April 1, 2022 Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Miles Joseph Berkeley, George Edward Post, Edmond Rostand, Patina Farm by Brooke and Steve Giannetti, and Kurt Vonnegut


Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart


Support The Daily Gardener

Buy Me A Coffee 


Connect for FREE!

The Friday Newsletter Daily Gardener Community


Historical Events

1755 Birth of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (books by this author), French lawyer and politician. He became a famous epicure and gastronome. In The Physiology of Taste, he wrote,

A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner.
'Much obliged', said he, pushing the plate aside; 'I am not accustomed to taking my wine in pills.


1803 Birth of Miles Joseph Berkeley, English cryptogamist and clergyman. Miles is regarded as a founder of plant pathology.

As a young man, Miles became passionate about lichens, and he became a recognized expert in his lifetime. Miles pursued his botanical work around his duties as a pastor. He coined the term "mycologist" to describe his work with nature. Today Websters defines a mycologist as someone who works with fungi ("fun-guy"), living organisms such as molds, yeast, and mushrooms. 

And while many of his fellow clergymen believed the potato famine to be a tool of the devil, Miles correctly suspected that a water mold, Phytophthora infestans, could be the source of the problem.

Miles named a mushroom species Agaricus ruthae ("Ah-GARE-uh-kus Ruth-ee") after his daughter Ruth. Ruth Ellen Berkeley became a successful botanical illustrator.


1838 Birth of George Edward Post, American physician and scholar.

He was a missionary, professor, and pioneering doctor in Syria, Beirut, and Lebanon. In his spare time, he botanized the countryside and wrote the first English Flora of the Middle East.

George is remembered for his extensive herbarium. His students helped with his collecting efforts. George would assign two hundred herbarium sheets per student and reward those who traveled the furthest to obtain specimens.

There are many incredible stories about George Post.

Supposedly, he could outwork most men and fall asleep very quickly.

George Post lore tells how George could also collect specimens without getting off his horse. George got good at leaning down low on the side of his saddle to grab a specimen for his study.

Finally, as George lay dying, a visitor placed some wheat in his hand. The wheat was symbolic of the harvest and George's lifetime of work with plants.


1868 Birth of Edmond Rostand (books by this author), the very dapper-looking French poet and dramatist. Edmond built a villa called Arnaga in Cambo less Bains, France. The beautiful gardens cover 37 acres.

Edmond planned the French garden on the east side to greet the rising sun and an English garden on the west side to enjoy the setting sun.

Edmond called Arnaga "a poem of stone and greenery," and it is often referred to as the "Little Versaille" in the Basque country. Today the villa and the gardens get five-star reviews on Trip Advisor.

Edmond is best known for his 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac. In the play, Edmond wrote this garden-inspired verse,

My soul, be satisfied with flowers,
With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them
In the one garden you may call your own.


Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation

Patina Farm by Brooke and Steve Giannetti

This book came out in March of 2016 - so it's been out for six years already.

This book has been on my watch list for quite some time, and use copies have finally dipped below $20, so I am thrilled to share this with you on today's show.

Let me just start by saying that the cover of Patina Farm is so stunning. It's one of my favorite covers, and when I saw the cover for the first time, I could not stop thinking about it. I love the use of dried flowers and the styling on the cover. I love the cutting boards displayed over the mantle, the beautiful teal slip-covered chairs, and the natural elements that make this gorgeous cover.

And then, of course, there is the incredibly inspiring story of Steve and his wife, Brooke, because they decided to leave suburbia - they were living in Santa Monica - and then they built a new life for themselves on a farm.

But first, they went to Europe to find their inspiration for their farm - visiting Belgium and France - and then combined their talents to create Patina Farm, sharing what they did in this book.

Now Steve is the architect. He puts together all the architectural drawings, which you can see in the book. And then Brooke is the writer. She's a beautiful writer and took over 200 photographs shared in this book.

And don't I love the name of their farm: Patina Farm.

The book is dedicated to their children, Charlie, Nick, and Lyla, and in the dedication, they said that their kids give their dreams meaning, which is so touching.

The other thing I like about this book is how they share their journey in the titles of each chapter. So there's arriving, connecting, nourishing, creating, restoring, rejuvenating, sharing, and then farming - and then they give abundant resources at the end, too. If there's something that you're particularly inspired by, you can track down the resources that they used.

Patina Farm is a total eye candy book. If you're a gardener, You're going to swoon at this book. It's gorgeous. And like I said, it's one of my favorite books. It's got all of the things that I love - beautiful elements, both natural and manmade - and it all comes together to create tranquil, inspiring Patina Farm (Which has not one but two courtyards. Isn't that a dream come true?!)

The other thing that you're going to enjoy by getting this book is that you will quickly realize how down-to-earth Steve and Brooke are, even though they've created this incredible jaw-dropping space. These guys are salt of the earth kind of people, and they're just so generous and sharing how they came up with the plans and the ideas behind this space.

I also want just to take a quick second and share a bit of what Clinton Smith said about this book. He is the editor-in-chief of Veranda, and he wrote the forward. He wrote.

On five acres in the heart of the Ohai Valley in California Is a place that has emerged over the past three years as the best case study of confident design married with passion and purpose. It's not as over the top or attention-seeking as some homes. In fact, it excels in understatement. Hidden from street view by a bank of white roses, the house and landscape — treated as one — fosters respect for nature, for space, for light and air, and everyday moments.

When you're at Patina Farm, you feel it through the waft of lavender in the backyard, the sound of crunching pea gravel underfoot on the back terrace. Bowls of freshly cut lemons on the kitchen island, the jolly nature of miniature donkeys, and silky Bantam chickens that have the run of the place. And while the owners didn't set out to create a Biltmore or Monticello (and why would they?), There are indeed similarities.

I could go on and on gushing about this book, But I trust that you get the drift.

This book is 176 pages  (But I sure wish there were 500 pages, to be honest) of Patina Farm because I can't get enough of it.

You can get a copy of Patina Farm by Brooke and Steve Giannetti and support the show using the Amazon link in today's show notes for around $18.


Botanic Spark

In 2013, nine graduation speeches by Kurt Vonnegut (books by this author) were collected and published posthumously in a book called, If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young. 

In one speech, Kurt gave his unique take on the seasons.

One sort of optional thing you might do is to realize there are six seasons instead of four.
The poetry of four seasons is all wrong for this part of the planet, and this may explain why we are so depressed so much of the time.
I mean, Spring doesn’t feel like Spring a lot of the time, and November is all wrong for Fall and so on. Here is the truth about the seasons: Spring is May and June!
What could be springier than May and June?
Summer is July and August. Really hot, right?
Autumn is September and October. See the pumpkins? Smell those burning leaves.
Next comes the season called “Locking.” That is when Nature shuts everything down.
November and December aren’t Winter. They’re Locking.
Next comes Winter, January and February. Boy! Are they ever cold!
What comes next? Not Spring.
Unlocking comes next. What else could April be?


Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener

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

The Daily Gardener
Friday Newsletter

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Featured Book

Grow That Garden Library™ Seal of Approval 100x100 (1)

Leave a Comment