbon. And bourbon, crossed with a tea, produced hybrid perpetual. Hybrid perpetual, crossed back to tea, begat hybrid tea, and... Now for some interesting facts about roses: Did you know no rose species are native to any land areas south of the equator? Did you know the name rose appears in no fewer than 4,000 published songs? Did you know the rose is the official state flower of New York, Iowa, Georgia, and North Dakota? Did you know that in all polls ever taken to determine the most popular flower, the rose is the overwhelming favorite? Did you know the rose has been sniffed by royalty for centuries? We owe much to Empress Josephine of France for our modern-day roses… [It was Josephine who] assembled the leading hybridizers of her time and sponsored their experiments to develop new strains and varieties.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a charming woman who became known as the Apple Blossom Lady. We'll also learn about the man who raised the best begonias in the world back in the early 1900s. We hear some thoughts on tussie-mussies. We Grow That Garden Library™ with an informative and delightful book about Fungi ("funj-eye") - and it’s loaded with incredible photography. And then we’ll wrap things up with a dream - an inspired horticultural vision for the botanical building in Balboa Park by the Begonia man, Alfred Robinson.  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 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 Foliage Plants: How To Use Green Foliage Plants In Your Garden | Gardens Illustrated | Alasdair Cameron  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 26, 1834 Today is the birthday of the woman who came up with the State Flower for Michigan: Anna Eliza Reed Woodcock. Born in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, Anna moved to Michigan after marrying her husband, David. She had a beautiful voice, and Anna was well-known in Lansing as an actress and a singer in local productions and events. On April 19, 1897, Anna clipped some branches from her flowering apple tree, loaded them up in a wheelbarrow, and then rolled them down North Capitol Avenue to the Michigan Statehouse. When she got there, Anna adorned the office of the Speaker of the House with the blooming branches. It turns out, 63-year-old Anna had been looking out her kitchen window at 309 Capital Avenue North in Lansing and was moved by the sight of her beautiful Apple tree in bloom. It suddenly occurred to her that the Apple Blossom would make a great state flower. Knowing that the Michigan Legislature would be voting on a state flower, she hoped her Apple Blossom branches would have some influence... and they did. Just nine days after wheeling her branches one block down the street to the Capital, the Michigan legislature approved the resolution making the apple blossom the State Flower, and they said,“Our blossoming apple trees add much to the beauty of our Landscape, and Michigan apples have gained a worldwide reputation.” In her old age, Anna remembered,“When the selection of the State Flower was voted on, blossoms from my snow apple tree trimmed the speaker’s desk at Lansing, and the vote was unanimous for the Apple Blossom.” In 1930, Anna passed away in Minnesota at the age of 96. (I know this because, in researching Anna, I actually had to create a tree for her on Ancestry). Sixty years after Anna's death, the Michigan Legislature posthumously honored Anna with a title: Apple Blossom Lady. Anna's victory with the Michigan Legislature sparked a passion for Apple Blossoms in the twilight of her life. Anna began creating apple blossoms using silk ribbon, and she always took cuttings to sell for her favorite charities. Anna once said,"I feel my Apple Blossoms have taken me to the top of the world."  February 26, 1942 Today is the anniversary of the death of the British-American horticulturist and founder of the California Begonia industry, Alfred D. Robinson. Along with his wife Marion, Alfred’s passion was flowers. In the early 1900s, after hearing a religious leader speak about a utopian community called Lomaland, Alfred and Marion moved to Point Loma. Yet, their fresh start in Point Loma, which included buying ten acres of land, was irreparably damaged when their young daughter Lenora died of a heart issue. Losing Lenora devastated the Robinsons, and they left Point Loma and began building a new home in San Diego. As the gardens were getting established, their 15,000 square foot mansion was being built - and that mansion was called Rosecroft. The Rosecroft property became the home base for Alfred’s Gegonia breeding program. And as Rosecroft’s high-quality Begonias made their way to nurseries and botanists around the country, Alfred solidified his reputation as a high-quality Begonia  grower. Now Alfred came up with the idea to use Lath houses for growing his begonias. Now, if you need help picturing a Lath House, imagine a pergola with sides. Webster’s defines a Lath House as a structure made of laths or slats that are spaced to reduce excessive sunlight while permitting air circulation. Lath Houses are great for plants that need more shade and also protection from strong winds. In 1933, the LA Times ran a story called The Useful Lath House by Eva Dale, and in it, Eva described the Rosecroft Lath House.“Lath offers the desired protection as well as effecting a substantial saving in water. By lathing the sides and part of the roof of a garden, a barren wind-swept space can be transformed into a thing of beauty affording shelter to man and plant alike. This may be done on a grand scale, as at "Rosecroft" at Point Loma, where Alfred Robinson has about an acre under Lath, or at Whitehill, Redlands, where Clarence White has an acre and a half of sun protection; but it can also give a great deal of satisfaction when done in a very modest fashion. Mr. Robinson is an authority on Begonias and Mr. White on Roses, but they both declare that these and many other plants do infinitely better in partial shade. Mr. White says that "besides the conservation of bloom and vigor and the transpiration of water, there is also a moderation of the extremes of heat and cold." He adds that "there is less frost, and better recovery when it does penetrate." Walter Merrill, former president of the San Diego Rose Society, has varied the idea somewhat by using Bamboo instead of Lath... After a year and a half, he says he would not, for anything, return to full sun for his roses.” An early Rosecroft pamphlet described their growing operation this way:“Rosecroft is on Point Loma, the head of land that forms the Northwest boundary of the Bay of San Diego California, and… enjoys the year-round mildness of climate coupled with a moist atmosphere… [which] permits the cultivation of the Begonia with a simple Lath protection. In such a shelter, Rosecroft grows… the best exposition of this family in the world. The so-called Tree Begonias attain a height of 24 ft and all sorts flourish.” In 1907, Albert and Marion, along with the great Kate Sessions, formed the San Diego Floral Association, and Albert served as the first president. Two years later, the group started a little publication called California Garden… and it is still published today. And it was the botanist Charles Plumier ("Ploo-me") named the Begonia in honor of a man he much admired: Michel Bégon ("ME-shell Bay-GO-n"), a French amateur botanist. Charles discovered the Begonia growing on the island of Santo Domingo. Although they are beautiful, most Begonias have no scent. And if you’ve been growing Begonias in full sun, you’ll immediately understand why Albert grew his under a Lath House because they really prefer part shade. In the wild, Begonias grow under filtered light. The Begonia traditionally symbolizes caution or hesitation. I always found this curious until I researched the family name Bégon, which is rooted in Old French as a slang word for a person who stuttered. I thought happened to be a meaningful coincidence - the meaning of caution or hesitation with a stutter. And you may be surprised to learn that the flowers and leaves of the Begonia are edible; some cultures around the world add begonias to salads. Finally, the Begonia is known as the flower that produces the smallest seeds. In fact, Begonia seeds are so fine that they are often compared to dust. This is why, if you grow Begonias from seed, they are often pelleted. In 1932, the California Begonia Society was formed, and in a few short years, they started a little bulletin called The Begonian. In 1935, it was Alfred Robinson that suggested the group broaden their reach - and the American Begonia Society was born.  Unearthed Words A dear neighbour brought me a tussie-mussie this week. The dictionary defines tuzzy-muzzy, or tussie-mussie, as a bunch or posy of flowers, a nosegay, and then disobligingly adds that the word is obsolete. I refuse to regard it as obsolete.  It is a charming word; I have always used it and shall continue to use it, whatever the great Oxford Dictionary may say; and shall now take my neighbour's tussie-mussie as a theme to show what ingenuity, taste, and knowledge can produce from a small garden even in February. — Vita Sackville West, English author and garden designer, In Your Garden, The Tussie-Mussie  Grow That Garden Library Fantastic Fungi by Paul Stamets ("Stam-its") This coffee-table book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is How Mushrooms can Heal, Shift Consciousness, and Save the Planet (Official Book of Smash Hit Documentary). As Paul likes to say,“Mushrooms can heal you. They can feed you. They can kill you.”  And for all their power, Fungi ("funj-eye") remain misunderstood, understudied, and often just plain old ignored as an aspect of our world. This book is the result of Paul’s incredible documentary called “Fantastic Fungi,” It features a collection of essay contributions from doctors, explorers, and ecologists that help us better understand the magical world of Fungi. And there's a great piece of information about Fungi for gardeners to know, and that is that Fungi eat rocks. And by eating rocks, Fungi liberate the minerals from rocks and put these minerals back into the soil for plants. And when Fungi join with algae (“al-jee”) they form lichens. So when you lichens, remember that marriage between Fungi and algae. Finally, Fungi are the foundation of the food web. There are more than eight miles of Fungi in a single cubic inch of soil, and all around the planet, there are gigatons of mycelium. For now, the field of mycology hasn’t been a priority, and so Fungi remain an unchartered frontier. Only about 10 percent of all Fungi have been identified. With any luck, our focus on Fungi will change as we look to the future. As for gardeners, Paul is a fan of the Garden Giant Mushrooms. They are fast-growing, and they do so much for the soil. For example, Garden Giant Mushrooms can take twelve inches of wood chips and create one inch of soil in about four or five months. In a nutshell, Mushrooms begin a domino effect that starts with Fungi and ends with ecological restoration and soil expansion. Paul believes that keystone species like the Garden Giant Mushroom lead to healthier gardens and ecosystems. And fortunately for us, these Garden Giant Mushrooms can be grown virtually anywhere - from sweltering climates to very cool environments. This book is 184 pages of astounding information regarding Mushrooms and Fungi that hopefully will change your perspective, your garden – and help the planet. You can get a copy of Fantastic Fungi by Paul Stamets and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $24  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heart In researching Alfred Robinson, I ran across an article by Richard Amero that was published by the San Diego History Center. The article shares Alfred’s grand dream for a large Lath House to grace the Panama-California Exposition. San Diego was the host city for this event on January 1, 1915. Alfred’s idea for this Lath House met with approval, yet the actual design differed drastically from Albert’s vision. Still, it is delightful to hear what Albert had in mind originally - his dream for the Botanical Building in Balboa Park:“Where was I? I had entered the garden of Eden. Palms and ferns and flowering plants and vines on all sides, sending out their delicate scents upon the night air to mingle with the odor of the moist earth and recent rain, a draught as intoxicating as champagne. Where the band played… was a great central dome, 500 feet in diameter...Up its supporting columns ran choice vines, Jasmines of such sweet savor, Begonias, and Tecomas of gaudy hue, and the curious Dutchman’s Pipe. Palms from many lands and many forms lined the borders and were in beds here and there while Begonias and other foliage plants nestled at their feet. In the air hung Orchids with their strangely beautiful blossoms.From this central court ran out six great arms or aisles, and in each were ... a great family of plants. There were thousands and thousands of varieties, and each was plainly labeled. (Now we definitely know this is clearly a dream!)The lighting had been carefully planned so as not to strike the eye offensively, and the whole effect was absolutely entrancing.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a young botanist that wrote the first flora of Ireland at the age of 22. We'll also learn about the Father of Serbian botany. We hear words about the birds of winter - creatures that entertain us at our bird feeders and fly freely over our winter gardens. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that has a charming title and it's all about something called Everlastings - or dried flowers. And then we’ll wrap things up with a play about Australia’s top gardener, and it’s called Edna for the Garden.  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 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 Our Garden Editor Clare Foster On The Big Gardening Trends For 2021 | House & Garden | Clare Foster  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 25, 1856 Today is the anniversary of the Irish botanist and horticulturist Katherine Sophia Kane. Orphaned as a little girl, Katherine was taken in by her father’s older brother - her uncle - Matthias O'Kelly, and she grew up alongside her cousins. A naturalist, Uncle Matthias fostered Kate’s love for the outdoors and, ultimately, her focus on botany. When Kate was 22 years old, she anonymously published a book that became the first national flora of Ireland, and it was called The Irish Flora Comprising the Phaenogamous Plants and Ferns. With the help of the National Botanic Garden’s John White, Kate’s little book was released in 1833, and it described not only all the Irish flowering plants but also ferns and other cryptograms. Accurate and informative, Kate’s book became a textbook for botany students at Trinity College in Dublin. Three years later, in recognition of her work, Kate became the first woman to be elected to the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. The story of how Kate met her husband Robert is similar to how John Claudius Loudon met his wife, Jane Webb: through her book. In Kate’s case, proofs of The Irish Flora had mistakenly made their way to Robert’s desk. Curious about the work, Robert tracked down Kate’s address and personally returned the proofs to her. The two were married in 1838, and they went on to have ten children. In 1846, Robert was knighted, and Kate became known as Lady Kane. An economist, a chemist, and a scientist, Robert was hired to serve as the President of Queens College. And although Kate was happy for her husband, she put her foot down and refused to move to Cork. Apparently, Kate had designed a magnificent garden with many exotics planted all around their home in Dublin, and she was loath to leave it. And so, much to the school’s dismay, Robert commuted to work until the College insisted he live in Cork during the schoolyear in 1858. And here’s a fun little story about Kate and Robert: as they were both scientists, Kate and Robert would send notes to each other in Greek.  February 25, 1888 Today is the anniversary of the death of the famous Serbian botanist, Josif Pančić (“pahn-Cheetz”) In 1874, Josif discovered the Ramonda serbica, commonly known as the Serbian phoenix flower. Like the peace lily, this flower is an excellent indicator plant and flops quite severely when dehydrated. At the same time, it has incredible abilities to revive itself with watering. In Serbia, the flower of the Ramonda serbica is associated with peace after it became a symbol of Armistice Day, which marked the end of WWI. As for Josif, he became known as the father of Serbian botany. Late in his career, Josif came up with the idea for a botanical garden in Belgrade. Built in 1874, the garden proved to be a bit of a disappointment. In no time, it was apparent that the location was poorly sited because it flooded very quickly and damaged most of the various botanical specimens. Sadly Josif never saw the new, lovelier location for the garden. Perfectly situated in the heart of Belgrade, the land was donated by the Serbian King Milan I. Unearthed Words Our feeders are only fifteen feet from the window, and binoculars bring the birds practically into my lap. The perky little Sparrow with the black dot on his fluffy breast is a Tree Sparrow, and the one with no dot is a Field Sparrow. I often mix these up. The lady Junko has touches of brown. The male is charming with his slate gray head and back and creamy undersides.   The Nuthatch is another winner. He creeps cheerfully down the maple trunk headfirst. Sometimes his world is upside down, sometimes right side up. He views it with equanimity either way. With a long bill, he reaches out, quickly snatches a seed, and flies off. The markings of the Nuthatch are the essence of winter. His blues and greys are the mist that drift over the meadow and brush against Pop’s Mountain at dusk. The golden tans on his underside are wisps of dried grass in the meadow, Beech leaves in the woods with sun shining on them, or last year's Oak leaves that still cling. — Jean Hersey, American writer and authors, The Shape of a Year, February  Grow That Garden Library Everlastings by Bex Partridge This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is How to Grow, Harvest, and Create with Dried Flowers. In this book, we learn so much about dried flowers from the floral artist Bex Partridge - the owner of Botanical Tales. A specialist in working with dried flowers - known as everlasting flowers - Bex inspires us to grow, harvest, and create with dried flowers. Sharing her own wisdom from working with everlastings, Bex shares her tips for incorporating dried flowers into your garden planning and home decor. Bex loves dried flowers, and she fervently believes that something magical happens to flowers when they're dried. Although their vibrancy may be slightly dulled by drying, Bex feels that ultimately drying magnifies the bloom’s beauty. One tip that I learned from Bex is to target plants with woody stems because those plants tend to dry beautifully. This book is 160 pages of Everlastings - preserved flowers, preserved memories, and magnified ethereal beauty that is everlasting. You can get a copy of Everlastings by Bex Partridge and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $13  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 25, 1989 It was on this day that a newspaper out of Melbourne, Australia called The Age ran a story written by Anna Murdoch about a brand new play called “Edna for the Garden,” and it was all about the charismatic Australian gardener, designer, and writer Edna Walling. Here’s an excerpt:“The women who created The Home Cooking Theatre Company in Melbourne [the writer, Suzanne Spunner, and director Meredith Rogers] have a [new] production, called 'Edna for the Garden,’ the story of Edna Walling, one of Australia's great artists of gardening.Edna Walling, who wrote an enormous amount about her philosophy of gardening and the environment, died in 1973 in her late 70s.[Edna] devoted her passionate life to creating extraordinary gardens, mainly in Victoria, some of which are still beautifully maintained. She spent her childhood in Bickleigh, an old village in Devon, England, and came to Melbourne, aged 18, infused with the intense romanticism of the English countryside where she had watched such subtle beauties as “Wind in the Willows.” [Edna’s] own photographs were almost always of pathways... “She liked the idea of different areas in a garden so that you couldn't take it all in in one view." One of Edna Walling's precepts was to "always sweep up to a house in a curve, never in a straight line.” People would say: 'You must have Edna for the garden.' [and that saying inspired the name for the play!]"It's only at the end of her life that you sense disappointment as she saw the sprawls of Melbourne and what was happening with conservation. Edna Walling built her own house at Mooroolbark near Croydon and then bought seven adjoining hectares and created a rural community called Bickleigh Vale, where she designed very English-looking cottages that bore no relationship to the Australian climate and environment."The people who live there have now formed 'the Friends of Edna Walling' to protect it," Ms. Spunner says. "Some of them knew her. They talk almost as if she is still there, a kind of spirit of the garden."  Finally, there was one little story that I discovered about Edna a while ago, and that was her potato-throwing technique. Edna would throw potatoes on the ground, and where they landed would dictate where the significant trees would be planted in her garden designs. Basically, this technique helped ensure a more naturalistic style as Edna was laying out gardens. And even if the potatoes would land almost on top of each other, Edna let the chips - or should I say potato chips - fall where they may. In any case, this is how Edna’s gardens end up without a contrived or overly planned feeling; there’s a beautiful sense of randomness to Edna’s work. And it was Edna Walling who said,“There are many possible approaches to Australian garden design, and they all reflect the designer’s individual response to gardens.For my part, I love all the things most gardeners abhor - like moss in lawns, lichen on trees, more greenery than color - as if green isn’t a color - bare branches in winter, and root-ridden ground wherein one never attempts to dig, with a natural covering of leaves of grass or of some amenable low-growing plant. I like the whole thing to be as wild as possible so that you have to fight your way through in places.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate the birthday of a man who appreciated simplicity and knew that we would, too. We'll also learn about the Indiana State Flower - it’s not a native - but it sure is beautiful. We hear some words from a 1997 Garden Chore list. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a beautiful book that takes us on a tour of more than seventy English gardens and then shares the elements that make the English garden style so beloved. And then, we’ll wrap things up with an old article that asked Virginians to plant more of the State Flower: the dogwood, and we’ll review some little-known Dogwood facts that will make you think about this genus a little differently...  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 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 World's Largest Honey Bee Makes Rare Hallucinogenic Honey | Treehugger | Bryan Nelson  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 24, 1955 Today is the birthday of the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. A lover of simplicity and elegance, Steve once said that,“The most sublime thing I’ve ever seen are the gardens around Kyoto.” To Steve, the ultimate Kyoto garden was the Saiho-ji ("Sy-ho-jee") - and most people would agree with him. The dream-like Saiho-ji garden was created by a Zen priest, poet, calligrapher, and gardener named Muso Soseki ("MOO-so SO-sec-key") in the 14th century during the Kamakura ("Comma-COOR-rah") Period. The Saiho-ji Temple is affectionately called koke-dera or the Moss Temple - a reference to the over 120 moss species found in the garden. Steve Jobs wasn’t the only celebrity to find zen at Saiho-ji - David Bowie was also a huge fan. And when it comes to design, there’s a Steve Jobs quote that garden designers should pay attention to, and it goes like this:“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But... if you dig deeper, it's really how it works.” And here’s a little fun fact for gardeners: When Steve needed his garden designed at his Tudor-style home on Waverley Street in Palo Alto, he selected the great English garden designer Penelope Hobhouse to install a traditional English cottage garden - a garden she could have, no doubt, designed in her sleep. Nonplussed by the request, Penelope’s son implored her to make room for the job. And when Penelope first met Steve, he made a unique first impression by rolling into the restaurant where they had agreed to meet on rollerblades. Although Penelope designed Steve’s garden, she never actually saw it. Yet she did write about the project in an article for Hortus - it was called, "Malus californica: or, A New Garden for Mr. J."  February 24, 2001 On this day, The Daily Journal out of Franklin, Indiana, shared an article called, Selection of State Flower Deserves Much Thought by "Bayou" Bill Scifres ("Sy-fers"). The article discusses the desire to change the State Flower of Indiana.“Well, we are at it again. Again we are embroiled in the state flower hassle, and rank-and-file legislators are telling us they have more important things to do than uproot the Peony as the state flower.Changing the state flower from the Peony to Fire Pink would be as simple as adopting either Senate Bill 57 or House Bill 2053, or both, to get the matter to the desk of the governor.But wait a minute. Is it really that simple? That cut-and-dried? Is this what we really want? Is the Fire Pink Hoosierland's best flora representative?Not native. That's the big rub proponents of the Fire Pink have with the peony. Foreigner. And they are right.Let's face it. We all are foreigners.Is it worse for a wildflower to have come from someplace else than it is for men?The thing that most concerns me is the state flower hassle revolves around the importance of nativeness.The real criteria should be the P&Ps of the issue, pulchritude, and proximity.Certainly, our state flower should be a raging beauty, but even more important, it should be accessible, very common, and be seen by many people, including non-Hoosiers who are just visiting.Fire Pink certainly is beautiful, but not so beautiful as the Cardinal Flower (also native to the state). And neither Fire Pink nor Cardinal Flower are even remotely as common as are several of the other candidates, especially the native spring beauty.Other Indiana Academy of Science candidates were White Nodding Trillium, Blue Phlox, Bluebell, Butterfly Milkweed, Bloodroot (a spectacularly beautiful flower, but not widely seen), Aster, Wood Poppy, Shooting Star, Wild Columbine, and Yellow Trout Lily.” Well, this effort was unsuccessful because today, the Peony remains the State Flower of Indiana. And there are many fun facts about this beautiful plant. In addition to being the Indiana State Flower, Peonies are the flower for China where the peony is called the sho-yu, which translates to “most beautiful.” When Marco Polo first spied the Peony, he wrote that the large blooms looked like "Roses as big as cabbages." As a symbol of wealth and a happy marriage, it’s fitting that the Peony is the 12th wedding anniversary flower. It’s also worth noting that a single peony plant could provide a century’s worth of flowers. Impressively, peonies can live to be 100 years old. If you receive a bouquet of Peonies, make sure to keep the vase filled with fresh water. Peonies are thirsty cut flowers. As for Peony plants, make sure to plant them high and have plenty of patience - Peonies can be slow to get growing. If you wondered why grandma had you plant your banana peels under the Peony bushes, it’s because Peonies love potassium. Potassium helps Peonies stay healthy and develop stronger stems. And if you want to help your Peony store up more energy for the following year, you can cut off the seed pods after your peony is finished flowering. Now, medicinally, Peonies were thought to help with pain, and they were used to treat everything from headaches to childbirth. And the childbirth connection to the Peony has roots in Greek mythology. The story goes like this: Asclepius was the god of healing and medicine, and he had a student named Paeon who discovered a root that could alleviate labor pain. This discovery brought Paeon notoriety, and Asclepius could not hide his jealousy, and he grew vengeful. Sensing trouble, Zeus stepped in and turned Paeon into a flower - the peony - and thereby saved his life. And to this day, Paeon, through the peony, helps ease the pain of childbirth.  Unearthed Words Visit a greenhouse in a nearby botanic garden for an early spring. Go to your local bookstore to see the new spring gardening books. Survey your tools, prepare them for their new season, and replace any that no longer do their job. While your plants are still dormant, prune summer-blooming shrubs, fruit trees, grapevines, and berry bushes. — The Gardener’s Almanac, 1997, February Chores  Grow That Garden Library English Gardens by Kathryn Bradley-Hole This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is From the Archives of Country Life Magazine. In this instant classic, Kathryn shares her masterpiece that revels in the glories of English gardening. The publisher said this of Kathyrn’s book,“An unprecedented in-depth look at the English garden by one of Britain's foremost garden writers and authorities… Kathryn Bradley-Hole--the longtime garden columnist for Country Life--takes a fresh look at more than seventy gardens from across England and distills the essence of what makes the English garden style so sought after.Seasonal photographs capture the gardens--some grand, some personal, some celebrated, some rarely photographed--at their finest moments, accompanied by sparkling, insightful text. Featuring photographs from the unparalleled archives of Country Life, the full story of the English garden is here, from medieval monastery gardens to the Victorians and the Arts and Crafts movement to the twenty-first century.” And the Wall Street Journal review of this book said,“At a time when the very idea of travel is inconceivable, what a gift to be taken on an armchair tour of the great English gardens.” This book is 492 pages of the over seventy spectacular English gardens by one of the best garden writers on the planet. You can get a copy of English Gardens by Kathryn Bradley-Hole and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $44  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 24, 1957 On this day, The Times-Dispatch out of Richmond, Virginia, ran a piece by Pat Perkinson that called on all gardeners to plant the Dogwood (Cornus florida) during the Virginia State Flower Anniversary.“Aside from their significance as the state flower of Virginia, Dogwood trees also are symbolically remindful of the colonists who first found them growing so prolifically here in the 17th century. Not only did they enjoy the bushy trees, but they also put the bark to medicinal use... combatting the effects of malaria.To get an idea of the conditions preferred by Dogwood, we have only to observe the situations in which they grow in nature. As you drive along the highways you will notice that Dogwood flourish in the shade of the taller trees of the forest. Perhaps you would like to situate young trees a short distance from the house where they will be partly shaded and where they may be enjoyed from the windows.” And here are some fun Dogwood facts:   In addition to being Virginia’s State Flower, the dogwood is the state tree of Virginia, Missouri, and North Carolina. Native Americans used the Dogwood as a phenological guide, and they planted their corn crop when the Dogwood bloomed. Both the roots and the bark of the Dogwood tree have been used to treat malaria. In Floriography ("FLOOR-EE-ah-grah-FEE") or the language of flowers, Dogwood flowers are a symbol of rebirth. Dogwood shrubs and trees are in the Cornus genus, and Cornus comes from the Latin Cornu, for horn, which references the dogwood being a hardwood tree. Many old botanical reference guides say that the tree used to be called the dagwood - as in dagger - again, another reverence to hardwood.   Dogwood trees actually have a hard white wood that used to be harvested to make skewers for cooking. So again, this is another neat tieback to the dag or dagger reference. This is also how the Dogwood got one of its ancient common names: The Skewer-wood. Another ancient reference has to do with the dogwood's fruit, which used to be called dogberries. And as one might suspect, a dogberry was not all that good, and the name implied that the berry wasn’t even good for a dog. Today we know that Dogwood berries can irritate a dog’s tummy. In addition, handling Dogwood or touching the bark can be a skin irritant - so wear gloves when you prune. This brings me to my last point... As with so many flowering trees and shrubs, when it comes to the dogwood, prune time follows bloom time. Every June, after the tree has finished blooming, you can prune the tree back to encourage it to set more flower buds. Never prune your Dogwood after winter ends or before your dogwood has bloomed because then you are just removing the bracts (flowers) before they can bloom in the spring.  So with Dogwoods, just remember: prune time follows bloom time!  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a woman known as the Lady of Botany, yet today few people know her life story, and fewer still appreciate her difficult professional journey. We'll also learn about another female botanist who started one of the first degreed botany programs for women in England. We hear a story about a mink who set up residence in a winter garden from an avid gardener and writer. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a delightful book about Cottage Gardening. What could be more charming? And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of a dried flower expert who created everlastings for celebrities and he also shares some of his favorite flowers to preserve for long-term joy and delight.  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 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 NewsSir Isaac Bayley Balfour (1853-1922) – An Appreciation | RBGE.org |  Leonie Paterson  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 23, 1879 Today is the birthday of the British plant morphologist and anatomist, botanical historian, and philosopher of biology Agnes Arber. Since her father was the artist Henry Robertson, Agnes learned to draw as a child, and throughout her life, she illustrated all of her own botanical work. Agnes’ mom, also an Agnes, fostered her love of plants. Mentored and befriended by the botanist Ethel Sargent, Agnes mastered the microscope. Ethel was a profound role model in Agnes’ life. She not only taught Agnes her earliest lessons in botany, but she also modeled a unique approach to her work because Agnes watched Ethel successfully conduct her work in a small laboratory she had built in her home. Later, when Anges wrote her first book on her dear monocots (which are grass or grass-like flowering plants), she dedicated her work to the woman who was godmother to her only child Muriel Agnes Arber and the brightest beacon in her botanical career and: Ethel Sargent. In 1909, Agnes married a paleobotanist, Edward Alexander Newell Arber, of Trinity College at Cambridge. And it was thanks in part to Edward that Agnes moved to Cambridge from London and made a life there. Edward promised Agnes that “life in Cambridge offered unique opportunities for the observation of river and fenland plants.” Despite Edward’s appeal, for Agnes, Cambridge was tough. Cambridge was a much harder place for a female botanist than London - where Agnes would have had more opportunities, connections, and acceptance. Sadly, Agnes and Edward would be married for only nine years as Edward died in 1918. And so, before her 40th birthday, Agnes found herself both a widow and a single mother to six-year-old Muriel. After securing help with childcare and household duties, Agnes carried on with her botanical work -  she wrote constantly, she was poorly compensated for her work, and she never re-married. A few years after Agnes arrived in Cambridge, she started working at the Balfour Laboratory, which was owned by Newnham College and was a place for teaching women. Now, the creation of this laboratory was a direct result of allowing women admittance into Cambridge. And although women could attend Cambridge, they could not go to labs or classes, and so the Balfour Lab became their only option for conducting experiments. Over the 19 years that Agnes worked at Balfour, the female students gradually disappeared as classes and lab opportunities opened up for them in botany, chemistry, geography, etc. By 1925, Newnham College was ready to sell the lab to Cambridge; they needed the cash, and it seems only Agnes needed the lab. Yet when Agnes reached out to Cambridge, both the University and the head of botany, Albert Seward, rejected her - suggesting she might seek out a space to work at the botanic garden.  And so, an accomplished botanist and the widow of a Cambridge professor no less was left with nowhere to work. And so, seven years after her husband’s death, Agnes, like her mentor and friend Ethel Sargent, set up a home laboratory in the back of her house over the kitchen. Agnes worked from home for the rest of her life. A lover of researching whatever captured her curiosity, Agnes allowed her intellect to veer into areas seldom explored by her botanist peers, such as history, philosophy, poetry, and art. Yet, each of these disciplines molded and refined Agnes’s perspective on plant morphology, and they put her in a unique position to write her most impactful philosophical works in the twilight of her life. When it came time for Agnes to publish her final work, Cambridge snubbed her again when they declined to publish it. As per usual, Agnes persevered without the University’s help. Agnes became interested in botanical history after reading the old herbals. In 1912, Agnes released a book called Herbals: Their Origin and Evolution. Agnes's work reviewed the primary herbals written for a 200 year time period between 1470 and 1670. These beautiful books formed the basis for early botanical education, and, luckily for Agnes, many were housed at Cambridge. In her book, Agnes examined how the plant descriptions and illustrations evolved over time. An instant classic, Agnes forever changed the way herbals were reviewed and written. In her philosophical work, The Mind and the Eye, Agnes argued that there was a blurred line between the science and art of botany. Botanists cannot fully capture a flower through data alone, just as the painter cannot paint all that a flower contributes to nature. Any gardener who sees their garden with their head and their heart can relate to Agnes’ philosophy. When she was 67 years old, Agnes became the first female botanist to be elected as a Royal Society Fellow. Two years later, she became the first woman to receive the Linnean Society’s Gold Medal for her botanical work. Known by many in her circle as the “Lady of Botany,” Agnes wrote,“A record of research should not resemble a casual pile of quarried stone; it should seem "not built, but born,” as Vasari said in praise of a building.” Today, you can toast Agnes with a gin made in the UK. The gin is made in her honor and it's called Agnes Arber gin. And it's made with nine botanicals, including angelica, cassia, coriander, grapefruit, iris, juniper, lemon, licorice, and orange. And I think Agnes would be especially touched by the beautiful hand-drawn botanical illustrations on the label of every bottle. If ever there was a female botanist that deserved to be toasted, I believe Agnes Arber fits the bill.  February 23, 1980 Today is the anniversary of the death of the British botanist and botanical pioneer Marion Delf-Smith. A botanical trailblazer, Marion started the botany program at London's Westfield (a women’s college preparatory school) in 1906. To make the program a reality, Marion fundraised relentlessly, and then she bought everything the program needed to teach botany, mount specimens, store collections, and conduct fieldwork. Ultimately Westfield became one of the only places in the world where women could learn how to study botany. And in 1915, almost a decade after starting her degree program, Marion was finally able to award Bachelor’s degrees in botany to her students. Sixty-Seven years after starting her botany program, Marion was honored by her students on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Marion died seven years later, on this day in 1980. She was 97 years old. And there’s a lovely side note about Marion’s botanical career. At one point, Marion served as an editor for a botanical comedy magazine called "The Sportophyte." Marion’s poem,  "A Botanical Dream," was featured in a volume of The Sportophyte, and I thought I would share some quick definitions to help you appreciate her verse. Gymnosperms produce seed cones like conifers and the Ginko.  The Medullosae and Pteridosperms are extinct plants in the seed-fern group.  Calamites are extinct swamp plants related to horsetails - except that they could grow as tall as a ten-story building.  Cryptogams are plants that reproduce by spores (not flowers or seeds).   Sphenophyllum cones would refer to the spore-filled cone of an extinct group of plants that are a sister group to modern horsetails.  Finally, Palaeozoic is a reference to a long-ago era. The end of the Paleozoic period marked the most extraordinary extinction event on earth. A Botanical Dream Last night as I lay dreaming There came a dream so fair I stood mid ancient Gymnosperms Beside the Ginkgo rare. I saw the Medullosae With multipartite fronds, And watched the sunset rosy Through Calamites wands. Oh Cryptograms, Pteridosperms And Sphenophyllum cones, Why did ye ever fossilise To Palaeozoic stones?  Unearthed Words The most predaceous winter visitor we have had was a mink that took up residence under the woodpile one winter. The end of the pile was only 20 feet or so from the place where the drain pipe struck out of the pond, which tends to be open even when other areas of the pond are frozen. The Mink had found the perfect carryout restaurant right across from his winter Abode. We timed him: 20 seconds from leaving the woodpile to returning with a crayfish. We never saw him return empty-handed. — Jo Busha, Time and the Garden, February  Grow That Garden Library English Cottage Gardening by Margaret Hensel This book came out in 2000, and the subtitle is For American Gardeners, Revised Edition. In this book, Margaret shares everything she knows about English Cottage Gardening; and she’s as charming as her topic. Margaret breaks down ten cottage gardens owned by everyday gardeners in England and America. By deliberately not focusing on estate gardens, Margaret shows Daily Gardeners how anyone can cultivate the charm of a cottage garden. With inspiring photographs, Margaret focuses on plants that are easy to grow and give the look cottage gardeners love - enchanted shapes and natural forms, gentle colors, and endearing varieties. The last section of the book shares a glossary of 76 plant recommendations, including the Latin and common names, how to use them in the garden, as well as a list of places to find old rose varieties. This book is 256 pages of an English Cottage Garden masterclass taught by a garden designer who loves to teach the most novice gardener to create enchanting gardens and vistas right outside their windows. You can get a copy of English Cottage Gardening by Margaret Hensel and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $10   Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 23, 1991 On this day, the Hartford Courant shared an article written by Anne Farrow called Garden of Everlasting Delights. This fantastic article features Gregg Fisk of Gregg Fisk Designs and his incredible dried arrangements and flower drying skills. Gregg’s creations are truly a cut above the rest, and his celebrity clients have included Barbara Streisand and Lady Bird Johnson. And a photo of one of his swags highlights outstanding features like small flower pots, hydrangea, globe amaranth, and love-in-a-mist. Now as for Gregg’s favorite plants to grow for drying, here’s what Gregg suggests:“Some of the basics are globe amaranth, the everlasting signifying immortality; American statice, a ruffle-edged annual that's durable and can be grown in a variety of colors; strawflowers; asters; zinnias; heather' in several different colors; and nigella, a flower with a delicate mauve seed head and a beautiful name: love-in-a-mist. The current crop of books on growing flowers for drying also recommends hosta, the ubiquitous of shade-garden perennials; poppies, which have a globe-shaped seed case that dries easily, astilbe, ivy, baby's breath and the evocatively named money plant, which has a silvery, translucent seed case. Another must-have for the home gardener is the rose. [Gregg] recommends planting a climbing rose, sometimes called the faerie rose… [which adds] a finished, old-fashioned appearance to dried arrangements. From the herb family, [Gregg] chooses rosemary, which has a dark, blue-green needle and a wonderfully piney perfume; bay, for its fragrance; and both Silver King and Silver Queen artemisia. The artemisias, which really are silver-colored, look handsome and puffy in the garden and in dried arrangements. The bright golden florets of yarrow, a perennial grown in the earliest New World gardens, is another of the herbs he always chooses, as are the low-growing lamb's ear, which has a velvety, gray-green leaf that is soft even when dried. Often shown in herb kits for children because it is so touchable, lamb's ears are particularly pretty in wreaths with a lot of pink flowers or placed in a bowl of homemade potpourri. White lilacs can [hang-dry] easily and turn a pearlescent cream color. Hydrangeas, too, can be hang-dried and then dyed in a variety of shades. Asters, a garden classic, dry beautifully in beach sand.Experimentation teaches you a lot, [and Gregg] has found an ally in… the microwave oven. Though the procedure for drying flowers in the "mike" is more complicated than simple hang-drying methods, the results, particularly with… peonies, daffodils, marigolds, and roses, justify the effort required. The special advantage of microwave flower drying is that the delicate natural color of the bloom is preserved because the drying time is a fraction of traditional methods.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate an American lyrical poet and playwright who wrote some beautiful poems about flowers. We'll also learn about the Scottish surgeon who advised using sphagnum moss to treat wounded soldiers.   We hear inspiring words about Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis “YER-anth-iss hy-uh-MAY-lis”) We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about medicine - herbal medicine - an invaluable comprehensive reference. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of a favorite student of Carl Linnaeus known as “the Vulture.”  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 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 News8 Ways To Create A Garden That Feels Like Art | Garden Design | Pam Penick Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 22, 1892 Today is the birthday of the American lyrical poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay. Gardeners cherish Edna’s verses like:April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.I would blossom if I were a rose.I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one. However, Edna threw some shade at the very poisonous and rank-smelling Jimsonweed plant, the Thorn-apple, or Datura stramonium (“duh-too-ruh stra-MO-nee-um") in her poem “In the Grave No Flowers," writing:Here the rank-smellingThorn-apple,—and whoWould plant this by his dwelling? Well, it turns out the American botanist and geneticist Albert Francis Blakeslee was especially fond of Datura. In fact, one of Albert’s friends once joked that in his life, Albert enjoyed two great love affairs — with his wife Margaret and with Datura, and in that order. Not surprisingly, Edna’s verse riled Albert, and in response, 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." 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. Datura’s other common names, the thorn apple or the devil’s apple, offer a clue that Datura is a nightshade plant. Those sinister names came about because nightshades were historically thought to be evil. In contrast, the Algonquin Indians and other ancient peoples regarded Datura as a shamanistic plant, and they smoked Datura to induce intoxication and hallucinations or visions. The etymology of the name Datura comes from an early Sanskrit word meaning “divine inebriation.”  February 22, 1932 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Scottish surgeon Charles Walker Cathcart. During WWI, Charles and his peer Isaac Balfour wrote a paper where they advised following the common German practice of using sphagnum moss to treat wounded soldiers. After this article, sphagnum moss was robustly harvested for wound dressings for the British Army. An article published by the Smithsonian Magazine called “How Humble Moss Healed the Wounds of Thousands in World War I” shared the history of the use of moss:“In ancient times, Gaelic-Irish sources wrote that warriors in the battle of Clontarf used moss to pack their wounds. Moss was also used by Native Americans, who lined their children’s cradles and [used] it as a type of natural diaper. It continued to be used sporadically when battles erupted, including during the Napoleonic and Franco-Prussian wars.Lieutenant-Colonel E.P. Sewell of the General Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt, wrote approvingly that, “It is very absorbent, far more than cotton wool, and has remarkable deodorizing power.” Lab experiments around the same time vindicated his observations: Sphagnum moss can hold up to 22 times its own weight in liquid, making it twice as absorbent as cotton.” In response to Charles’ advice, communities organized moss drives. A December 19, 1916 article from the Caspar Star-Tribune out of Caspar Wyoming was simply titled: Gather Moss For War Bandages. It read,“Thousands of women and children, unable to perform other war works, are daily combing the misty hills of Scotland and the Irish west coast for moss for absorbent dressings. Recently they filled an order for 20,000 bandages. The moss is wrapped in cotton gauze and applied to open wounds.”  Unearthed Words When the six-year-old Dorothy L. Sayers moved to her new home at  Bluntisham rectory in the Fens in January 1897: As the fly turned into the drive, she cried out with astonishment,“Look, Auntie, look! The ground is all yellow, like the sun.” This sudden splash of gold remained in her memory all her life. The ground was carpeted with early flowering aconites. Later, her father told her the legend that these flowers grew in England only where Roman soldiers have shed their blood, and Bluntisham contained the outworks of a Roman camp. So as early as this, and as young as she was, her imagination was caught by ancient Rome. — Roy Vickery, author and Curator of Flowering Plants at the London Natural History Museum, A Dictionary of Plant Lore, Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis “YER-anth-iss hy-uh-MAY-lis”)  Grow That Garden Library Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier  This book came out in 2016, and the subtitle is 550 Herbs and Remedies for Common Ailments. In this book, you really get one of the remarkable reference books of herbal remedies. The format is exact, and the information is reliable. If your looking to learn about the herbs that can help promote health and well-being, you have found a terrific resource. The instructions in this large volume are straightforward to follow, and you will be able to cultivate your own garden apothecary custom-tailored to your own health. In addition, this herbal encyclopedia is easy to use and allows you to look up information either with plant names or by ailments. This book is 336 pages of a detailed herbal reference with proven natural remedies and advice for growing herbs that will be the most helpful to you in your garden this season. You can get a copy of Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $30 Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 22, 1756 Today is the anniversary of the death of the handsome and tall Swedish botanist - and a favorite student of Carl Linnaeus known as “the Vulture” - Pehr Loefling. Pehr met Carl at the University of Uppsala, where Carl was his professor. Early on, Carl dubbed Pehr his "most beloved pupil," and he even gave Pehr a nickname; the Vulture. Carl came up with the moniker after observing that Pehr had an intuitive way of finding plants and observing the most minute details of plant specimens. When Pehr wrote his dissertation called “On the Buds of Trees,” his observation skills were put to use. Pehr's paper featured detailed descriptions of plants in bud in the offseason instead of in full flower during the summer. This unique perspective enabled people to identify many species in the leafless winter - something that easily confounds plant lovers - even today. When Carl felt Pehr could be a role model, tutor, and a friend to his son, he offered Pehr the chance to live with his family. Hence, Pehr continued his studies while living with the Linneaus family. After graduating, Carl recommended Pehr for an opportunity in Madrid, and this is how Pehr learned Spanish and befriended many Spanish botanists who called him Pedro. After two years of collecting over 1,400 specimens in Spain, Pehr secured a paid position on the Royal Botanical Expedition to South America with a mission of learning to cultivate a particular variety of cinnamon thought to be superior to the standard variety. By 1754, Pehr was botanizing in Venezuela with a small team that included two doctors and two artists. Pehr was just 27 years old when he died of malaria on the banks of the Caroní River at a Mission outpost on this day in 1756. He was buried beneath an orange tree. By the end of the year, over half of the expedition’s men would be dead from disease compounded by hunger and fatigue. When Linnaeus shared the news about Pehr with a friend, he wrote,“The great Vulture is dead.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we look back at the story that inspired the book The Orchid Thief. We'll also learn about the incredible true story of a Madagascar explorer. We hear words about the incredible Algerian Iris. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a memoir from a garden who pulls back the row cover on the remarkable story of her magnificent garden - a place she called Duck Hill. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of an incredible naturalist and botanist who had some very eclectic habits concerning preserving and utilizing specimens.  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 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 Wild-Style Spring Plant Display For The Container Garden | Gardens Illustrated  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 19, 1962 Today is the birthday of the American horticulturist John Laroche ("La Rōsh"). Before John was arrested for poaching wild ghost orchids, he was a typical horticulturist. In the late 1980s, John was active in the Bromeliad ("brow·mee·lee·ad) Society of Broward County, and he was giving lectures on topics like “Growing Bromeliads from Seeds” and “New Techniques in Bromeliad Culture.” By the early 1990s, John’s attention turned to orchids, and this passion would end up becoming a story fit for a book. One of the first newspapers to share the story was the Indiana Gazette on June 14, 1993: “Susan Orlean's… "The Orchid Thief" tells the tale of John Laroche... When a fascination with orchids overtook him, he... conceived a scheme that would benefit the Seminoles, the world, and himself. Using the Seminoles' exemption from laws against picking orchids in the wild, he helped himself to rare specimens growing in a Florida swamp called the Fakahatchee ("Fack-ah-HATCH-ee") Strand State Preserve. His plan was to clone them by the millions, make them available to fanciers everywhere and thus save them in their wild state by obviating the need to pick them. Not incidentally, he would make a fortune for the Seminoles and himself. But the law did not agree, and Laroche was arrested and convicted for poaching. Attracted by an article on Laroche's arrest, Susan Orlean, a reporter for The New Yorker, traveled to Florida, befriended Laroche, and got him to introduce her to his world. Near the opening of The Orchid Thief, Susan describes how she approaches her subjects,"I read lots of local newspapers and particularly the shortest articles in them, and most particularly any articles that are full of words in combinations that are arresting. In the case of the orchid story, I was interested to see the words 'swamp' and 'orchids' and 'Seminoles' and 'cloning' and 'criminal' together in one short piece." Today it’s estimated that only around 2,000 ghost orchids remain in Florida.  February 19, 1932   On this day, The Shreveport Journal shared a story about the botanist Charles Swingle and his quest to find the Euphorbia Intisy ("in-tah-ZEE"). “Charles Swingle was the first American botanist to set foot on the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. He was on the trail of a peculiar rubber plant called "Intisy," which government scientists thought might be grown In our own Southwest. When this young American arrived in Madagascar, he found he was just 15 minutes too late to catch a little coastwise boat heading to the south. The natives simply couldn't understand his disappointment.  "Oh sir," they said, "another boat will arrive in six weeks. In the meantime, there is rice for all —so there is nothing to worry about, good sir" In the native Malagash language, there is no word for "time." They spend a few days a year planting, transplanting, and harvesting rice—and there's enough food for all. "Don't the natives ever get tired of rice?" I asked Dr. Swingle. "Not at all" be explained, "If they get tired of white rice they change to red rice or blue rice or brown As many as 64 varieties grow in Madagascar And then there are special delicacies to go with it—delicacies that are for those who like dried grasshoppers and locusts." Dr. Swingle made daily trips to the village markets to get peanuts, bananas, pineapples, guavas, mangoes, or papayas to add to the hotel diet of rice. On the sixteenth day of his march into the southern brush, Dr. Swingle sighted the first of his long-sought for plants—the Intisy plants. The curious bulbous roots were filled with water—the best they had had for many a day. And the milky latex which oozed from its trunk was found to be pure rubber.” The Euphorbia Intisy is a large, succulent tree growing up to almost 25 feet tall. Thanks to Charles Swingle, the plant was experimentally cultivated in the American Southwest.  Unearthed Words Kindliness, so far as the Algerian Iris is concerned, consists in starving it. Rich cultivation makes it run to leaf rather than to flower. What it really enjoys is being grown in a miserably poor soil, mostly composed of old lime and mortar rubble and even gravel: a gritty mixture at the foot of a sunny wall, the grittier and the sunnier, the better. Sun and poverty are the two things it likes. You should search your clumps of the grass-like leaves every day for possible buds, and pull the promising Bud while it still looks like a tiny, tightly rolled umbrella, and then bring it indoors and watch it open up under a lamp. If you have the patience to watch for long enough, you will see this miracle happen. If you have not yet got this Iris in your garden and want to acquire it, you can plant it in March or April; but September is the best time for transplanting. It does not much like being split up and moved, so whenever you require it, do make sure that it does not get too dry until it has had time to establish itself. After that, it will give you no trouble. — Vita Sackville West, English author and garden designer, In Your Garden, Algerian Iris  Grow That Garden Library Embroidered Ground by Page Dickey This book came out in 2012, and the subtitle is Revisiting the Garden. In this book, Page recounts her journey as she created her magnificent garden, Duck Hill, in upstate New York. Gardeners will relate to the challenges and the pleasures that Page encountered creating her masterpiece. Best of all, we get a chance to learn directly from Page as she shares her unique perspective on making a garden shine - from textures and structure to fragrance and color. Page shares her garden’s story and her garden wisdom like she’s writing a story for a dear garden friend. Unpretentious and insightful, Page takes us on a delightful garden stroll through the evolution of her garden. This book is 272 pages of a garden by a garden writer who shares the tender story of how they both grew old together. You can get a copy of Embroidered Ground by Page Dickey and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $9  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 19, 1974 On this day, The Journal Herald out of Dayton, Ohio, published a little snippet about the naturalist Eliza Brightwen and her unusual needlepoint methods:“If you are tired of the same crewel and needlepoint your friends are making, you might try a different type of embroidered picture. About 1880, Mrs. Brightwen, a famous botanist, began making embroidery pictures using the bones from the heads of fish such as haddock, whiting, or cod. The bones were cleaned, boiled, and dried. They were used as the wings for embroidered insects or leaves for flowers. The design was usually embroidered on black velvet. The tiny fish bones were sewn into place in a pattern that was embellished with original embroidery. This is not as odd as it might seem if you look today at the modern collages made with large animal bones, nuts, bolts, prune pits, and other ordinary materials.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate the French botanist who created the modern strawberry. We'll also learn about the sweet little orchid known as the moccasin flower. We hear words that offer perspective on our loss of wildlife and habitat. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about one of the world’s best botanical illustrators - and here’s a hint: she was a dear friend of Alice Lounsberry. And then we’ll wrap things up with the story of the new rare-plant house at the Fairchild Tropical Garden rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina.  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 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 Little Fern That Could | Earth Island Journal | Anna Gibbs  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 18, 1827 Today is the anniversary of the death of the French botanist, gardener, and professor at Versailles, Antoine Nicolas Duchesne (“do-Shane”). A specialist in strawberries and gourds, Antoine was a student of Bernard de Jussieu at the Royal Garden in Paris. A plant pioneer, Antoine, recognized that mutation was a natural occurrence and that plants could be altered through mutation at any time. As a young botanist, Antoine began experimenting with strawberries. Ever since the 1300s, wild strawberries had been incorporated into gardens. But on July 6, 1764, Antoine created the modern strawberry - the strawberry we know today. Strawberries are members of the rose family, and they are unique in that their seeds are on the outside of the fruit.  Just how many seeds are on a single strawberry? The average strawberry has around 200 seeds. To get your strawberry plant to produce more fruit, plant in full sun, in well-drained soil, and trim the runners.  February 18, 1902 Today the Showy Lady’s-Slipper became the State Flower of Minnesota. The Lady Slipper orchid was discovered in 1789 by William Aiton. The Lady Slipper’s common name is inspired by the unusual form of the third petal, and it’s what makes the bloom look like a little shoe. During his lifetime, Darwin repeatedly tried to propagate the Lady’s-Slipper Orchid. He never succeeded. The Lady Slipper’s growing conditions are quite particular - which is why they are almost impossible to keep in a traditional garden. It’s also illegal to pick, uproot or unearth the flowers - which was a problem in the 1800s when people collected them almost to extinction. Since 1925, the Lady’s-Slipper has been protected by Minnesota state law. In the wild, Lady’s-Slippers grow in swamps, bogs, and damp woods. They take forever to grow, and they can grow for almost a decade before producing their first flower, which can last for two months in cooler weather. As long-lived plants, Lady’s-Slippers can grow as old as 100 years and grow up to 4 feet tall. To Native Americans, the Lady’s-Slipper was known as the moccasin flower. An old Ojibwe legend told of a plague that had occurred during a harsh winter. Many people died - including the tribal healer. Desperate for help, a young girl was sent to find medicine. But, the snow was deep, and in her haste, she lost her boots and left a trail of bloody footprints in the snow. The legend was that her footprints were marked with the beautiful moccasin flower every spring. One summer, when Henry David Thoreau came upon a red variety of Lady’s-Slipper in the woods, he wrote about it, saying:“Everywhere now in dry pitch pine woods stand the red lady’s slipper over the red pine leaves on the forest floor rejoicing in June. Behold their rich striped red, their drooping sack.”  Unearthed Words I remembered reading that during the great flight year of 1926-27, over 2,300 snowy owls were shot and kept his trophies in the United States alone. One of the greatest difficulties for modern conservationists, I think, is to rightly conceive how much we have lost. We trudge so far today to see so little that the result is often a strangely pathetic elation.  — Robert Finch, Nature writer, Common Ground, Snowy  Grow That Garden Library Ellis Rowan, 1848-1922 by Kate Collins This book came out in 1989, and it’s part of the Australian book series that featured its most outstanding artists. My copy arrived last week, and it features incredible full-page color plates of Australian native flowers, birds, and insects. Born in Melbourne, Ellis married Frederic Rowan in 1873. Ellis discovered painting after her botanist husband, Frederick, encouraged her to develop talent, and it was a passion that she pursued until her death. Ellis’s life was full of adventure. She traveled and painted abroad. Three of her paintings were presented to Queen Victoria. My favorite stories about Ellis concern her wonderful friendship with the botanist and writer Alice Lounsberry, and they created three beautiful books about the flowers of North America. During the First World War, Ellis was living in New Guinea. At one point, she painted 45 of the 62 known species of birds of paradise. As a woman living during the mid-1800s, Ellis followed the dress code of her era. Wherever she went, whether on an expedition or at home, Ellis was always impeccably dressed. Ellis’s daily attire included heavy ankle-length dresses, high collars with full sleeves, crinolines, corsets, whalebone stays, and a hat. Just before Ellis died, the federal parliament in Australia debated whether to buy 1,000 of Ellis' paintings. The Australian artist and novelist Norman Lindsay called Ellis' work vulgar - believing wildflowers were unworthy subjects for art. But ultimately, Ellis' paintings were purchased for $5,000, and they are now a treasured part of Australia's National Library. This book is 52 pages of the beautiful work of Ellis Rowan. You can get a copy of Ellis Rowan, 1848-1922 by Kate Collins and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $9 Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 18, 1996 On this day, The Miami Herald shared a story about rebuilding the rare plant house at the Fairchild Botanical Garden.“The born-again rare-plant house at the Fairchild Tropical Garden called Windows on the Tropics has a new roof and new walls - and a whole collection of staghorn ferns mounted like prize stag heads overlooking the inner courtyard. The new $1 million conservatory at the Fairchild Tropical Garden that is being built on the footprint of the hurricane-demolished rare plant house is nearing its opening day. It will be the last piece of the Hurricane Andrew puzzle to be put back into place in the garden. More than 2,000 plants will be on display in the conservatory showing about 1,000 species grouped in themes or windows onto the natural tropical world.One window into plant and animal interactions will feature everything from ant plants to carnivorous plants. Recently a buttonwood tree was bolted to a wall for the display beneath which visitors will walk and come eyeball-to-eyeball with insect-dissolving pitcher plants.The window featuring epiphytic or air plants will open into the old orchid display room [which] will include orchids, bromeliads, and climbing philodendrons.The new conservatory path will lead through the most modern of greenhouse spaces [and will] house Economic plants — those used by man — [like] coffee, pepper, vanilla, and other tropical food and medicine plants.Three new waterfalls are being built in the lower level of the conservatory where ferns, tree ferns, and palms will reside ...and here, the conservatory becomes a sensual experience. The building is the largest aluminum structure in Florida [that also meets] the 120-mile-an-hour wind code.Soaring 12 feet taller than the old Rare Plant House, the plastic roof has clerestory windows that open for ventilation and come with built-in storm shutters.And, plants no longer will be subjected to chemicals in city water but to rainwater collected in two cisterns that will hold 45,000 gallons. The conservatory will be opened on March 23rd (1996)… Instead of having a guest speaker, the garden is letting Windows on the Tropics do all the talking, says Barbara Schuler, director of development.  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate one of the earliest botanists and his essential discoveries about plant physiology. We'll also learn about a man known as the 'Prince of Alpine gardeners.’ We hear the story of a woman who over-nurturers her houseplants. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about worms from one of the best garden writers alive today. And then we’ll wrap things up with the fascinating birth flowers for the month of February.  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 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 Stickiness Is A Weapon Some Plants Use To Fend Off Hungry Insects | Phys Org | Eric Lopresti  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 17, 1721 Today is the anniversary of the death of Rudolph Jacob Camerarius, the botanist who demonstrated the existence of sexes in plants. Rudolph was born in Germany. He was a professor of natural philosophy. Rudolph identified and defined the flower’s male parts as the anther, and he did the same for the female part; the pistol. And Rudolph figured out that pollen made production possible. Rudolph's work was recorded for the ages in a letter he wrote to a peer in 1694 called On the Sex of Plants.  February 17, 1880 Today is the birthday of the legendary rock and alpine gardener, plant explorer, nurseryman, writer, and painter Reginald Farrer. A son of the Yorkshire Dales, Reginald was raised in upper-middle-class circumstances on the Farrer family estate called Ingleborough Hall in Clapham. And although Reginald was a world traveler, his heart belonged to Yorkshire, and he repeatedly referenced Yorkshire in his writing. Given Reginald’s influence on rock gardening, I always find it rather fitting that Reginald’s Ingleton home place was itself a large natural rock garden. Reginald was born with many physical challenges. He had a cleft palate, speech difficulties, and what Reginald called a "pygmy body. “ Growing up, Reginald endured many surgeries to correct his mouth, which resulted in him being homeschooled. The silver lining to his solitary childhood was that Reginald learned to find happiness looking at the flora and fauna as he scoured the rocks, ravines, and hills around Ingleborough. By the time Reginald was 14 years old, he had created his first Rock Garden in an old kitchen garden at his family home. This little magical space would eventually transform into a nursery Reginald called Craven, and it naturally specialized in Asian mountain plants. And every time Reginald went on an expedition, he would send back new alpine plants and seed from Craven.   When it was time, Reginald attended St. John's College at the University of Oxford. It brings a smile to know that before Reginald graduated in 1902, he had left the school with his signature gift: a rock garden. Once he finished school, Reginald began botanizing in high places from the Alps to Ceylon and China. His first trip was to Tokyo, and Reginald found a little house to rent that had, of course, a real Japanese rock garden. This living and botanizing experience in Japan became the basis for his first book called The Garden of Asia (1904). During his twenties, Reginald liked to say that he found “joy in high places,” and the European Alps became a yearly touchstone. And although he saw some of the most incredible mountains in the world - they held no sway with Reginald. For Reginald - it was always about the plants. Reginald wrote,“It may come as a shock and a heresy to my fellow Ramblers when I make the confession that, to me, the mountains…  exist simply as homes and backgrounds to their population of infinitesimal plants. My enthusiasm halts... with my feet, at the precise point where the climber’s energies are first called upon.” Reginald’s book, The Garden of Asia, launched his writing career, and Reginald’s writing changed the way garden writers wrote about plants. The botanist Clarence Elliot observed,“As a writer of garden books [Reginald] stood alone. He wrote… from a peculiar angle of his own, giving queer human attributes to his plants, which somehow exactly described them.” As an example, here’s a journal entry from Reginal from June 2nd, 1919:“I sat down to paint it (the most marvelous and impressive Rhododendron I've ever seen - a gigantic, excellent, with corrugated leaves and great white trumpets stained with yellow inside - a thing alone, by itself WELL worth all the journey up here…And oddly enough, I did not enjoy doing so at first... a first false start - a second, better, splashed and spoilt, then a mizzle, so that umbrella had to be screamed for and held up with one hand while I worked with the other. Then flies and torment and finally a wild dust storm with rain and thunder came raging over so that everything had feverishly to be hauled indoors and the Rhododendron fell over…But one moral is - only paint when fresh or before the day's toils; The rhododendron gave me such a bad night... I… satisfactorily finished it - though it took till after 12." Many people have tried to puzzle out the personality of Reginald. While it’s unanimously agreed that he could be eccentric, I’m not a fan of his harsher critics. I say, to discover Reginald’s heart, learn how much he loved Jane Austen. In fact, his 1917 essay on Jane was judged the “best single introduction to her fiction.” When he traveled, Reginald always brought Jane's books along. Reginald once wrote that, when traveling, he really only needed his clothing and Jane’s books - and if he had to choose between the two, he’d keep the books. And there’s a well-told story about Reginald that speaks to his ingenuity and uniqueness. Reginald was always searching for alpine plants that would grow in the British climate. One time, after an inspiring visit to Ceylon, Reginald got the idea to create a cliff garden with the seeds from his trip. So, when he returned home, he rowed a boat to the middle of the lake at Ingleborough and used a shotgun to blast the seeds into the face of a cliff. You can imagine his delight when his idea worked and the cliff was alive with plants. Today, although the cliff garden is no longer, there are many Himalayan plants - like bamboo and rhododendron - that remain around his home place, still thriving among the rocks in Ingleborough. In addition to having an impact on the field of garden writing, Reginald helped to change the course of British gardening. Reginald’s influence happened to be timed perfectly - as millions of eager British gardeners wrenched the hobby of gardening away from the elite. By this time, Reginald had earned the moniker The Prince of Alpine Gardeners. Reginald had mastered rock gardens - the trick was to make them look as natural as possible - and Reginald’s passion for rock gardens came through in his famous 1907 book My Rock Garden. Reginald’s book and exploits made rock gardens trendy, and suddenly everyone wanted a rockery in their backyard. The rock garden craze made it all seem so simple, but Reginald knew full well the lengths he had to go to in order to source new alpine plants. During his two years in China, Reginald wrote,“You're on an uncharted mountainside, and you have to, first of all, find the Plant in the summer on the way up the mountain. Then in the autumn, you have to find the same plant – if it hasn't been eaten or trodden on – hope it's set seed and that the seeds haven't fallen yet – and this is just the start.” After China, Reginald pivoted and became a war journalist during WWI - even embedding for a time along the Western Front. And, of course, it was botany that helped Reginald carry out this work. While he wrote stories along the Italian frontlines, he collected plants - once while taking fire from Austrian troops. Reginald knew this was insane and wrote:“What Englishman ever before has collected cyclamen on Monte Santo among the shell-fire?” After the war, in 1919, Reginald took a trip to the mountains of Myanmar in Upper Burma. He would never see his beloved Yorkshire again. He was just 40 years old. Somehow, Reginald met his end alone on a remote Burmese mountain, and his body was buried in Konglu in Burma. Most reports say he died of Diptheria, but the explorer and botanist Joseph Rock said he was told Reginald - who had become a devout Buddhist after college - had drank himself to death on the night of October 17th, 1920. And I thought of Reginald up on that mountain alone when I researched the etymology of the name of his nursery, Craven, which means defeated, crushed, or overwhelmed. Today Reginald is remembered in the names of many plants like the beautiful blue Gentiana farreri ("jen-tee-AYE-na FAR-ur-eye"). And the Alpine Garden Society’s most highly-prized show medal is the Farrer Medal, which honors the best plant in the show.  Unearthed Words When I first began growing houseplants, my mother sent me a cactus garden of native plants from her home in Phoenix, Arizona. My Gardening Style: I nurture plants to death. I check them daily, pluck off alien leaves, and water them every time I notice dryness. Now my mother told me to watch the news and only water my cacti when it rained in Phoenix, I could not help primping my plants. They died within weeks by turning into a brown, mushy mess. My gardening style is an overly involved one, and once I choose plants that craved that kind of style; they flourished more than anything else I grew. Some of my most successful - and needy - plants have been an Umbrella Plant, an African Violet, and [a Tradescantia pallida]. I also find that my kitchen windowsill herb garden thrives when I constantly rotate the plants in the sun and prune them for dinner recipes. — Angela Williams Duea ("Do-ee")and Donna Murphy, The Complete Guide to Growing Windowsill Plants, What is Your Gardening Style, The Over-Nurturer  Grow That Garden Library The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart  This book came out in 2012, and the subtitle is On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms. In this book, Amy introduces us to earthworms, and it turns out there's a ton to learn. Amy’s book helps us understand more about these blind creatures and the vital work they do on our planet - from moving soil, suppressing pests, and cleaning up pollution - earthworms regenerate the soil. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about worms, you’re in good company. Charles Darwin was endlessly intrigued by earthworms, too. This book is 256 pages of life underground with the magnificent earthworm and Amy Stewart as your enlightening and entertaining guide. You can get a copy of The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $3 Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heart Even though roses are often associated with February thanks to Valentine's Day, February’s birth flower is not the rose. Instead, February has two birth flowers. In England, February's birth flower is the Violet, and in the United States, February is honored with the primrose. Concerning the violet, the plantsman Derek Jarman once wrote: “Violet has the shortest wavelength of the spectrum. Behind it, the invisible ultraviolet. ‘Roses are Red, Violets are Blue.’ Poor Violet violated for a rhyme.” The adorable little violet signifies many virtues; truth and loyalty, watchfulness, and faithfulness. Gifting a violet lets the recipient know you’ll always be true. Like the theme song from Friends promises, you’ll always be there for them. The ancient Greeks placed a high value on the violet. When it came time to pick a blossom as a symbol for Athens, the violet made the cut. The Greeks used Violet to make medicine. They also used violets in the kitchen to make wine and to eat the edible blossoms. Today, Violets are used to decorate salads, and they can even be sprinkled over fish or poultry. Violets are beautiful when candied in sugar or used to decorate pastries. Violets can even be distilled into a syrup for a Violet liqueur. Finally, Violets were Napoleon Bonaparte's signature flower. When his wife, Josephine, died in 1814, Napoleon covered her grave with violets. His friends even referred to Napoleon as Corporal Violet; after he was exiled to Elba, Napoleon vowed to return before the Violet season. Napoleon’s followers used the violet to weed out his detractors. They would ask strangers if they liked violets; a positive response was a sign of loyalty. The other official February flower is the primrose, which originated from the Latin word "primus," meaning "first" or "early.” The name is in reference to the fact that the primrose is one of the first plants that bloom in the spring. As with the violet, the leaves and flowers of primrose are edible and often tossed into a salad. The leaves are said to taste like lettuce. Gifting a primrose has a more urgent - stalkerish- meaning than the violet; a primrose tells a person that you can’t live without them. In Germany, people believed that the first girl to find a primrose on Easter would marry that same year. And, the saying about leading someone down the primrose path refers to enticing someone to do something terrible by laying out irresistible traps. The phrase originated in William Shakespeare's Hamlet as Ophelia begs her brother: Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven; While like a puffed and reckless libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads. And the man known as "The Daffodil King, Peter Barr, bred over 2 million daffodils at his home in Surrey, and he’s credited with popularizing the daffodil. Yet, when Barr retired, he went to Scotland and grew - not daffodils, but primroses. Two years before he died, Peter Barr, the Daffodil King, mused, "I wonder who will plant my grave with primroses?"  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a botanist of the American West and the husband of Kate Brandegee. We'll also learn about the woman who created the legislation for the New Jersey State Flower, the Violet. We hear some words about the role of the botanist from one of our horticultural greats. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about transitioning from a beloved garden to something new… this story is special. And then we’ll wrap things up with a touching tribute to a gardener, a public servant, and a nursery owner.  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 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 Selfish Are Plants? Let’s Do Some Root Analysis | The New York Times | Cara Giaimo  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 16, 1843 Today is the birthday of the American botanist Townshend Stith Brandegee. Townshend was born into one of America’s oldest and prominent families, and he was the oldest of twelve children. Townshend’s middle name, Stith, was his mother’s maiden name. Townshend was descended from three generations of men named Elishama. Townshend’s great grandfather, Elishama Brandegee I, had fought in the Revolutionary War. By 1778, Elishama bought a pretty piece of land in Berlin, Connecticut, known as the mulberry orchard. The History of Berlin tells a charming story of how Townshend’s great grandmother, Lucy, made a red silk gown with the silk from her silkworms. Apparently, she intended to give the dress to Martha Washington, but somehow she ended up wearing it and keeping it for herself. The Brandegee family continued to grow Mulberry (Morus) trees on the property. In fact, Townshend’s grandfather, Elishama Jr., founded the very first silk and cotton-thread company in Berlin. A successful entrepreneur, Elishama Jr, owned a mercantile store, which was the largest store between Hartford and New Haven, and people came from miles around to do their trading. His grandmother, Lucy, was a teacher and founded a private all-girls seminary, now a private prep school for girls known as the Emma Willard School. Townshend's father, Dr. Elishama Brandegee, became the town physician, and by all reports, he was beloved by all who knew him. Townshend and his dad shared a love of nature, and as a young boy, Townshend created his very own fern collection. Townshend came of age during the Civil War, and somehow he managed to live through two years of service in the union army. After his military service, like his father before him, Townshend attended Yale and graduated from Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School. He forged his own path as a young civil engineer, and he ended up working on much-needed railroad surveys in the American West. In his spare time, both as a student at Yale and as a young engineer, Townshend botanized, and he even made some discoveries and sent specimens to Harvard’s Asa Gray. Townshend’s unique combination of surveying experience and botanical work proved invaluable as he began creating maps of the western forests. In fact, it was his love of forests that brought him to the greatest love of his life: Katherine Layne Curran. When his father died in 1884, Townshend’s inheritance allowed him to pursue his interests without any financial worries. And in the late 1800s, if you were a young botanist with means and interested in West-coast botany, all roads lead to the California Academy of Sciences. In her early forties, Katharine Layne Curran was the curator of the Academy. She had been married to an alcoholic and then widowed in her twenties. She’d survived medical school when females were just breaking into the field of medicine, and she’d given up her career as a physician when it proved too difficult to set up a practice as a woman. By the time she met Townshend, the last thing Katharine had expected to find was love. And yet, these two middle-aged botanical experts did fall in love - “Insanely in love” to use Katharine’s words - and to the surprise of their friends, they married. Kate always referred to Townshend as “Townie.” Equally yoked, Townie and Kate’s happy honeymoon was a 500-mile nature walk - collecting plant specimens from San Diego to San Francisco. After their honeymoon, Townie and Kate moved to San Diego, where they created a herbarium, library, and garden praised as a botanical paradise. In 1899, the jeweler Frederick Arthur Walton, who was reported to have the largest private cactus collection in England, visited Kate and Townie in San Diego. Frederick shared a review of the Brandegee’s spectacular garden in his magazine called The Cactus Journal: “The garden of Mr. and Mrs. Brandegee… [is] a wild garden, being situated upon the mesa, or high land overlooking the sea.  Mr. and Mrs. Brandegee are enthusiastic botanists, and have built a magnificent herbarium, where they spend most of their time. The wild land round the herbarium is full of interesting plants that are growing in a state of nature, while being studied and described in all their various conditions. Mrs. Brandegee has preserved specimens of all the kinds she can get. In some cases where the plants are very rare, I asked how she could so destroy such beauties. She replied that her specimens would be there to refer to at any time, with all its descriptions and particulars, whereas if the plant had been left growing, or sent to some botanical gardens, it would probably have died some time, and all trace have been lost.” Townie and Kate continued botanizing - individually and together. During their lifetime, botanists could travel for free by train, and the Brandegees used these free passes regularly in their travels throughout California, Arizona, and Mexico. On one trip to Mexico, Kate left early, and she managed to survive a shipwreck. The story goes that Townsend asked about the fate of the specimens before asking about Kate. Yet, this anecdote shouldn’t discount their very loving marriage; they were both just maniacally focused on their botanical work. In 1906, when an earthquake destroyed the Berkeley herbarium, the Brandegees single-handedly restored it by donating their entire San Diego botanical library (including many rare volumes) and herbarium of over 80,000 plants. Keeping in mind that Townshend's substantial inheritance had funded all of their botanical efforts, Townie and Kate requested a modest stipend of $100 per month in exchange for their life’s work. Despite years of haggling, Berkeley never agreed to pay the Brandegees a cent for what was the richest private plant collection in the United States. Incredibly, the Brandegees continued to be selfless when it came to Berkely. They followed their plants and books to campus, where Townsend and Kate worked the rest of their lives pro bono. And while Townshend was honored with the title of curator of the herbarium, Kate was not given a title. In the early spring of 1920, a 75-year-old Kate was walking at Berkeley when she fell and broke her shoulder. Three weeks later, she died. On April 7, 1925, five years later - almost to the day - Townshend joined Kate on his final journey.  February 16, 1971 On this day, the New Jersey State Flower, the Violet, was officially adopted by the legislature after a proposal from Josephine S. Margetts. In 1967, when Josephine Margetts was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly in 1967, she became the first woman to represent Morris County, New Jersey, since 1938. Politics was in Josephine’s blood. Her grandfather, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, ran for Governor of Pennsylvania. And Josephine’s late husband, Walter T. Margetts Jr., served as New Jersey’s state treasurer. A nursery and orchard owner, Josephine was environmentally conscious, and she introduced legislation to protect the land and waterways of New Jersey - even helping to ban the use of DDT. Long before Josephine was born, the violet was unofficially selected as the State Flower of New Jersey. By the late 1960s, New Jersey was the only state without legislation supporting an official state flower. And so, with the urging of local garden clubs, Josephine introduced legislation in February of 1971 to make the violet official State Flower of New Jersey. When it came time for Josephine’s bill to be debated in the legislature, Josephine’s peer Sen. Joseph J. Maraziti, R-Morris, read this poem:“Roses are red, Violets are blue If you vote for this billMrs. Margetts will love you.” Josephine’s legislation was passed 30-1. The sole dissenting vote was Sen. Frank J. Guarini, D-Hudson. He told the press,"I'm a marigold man." Two years later, in 1973, a newspaper called The Record out of Hackensack New Jersey, shared an Op-Ed titled, Consider the Lilies of the Field. “Conventional, chauvinist wisdom would have it that Mrs. Margetts introduced the bill because she's a woman and women are well, you know interested in growing things, flowers and plants and trees, the fruit of the earth. But Mrs. Margetts is not one of your everyday garden club ladies. She studied at the Ambler School of Horticulture, she operates a commercial apple and peach orchard in Pennsylvania, and she has a holly nursery on the grounds of her home in New Vernon. The house on the property is rather substantial for a Jersey farmhouse if memory serves, it has 14 bathrooms, but no matter.” As Josephine no doubt knew, Violets are spring flowers, and they’ve been around for a long time. The ancient Greeks enjoyed violets. If you enjoy floriography ("FLOOR-EE-ah-grah-FEE") or the symbolic meaning of plants, the heart-shaped leaves offer a clue to their meaning: affection, love, faith, and dignity. The color of violets can add another layer of meaning. Blue violets especially symbolize love and devotion. White violets symbolize purity and yellow violets symbolize goodness and high esteem.  Unearthed Words The chief work of the botanist of yesterday was the study and classification of dried, shriveled up mummy's whose souls had fled. They thought their classified species were more fixed and unchangeable than anything in heaven or earth that we can now imagine. We have learned that they are as plastic in our hands as clay in the hands of the potter or color on the artist canvas and can readily be molded into more beautiful forms and colors than any painter or sculptor can ever hope to bring forth. — Luther Burbank, Address to the Pacific States Floral Congress, 1901  Grow That Garden Library Uprooted by Page Dickey This book came out in 2020 (I bought my copy in November), and the subtitle is A Gardener Reflects on Beginning Again. When Margaret Roach reviewed this book, she wrote, "An intimate, lesson-filled story of what happens when one of America’s best-known garden writers transplants herself, rooting into a deeper partnership with nature than ever before." If you’ve ever moved away from a beloved garden, or there is a move in your future, you’ll find Page’s book to be especially appealing. Uprooted is Page’s story about leaving her beloved iconic garden at Duck Hill - a landscape she molded and refined for thirty-four years. Set on 17 acres of rolling fields and woodland, Page’s new property is in northwestern Connecticut, and it surrounds a Methodist Church, which is how Page came to call her new space, Church House. What does it mean to be a seasoned gardener (at the age of 74) and to have to start again? How does a gardener handle the transition from a beloved home to the excitement of new possibilities? Uprooted gives us the chance to follow Page through all the major milestones as she finds her new homeplace. We get to hear about her search for a new place, how she establishes her new garden spaces, and her revelations as she learns to evolve as a gardener. If you’ve ever wondered how on earth you’ll ever leave your garden, Page will give you hope. And, if you’re thinking about revamping an old garden space or starting a new garden, you can learn from Page how to create a garden that will bring you joy. As an accomplished garden writer, Page’s book is a fabulous read, and the photography is top-notch. And although the move from Duck Hill marked a horticultural turning point in her life, Page found herself excited and reenergized by her brand new space at Church House. This book is 244 pages of the evolution of a gardener as she transitions from Duck Hill to Church House with a lifelong love of nature, gardens, and landscape possibilities. You can get a copy of Duck Hill Journal by Page Dickey and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $18 Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heart In researching Josephine Margetts — the woman who created the bill for the State Flower of New Jersey (the Violet), I came across her obituary. When Josephine Margetts died in March of 1989, Fran Wood wrote a touching tribute to her that was featured in The Daily Record out of Morristown, New Jersey: “Snow was falling on the day they remembered Josephine Margetts last week. It was gathering in little drifts on the trees outside her back door, collecting on the glossy leaves of some 15 varieties of holly… The fresh flakes formed in little peaks on the bird feeders just inches away from her breakfast table, covered the glass roof of the greenhouse where lantana, gardenias and scented geraniums had flowered for more winters than anyone could remember and accumulated along the fence rails next to the vegetable garden where she used to raise more produce than her family could eat in a summer. If the loving cultivation of these grounds, the perennials, the flowering shrubs and trees and all those hollies she planted and nurtured had been Mrs. Margetts' only accomplishment, it would have been worth remarking on. For gardening was a successful business as well as a private pleasure for her. Besides operating a licensed holly nursery on her home grounds, she and her family turned out some 10,000 bushels of peaches and apples each year at their Pennsylvania farm. Like all true gardeners, Mrs. Margetts got tremendous satisfaction from planting a seed and watching it grow. She considered herself no less rewarded by those things that grew on their own accord like the tiny white pine seedling that appeared in the middle of a flagstone path one spring. She hadn't the heart to pull it up, she said, and so it grew and grew until it rivaled the height of the tallest hollies and its expanding girth forced strollers to detour around it. Gardening was far from Mrs. Margetts' sole accomplishment, of course, but her inherent appreciation for the beauty of the land and the miracles of nature were at the root of her environmental legacies to New Jersey. As a state assemblywoman, she sponsored New Jersey's first "wetlands" legislation, the Wetlands Act of 1970, aimed at protecting some of our most vulnerable saltwater areas. She also sponsored the Pesticides Control Act, the Municipal Conservation Act, the National Lands Trust and the Appalachian Trail Easement all bills whose goals were the preservation of natural resources. The Environmental Quality Act, which she also sponsored, made it a law for state agencies seeking construction funds to first submit detailed project studies to the state Department of Environmental Protection for approval. She also supported equal opportunity for women long before the word "feminist" was coined. But it was the environment, the beauty of nature, that stirred this farm girl most deeply, and her passion for it didn't lessen even in her last year or so, when the plants nearest to her were Boston ferns, a Christmas cactus and pots of ivy, and the closest she got to the outdoors were the vistas of lawns and gardens and trees seen through the windows of her room. During those months, she kept a small library of books within arm's reach among them Gov. Tom Kean's The Politics of Inclusion, James Herriot's Dog Stories, The Fine Art of Political Wit and several volumes detailing the laws of New Jersey. And, in their midst, were Cam Cavanaugh's Saving the Great Swamp, the Directory of Certified N.J. Nurseries and Plant Dealers, New Jersey: A Photographic Journey, by John Cunningham and Walter Choroszewski and several well-worn (and, no doubt, well-loved) garden books. There was something symbolic about the snow that fell as Josephine Margetts was laid to rest last week. For as it covered the lawns and shrubs and gardens she knew and loved, it also blanketed every square inch of the state she knew and loved and whose natural beauty and precious resources she worked so devotedly to preserve.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate the man who introduced the Monkey Puzzle tree to England. We'll also learn about the prolific plant explorer who was disabled after searching for the regal lily - but he never had any regrets. We hear some words about the 1927 expedition to South Africa. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a beautiful book about dried flowers - something anyone can do. And then we’ll wrap things up with garden design tips from the award-winning designer David Stevens.  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 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 Importance of Pioneer Trees for Forest Gardens and Other Purposes | Treehugger | Elizabeth Waddington  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 15, 1842 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Scottish surgeon, botanist, and naturalist Archibald Menzies. The famous story about Archibald goes something like this: Once, Joseph Banks sent Archibald on an expedition. At some point, Archibald ended up warmly received in Chile, where he dined with the country’s leadership. During the meal, Archibald was served nuts from the Chile Pinetree to eat as part of the dessert. Archibald ate a few of the nuts, but then he managed to put a handful in his pocket after he recognized that the nuts were actually large seeds. On the trip back to England, Archibald could not wait and he started growing the five precious Chilean pinetree seeds and he managed to get them to grow successfully. Back in England, the evergreen Chili Pine Trees were blessed with a new common name - the Monkey Puzzle tree - after someone remarked that even a monkey would not be able to climb the tree. And Archibald’s unique introduction earned him the moniker “Monkey Puzzle Man.” Sadly, Monkey Puzzle trees (Araucaria araucana "arr-oh-KAR-ee-ah arr-oh-KAN-ah") are considered endangered today. But, like Archibald, gardeners still attempt to grow these curious trees from seed.  February 15, 1876 Today is the birthday of the prolific English plant collector, gardener, botanist, and explorer Ernest Henry Wilson. When the botanist Augustine Henry met with a 22-year-old Ernest Henry Wilson, he wrote to his friend, Evelyn Gleesen, to share his impressions of Ernest after their first visit together:“He is a self-made man, knows botany thoroughly, is young, and will get on.” Henry also shared with Evelyn that he,"would be glad if [Wilson] will continue to carry on the work in China which has been on my shoulders for some years. There is so much of interest and novelty." Later the same day, Henry also reported back to Kew about helping Ernest with his quest:“.... [I wrote] on a half-page of a notebook ... a sketch of a tract of country about the size of New York State [on which I marked the place where I had found the single tree of Davidia involucrata (the Dove Tree or Handkerchief Tree) in 1888. I also provided Wilson with useful information and hints.]" Henry and Ernest stayed close and corresponded for the rest of their lives. Henry returned to his native Ireland, and Ernest went on to find the Dove tree. Also known as the Handkerchief Tree, Ernest brought the Dove tree to England in 1899, and it would become his most famous tree introduction. Without a doubt, Ernest’s first trip to China was a resounding success. Ernest returned to England and provided his sponsor, the nurseryman Harry James Veitch, with seeds for over 300 species in addition to 35 very full Wardian cases. Before he left for his second trip to China, Ernest married Hellen Ganderton. And within six months, Ernest was headed back to China with another singular mission: the yellow Chinese poppy (Meconopsis integrifolia) and it's commonly known as the Lampshade Poppy. Not only did Ernest find the yellow Chinese poppy, but he also found the Regal lily, rhododendrons, roses, and primulas. During that second trip, Ernest’s leg was crushed in a landslide. As incredible as it sounds, Ernest’s leg was splinted with the legs of his camera tripod - but the story doesn’t end there. The place where the rockslide occurred was on a very narrow trail - they had been walking single file along the mountainside. Before Ernest could be moved, a mule caravan came upon Ernest and his party. So, Ernest did the only thing he could - he laid down on the trail and let the 40-50 mules step over him on their way across the mountain. I always imagine the surreal experience Ernest had there - laying there in great pain and watching the bellies and hooves and whatever else of the mules passing over him for what must have seemed an eternity. Ernest himself marveled at this experience, and he later said,"The sure-footedness of the mule is well-known, and I realized it with gratitude as these animals one by one passed over me - and not even one frayed my clothing."  After this trauma, it took Ernest a full year to walk without crutches. And forever after, Ernest walked with what he called his “lily limp.” Incredibly, when Ernest was asked about the damage to his leg, he simply said,“The price I paid has been stated… The regal lily was worth it and more."  After all of his daring experiences and bravery, it was a car crash that ultimately claimed the life of Ernest and his wife. They were driving their roadster on wet roads when their car swerved on a “carpet of leaves” and went over an embankment before plunging 40 feet onto a field - landing on the back bumper with the front wheels in the air.  Ernest and Helen died within an hour of the accident. Their little Boston terrier, however, somehow managed to survive. At the time of the accident, Ernest had been working stateside as the Arnold Arboretum’s keeper in Boston. The death of Ernest and Ellen shocked the botanical community and the country. Ernest and Ellen were survived by their daughter — a girl they had adopted and named Muriel Primrose. She was honored with the naming of a bamboo - Fargesia murielae ("Farj-eez-ee-ah Muriel-ee") commonly known as Umbrella Bamboo.  Unearthed Words Information is so tantalizingly scanty about the expedition in 1927 for gardener-botanists so distinguished that one expects all the flowers of South Africa to have bowed down to them as they passed. Three of the four appear elsewhere in this book -  Collingwood Ingram,  George Taylor, and Lawrence Johnstone of Hidcote.  The 4th, Reginald Cory, how to find Garden at Dyffryn near Cardiff,  and is gratefully remembered for the bequest of his considerable Fortune to Cambridge University for the benefit of the botanic garden, and up his magnificent Botanical and Horticultural library to The Royal Horticultural Society. — Alice Coats, English gardener and author, The Plant Hunters, Africa  Grow That Garden Library Dried Flowers by Morgane Illes This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is Techniques and Ideas for the Modern Home. In this book, Morgane updates our preconceived notions regarding dried flowers. If dried flowers aren’t intriguing to you or if you feel that they belong in your 3rd-great grandmother’s steamer trunk along with vintage lace - get ready to be inspired. Morgane brings preserved florals out of the past and into the modern home. Selected for their color, texture, and architectural interest, Morgane's top 30 picks for blooms continue to look incredible after being preserved through drying or pressing.  In addition, Morgane showcases fifteen projects that feature dried flowers — from wreaths and wall art, to terrariums and flower crowns.   This book is 144 pages of preserved blooms that will enhance your home with everlasting beauty. You can get a copy of Dried Flowers by Morgane Illes and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $10 Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heart On this day, February 15, 1992, The Vancouver Sun shared a story by Steve Whysall called “Break Outdoor Spaces into Series of Small Rooms.” The article features David Stevens, one of England's leading garden designers and the winner of eight gold medals at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. David shared his advice at the 1992 Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. “In many instances, the city yard can be used as an outside room. You can extend the space inside the house out into the garden and make the two work as a single unit. It is important, especially for North Americans with large, open backyards, to break down the garden space into a series of smaller rooms. One of the great tricks of landscape design is to create a sense of mystery and surprise as you move from one space into another. If you see everything at once, it becomes uninteresting. But if you break the space down into individual rooms, it becomes inherently more interesting. [England has] some remarkable gardens, but the average backyard is a lot more mundane than most people imagine. We're a nation of plant-lovers, but we're certainly not a nation of garden designers. A lot of our gardens are too busy and overcomplicated.”   Next, David offered the following tips for people thinking of making a garden: “Don't let your garden end up a muddle of hard and soft landscaping. Take time to draw up a plan."Most people tend to rush off to the garden center the first fine day, stick everything in the trunk, and then wonder where to plant it all.”  Before planting anything, put in all the hard landscaping, all the decking, walling, paving, the bones, and composition of the gardening. Plants will bring the garden to life, softening the hard surfaces. Keep the design and planting simple. Many gardens suffer from over-complication and gimmicks. Be careful not to use conflicting materials that can be "restless on the eye and hard on the pocket."  Resist the temptation to plant too many different things. The well-planted border has a limited number of species that relate well to one another. "There are many foliage textures, colors, and shapes that give you interest throughout the year." You have to think about foliage and texture as well as flower."  Remember what Gertrude Jekyll, the famous Edwardian garden designer, taught: hot colors (reds, yellows) foreshorten the space through their vibrancy. "If you put a pot of bright red flowers at the bottom of the garden, your eye will go straight to it. Use hot colors close to the viewpoint and cooler colors farther away. It gives a nice feeling of space, and small gardens can be made to feel larger."  Do your homework before planting. Find out if a plant likes sun or shade and how big it will grow. "I'm a great believer in growing what does well in my climate. I won't plant things that are going to look unhappy. I'd much sooner have something that thrives than something that's good for a couple of seasons and then gets knocked off by bad weather."  Don't bite off more than you can chew in one season. Take a few years to build your garden.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate the man who discovered the queen bee had ovaries, and he also said the head of the colony was not a king - but a queen. We'll also learn about the family behind the ubiquitous Jackman Clematis - it's the one with the large dark purple flowers with yellow centers. We hear words from Florida’s pioneer naturalist: Charles Torrey Simpson. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a magnificent book about Desert Gardens - this is one of the best. And then we’ll wrap things up with the sweet story of a gardener poet who made one of the first romantic gardens.  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 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 Organization Challenge — Small Steps Bring Big Rewards | Hartley Magazine | Mary-Kate Mackey  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 12, 1637  Today is the birthday of the Dutch biologist and entomologist Jan Swammerdam (Yahn SWAH-MER-dam). Before Jan's work, people believed that insects were created spontaneously. Jan proved that insects were born from eggs laid by the female species and that the larva, pupa, and adult, were just different forms of the same species. After Jan dissected a female bee and discovered it had ovaries, he pronounced the head of the colony to be a queen bee "hitherto looked upon like a king." And here was Jan's description of the male bees:"[The hive] tolerates, during summer days of abundance, the embarrassing presence... of three or four hundred males, from whose ranks the queen about to be born shall select her lover; Three or four hundred foolish, clumsy, useless, noisy creatures, who are pretentious, gluttonous, dirty, course, totally and scandalously idle, insatiable, and enormous." And, Jan's description of the hive's survival abilities is still as vibrant and relevant today as it was when he wrote:"Should disaster befall the little Republic; Should the hive or the comb collapse; Should man prove ignorant or brutal; Should they suffer from famine, from cold or disease, and perish by thousands, it will still be almost invariably found that the queen will be safe and alive beneath the corpses of her faithful daughters.For they will protect her and help her escape; their bodies will provide both rampart and shelter; for her will be the last drop of honey, the wholesomest food. Break their comb twenty times in succession, take twenty times from them their young and their food, you still shall never succeed in making them doubt of the future."  February 12, 1869 Today is the anniversary of the death of the English nurseryman, pomologist, florist, and Clematis hybridizer George Jackman. George died at the age of 68. Now today, I thought you'd enjoy learning about the Jackman family because that really is the story behind George Jackman and the multigenerational family behind the ubiquitous Jackman Clematis - it's the one with the large dark purple flowers with yellow centers. And, just an FYI, you can prune the Jackman back in the fall without hurting next year's bloom - so don't sweat it; you can't hurt it with an end of the season cleanup. Now, with multiple George's in the family, this George Jackman was always referred to as George I. Now, George I, and his brother Henry, were born into a nurseryman's family. In 1810, their father, William, founded Jackman Nursery on 150 acres in Woking ("Woe-king"), Surrey. George I and Henry grew up learning the business alongside their dad. And by 1830, Willliam had turned the business over to his sons. After a few years, Henry decided he wasn't interested in running the struggling nursery, and he left it for George I. In the fall of 1834, George married Mary Ann Freemont. He was 33 years old. In a little over three years, George II was born. The beginning of the year 1840 was a terrible time for George I. He lost his wife Mary in January and his father, William, in February. In the span of twenty-five days, George I and his 3-year-old son, George II, were alone. Needless to say, the nursery became the center of their world. Now, the start of Clematis hybridizing began in 1835, about 35 miles from the Jackman nursery. The site was London's Pineapple Nursery, run by John Andrew Henderson, and he was the very first person to create a Clematis hybrid. John called his creation the Clematis Hendersonii, and there’s no doubt that George I took notice. When George II was 13 years old, the great plant explorer, Robert Fortune, brought Clematis lanuginosa ("LAN-you-jee-NO-sah") to England. Native to China, the blooms on this Clematis were larger than any ever seen before. If Clematis blossoms were going to get bigger, the lanuginosa was the linchpin. By this point, George I was employing 35 men and six boys at the Jackman Nursery. George II shadowed every aspect of the business, and he grew to be a shrewd owner/operator. As a young man, George II was energized at the thought of clematis hybridizing. And when he was just 21 years old, George II crossed Fortune's lanuginosa with Hendersonii along with the climber atrorubens. In less than six months, they had 300 seedlings, and George Jackman II had an instant hit on his hands. The plant was hardy, it quickly produced long-lasting impressive flowers, and the rootstock lasted for many years. The year was 1858, and Clematis jackmanii (ii = "ee-eye") was born. And from George II's notebook, we see that he wrote:"Seedlings about 300 — results of hybrids: very robust growers, abundant in flower of rich deep purple and maroon." Clematis jackmanii went on to receive the Award of Garden Merit from The Royal Horticultural Society. And George II co-authored a book with Thomas Moore, the Secretary of The Royal Horticultural Society, and the the book was called Clematis as a Garden Flower. George II and Thomas Moore dedicated the book to HRH Princess Mary, the Duchess of Teck. The Clematis was one of her favorite flowers. When George I died on this day in 1869, he had raised his son and had turned his nursery into a success. He had served as chapelwarden for his church - the church of St. John - for over two decades. He had started serving a few years after losing his wife, Mary, Mrs. George Jackman. The Gardener's chronicle said he died after a gout attack and was by all accounts a "beloved… kind-hearted, genial Christian." It went on to say that his "workmen (several of whom had been [with him] for 20, 30, or 40 years)," followed his coffin to the churchyard for burial. In 1967, the Jackman Nursery was sold by a Jackman descendant, Roland Jackman.  Unearthed Words Simpson, a light sleeper, often dosed during the day and was too alert for sleep at bedtime. On these occasions, when the balmy, humid air equaled body temperature, he would give his household fair warning and stroll nude in his garden. He relished the moonlight glimpsed through a vista to the bay or brushing with silver the feathery leaves of Bamboos and Palms.To walk in one garden at night is to discover a new world; the trees are larger, their forms have changed, and their well-known branches are shapeless blots against the sky. Unexpected noises startle and almost terrify one. The day birds have gone to rest, and a new and different set has taken their place, as if Nature were working her employees in shifts. — Elizabeth Ogren Rothra, Florida’s Pioneer Naturalist: The Life of Charles Torrey Simpson  Grow That Garden Library Desert Gardens of Steve Martino by Caren Yglesias This book came out in 2018. In this book, we get a tour of twenty-one gardens by Steve Martino. Martino’s gardens are works of art that incorporate color, native plants, plants with dramatic shapes, and man-made elements in contrast with the backdrop of the desert. Martino has evolved his signature garden design style to include native plants, and he’s allowed his love of the desert to guide his approach. Over and over again, Martino contrasts man-made pieces with the untamed desert. Martino explains,"Gardens consist of two worlds, the man-made and the natural one. I've described my design style as 'Weeds and Walls' — nature and man. I use native plants to make the transition from a building to the adjacent natural desert." The New York Times Book Review of this book said,“Part of Martino’s trick is setting plants that have few flowers but fabulous shapes against geometric slabs of deeply colored walls. The crimson hues in a Phoenix garden must be as much of a draw for the hummingbirds as the mirrored surface of the water trough. Blue concrete pyramids, magenta poles, yellow awnings, and fiberglass panels — these are all elements in Martino’s playful, imaginative designs." This book is 240 pages of Steve Martino’s inspiring work - a treasure of vivid color, plants, design, and custom structures. You can get a copy of Desert Gardens of Steve Martino by Caren Yglesias and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $68  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 12, 1724  Today is the birthday of the poet and gardener William Mason. The Reverend William Mason was also a writer, artist, and garden designer. Mason is remembered for creating the romance of the country house garden. Here's how he did it: In 1775 at Nuneham ("NEW-Num"), near Oxford, England, Mason designed a flower garden for his friend Lord Harcourt. This garden was a turning point to many and marked the beginning of what came to be known as romantic flower gardening. What Mason accomplished was a radical change; straight lines in borders and beds were out. Circular beds were in. With new elements in gardens like island beds, the plants were located away from the house. Instead, plantings and beds were situated near outdoor garden buildings like temples, orangeries, or a seating area. The garden at Nuneham became a model for others. Mason's creation set the trend for English gardening, and Mason broadcast his ideas about romantic gardening in a very, very, very long poem called "The English Garden." It was released in chunks over the span of a decade, between 1772 and 1781. Mason's target audience was the wealthy garden owners of his time. He was speaking directly to them when he wrote:"Waste is not grandeur,"  and"A garden is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirit of man." Mason made many appeals to country estate owners, but his overall message was to throw out formal gardens in favor of romantic landscapes. Now, the word romantic simply means a landscape that is wild or natural. During this time, people referred to these romantic, natural, or wild landscapes as the picturesque garden. Today, gardeners delight in this little verse from Mason's poem. It offers simple, resonate advice from William Mason to you:Take thy plastic spade,It is thy pencil.Take thy seeds, thy plants,They are thy colors.  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a woman who was insatiable when it came to plants, and she is remembered forever with the Portland Rose. We'll also learn about a famous speech given at a Vermont botanical club about why botany wasn’t taught in schools - and the reasons were pretty spot on. We hear a story about a beautiful cherry tree found near the Osakabe ("sah-KAH-bay") Hotel. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about Darwin’s plants - in addition to his theory of evolution, Darwin experimented and observed plants extensively at his home in Kent. And then we’ll wrap things up by getting you ready for Valentine’s Day with a few of my favorite garden-inspired verses about love.  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 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 Gardening As A Salve For Stress And Anxiety: A Gardener's Personal Story | House & Garden | Charlie Harpur  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 11, 1715 Today is the birthday of the British aristocrat, naturalist, plant lover, and botanist Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, Duchess of Portland. Her family and friends called her Maria. Maria married when she was 19 years old. Together, she and William Bentinck had five children; one of their sons became prime minister twice. When William died after their 27th anniversary, Maria threw herself into her many passions. As the wealthiest woman in England, Maria could acquire virtually any treasure from the natural world - and she did. She cultivated an enormous collection of natural history, which was tended by two experts she hired to personally attend each item: the naturalist Reverend John Lightfoot and the Swedish botanist Daniel Solander. Maria's home in Buckinghamshire was referred to by society as the hive - it was a reference to the hub of activity for Solander and Lightfoot and the other people who helped process her acquisitions. At one point, Maria had reached out to Captain James Cook. James gave Maria some shells from his second expedition to Australia. Meanwhile, Daniel Solander was in charge cataloging Maria's massive shell collection, but, sadly, he left the work unfinished when he died in 1782. Maria had an enormous appetite for curation and collecting. In addition to her Botanic Garden on her property, Maria opened a zoo, kept rabbits, and had an aviary. A constant stream of scientists, explorers, socialites, and artists visited Maria to exchange ideas and inspect her collections. And, think about the limitless ambition she must have had as Lightfoot wrote that Maria wanted,"...every unknown species in the three kingdoms of nature described and published to the world." Now, Maria had a special love for collecting plants and flowers from far off places worldwide. She retained the botanist and the incomparable botanical illustrator Georg Dionysius Ehret as a drawing instructor. Struck by the luminescence of his work, Maria bought over 300 of Ehret's paintings. Maria also became friends with the botanical artist Mary Delaney. Mary made botanical paper mosaics, as she called them. Mary was essentially creating flower specimens out of tissue paper. And Mary was exacting - dissecting real flowers and then replicating what she saw with tissue paper. To gather more material for her work, Maria and Mary loved to go out into the fields and collect specimens together. As the Duchess of Portland, Maria shared her specimens with the public, and she displayed her various collections from around the globe in what she called her Portland Museum. Once, in 1800, Maria received a rose from Italy, which became known as the Portland Rose in her honor. The rose was a beautiful crimson scarlet with round petals - and it was a repeat bloomer. And, here's a fun fact: all Portland Roses were developed from that very first Portland Rose - the sweet gift to Margaret Cavendish Bentinck - Maria - the Duchess of Portland.  February 11, 1896 It was on this day that the Burlington Free Press shared a story called Vermont’s Flora: Winter Meeting of the State Botanical Club. Generally speaking, these early botanical meetings can err on the side of rules and regulation, and they can be a little boring to read. However, the account of this meeting caught my eye. The meeting started as per usual with a discussion of nomenclature. Here the club decided to follow the lead of Harvard and the way they pronounced botanical names. But, then, things got interesting because the topic changed to "How Should Botany be Taught In Schools?" after an address given by Reverend JA Bates. Bates began his popular presentation by saying that he could begin his speech like the boy who wrote a paper about “The Snakes of Ireland.” The paper began, “There are no snakes in Ireland.” Reverend Bates found himself in the same situation for his speech, “How Should Botany be Taught in Schools?” Well, as Reverend Bates began to speak, he bluntly pointed out there is no botany taught in schools. Bear in mind this speech was made in 1896 when Reverend Bates said that, “only one in forty students has studied botany.” And I don’t think we’ve moved the dial that much on that statistic. Then Bates attempts to explain why botany is not taught - and this is what caught my attention. He said,“The chief reasons for [botany not being taught in schools] are twofold. First, most of the teachers are poorly prepared for teaching botany. And second, botanists are conservative and conceal the charms of their study behind the long Latin names.” Unearthed Words There, in a garden of a house near the Osakabe Hotel ("sah-KAH-bay"), towering above a tall wooden fence, stood a tree with narrow leaves and bunched clusters of double mauve-pink blossoms with close to 100 petals. Ingram's immediate reaction was to work out how to spirit cuttings of the tree to England. Fate was on his side. Nineteen years earlier, on his honeymoon, he had visited this very village while hunting birds, and he remembered meeting there, a one-legged war hero whose parents ran the Osakabe Hotel.  That man, who had lost a limb during the Russo-Japanese war, was still alive, a villager told Ingram. Indeed he was now running the hotel. And his hobby was gardening! In typical Ingram fashion, he convinced the Innkeeper to send him scions from the tree in exchange for one yen to cover the postage. By 1929, a couple of sturdy offspring were growing in Benenden. — Naoko Abe, Japanese Journalist, author, and a 2016  Nihon Essayist Club Award winner, Cherry Ingram: The Englishman Who Saved Japan’s Blossoms, Saving the Sakura Grow That Garden Library Darwin's Most Wonderful Plants by Ken Thompson This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is Darwin's Botany Today. In this book, Ken helps us understand Darwin as a botanist. After taking his famous voyage on The Beagle, Darwin experimented with and observed growing plants at his home in Kent. Carnivorous and climbing plants were a favorite of Darwin's; he was fascinated by their pollination and flower evolution. Thanks to Ken, we get to know Darwin as a pioneering botanist who was way ahead of his time. Darwin’s work seems totally in step with plant science today: plant movement, hunting, and intelligence. This book is 256 pages of a side of Darwin that most folks have never known: Darwin as a curious and intelligent botanist. You can get a copy of Darwin's Most Wonderful Plants by Ken Thompson and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $14 Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heart Today I thought I’d close the show by getting you ready for Valentine’s Day with a few of my favorite garden-inspired verses about love. Violet has the shortest wavelength of the spectrum.  Behind it, the invisible ultraviolet.  Roses are Red,  Violets are Blue.  Poor violet, violated for a rhyme. — Derek Jarman, gardener and poet If apples were pears And peaches were plums And the rose had a different name. If tigers were bears And fingers were thumbs I'd love you just the same. — Anonymous “So, timely you came, and well you chose, You came when most needed, my winter rose. From the snow I pluck you, and fondly press Your leaves 'twixt the leaves of my leaflessness.” — Alfred Austin, English poet Poet Laureate “Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart.” — Russell Page, British gardener, garden designer, and architectThanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a botanist who gave Meriwether Lewis a crash course in botany. We'll also learn about a poet who wrote some touching poems that incorporated the natural world. We hear some words about getting the garden ready for growing - straightforward advice on getting started. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about a garden style that’s never gone out of style: cottage gardening. And then we’ll wrap things up with a pioneer naturalist who wrote books that became a beloved part of many modern childhoods.  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 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 NewsNew Owners Of Barton Springs Nursery Plan To Add Learning, Community Spaces And Inspire Local Gardeners | Digging | Pam Penick  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 10, 1766 Today is the birthday of the American botanist, naturalist, and physician Benjamin Smith Barton. Benjamin worked as a Professor of Natural History and Botany at the University of Pennsylvania, where he authored the very first textbook on American Botany. In 1803, at Thomas Jefferson's request, Benjamin was tutoring Meriwether Lewis to get him ready for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Now Meriwether had many strengths, but he had little knowledge of natural history or plants. Thanks to Benjamin's tutelage, Meriwether was an awesome specimen collector on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. After the Expedition, Benjamin was supposed to create a book describing all of the plant specimens found on their great voyage. But, for some reason, he never began writing. Instead, the job ultimately fell to Benjamin's assistant, Frederick Pursh. And when Frederick ended up having a falling out with Benjamin, he secretly took the specimens and fled to England. Once there, Frederick found a patron and published his Flora of North America in two years' time — much to the embarrassment of Benjamin Smith Barton and all American botanists. And, there's an incredible story that came out two years ago, in February, regarding Benjamin. The story featured a little yellow butterfly that was found pressed between the pages of one of Benjamin's manuscripts from 1812 - his Flora Virginica. And it turns out that a delicate, tiny, yellow-winged butterfly was discovered by a library fellow named E. Bennett Jones at the American Philosophical Society as he was looking through the book. Well, naturally, this caused a stir, and butterfly experts were called in to examine the specimen, and they believed that it was placed deliberately since the butterfly was found on the pages listed "Plants beloved by Pollinators - such as Monarda."  After this incredible discovery, the Barton Butterfly, as it came to be called, was carefully removed and preserved in a suspended container. And there was a final touching detail to this story: the butterfly left an indelible mark on the manuscript. Even with the specimen now safely preserved in a glass box, the pages bear a little mark of a golden butterfly-shaped stain in the spot where it lay pressed for over 200 years before it was discovered.  February 10, 1882 Today is the birthday of the English writer Winifred Mary Letts. Gardeners love her quote on spring: That God once loved a garden, we learn in Holy writ.  And seeing gardens in the Spring, I well can credit it. Winifred also wrote a poem about spring called "Spring the Cheat." This is one of many poems Winifred wrote about the Great War - WWI.  Winifred wrote "Spring the Cheat" to remind people that they were not alone in their suffering. And her poem illustrates how pointless existence seems during wartime. And Winifred contrasts the season of rebirth - spring (which is cyclical), with a war-induced season of loss (which usually spreads across many seasons and is wildly at odds during spring).Luminous evenings when the blackbird swaysUpon the rose and tunes his flageolet,A sea of bluebells down the woodland ways, —O exquisite spring, all this — and yet — and yet —Kinder to me the bleak face of DecemberWho gives no cheating hopes, but says — "Remember." Another poem that will thrill gardeners is Winifred’s delightful verse that was written to honor the birth of a dear friend’s baby (Peter John Dobbs). Winifred's poem is called To a May Baby, and I've often thought it would be perfect for a spring baby shower invitation.To come at Tulip Time how wise!Perhaps you will not now regretThe shining gardens, jewel set,Of your first home in ParadiseNor fretBecause you might not quite forget.To come at Swallow Time how wise!When every bird has built a nest;Now you may fold your wings and restAnd watch this new world with surprise;A guestFor whom the earth has donned her best.To come when life is gay how wise!With lambs and every happy thingThat frisks on foot or sports on wing,With daisies and with butterflies,But SpringHad nought so sweet as you to bring.  Unearthed Words When one is first beginning to garden or gardening in a place one does not yet know, soil can seem dumb and unhelpful, just dirt. It is gray and empty, or yellow, clammy, and stony, or perhaps it is black and full of worms. Little pebbles might be interspersed all through it, or big ones, or maybe there is a rock ledge a spades-depth away. The plants thrive or languish in mysterious ways. As one begins to work in it, a sense of the soil sharpens. One gets to know it's grit or muddiness, it's smell and warmth or chill, how it holds or drains water, what creatures inhabit it. One might notice how these qualities connect with each other, how they show themselves in the ways the plants grow. Most of all one discovers that the soil does not stay the same, but, like anything alive, it is always changing and telling its own story. — Carol Williams, American gardener and author, Bringing a Garden to Life, Preparing the Ground Grow That Garden Library Cottage Gardens by Claire Masset  This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is A Celebration of Britain's Most Beautiful Cottage Gardens, with Advice on Making Your Own. In this book, Claire shares every possible type of cottage garden. Famous profiles include writer Thomas Hardy's cottage in Dorset; the glorious cottage garden at Sissinghurst by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson; Beatrix Potter's cottage garden property known as Hill Top, and many more. Best of all, Claire thoughtfully offers down-to-earth advice to gardeners who wish to learn how to create their own cottage garden. This book is 176 pages of cottage garden inspiration: winding garden paths lined with hollyhocks, climbing roses and honeysuckle, orchards, and wildflowers. You can get a copy of Cottage Gardens by Claire Masset and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $15  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 10, 1957   Today is the anniversary of the death of Laura Ingalls Wilder. One of the reasons so many of us have a soft spot in our hearts for the Little House books is because Laura was so descriptive; she was a natural storyteller.   In retrospect, I think you may be surprised by the amount of material in Laura’s books that was devoted to the natural world - ma’s gardens, the landscapes Laura and her family experienced, and the reverence for life - plants, animals, and human - all of it is so cherished by Laura and her loved ones. In 2017, the author Marta McDowell wrote a book called The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and in it, she highlights the frontier landscapes that inspired the Little House books. And Marta’s book sheds new light on Laura as a naturalist. In a blog post, Marta challenged us by writing:“I’d like to suggest a thought experiment. Instead of categorizing Laura Ingalls Wilder as an American children’s author, think of her as a nature writer as well…Long before she was a writer, Laura Ingalls Wilder was a gardener and farmer, growing food for the table and raising crops for sale. Nature was her home, as well as little houses. Through her life and work, Wilder sowed a deep appreciation for the world outside one’s own door. Her books still inspire budding naturalists to plant, preserve and appreciate their own wilder gardens.” Well, Marta and I had a lovely chat featured in Episode 585 of the Still Growing podcast if you’d like to check it out. And one time, we even had a nice little lunch together as she was passing through the Twin Cities. Marta is one of my favorite modern garden authors, and I loved her idea of writing about Laura as a naturalist. In researching Laura, I discovered many wonderful things she had written about the natural world outside of her wonderful Little House books. In the Missouri Ruralist, Laura wrote,“The voices of nature do not speak so plainly to us as we grow older, but I think it is because, in our busy lives, we neglect her until we grow out of sympathy. Our ears and eyes grow doll and Beauties are lost to us that we should still enjoy. Life was not intended to  be simply a round of work, no matter how interesting and important that work may be. A moment's pause to watch the glory of a sunrise or a sunset is so satisfying, while a bird song will set the steps to music all day long.” In early February 1918, over a hundred years ago this month, Laura wrote:“Now is the time to make a garden!  Anyone can be a successful gardener at this time of year and I know of no pleasanter occupation these cold, snowy days, then to sit warm and snug by the fire making a garden with a pencil, and a seed catalog. What perfect vegetables do we raise in that way and so many of them! Our radishes are crisp and sweet,our lettuce tender and our tomatoes smooth and beautifully colored. Best of all, there is not a bug or worm in the whole garden and the work is so easily done.In imagination we see the plants in our spring garden, all in straight, thrifty rows with the fruit of each plant and vine numerous and beautiful as the pictures before us. How near the real garden of next summer approaches the ideal garden of our winter fancies depends upon how practically we dream and how hard we work.”   Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a man who published his garden journal in a book - and inspired countless gardeners and gardener writers with his resonant words. We'll also learn about a young botanist with drive and good intentions, as well as a personal beef with another botanist - both of these men had a dramatic impact on the Calcutta Botanical Garden. We hear some fascinating words about tree bark and pH - it's a little-discussed topic, but it's a good one. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that helps us cook with flowers. And then we’ll wrap things up with a look at winter chores for this week from 1889.  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 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 Jade Plants Are the Low-Maintenance Houseplants Everyone Should Know About | MarthaStewart.com  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 9, 1830 Today is the birthday of the English gardener and writer Henry Arthur Bright. As an adult, Henry began a diary, which would become a book called A Year in a Lancashire Garden. Henry’s book is one of the most beloved garden biographies of the nineteenth century, and Henry's book inspired future garden writers like Henry Nicholson Ellacombe, Theresa Earle, and Elizabeth Lawrence. And for today, I thought I would share a February 1874 excerpt from Henry's journal. Although this was almost 150 years ago, Henry was doing what gardeners do this time of year: worrying about how the winter would affect the garden, noticing the progress of the earliest blooming trees and shrubs, cleaning up and editing the garden for the new season, looking through his garden magazines for new and old plants, experiencing some disappointment in the spring showing of some of his flowers (in this case, his Aconites), and mulling over why some spring-flowering bulbs go unappreciated - like the humble spring Crocus.“Since I wrote, we have had the sharpest and keenest frost — sharper than we have had all the winter...Now spring has come again, and (as Horace says) has "shivered" through the trees. The Elders are already unfolding their leaves, and a Lonicera ("lon-ISS-er-ah”) or Honeysuckle is in the freshest bud. I remember when, a few years ago, Mr. Longfellow, the American poet, was in England, he told me that he was often reminded by the tender foliage of an English spring of that well-known line of Watts, where the fields of Paradise,  "Stand dressed in living green;"and I thought of this today when I looked... at the fresh verdure of this very Lonicera.But all things are now telling of spring. We have finished our pruning of the wall-fruit; we have ...sown our earliest Peas. We have planted our Ranunculus bed and gone through the herbaceous borders, dividing and clearing away where the growth was too thick, and sending off hamperfuls of Peony, Iris, Oenothera ("ee-no-THAIR-ah"), Snowflake, Japanese Anemone ("ah-NIM-oh-nee), Day Lily, and many others. On the other hand, we have been looking over old volumes of Curtis's Botanical Magazine, and have been trying to get, not always successfully, a number of old forgotten plants of beauty, and now of rarity. We have found enough, however, to add a fresh charm to our borders for June, July, and August.On the lawn, we have some Aconites in flower… This year they are doing badly. I suspect they must have been mown away last spring before their tubers were thoroughly ripe, and they are punishing us now by flowering only here and there. Then, too, the Crocuses are bursting up from the soil... "all gleaming in purple and gold." Nothing is more stupid than the ordinary way of planting Crocuses — in a narrow line or border. Of course, you get a line of color, but that is all, and, for all the good it does, you might as well have a line of colored pottery or variegated gravel. They should be grown in thick masses, and in a place where the sun can shine upon them, and then they open out into wonderful depths of beauty. Besides the clusters along the shrubberies and the mixed borders, I have a number [of Crocus] on the lawn beneath a large weeping Ash; the grass was bare there, and… it was well to do something to veil its desolation in the spring. Nothing can be more successful than a mass of Crocus, yellow, white, and purple.I sometimes think that the Crocus is less cared for than it deserves. Our modern poets rarely mention it; but in Homer, when he would make a carpet for the gods, it is of Lotus, Hyacinth, and Crocus…  February 9, 1845 Today is the anniversary of the early death of the promising English botanist and naturalist, William Griffith. William’s peers in Madras, India, honored William with a plaque that says,“He had attained to the highest eminence in the scientific world; and was one of the most distinguished botanists of his age.” William was exceptionally bright and fit. Confident and capable, William made one discovery after another on his expeditions across the globe. But in researching William, while I discovered a man who was unquestionably intelligent and driven, he was also embroiled in a personal battle against a fellow botanist - an older peer named Nathaniel Wallich. One of the great botanists of his age, Nathaniel, was in charge of the Botanical Garden in Calcutta, India. During his time in India, he wrote a Flora of Asia, and the palm Wallichia disticha (“wall-IK-ee-uh DIS-tik-uh”) was named in Wallich’s honor. In 1824, Nathaniel was the first person to describe the giant Himalayan Lily (Cardiocrinum giganteum) - the world's largest Lily species. If you decide you’d like to grow giant Himalayan Lilies (and who wouldn’t?), expect blooms anytime after year four. Now, Richard Axelby wrote an excellent in-depth paper that shares the sad story of dislike and mistrust between William Griffith and Nathaniel Wallich. It’s a fascinating read, and it underscores the damage that can be done when people don’t get along. In a nutshell, when William arrived at the botanical garden in Calcutta, he essentially played the role of the new sheriff in town, and he didn’t like the way Nathaniel had organized the garden. He didn’t like Nathaniel’s arrogance and adherence to the old ways. And for his part, Nathaniel hadn’t anticipated this kind of challenge to his authority; He had hoped to finish out his final years respected and revered until he received his pension and returned to England. When Nathaniel’s health deteriorated, he was forced to leave the Calcutta Botanical Garden, and he went to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa to recover. During his absence, William went to work. After being put in charge of the garden, William set about executing a complete renovation. In hindsight, William’s personal feelings likely got in the way of exercising a more thoughtful redesign. He essentially threw the baby out with the bathwater. For instance, there was an avenue of stately Cycas trees that was beloved by visitors to the garden; they were wiped out. William’s total dedication to organizing the garden by classification meant that aesthetics and common sense were secondary, and that proved detrimental to the garden. Plants that had thrived under the canopy of established trees and shrubs were suddenly exposed to the harsh Indian sun, and they burned and perished out in the open. And even if he could be a difficult man to work with, it’s hard not to imagine the shock Nathaniel experienced when he returned to the garden in the summer of 1844 and saw the complete devastation in every bed, every planting, and every corner of the garden. Nothing was untouched - it had all been changed. And as Nathaniel returned to the garden that summer, William was preparing to leave. In September, he married his brother’s wife’s sister - Emily Henderson - by the end of the year, on December 11th, and he quit and left the garden for good. Two months later, on February 8, 1845, Nathaniel poured out his pain in a letter to his old friend William Hooker:“Where is the stately, matchless garden that I left in 1842? Is this the same as that? Can it be? No–no–no! Day is not more different from night that the state of the garden as it was from its present utterly ruined condition. But no more on this. My heart bleeds at what I am impelled daily – hourly to witness. And yet I am chained to the spot, and the chain, in some respects, is of my own making. I will not be driven away. Lies, calumnies, every attempt... to ruin my character – publicly and privately... are still employed – they may make my life miserable and wretched, they may break my heart: but so so long as my conscience acquits me... so long will I not budge one inch from my post.” Well, when Nathanial wrote this letter, William and Emily were back in Malacca in Southwestern Malaysia - but all was not well. William had gotten sick on the voyage to Malaysia. It was hepatitis, and he had languished for ten days. And the very day after Nathaniel sent his letter to William Hooker about his broken heart at seeing his dear Calcutta Botanical Garden, William Griffith died on this day in 1845 in Malaysia. He was just 34 years old. Unearthed Words Each tree's bark will have its own pH, and some are more acidic than others. Larches and Pines are notoriously acidic; Birch, Hawthorne and Oak are acidic too, but slightly less so. Rowan, Alder, Beech, Linden, and Ash are little less acidic again, and Willow, Holly and Elm are getting closer to neutral. Sycamore, Walnut, and Elder are alkaline. The less acidic the bark is, the more growth you are likely to see from colonizing plants and lichens. Pine bark is often bare, whereas Sycamore might have a glorious guest hanging off its bark. —Tristan Gooley, New York Times Bestselling author, The Lost Art of Reading Nature Signs, Bark Grow That Garden Library Cooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher This book came out in 2013, and the subtitle is Sweet and Savory Recipes with Rose Petals, Lilacs, Lavender, and Other Edible Flowers. In this book, Miche put together more than 100 recipes to create beautiful flower-filled dishes for your table! This botanical cookbook features creations that will speak to any gardener: sweet violet cupcakes, savory sunflower chickpea salad, pansy petal pancakes, chive blossom vinaigrette, daylily cheesecake, rosemary flower margaritas, mango orchid sticky rice, and herb flower pesto. Miche is an herbalist, chef, and owner of a custom confectionary studio, so she’s an expert in preparing and using botanicals in the kitchen. Miche shares how to find, clean, and prep edible blossoms. You’ll also learn that the color and flavor of various blooms can infuse vinegars, vodkas, sugars, frostings, jellies and jams, and even ice creams. This book is 192 pages of edible flowers, visually stunning desserts, and one-of-a-kind creations. You can get a copy of Cooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $6 Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 9, 1889  On this day, The Lancaster Gazette shared a little snippet about the garden chores that should be done this week. So let’s see how our chores stack up against chores from the late 1800s.“Outdoor Work must have a full share of attention. Whatever... winter work remains must now be cleared up, or the consequences will be serious. Make quickly a thorough clearance of the vegetable quarters. Prepare all plots requiring manure at once, as it is much better to have the manure completely incorporated with the soil than to sow or plant immediately after manuring. The ground for Peas, Beans, Onions, Cauliflowers, and Broccolis must be liberally manured and deeply stirred. Mark out the quarters for Onions into four-foot beds and raise the bed six inches above the general level and leave the surface rough. At sowing time, the surface will be nicely pulverized through exposure to the air, and the seed can be set clean and rolled in firm...Choose for Potatoes ground on which Cabbage, or Broccoli, or Celery has been grown... last year. Make up sloping borders under warm walls and fences for early Lettuce and Radish.Prick out Broccoli and Cauliflower from seed. Plant.”  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate an English critic who wrote some of our most beautiful quotes about gardens, nature, and flowers. We'll also learn about a dedicated English naturalist who lived in the Rainforest for eleven years and provided ample proof of Darwin’s theory of evolution. We hear words from a gardener and nursery owner about gardening and garden attire in winter. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a  book that helps us make some great garden projects with concrete - prepare to be amazed. And then we’ll wrap things up with a letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra written on this day 214 years ago.  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 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 NewsThe Gardening Doctor | Words and HerbsFacebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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.  
Today we celebrate a botanist and orchidologist who saved Kew, We'll also learn about an orchid hunter who collected plants on behalf of the London Horticultural Society. We hear some words about the challenging experience of a botanist in 1874. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about one of America’s earliest botanists and the father of America’s first female botanist. And then we’ll wrap things up with a story of a plant that Joseph Dalton Hooker described as "The ugliest yet [most] botanically magnificent plant in the world."  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 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 NewsCarnation – A Little History and Some Growing Instructions | Harvesting History  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 5, 1799 Today is the birthday of the British botanist, pomologist, pioneer orchidologist, and flower show organizer, John Lindley. John's dad was a nurseryman, and he ran a commercial nursery in England. Despite his array of botanical talents and knowledge, the family was always under financial duress. Growing up in his father's nursery helped John acquire the knowledge to land his first job as a seed merchant. This position led to a chain of events that would shape John's life. First, he met the botanist William Jackson Hooker. And, second, Hooker introduced him to Sir Joseph Banks. As a result of these connections, John ended up working as an assistant in Bank’s herbarium. In 1838 after Banks died, when the fate of Kew Gardens hung in the balance, John recommended that the gardens belonged to the people and that they should become the botanical headquarters for England. The government rejected John's proposal and decided to close the garden. But, on February 11, 1840, John ingeniously demanded that the issue be put before the Parliament. His advocacy brought the matter to the people; the garden-loving public was not about to lose the Royal Botanic. And, so, John saved Kew Gardens, and William Hooker was chosen as the new director. From his humble beginnings to his incredible standing in English Botanical History, John is remembered fondly for so many accomplishments. For 43 years, John served as secretary to the Royal Horticultural Society, which is why the RHS Library is called the Lindley Library. And, there are over 200 plant species named for John Lindley. There is "lindleyi," "lindleyana," "lindleya," "lindleyoides," etc., and they all pay homage to John. John once told his friend, the botanist Ludwig Reichenbach, "I am a dandy in my herbarium." John did love his plants. But, without question, John's favorite plants were orchids. Before John, not much was known about orchids. Thanks to John, the genus Orchidaceae was shortened to orchid – which is much more friendly to pronounce. And, when he died, John's massive orchid collection was moved to a new home at Kew. John's friend, the botanist Ludwig Reichenbach, wrote a touching tribute after John died. He wrote,"We cannot tell how long Botany, how long science, will be pursued; but we may affirm that so long as a knowledge of plants is considered necessary, so long will Lindley's name be remembered with gratitude." And here's a little-remembered factoid about John - he was blind in one eye.  February 5, 1848 It was on this day, the botanist Karl Theodor Hartweg boarded a Hawaiian ship on his way back to England. The London Horticultural Society had hired Karl to collect plants in California. Yet when he reached London, the Hort Society was a little frustrated with Karl because he hadn’t secured something they really wanted: Bristlecone Fir seeds. A short while later, Karl severed ties with London, and he ended up south of Frankfurt tending gardens for the Duke of Baden for thirty years until he died in 1871. Karl’s journey as a plant collector began in the botanical garden in Paris. After working for the Chiswick garden in London, Karl began to turn his attention to plant exploration. Eager to travel and explore, Karl left for America in 1836. Although Karl was only supposed to stay for a three-year project, he actually ended up staying for over seven years. During the early to mid-1800s, native plants from Mexico, like dahlias and cacti, were all the rage. As for Karl, he became a noted orchid hunter. According to Merle Reinkka, the author of A History of the Orchid, Karl’s work was significant, and he contributed,"The most variable and comprehensive collection of New World Orchids made by a single individual in the first half of the [19th] century." A man of the world, Karl himself once dryly remarked,“All the way from London just to look after weeds.”  Unearthed Words In 1874, the English botanist WEP Giles (William Ernest Powell) explored the vast deserts of central Australia. Setting out with his hunting partner from a base camp at Fort McKellar,  he discovered a leak in one of his large water bags. The two men decided to continue, even though the temperature had already climbed to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. Camping that night, they hung their remaining bags of water in a tree to protect them. But one of their horses attacked a bag with her teeth— spraying the water all over the ground. Now neither the men nor the animals had enough water. — Anita Silvey, American children’s author, The Plant Hunters, Bringing Themselves Home Alive Grow That Garden Library Cadwallader Colden by Seymour Schwartz This book came out in 2013, and the subtitle is A Biography. In this book, Seymour gives us the first complete biography of the American botanist Cadwallader Colden. Cadwallader was the longest-serving Lieutenant Governor of New York. He was incredibly intelligent and multi-talented - a true Renaissance man of America's colonial times. A trained physician, Cadwallader improved public health, and he wrote the first scientific paper published in the colonies, as well as the first map of New York. Cadwallader was also the father of America’s first female botanist: Jane Colden. This book is 230 pages of the life of a multifaceted colonial Renaissance man: Cadwallader Colden. You can get a copy of Cadwallader Colden by Seymour Schwartz and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $4 Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 5, 1806 Today is the birthday of the Austrian botanist and explorer Friedrich Welwitsch. Friedrich found a second home in the country of Portugal, where he served as the director of the Botanic Gardens in Lisbon. Friedrich had some fantastic experiences during his lifetime, but the pinnacle was clearly the day he discovered the Welwitschia mirabilis. The mirabilis refers to its unusual form. Portugal had to send him to Africa to collect plants -  which he did for seven years. In 1860, Friedrich discovered a strange-looking plant that is actually a tree - a conifer and a gymnosperm - in terms of botanical classification. The Africans called it "Mr. Big." Now the Welwitschia is endemic to Namibian deserts, and it's also present on the country's coat of arms. When Friedrich discovered this unique plant, which can live for more than 1500 years and bears only two leaves in its entire lifecycle, he was so astonished that he,"could do nothing but kneel down and gaze at it, half in fear lest a touch should prove it a figment of the imagination." Imagine a two-tentacled octopus with very long arms and a red floral bouquet for a head, and you have the Welwitschia mirabilis. Welwitschia's two leaves grow continuously throughout the life of a plant. The pair of leaves are broad, leathery, and belt-shaped. Incredibly, some specimens, tested with carbon 14, are over 2000 years old. Today, if you search online, there is a spectacular photo of Friedrich seated behind a large welwitschia mirabilis. He's wearing a pith helmet, and the plant's leaves are clearly many times longer than Friedrich's arms and legs, which are mostly obscured by the plant. In 1862, Joseph Dalton Hooker described the plant in The Gardener's Chronicle as,"The ugliest yet [most] botanically magnificent plant in the world."  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Today we celebrate a botanist who helped us understand why plants are green: chlorophyll. We'll also learn about the dedicated Landscape Architect who was a protégé of Beatrix Farrand. We hear some tips for keeping a well-stocked winter larder. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a 2021 journal that you can use to keep track of your year - and it has some fantastic original sketches from a garden great on nearly every page. And then we’ll wrap things up with a story that helps us see weedy plants through a different lens - and we’re fools if we can’t be more balanced in our perspective on these plants.  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 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 Starting Your Seeds for the First Time | That Bloomin’ Garden | Kristin Crouch  Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 EventsFebruary 4, 1847 Today is the anniversary of the death of the French botanist and physiologist Henri Dutrochet. After studying the movement of sap in plants in his home laboratory, Henri discovered and named osmosis. Henri shared his discovery with the Paris Academy of Sciences on October 30th, 1826. Like the cells in our own human bodies, plants don’t drink water; they absorb it by osmosis. Henri also figured out that the green pigment, chlorophyll, in a plant is essential to how plants take up carbon dioxide. Hence, photosynthesis could not happen without chlorophyll. It turns out chlorophyll actually helps plants gather energy from light. And if you’ve ever asked yourself why plants are green, the answer is chlorophyll.  Since it reflects green light, the chlorophyll makes the plant appear green. As for Henri, he was a true pioneer in plant research. He was the first to examine plant respiration, light sensitivity, and geotropism (How the plant responds to gravity, i.e., roots grow down to the ground.) Geotropism can be confusing at first, but I just think of it this way: The upward growth of plants - fighting against gravity - is called negative geotropism, and downward growth of roots, growing with gravity, is called positive geotropism. And there’s a little part of the plant at the very end of the root that responds to positive geotropism, and it’s called the root cap. So, what makes the roots grow downward? The small but mighty root cap - responding to positive geotropism.  February 4, 1899 Today is the birthday of the Beatrix Farrand protégé, the American Landscape Architect Ruth Harvey. After graduating from Smith College, Ruth attended the first landscape architecture school to allow women: the Cambridge School of Domestic Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Before she earned her Master’s degree in Architecture, Ruth had already started working for Beatrix Farrand - and it was this relationship that would lead Ruth to her professional destiny: Dumbarton Oaks. Dumbarton Oaks was a farm that was purchased by Robert and Mildred Bliss in 1920. A creative visionary, Mildred immediately had big plans for the property, and she hired the great Landscape Architect Beatrix Farrand to help with the transformation. And while Mildred had bargained for creating a magnificent garden property, she ended up with so much more: a very dear friendship with Beatrix. As for Ruth, after she was hired, she joined a small team of women, spearheaded by Beatrix, to design the magnificent gardens and Landscape at Dumbarton. But in a few years, after the project was underway, it was Ruth who took point on the work at Dumbarton. Ruth’s leadership happened organically after she proved herself by working on various projects. Ruth’s first major project at Dumbarton was something called the Green Garden Inscription to Beatrix Farrand. The inscribed stone tablet was something special that Mildred wanted to be added to the Green Terrace; she was looking for a permanent way to honor her dear friend Beatrix, and she wanted it set in stone. And so, Ruth designed a plaque that was placed within a balustrade - the stone railing of the terrace. Written in Latin, (“Somnia sub patulis videant nascentia ramis sidera fausa ferant omnia et usque bona. Testimonio amicitiae Beatricis Farrand nec illorum immemores qui postero aevo vitas veritati erunendae impenderint. Hanc tabellam posuerunt Robertus Woods Bliss uxorque Mildred”) the inscription has two lines of elegy that read:“May they see their dreams springing to life under the spreading boughs; May lucky stars bring them every continuous good.” And the inscription reads:“A testimony to the friendship of Beatrix Farrand.Robert Bliss and his wife, Mildred, remembering those who have spent their lives bringing truth forth for a later age, set this plaque here." The Green Terrace was designed to be an extension of the Bliss home. The patio area served as an outdoor dining room and a space for entertaining, and the Blisses hosted large parties and events there. Set on the highest part of the property, the Green Terrace offers the best views of Dumbarton and the spot where Mildred purposefully chose the inscription; it’s the very best spot to stand to view the garden and the landscape beyond. Over Ruth Havey’s long career, she took on additional projects out of her office in New York, and she was part of the first generation of working female Landscape Architects in the country. And with every project she completed, Ruth honed her superpower: tying the landscape to buildings on the property - making the garden a cohesive part of the whole. And although she had many impressive clients and gardens through the years, Ruth always felt a special bond to Dumbarton - a place she helped to mold and shape for over thirty years. And it’s fitting that her best work - her masterpiece - was a Dumbarton project called the Pebble Garden. Initially, the Pebble Garden space was a tennis court, and Beatrix Farrand had actually installed it. Most gardeners can relate to tearing out a garden feature that no longer suits their needs. But the task of replacing a tennis court - a 60 by 120-foot flat space - with an intricate pebble mosaic must have felt like an enormous undertaking. The area was a clean slate. After a fateful trip to Florence, Italy, Mildred discovered a muse for the space. She had gone to see the Villa I Tatti, and Mildred’s imagination lighted up when she saw an intricate mosaic of pebbles - a pebble garden - that made the walkways look like they were covered with an intricately patterned stone carpet. Now Villa I Tatti’s elaborate pebble pathways were designed by the great Uruguayan-British garden designer and architect Cecil Ross Pinsent. Visiting elite gardens was not at all intimidating or overwhelming to Mildred. Instead, Mildred was invigorated by the practice of benchmarking the very best gardens in the world so that Dumbarton, too, could be extraordinary. Imagine being in Ruth’s shoes as Mildred tells her she wants a pebble mosaic to replace the tennis court. Imagine sourcing images for inspiration, finding the perfect pebbles, and establishing a design that would likely inspire for centuries. This redesign was a massive challenge for Ruth Havey, and in the end, she nailed it, and the pride that she felt must have been very gratifying. Today when you view Ruth’s pebble mosaic, I want you to imagine what it would look like with water above it - because that was what she originally intended. Sadly, the cement bedding below the mosaic had some flaws, and those cracks meant the mosaic would always be fully exposed, and I suspect that this development has actually prolonged the life of the mosaic. Anyone with a water feature knows how water degrades the structures beneath the water. Finally, the pebble garden features two cornucopias on either side of a large sheaf of grain. This harvest image of the two cornucopias and the grain is a visual reminder of the Bliss family motto: “Quod Severis Metes: You reap what you sow.”  Unearthed Words Harvested fruits and vegetables can be stored over winter in a number of ways. Perishable summer stone fruits can be dried, packed into sweetened alcohol syrups, or cooked into preserves or jellies. The pom fruits —  apples, pears, and quinces —  from late summer and early fall harvest will keep for several months in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place, as will hard squashes and winter roots. Brine- or salt-cured olives and a variety of nuts and dried beans make up the remainder of a traditional winter larder. Salty anchovies and olives from the larder go surprisingly well with winter's starchy potatoes and storage onions. All kinds of dried beans are good in slow-simmered dishes,  especially if the beans were harvested the preceding fall and still retain their fresh flavor. — Georgeanne Brennan, author and co-founder Le Marche Seed Company, Potager, Winter  Grow That Garden Library Bunny Mellon Garden Journal by Linda Holden This journal came out in 2020, and it is absolutely gorgeous. In this journal, Linda added many lovely little Bunny Mellon touches. There are Bunny’s wonderful sketches along with quotes about gardening and life. Linda thoughtfully alternated blank and lined pages, honoring every gardener’s need to draw and write. This journal is perfect for the garden designer, as well as the gardener. And I think that the sweet little sketches throughout the journal are incredibly inspiring. Each drawing and doodle is taken from notes and letters that Bunny wrote to her friends and family. Linda’s journal features an elastic band closure, an inside pocket, and a ribbon bookmark, making this journal a lovely keepsake and handy reference for wherever you like to journal. You can get a copy of Bunny Mellon Garden Journal by Linda Holden and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $7  Today’s Botanic SparkReviving the little botanic spark in your heartFebruary 4, 1995 On this day, the North County Times ran a little article about weeds. It started out with this question:"What do Yarrow, Chicory, Horsetail, Shepherd's Purse, and Ground Ivy have in common?" Well, in case you haven’t guessed, the answer is that they are all considered weeds. Yet the author of Just Weeds, Pamela Jones, countered“I would like to see the word weed abolished altogether for being one of the most intolerant, negative words in the English language.” Pamela’s book features insights on the uses (medicinal and otherwise) of 30 different weeds - and she also shares the lore and history of each plant. The part of the Yarrow that grows above ground has been used to tree everything from fever and cold to tummy troubles and toothaches. Chicory is known as the herb for perseverance. I always think of the little Chicory flower I once say blooming happily through a crack along the side of a highway - such a great example of determination! And all the parts of the Chicory are useful for both medicine and food. And Horsetail or Milkweed (Asclepias) was a valued medicinal plant to Native Americans who used it for snakebites and increased lactation. Meanwhile, Shepherd’s Purse has been called the most essential plant in all of the Cruciferous family for its ability to stop bleeding. Finally, Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie helps stop headaches, earaches, sinusitis, and it also moves the lymph system, which is why it is known for it’s drying and draining abilities.  Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener.And remember:"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
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Podcast Details

Created by
Jennifer Ebeling
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Mar 29th, 2019
Latest Episode
Mar 8th, 2021
Release Period
Daily
Episodes
337
Avg. Episode Length
19 minutes
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic
Language
English

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