March 21, 2022 Jean-Paul Friedrich Richter, Harry Lutf Verne Fletcher, Richard Henry Martin Robinson, The Essentials of Garden Design by John Brookes, and Phyllis McGinley


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Historical Events

1763 Birth of Jean-Paul Friedrich Richter, German Romantic writer.

He's remembered for his humorous novels and stories. He once wrote,

When one reads a poem in January, it is as lovely as when one goes for a walk in June.


1902 Birth of Harry Lutf Verne Fletcher, ("Luh-tf")(pen names John Garden and John Hereford), Engish writer.

Harry wrote many books on gardening. In Purest Pleasure (1948), he wrote,

Who has learned to garden who did not at the same time learn to be patient?


1917 Birth of Richard Henry Martin Robinson, gardener and professional horticultural photographer. He was regarded as one of the top gardeners of his generation.

In 1955, Richard and his wife, Helen, began creating a spectacular garden at Hyde Hall set on 400 acres and nestled among the prairie wheat fields of Essex. Helen initially started gardening as a way to brighten up the place.

Gardening at Hyde was hard. The landscape battles whipping winds and pitiful average yearly rainfalls. In summer, the clay soil is rock hard. In winter, whatever moisture there is, is locked in the suffocating clay.

Early on, trees, pines, evergreens, and heathers were installed to provide structure and winter interest. Foxtail lilies and roses added color that the garden so desperately needed. Together, Richard and Helen transformed Hyde Hall into a garden masterpiece. In 1993, nearly forty years after the Robinsons bought Hyde Hall, the garden was gifted to the RHS.


Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation

The Essentials of Garden Design by John Brookes
This book came out in 2008, and it is a garden classic.

John Brookes was a master garden designer who perfected his craft over five decades.

And although John passed away in 2018, he is still regarded as one of the significant garden-makers of the late 20th century.

John's books (like today's recommendation) continue to inspire and instruct gardeners with simple and timeless wisdom. John always began his design projects with his famous grid system. And in this book, The Essentials of Garden Design, he walks you through that process as well as everything you need - the tools, the techniques, the plants, the building materials - to create a garden that looks like it belongs in the landscape.

So whether you're planning a large installation or just something small and functional, you can't go wrong with John as your guide.

This book is 192 pages of garden design mastery from a man who firmly believed that gardens were about the people who lived in them.

You can get a copy of The Essentials of Garden Design by John Brookes and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for $2.51.


Botanic Spark

1905 Birth of Phyllis McGinley, American poet, and writer of children's books. Her poems were often light-hearted and humorous, offering a clever examination of daily life in the suburbs. In 1961, Phyllis won the Pulitzer prize. She won a Pulitzer prize in 1961 for her book, Times Three, which featured seventy poems written over three decades in the mid-1900s. A gardener, Phyllis once wrote in The Province of the Heart (1959).

The trouble with gardening is that it does not remain an avocation.
It becomes an obsession.

And here's a little poem Phyllis wrote called Daylight Savings Time.

In spring when maple buds are red,
We turn the clock an hour ahead;
Which means each April that arrives,
We lose an hour out of our lives.
Who cares? When autumn birds in flocks
Fly southward, back we turn the clocks,
And so regain a lovely thing
That missing hour we lost in spring.


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And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.

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