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Today the feast day of St. Catherine of Sweden for Roman Catholics.
The wildflower Ficaria verna, lesser celandine, is known as St. Catherine's flower.
Lesser celandine is a charming harbinger of spring. Their yellow blossoms add a touch of cheer to any woodland carpet.
St. Catherine is the patron saint of women who suffer miscarriages.
1640 Death of Thomas Carew ("Carey"), English poet.
Thomas was a member of the 'Cavalier' group of Caroline poets. He wrote a popular poem called The Spring. Here's an excerpt:
The earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes,
and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream...
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.
1822 On this day that the New-York Horticultural Society was founded.
The NYHS was America's first horticultural society. It remained active until the late 1800s.
While the Massachusetts and the Pennsylvania Hort Societies flourished, the New York Society faltered and eventually fizzled out. In 1837, a frustrated member wrote a letter to the Magazine of Horticulture and Botany blaming the lagging membership on the city's decline in morality and an overwhelming focus on prosperity — so much so that people couldn't "afford to patronize a horticultural exhibition."
In reality, the club had fallen victim to the poor economy of the 1830s, compounded by the fact that they had lost one of their leading members - the great botanist, David Hosack.
David Hosack had brought prestige and an instant community of elite horticulturists. When he died, the wealthy members fell away, and the organization struggled for relevancy. Although the group tried repeatedly to get support to build a botanical garden for the city, they never had the momentum to make it happen.
Finally, in the 1890s, a new movement led by the botanist power couple of Nathaniel Lord and Elizabeth Britton ultimately resulted in the New York Botanical Garden, while the New York Horticultural Society drifted into history.
1900 Birth of Christine Johanna Buisman, Dutch botanist.
Christine worked on the all-female-team of scientists that tried to solve Dutch Elm Disease. The team was led by the great botanist Johanna Westerdijk.
Christine is remembered for discovering that the fungus Graphium Ulmi was the cause of the Dutch Elm disease in North America.
Christine died young at the age of 36. She was remembered by her peers, who named the first resistant Elm clone in her honor.
Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation
This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants.
Well, what I love about this book is that Jennifer covers so many different fields that entail working with plants. The careers profiled include everything from floral design and landscape architecture to herbalism, food justice, farming, and botany - just to name a few.
Jennifer wrote in the forward to her book,
The hardest part of writing this book was choosing the women to include. But my hope is that this collection is informative and inspiring for all readers.
I love books like this - that profile people and their connection to plants and the planet.
This book is a satisfying 324 pages of beautiful and memorable stories featuring 75 extraordinary women and how they cultivate their spaces, "one handful of plant-rich earth at a time."
1845 Birth of John Banister Tabb, American poet and Catholic priest.
Here's a favorite poem of his called An Interview.
I sat with chill December
Beside the evening fire.
"And what do you remember,"
I ventured to inquire,
"Of seasons long forsaken?"
He answered in amaze,
"My age you have mistaken;
I've lived but thirty days."
And here's his clever little poem about the lifecycle of a Dandelion.
With locks of gold today,
Then blossom-bald. Behold,
O man, thy fortune told!
Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener
And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.