Lambertus Bobbink

A Great Rosarian 1939  On this day, the Asbury Park Press reported that Lambertus Bobbink, one of the country’s best-known florists, was honored at the New York Botanical Gardens. In fact, the author, Pearl Buck, was there to dedicate a rose garden and unveil a plaque to Bobbink that read: “Lambertus C. Bobbink, a great…

Read More
Michael Keens

The Complete Strawberry 1806   On this day, Michael Keens, a market gardener from Isleworth, exhibited the first large-scale cultivated strawberry at the Royal Horticultural Society. Now when it came to strawberries, Michael combined two important variables: flavor and appearance. It’s hard to imagine, but large garden strawberries as we know them today didn’t exist before…

Read More
Gilbert Laing Meason

Value of Function and Beauty 1796   The Landscape Architect Gilbert Laing Meason was born. Laing Meason was a friend of Sir Walter Scott, and he invented the term ‘landscape architecture’ in his 1828 book, “The Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy.” Not many copies of his book were printed, but somehow the prolific…

Read More
Herman Hesse

An Appreciation for Trees 1877  Today we wish a happy heavenly birthday to Herman Hesse, who was a German poet, novelist, and painter. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. Hesse had a special appreciation for trees, and I thought I’d share some of his thoughtful and reverent prose with you today: “Trees are…

Read More
Marian Farquharson

Women’s RIghts Activist 1846  The British naturalist, and women’s rights activist, Marian Farquharson was born. As a botanist, Marian had specialized in ferns and mosses. As an activist, it took Marian and other women four years of petitioning the all-male Linnaean Society to finally allow women to become members. In 1904, when the issue was…

Read More
Kate Brandegee

Exploring Life 1908  The great woman botanist and Californian Kate Brandegee wrote her husband, Townsend, who she lovingly called Townie. On this day in 1908, Kate was 64, and though she and Townie often botanized together, Kate was not afraid to go explore alone. She let Townie know in this letter that: ” I am going…

Read More
Cordelia Stanwood

Six Little Chickadees 1917  The Bird Woman Of Ellsworth, Cordelia Stanwood, went into a swamp at twilight and reported, “The black flies crawled over my face like so many bees. I could not stand still.” It was just one of many times Cordelia would find herself in an uncomfortable position for the sake of pursuing…

Read More
Ralph Hancock

Garden-maker Extraordinaire 1893  The Welsh landscape gardener, architect, and author, Ralph Hancock, was born. Hancock was a garden-maker extraordinaire, and he created several famous Gardens across Wales, England, and the United States. One of his most famous works was the rooftop garden at the Rockefeller Center in New York. Hancock designed his rooftop garden in…

Read More
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker

The World Famous Botanist 1910  The Allentown (Pennsylvania) Democrat paper reported that Joseph Hooker was 93 years old. Here’s what it said: “Sir Joseph Hooker, the world-famous botanist, received a personal note of congratulations from King George today on the occasion of his ninety-third birthday. Sir Joseph, who is still remarkably active for a man…

Read More
Agnes Block

First Pineapple in Europe 1704 Today is the anniversary of the death of the inspiring female Dutch collector, paper artist, illustrator, and horticulturist, Agnes Block. A Dutch Mennonite, Agnes first married a silk merchant named Hans de Wollf. His income made it possible for Agnes to pursue her many passions. The Dutch poet Joost van…

Read More
William Bartram

A Student of the Natural World 1739 Today is the birthday of the naturalist William Bartram. In 1775, when he was 36 years old, William Bartram left Charleston, South Carolina, on horseback to explore the Cherokee Nation near Franklin, North Carolina. In addition to his botanical discoveries, Bartram was a student of all aspects of…

Read More
Joan Miró

A Gardener or a WInegrower 1893 Today is the birthday of the Spanish painter and artist Joan Miró Born in Barcelona, Miró’s surrealist art left a mark on the world. Gardeners will especially enjoy his 1918 work called The Vegetable Garden with Donkey and his 1919 work called “Vines and Olive Trees.” Miró’s biography was subtitled…

Read More
Louise Beebe Wilder

One of America’s Greatest Garden Writers 1938 Today is the anniversary of the death of one of America’s greatest Garden writers and one of the 20th century’s most famous horticulturists, Louise Beebe Wilder. Louise was born into a wealthy family in Baltimore. After marrying an architect named Walter Wilder, they bought a country place – a…

Read More
Charles Plumier

God’s Tears 1646 Today is the birthday of the French priest and botanist Charles Plumier. He was born in Marseille. Regarded as one of the most important botanical explorers of his time, Plumier served as a botanist to King Louis XIV of France, and he traveled many times to the New World documenting many plant…

Read More