Leonhard Rauwolf

Leonhard Rauwolf

The Town of Tripoli June 21, 1535 Today is the birthday of the German physician, botanist, and traveler Leonhard Rauwolf. For two years, between 1573 and 1575, he made a trip through the Near east to search for new herbal medicines. When he returned, he published a book with new botanical descriptions for his herbarium,…

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Donald Culross Peattie

Donald Culross Peattie

A Popular Nature Writer June 21, 1898  Today is the birthday of American botanist, naturalist, and author, Donald Culross Peattie. During his lifetime, Donald was regarded as the most read nature writer in America. He wrote about plants and nature. His book, Flowering Earth, was written for the layperson – explaining concepts like chlorophyll and protoplasm…

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Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

The Hardy Tree June 2, 1840  Today is the birthday of the English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy. A Victorian realist like George Eliot, Thomas Hardy was a product of provincial England. A fan of John Milton, the Romanticism of William Wordsworth influenced his writing. He’s most remembered for his novels set in rural Wessex, Far…

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Minnie Aumônier

Minnie Aumônier

Sugar Sweet Poetry June 2, 1865 Today is the birthday of the artist, costume designer, poet, and writer Minnie Aumônier (“o·mo·nyé”). Over the years, Minnie’s life story has passed into obscurity, although we know she was born into an artistic family. In 1876, her father, William, founded an architectural sculpture firm in London known as…

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Richard Irwin Lynch

Richard Irwin Lynch

The Book of the Iris June 1, 1850 Today is the birthday of the gardener and author Richard Irwin Lynch. Richard learned to garden from his father, who was classically trained at Kew. By the time he was seventeen, Richard had followed in his father’s footsteps and worked at Kew – starting with herbaceous perennials…

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Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton

Old Garden Magic June 1, 1837 On this day, the American writer and gardener Edith Wharton had a heart attack while staying at the country estate of her friend and co-author of The Decoration of Houses, the architect Ogden Codman. This event was the first of three heart attacks for Edith. She died on August 11th…

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Anne Brontë

Anne Brontë

The Brontë Garden May 28, 1849  Today is the anniversary of the death of English novelist and poet Anne Brontë. Today we remember the Brontë sisters for their writing, but their lives were one of hardship. Their mother, Maria, died a year and a half after giving birth to Anne – the youngest Brontë children.…

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Frank Nicholas Meyer

Frank Nicholas Meyer

The Plant Explorer May 28, 1918 On this day, the intrepid Dutch-American botanist and USDA Plant Explorer, Frank Nicholas Meyer, boarded a steamer and sailed down the Yangtze River – starting his long return journey to America. Sadly, after Frank boarded that steamer ship on this day back in 1918, he died. His body was…

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Vincent Price

Vincent Price

Horror Films and Gardens May 27, 1911 Today is the birthday of the American actor Vincent Price. Known for his performances in horror films, Vincent also enjoyed gardening. He especially loved cymbidium orchids, and he had hundreds of them growing on the shady side of his California home. He also grew wildflowers, cactus, poinsettia, and…

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Floral Clock

Floral Clock

The Time of Blossoming May 27, 1873 On this day, out of Pratt’s Junction, Massachusetts, there was a detailed post about how to make a floral clock. “Please tell the girls if they think country life dull… they can pass many happy hours… studying the plants about them.  I saw it stated that Linnaeus had…

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Sébastien Vaillant

Sébastien Vaillant

The Structure of Flowers May 26, 1669 Today is the birthday of the French botanist Sébastien Vaillant. Appointed to the King’s garden in Paris, Sebastien loved organizing and cataloging plants. Biographical accounts say Sebastian showed a passion for plants from the age of five. His masterpiece, forty years in the making, Botanicon Parisienne, was a book…

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Intellectual Declaration of Independence” May 25, 1803 Today is the birthday of the American transcendentalist, essayist, philosopher, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a son of Boston. By the time he finished his schooling at Harvard, he had decided to go by his middle name, Waldo. He was his class poet, and…

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Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid

Dreams of Gardeners May 25, 1949 Today is the birthday of the Antiguan-American novelist, essayist, and short-story writer Jamaica Kincaid born Elaine Potter Richardson. Jamaica Kincaid is a gardener and popular garden writer. Her book Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya offers many wonderful excerpts. And here, she discusses the dreams of gardeners – and how…

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Sarah Josepha Hale

Sarah Josepha Hale

The Children’s Author May 24, 1830 On this day, Mary Had A Little Lamb by Sarah Josepha Hale is published by the Boston firm Marsh, Capen & Lyon. Born in New Hampshire in 1788, Sarah was homeschooled, and she attributed all of her learning and success to her mother. She wrote, ”I owe my early predilection for…

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