William Merwin

William Merwin As I was researching the poet William Merwin, I came across an interview with him done by Joel Whitney back in 2010. During the interview, Merwin revealed that his mother used to read his poetry, and one of his early favorites was Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. When asked about Stevenson,…

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Blackberries

Sunday is the 29th of September – also known as Michaelmas. In the middle ages in England, farmers used Michaelmas as a way to mark the change of seasons; It was time to wrap up the reaping and start getting ready for winter. And, according to folklore, bounty-thorn (the English folk-name for blackberries) need to…

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Pink Rose

Cora Older Today is the anniversary of the death of the novelist and horticulturist known as the Pink Lady Cora Older, who died on this day in 1968.  Before Apple became associated with Cupertino, there was Cora Older and her husband, newspaper editor, Fremont. They were part of San Francisco’s high society, entertaining guests like…

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Goldenrod

On this day in 1915, the newspaper out of Burlington Vermont shared a little article about September flowers, focusing mainly on the goldenrod and the aster and their numerous varieties.  But then it ended with these marvelous run-on sentences. Check it out: Most conspicuous among the flowers of the roadside and pasture, these last days…

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Jay & The Techniques

Jay & The Techniques On this day in 1967, the song ‘Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie’ by Jay & The Techniques reached number 8 on the Top 40 music charts. The lyrics are a throwback to a childhood expression, “Apples, peaches pumpkin pie Who’s not ready? Holler ‘I'” When the song was pitched to the group…

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Hershey Gardens

On this day in 1937, the Evening Report out of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, reported on a rose garden in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The 12,500 rose plants of the Hershey Rose Garden were in their September glory. The rose garden was to be dedicated the following June when its 20,000 plants would be in bloom. The garden had…

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Rhodum sidus

On this day in 1910, The Rutland Daily Herald out of Vermont shared this utterly charming story about a little-known flower called the Rhodum sidus:  “An amusing story told by Hood describes how a country nurseryman made a large sum out of sales of a simple little flower that he sold under the name of…

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Dr. Oliver Sacks I recently had the opportunity to rewatch a video featuring Dr. Oliver Sacks, who practiced medicine in NYC across from the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). In the video, Sacks reflected on the garden and what it meant to him. I’ve cobbled together a few of his inspiring thoughts. Here’s what he…

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Our Lady of the Charles

On this day in 2005, The Boston Globe shared ashorte Q&A Segment written by Matt McDonald.  A reader had asked, Why is there a large statue of a woman on the south bank of the Charles River in South Natick? Matt’s Answer was as follows: “The 9-foot-tall statue represents Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception,…

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Olaus Rudbeck

Olaus Rudbeck Alright, as promised, here’s the second remarkable story about Olaus Rudbeck. One I hope you’ll carry with you and share with others, primarily if you teach horticulture in some fashion or work with kids in horticulture. When Rudbeck was first appointed assistant professor of medicine at the University of Upsala, Rudbeck was quite…

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Kate Furbish

Kate Furbish On this day in 1978, the New Castle News out of New Castle, PA, shared an article written by Mike Finsilber with a headline that read: Exhibit depicts female scientists. “When curator Deborah Warner suggested to her superiors at the Smithsonian Institutition that she put together an exhibit documenting the accomplishments of American…

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Toad

On this day in 1843, the New England Farmer out of Boston, Massachusetts, published this little article about toads. Never destroy the toad. In the season of bugs and flies, a toad will do more towards the preservation of a garden, than a man, and all that ho requires at your hands for this valuable…

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Apple

In 1843, the New England Farmer reported a record-sized apple from a Mr. John Waite, and it definitely got their attention, weighing in at 18 ounces and measuring 14 inches in circumference. The article ended with this question posed by a Philadelphia editor: How many such apples would it take to make a barrel of…

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Aster

September’s birth flower is the aster.  Asters offer that happy yellow face encircled with rayed petals. Asters are part of the sunflower or daisy family. The Aster is named from the Greek word for star. In the language of flowers, reflecting the changing season, the Aster signifies farewell. Farewell to the lazy days of summer,…

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