A Breath of Fresh Air
It's the birthday of William Robinson, the originator of the Herbaceous border and advocate for the wild garden, who was born on this day in 1838.
Robinson helped change the English landscape from formal to much more relaxed and attainable for the masses.
Robinson's work and books brought him financial security. By the age of 45, he had enough money to purchase the Elizabethan Manor of Gravetye in Sussex, along with almost two hundred acres of pasture and woodland.
In 1896, Gertrude Jekyll offered this summary of Robinson's impact on gardening:
"[Thanks to Robinson] ... we may see how best to use and enjoy the thousands of beautiful plants that have been brought to us by the men who have given fortune, health and often life in perilous travel that our gardens may be enriched and botanical knowledge extended. We cannot now, with all this treasure at our feet, neglect it and refuse it the gratefully appreciative use that it deserves."