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1717 Birth of Catharina Helena Dörrien ("Durr-ee-in"), German botanist, writer, and artist.
After the death of her parents, Catharina became a governess for the Erath ("AIR-rit") family in Dillenburg. Sophie Erath was a childhood friend of Catharina's, and Anton Erath was an attorney; they became Catharina's second family.
While teaching the Erath children, Catharina turned to nature to teach almost every subject. Catharina even wrote her own textbooks, heavily focused on botany and the natural world.
As the Erath children grew, Catharina focused on her botanical work. Anton helped her gain membership to the Botanical Society of Florence - something unheard of for women of her time. Catharina would go on to be a member of the Berlin Society of Friends of Nature Research and the Regensburg Botanical Society in Germany.
When Catharina was alive, Dillenburg was part of the Orange-Nassau principality. And Catharine's 496-page flora called Flora for Orange-Nassau was published in 1777. Catharina not only used the Linnaean system to organize and name each specimen, but she also named two new fungi ("funj-eye") - two little lichens - she named major Doerrieni ("Durr-ee-en-ee") and minor Doerrieni- an extraordinary accomplishment for a woman during the 1700s.
As for her botanical illustrations, Catharina created over 1,400 illustrations of local flora and fauna. Yet, these masterpieces never made it into her flora.
Instead, Catharina's botanical art became an heirloom passed down through the generations of the Erath family. In 1875 a few pieces of Catharina's work were shown at an exhibition.
However, fifteen years later, a large collection of paintings by Johann Philipp Sandberger was bought by the Museum of Wiesbaden. Johann was a dear friend of Anton Erath's, and today, his work is considered to be copies of Catharine's original watercolor masterpieces.
Still, Sandberger's pieces are precious because they give us a glimpse of Catharine's breadth and depth of talent. Without Sandberger, all would be lost because the bulk of Catharine's work has been lost to time. The curator Friedrich von Heinbeck once said that the precision of Catharine's brush strokes was like that of an embroiderer who stitched with only the finest of thread.
1848 Birth of Augustus Saint Gaudens ("gaw-dens") (books about this person), American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation. He is remembered for his stunning Civil War monuments, including a work called Abraham Lincoln: The Man.
In Augustus Saint Gaudens, biography, Reminiscences, he wrote,
What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.
The Frick museum has a medallion carved by Augustus. He was a fan of Robert Louis Stephenson, and the two met toward the end of Stephenson's life. The medallion has an inscription: Stevenson's poem Underwoods (1887), which reads:
Youth now flees on feathered foot
Faint and fainter sounds the flute
… Where hath fleeting beauty led?
To the doorway of the dead
Life is over, life was gay
We have come the primrose way.
1877 Birth of Lenore Elizabeth Mulets, children's author, poet, and teacher
Born Nora Mulertz in Kansas, Lenore's mother died when she was ten, and so she was raised by her uncle.
In addition to teaching, Lenore was a marvelous children's author. Her books were always charming, and her titles include Stories of Birds, Flower Stories, Insect Stories, and Tree Stories, just to name a few.
In the preface to Flower Stories, Lenore wrote,
When the flowers of the field and garden
lift their bright faces to you,
can you call them by name
and greet them as old acquaintances?
Or, having passed them a hundred times,
are they still strangers to you?
And in her book Stories of Birds, Lenore wrote:
Such a twittering and fluttering there was when this news came.
Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation
Stylish Succulent Designs by Jessica Cain
This book came out in 2019, and the subtitle is & Other Botanical Crafts.
Jessica wants to teach you how to elevate your succulent creations and learn the tricks you need to know to create professional-quality succulent arrangements made simple!
Jessica is the creator and owner of "In Succulent Love." She is a native of San Diego, the succulent capital of the world, and she fell in love with making succulent arrangements after working with succulents with her grandmother.
Jessica's DIY guide teaches how to makeover forty creative projects using many varieties of succulents, air plants, and other easy-care botanicals.
This book is 176 pages of creating beautiful and lush succulent designs that are simple to make and will last for months.
It was the first time a garden catalog received a published review, and it was an immediate hit.
Readers wrote in to request the name of the author since Katharine had signed off with only her initials, KSW. Katherine was married to EB White - the author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.
But the garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence (books about this person) figured out that KSW was Katherine, and she sent her a letter a month later. The two women would exchange correspondence about gardening for the rest of their lives.
Here's an excerpt from Elizabeth's letter:
I asked Mrs. Lamm if you were Mrs. E. B. White, and she said you were. So please tell Mr. E. B. that he has three generations of devoted readers in this family...
Have you the charming Barnhaven catalogs? (Gresham, Oregon).
You should, even if you don’t want rare primroses.
And do you know Harry E. Saier? Dimondale, Michigan. I subscribe to his Garden Magazine too. Used to be free, now a dollar a year ...comes four times a year, if it comes.
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And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.