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Today is National Zucchini Bread Day.
1851 Birth of George Herbert Engleheart, English clergyman and daffodil breeder.
In 1889, George began breeding daffodils - some 700 varieties in his lifetime. Fans of Beersheba, Lucifer, or White Lady owe a debt of gratitude to Reverend Engleheart. George spent every spare minute breeding, and his parishioners would often find a note tacked to the church door saying,
No service today, working with daffodils.
1852 Birth of Marcus Jones, American geologist, mining engineer, and botanist.
Marcus's mother loved plants, and every day, she sent Marcus to gather fresh flowers, which she displayed on the family's mantle. This daily chore was the beginning of his passion for botany.
Marcus won national recognition for his work as a prominent botanist of the American West, and in 1923, he sold his personal herbarium for $25,000 - an impressive amount at the time. To this day, his collection represents the largest archive of plants from Utah.
Marcus died in 1934 in San Bernardino, California. At the age of 81, he returned from a plant collecting trip at Lake Arrowhead when another driver hit his car. As seatbelts wouldn't be invented for another 25 years, Jones was ejected from his vehicle and died from a skull fracture.
Jones columbine, Aquilegia jonesii (ii = "ee-eye") is named for him. It is rare and, like most columbines, does not transplant well. Jonesii plants and seeds are sold by select nurseries.
1925 Birth of Joseph Henry Maiden, English-Australian botanist.
Born in London, Joseph immigrated to New South Wales, Australia, hoping that the climate would improve his health. Joseph quickly landed a job as a museum curator in Sydney, and he also married a local woman named Eliza Jane Hammond.
During his time in Australia, Joseph contributed to understanding Australian flora, especially the Eucalyptus genus. After thoroughly studying Australian woods and essential oils, Joseph wrote his book called The Useful Native Plants of Australia. In 1896, Joseph was appointed the Director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens. In total, Joseph served as a botanist in Australia for 43 years.
As for his Australian legacy, Joseph is remembered every September 1st, the first day of spring down under. It's also known as Wattle Day or Acacia Day. In Australia, the Wattle is a common name for Acacia.
Recognizing their beauty and value, Joseph established the Wattle Day League, which fought to make the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha "ah-KAY-see-ah pik-NANTH-ah") Australia’s national floral emblem, and he also worked to establish Wattle Day. Since the inception of Wattle Day in 1909, Australians have worn a Wattle blossom, which looks like a little yellow pompom, in honor of the day. The Wattle blossom is also a favorite with pollinators.
As plants, Wattles are tough evergreen shrubs and trees that can withstand Australia's droughts, winds, and bushfires. There are 760 Wattle species native to Australia’s forest understory, woodlands, and open scrub.
The common name Wattle refers to an old germanic term for weaving and the English craft of building with interwoven flexible twigs and branches. As the English settled in Australia, they often harvested Wattle (Acacia) and used it in their building construction.
And here’s a fun fact about Wattles (Acacia): Giraffes love to eat them.
1873 Birth of Walter de la Mare, English poet, short story writer, and novelist.
He is best remembered for his works for children. In his poem, Peacock Pie, Walter wrote:
A poor old Widow in her weeds
Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds;
Not too shallow, and not too deep,
And down came April -- drip -- drip -- drip.
Up shone May, like gold, and soon
Green as an arbour grew leafy June.
Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs,
And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes;
And all she has is all she needs --
A poor Old Widow in her weeds.
Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation
This book came out in 2017, and the subtitle is Completely Revised and Expanded.
Well, the original version of this book was a best-selling classic. This is the upgraded book that came out five years ago.
In this book, the eminent designer and educator Rosemary Alexander teamed up with rising design star Rachel Myers.
And what these two women did is they share new garden plans, a ton of new photos and diagrams, and updated profiles of their 50 top plants that they think are timeless and that should be used by today's designers. So there are all kinds of fantastic, modern tips and advice in this book.
This is also an excellent book for designers and gardeners interested in incorporating sustainability or plant diversity into their plans. Rosemary and Rachel show how to integrate computer-aided design into the garden design process. And this book is perfect for folks wanting to start a garden design business.
Now, of course, nowadays, you don't have to be an artist to be a landscape designer or to convey what you want to do with a particular garden or a job site. But you do need to know how to do the basics. You have to be able to survey a site and draw a plan to scale or use the right software to do that. Then if you're making a more significant presentation, maybe to a company or to an Arboretum, you'll need to include specific details, visuals, and even a mood board. And of course, costing if you want to land their proposal. And so this book gives you everything from soup to nuts on garden design.
As Rosemary says, she believes that garden design is one of the most satisfying and rewarding professions - and I have many friends who would agree with her.
Now when Gardens Illustrated reviewed this book, they said,
The attention to detail at every stage is fantastic. Even if you don't want to be a designer, this book is worth having.
This book is a big one. It's 392 pages of garden design - for students, professionals, and anyone looking to create a well-designed outdoor space. You can truly learn from the experts, and they will share it in detail in this book.
1912 Birth of Julia Francis McHugh Morton, American author and botanist.
A Fellow of the Linnean Society, Julia Morton was a famous expert and lecturer on plants. She was revered especially for her knowledge of plant medicine and toxicity.
Known as the poison-plant lady, Julia worked to educate the public through letters and phone calls, lectures, and articles - even creating posters designed for hospital emergency rooms.
Among the many ER calls Julia received was one from a doctor in Scotland. When a patient fresh from a Jamaican holiday was gravely ill, Julia deduced that a toxic castor bean from a souvenir necklace had been ingested.
Over the years, Julia was the subject of many newspaper articles. Clever headlines showcased Julia's expertise, "She gets to the root of problems" and "She leaves no leaf unturned."
In 1988, The Miami News published an article about Julia's help with a murder case of a teenage girl.
The girl's car was found in the Dadeland Mall parking lot. The police brought Julia a half-inch blade of grass that was found stuck to the door handle of the car and some pieces of leaves that were wedged inside the door.
Julia identified the grass as Giant Burma Reed and the leaves as undeveloped leaflets of Spanish Needles. She concluded that a short distance from the Dadeland Mall (perhaps near a nursery in a tall patch of Burma Reed), police might find the girl's body.
Julia also predicted there were two killers. She correctly assumed that one had wet hands and had left Burma Reed on the driver's door, while the other had closed the passenger door so quickly it clipped the Spanish Needles.
The following day, police officers found an area that matched Morton's description and solved their case.
Like Marcus Jones, Julia Morton died in a car accident in 1996. She was 84.
It was Julia Morton who said,
Plants are always up to something.
So I don't take a vacation.
I operate on solar energy.
I can only stay indoors a certain length of time.
Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener
And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.