Robert Plant

The Coveted Name Today is the birthday of the man with the last name all gardeners covet – the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant.   This post was featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: helping gardeners find their roots, one story at a time Robert Plant

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Thomas Jefferson

Letter to the Monticello Naturalist On this day Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the painter and naturalist Charles Willson Peale about his farming and gardening at Monticello (“MontiCHELLo”). Here’s an excerpt: “I have heard that you have retired from the city to a farm, and that you give your whole time to that. Does…

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Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Patron Saint of Beekeepers Today is Saint Bernard of Clairvaux‘s day; he was the patron saint of beekeepers. He’s also the patron saint of bees and candlemakers St. Bernard was a doctor of the church and a French Abbot. He was apparently a fabulous preacher, with excellent speaking skills. He became known as the “honey-sweet”…

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Carlos Thays

Brought the French to Argentina Today is the birthday of the French-Argentine landscape architect Carlos Thays (“Tays”). Carlos Thays took a business trip to Argentina when he turned forty in 1889. His job was to design a park in Cordoba. The project was life-changing for Thays when Argentina unexpectedly captured his heart. He decided to…

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Jane Webb

A Science Fiction Pioneer Today is the birthday of Jane Webb, who married the prolific writer of all things gardening: John Claudius Loudon. Together they became magnificent partners in the world of botanical writing and publishing. Jane was an extraordinary person. She was a fantastic writer in her own right, but she also possessed an…

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Elizabeth Lawrence

Love of Gardening On this day, Elizabeth Lawrence wrote a letter to her sister Ann. In the letter, she mentions their mom, Bessie, who shared both her daughters’ love of the garden. “I am so happy to get back to my rickety Corona; Ellen’s elegant new typewriter made anything I had to say unworthy of…

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Ellen Ann Willmott

The Warley Place Horticulturalist Today is the birthday of Ellen Ann Willmott, who was an English horticulturalist who lived in Brentwood. Ellen was the oldest in her family of three daughters. In 1875, her parents moved to Warley Place, which was set on 33 acres of land in Essex. Ellen lived there for the rest…

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Yukio Ozaki

Cherry Trees to D.C. On this day, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki pledged to give 2,000 Cherry trees to U.S. President William Howard Taft. Taft decided to plant them near the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., in West Potomac Park surrounding the Tidal Basin. The trees arrived in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 1910.   This post…

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Olav Hauge

Apples and Poems Today is the birthday of the Norwegian poet and gardener Olav Hauge. Olav was a trained horticulturist and fruit grower. Olav earned a living as a professional gardener. When he wasn’t writing poetry, he could be found working in his apple orchard – he had 70 apple trees. Here’s my translation of…

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Benjamin Alvord

A Passion to Learn Today is the birthday of Brigadier General, mathematician, and botanist Benjamin Alvord. Born in Rutland Vermont, Benjamin was always drawn to nature. He graduated from West Point and even spent some time teaching there as a Math Professor.  Benjamin fought in the Seminole Wars, the Mexican–American War, and the Civil War.…

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Robert Earl Bickelhaupt

The Bickelhaupt Arboretum Today is the birthday of the cofounder of the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Robert Earl Bickelhaupt. Robert and his wife Frances created the Arboretum around their family home in Clinton, Iowa. During the 1960s and 1970s, Robert and Frances watched as Dutch Elm disease claimed the beautiful Elm-lined streets in Clinton. In response, Robert…

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Karl Franz Anton Ritter von Schreibers

A Heart for Minerals and Meteorites Today is the birthday of the Austrian naturalist and botanist Karl Franz Anton Ritter von Schreibers. Now, the Austrian Empire had a special affinity for plants and horticulture. And, they funded expeditions regularly to collect new materials for the Natural History Museum. Many famous botanists were involved with these…

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Walter Crane

A Floral Fantasy Today is the birthday of the illustrator Walter Crane, who was born in Liverpool. Today, gardeners fondly recall Walter thanks to one of his most stunning works – a book called “A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden,” which was published in 1899. Walter’s book was intended to be a children’s…

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Elias Magnus Friesz

The Happy Botanist Today is the birthday of the botanist Elias Magnus Friesz, who is born on this day in Sweden. Now, the area where Elias grew up in Sweden was rich in fungi, and as luck would have it, his father was a self-taught botanist. Put those two things together, and it’s no wonder…

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