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1735 Birth of Charles-Joseph Lamoral, French Field Marshal, writer, and member of the princely family of Ligne ("Leen-ya").
Charles once wrote,
I should like to inflame the whole world with my taste for gardening.
There is no virtue that I would not attribute to the man who lives to project and execute gardens.
1812 Birth of Edward Lear, English artist, musician, and writer.
Edward is remembered for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose. He once wrote,
As for myself, I am sitting up today for the first time - partly dressed -
[something] the cucumber said when oil and vinegar were poured over him, salt & pepper being omitted.
Edward also popularized the limerick.
Here's an Edward Lear limerick for gardeners.
There was an old person so silly,
He poked his head into a lily;
But six bees who lived there,
filled him full of despair,
For they stung that old person so silly.
1820 Birth of Florence Nightingale (books about this person), English social reformer, statistician, and founder of modern nursing.
Florence earned the moniker "The Lady with the Lamp" during the Crimean War because she would make her rounds to visit wounded soldiers with a lamp during the night. The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used the term in his poem Santa Filomena, which he wrote in honor of Florence's work in Scutari Hospital.
Florence was named after Florence, Italy - the city where she was born. As a young girl, she and her sister had their garden to plant and tend.
When Florence was 13, she collected flowers with a 77-year-old botanist named Margaret Stovin. Together they gathered and pressed over 100 different species of plants. This charming story was featured in a 2008 book by Richard Mendelsohn. Today, Florence and Margaret's flowers are housed at the Natural History Museum in London.
As an adult, Florence wrote,
Poetry and imagination begin life. A child will fall on its knees on the gravel walk at the sight of a pink hawthorn in full flower, when it is by itself, to praise God for it.
As a nurse, Florence believed flowers helped with the morale and recovery of her patients. And personally, the foxglove was her favorite flower.
And Florence received a lovely bouquet every week from William Rathbone, the man who founded the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses.
In 2020, one of the anticipated gardens was dedicated to Florence during the pandemic. The year 2020 marked the 200th Anniversary of her birth, and the garden was to be called The Florence Nightingale Garden - A Celebration of Modern Day Nursing.
Instead, the garden debuted at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2021. The garden featured “Images from Florence Nightingale's pressed flower collection and echoes of her handwriting … on… the timber walls.”
Today Florence is remembered in the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, which celebrates the life and work of the best-known figure in nursing history. She is also honored with the Florence Nightingale rose — a pretty pale pink fragrant rose.
1856 Birth of Andreas Franz Wilhelm Schimper, German botanist and phytogeographer
Andreas was a significant player in the early days of plant ecology. In 1901, his work was cut short due to his untimely death at 45 after contracting Malaria in Cameroon.
Andreas coined the terms tropical rainforest and sclerophyll and is honored in many species names.
Grow That Garden Library™ Book Recommendation
P. Allen Smith's Garden Home by P. Allen Smith
This book came out in 2003, and the subtitle is Creating a Garden for Everyday Living.
Well, to me, this book is a garden classic. You get to know a little bit about P. Allen Smith's biography. His family's love of gardens, his experience working in the nursery business - plus all of the great relationships that he made working in some of England's top gardens. (He could write a book on that alone.) Fascinating stories.
But in all seriousness, this book is so foundational to gardening. It's a great book to give new gardeners. And it's also an excellent book for gardeners who are considering a redesign or, after a long winter, feel like they need to brush up on their skills.
The bulk of this book is dedicated to Allen's twelve garden design principles. He'll talk about aspects like framing a view, having texture in the garden, rhythm, pattern, color, etc.
Now I thought I'd share this little excerpt from Allen's introduction. And here he's talking about how he created the garden rooms on his own property.
I began working out the various outdoor rooms to see how they related to the
house itself. The shape to one another and to the of the house and the lot created a series of rectangular spaces.
I recognized an opportunity to design strong unbroken lines of sight or axes from one garden
room into the next. Like an open door, these visual sight lines would allow visitors to stand in one room and see directly into the next.
After positioning these openings through portals or entries further divided the rectangles into nine garden rooms and began to imagine how each space could have its own personality yet remain a part of a cohesive whole.
And then I love what he says next. Because he's talking about paths, and I always feel like paths are so underrated; they're almost an afterthought for so many gardeners. So Allen says,
As I laid out this plan on paper, I added an entire circuit or path that looped
around the house, connecting one garden room to the next.
From here, I imagined hedges and fences that would serve as "walls" for each room, with arbors and gates as "doorways."
And then, he goes on to talk about more ways that he created these garden rooms.
And so, in this book, Allen not only goes through his 12 principles of design, but he also takes you on tour. Through each of his garden rooms because they help illustrate each of those principles. It's a fabulous book. It's a garden basic - and it's so affordable now that it's been on the market so long.
This book is 224 pages of P. Allen Smith's expertise, his twelve principles of garden design, and his fantastic personal garden.
1943 On this day, the Belvidere Daily Republican posted an article entitled Gardeners Get
Nine-Point Plan On Care Of Hose.
If mindful of the rubber shortage, you're wondering how to coddle your
garden hose through its important Victory-garden job this year, an expert here has a "nine-point program" for hose care that may mean the difference between a backyard farmer's success or failure.
W. S. Richardson, manager of the industrial products division of B. F. Goodrich, outlines his nine points as follows:
1. Never drive a car over your hose.
2. Don't leave it lying in the sun
3. Coil it neatly and hang it up.
4. But not on a spike or sharp-edged stick.
5. Be sure it's drained first, for water left in the hose will damage the fabric reinforcement.
6. Don't turn off the water at the nozzle.
7. Don't try to stop the flow by doubling the hose back on itself for either way may give you a 'blow-out.'
8. Don't drag a hose over sharp stones in a rock garden.
9. Don't pick an oily spot on the driveway or floor of your garage as the place to coil it.
He concludes, "[Oil] destroys most rubber, and you might end up with a leaky hose and a once-promising Victory garden 'burned up' by drought.
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And remember: For a happy, healthy life, garden every day.