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1792 On this day, the Naturalist Gilbert White wrote in his Selborne journal in England:
Daffodils are gone.
Mountain-snow-drops, and hyacinths in bloom; the latter very fine:
Then, four years later, in 1796, Gilbert wrote,
Sowed Holly-Hocks, Columbines, and Sweet Williams.
1797 Birth of Adrian Hardy Haworth, British entomologist, and botanist.
Adrian was trained to be a lawyer, but once he inherited his family’s estate, he devoted himself to the study of natural sciences.
The Haworthia genus described by French botanist, Henri Auguste Duval, honors Adrian. The genus consists of around 200 species.
Today, Haworthias are very popular since the are succulents. Native to South Africa, Haworthias range in color from transparent green to all shades of purple - and even black. They also vary in shape and texture.
One of the most popular Haworthias is the Haworthia Fasciata or the Zebra Succulent. Haworthiopsis fasciata, or Zebra Plant, known for its zebra stripes, has pointy green leaves with bumps of white tubercles arranged in a zebra pattern. And one of the reasons that the zebra succulent is so popular is that it is so easy to grow. Haworthia fasciata is tough as nails, and you can even find it in all the major big box stores.
Adrian is also remembered for his work as an entomologist. In the early 1800s, Adrian wrote one of the most authoritative works on British butterflies and moths. His book was called Lepidoptera Britannica. In his lifetime, Adrian named 22 new genera of moths.
And finally, Adrian was also the first person to describe the Epiphyllum oxypetalum - commonly known as the Dutchman's Pipe Cactus, Queen of the Night, or Night-Blooming Cereus.
1889 Birth of E. Lucy Braun, American botanist, and ecologist.
The "E" stood for Emma, but she always went by Lucy.
In 1950, Lucy was the first woman elected president of the Ecological Society of America and an expert on deciduous forests of the eastern United States. A quiet, bright, and dedicated field scientist, Lucy worked as a botany professor at the University of Cincinnati.
Lucy became interested in the outdoors as a child. Growing up on May Street in Cincinnati, Lucy's parents would take her and her older sister, Annette, by horse-drawn streetcar to the woods in Rose Hill so they could spend time botanizing. The girls were taught to identify wildflowers by their mother, and they also gathered specimens for their mother's herbarium.
Lucy and Annette both got Ph.D.'s; Lucy in botany, Annette in Zoology. Neither ever married. Instead, they lived together at home in Mount Washington. The sisters turned the upstairs of the house into an indoor laboratory, and the gardens became their outdoor laboratory.
Lucy was a go-getter. At the age of 80, she was still leading people on field trips in Ohio.
Friends of Lucy said,
"To be with her in the field was something. She made everything so real, so exciting she was just so knowledgeable."
"She loved to be out in the field; rain wouldn't stop her. She could walk forever."
1943 On this day, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising broke out in German-occupied Poland during World War II to oppose Nazi Germany's final effort to transport the remaining ghetto population of Jews to death camps.
In 2018, the Shalom foundation planted the Tree of Tears in a square in Warsaw. The tree is a weeping willow, and the leaves symbolize the tears of Jewish mothers who gave their children to Catholic mothers to save their lives.
But April 19th is also remembered with yellow paper daffodils thanks to Marek Edelman, a cardiologist and uprising commander who passed away in 2009.
When he was alive, Marek began receiving an anonymous bunch of daffodils on the anniversary of the uprising. Marek would lay the bouquet at the ghetto hero monument.
Today the paper daffodils symbolize resilience and hope and represent the Yellow Star that Jewish residents were forced to wear during the Holocaust.
Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation
This book came out in 2017, and the subtitle is Let the Beauty of Each Bloom Speak For Itself.
Before I tell you about Rachel's book, let me share a little bit about Rachel's background.
In 2008, Rachel set up a flower farm called Green and Gorgeous in the Oxfordshire countryside.
At Green and Gorgeous, Rachel not only provides flowers locally but also handles special events like weddings. In her spare time, Rachel and her partner, Ashley, offer floristry and gardening classes for amateurs and professionals.
Rachel starts her book by walking us through how she arranges flowers. This is a little step-by-step tutorial - and if you've ever considered a career as a florist, you will get a little one-on-one here from Rachel.
As Rachel mentions at the beginning of her book, she breaks down her arrangement process into three stages, which she calls the three F's: foliage, focal flowers, and then the final flourish.
Rachel walks through several different arrangement types. She talks about how to do front-facing displays and centerpieces - and even a simple hand-tied bouquet.
Of course, the main section of the book- the guts of the book - are these sixty flower profiles, and these are Rachel's favorite cut flowers.
All of the flowers are broken down into chapters by seasons, which is very helpful because if we're working with cut flowers, we have to work with what's in season in our own gardens.
One of the things that I especially appreciate about what Rachel does with each flower is she talks about how to best use them or profile them in an arrangement. She also gives little recipes that show how you can use these flowers and showcase them in their very best light.
Remember, Rachel is not only a florist, but she's also a gardener. So she understands what it's like to cultivate these plants, how to grow them, the best time to pick them, how to use them, and how to maximize that blossom when you bring it indoors and put it in a container.
I also want to quickly mention that the book organizes the flowers into chapters by season - and there is a special chapter devoted just to tropicals because they deserve a category all to themselves for their exotic look. The flower of tropical flowers are so architectural, and in many cases, these might not be plants that you're growing in your own garden.
DK published this book - and when I see that, I know the book is going to be very clear, the photography is going to be very crisp and the instructions are going to be top-notch.
So, lots to think about - and lots to learn from Rachel Siegfried, the talented gardener, and florist.
This book has 224 pages of flower arranging and then sixty incredible flowers showcased in detail.
1775 On this day, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord. In New England, it became common garden lore to plant peas on the anniversary of the battle of Lexington so that they would be ready by the Fourth of July.
Peas are easy to grow. They tolerate the cold weather in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.
Ripe peas are yellow, and historically, the French preferred a yellow pea. But since the 1600s, peas are mostly harvested when they are still immature ad green. And in China, it's the pea leaves that are considered a delicacy.
Gregor Mendel experimented with peas to establish the modern science of genetics. During seven years in the mid-1800s, Gregor grew nearly 30,000 pea plants, and he took note of everything: their height, shape, and color. And it was Gregor who came up with all of the genetic terms and terminology that we still use today, like dominant and recessive genes.
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And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.