Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Patron Saint of Beekeepers Today is Saint Bernard of Clairvaux‘s day; he was the patron saint of beekeepers.  He’s also the patron saint of bees and candlemakers. St. Bernard was a doctor of the church and a French Abbot. He was apparently a fabulous preacher, with excellent speaking skills. He became known as the “honey-sweet”…

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Thomas Jefferson

Letter to the Monticello Naturalist On this day Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the painter and naturalist Charles Willson Peale about his farming and gardening at Monticello (“MontiCHELLo”). Here’s an excerpt: “I have heard that you have retired from the city to a farm, and that you give your whole time to that. Does…

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Carlos Thays

Brought the French to Argentina Today is the birthday of the French-Argentine landscape architect Carlos Thays (“Tays”). Carlos Thays took a business trip to Argentina when he turned forty in 1889. His job was to design a park in Cordoba. The project was life-changing for Thays when Argentina unexpectedly captured his heart. He decided to…

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Robert Plant

A Gardener’s Dream Last Name Today is the birthday of the man with the last name all gardeners covet – the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant.   This post was featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: helping gardeners find their roots, one story at a time Robert Plant

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Doug MacLeod

by Doug MacLeod Lovely mosquito, attacking my arm As quiet and still as a statue, Stay right where you are! I’ll do you no harm- I simply desire to pat you. Just puncture my veins and swallow your fill For, nobody’s going to swot you. Now, lovely mosquito, stay perfectly still – A SWIPE! And…

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Mosquito

by David Sollis Announcing your arrival In a high-pitch buzzing-tone. As a tactic for survival, You’re seldom on your own. Red lumps display where you have been Often felt, but rarely seen. But if I catch a glimpse of you, my little vampire chum, I’ll make sure you get what you’re due And crush you…

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Jane Webb

A Science Fiction Pioneer Today is the birthday of Jane Webb, who married the prolific writer of all things gardening: John Claudius Loudon. Together they became magnificent partners in the world of botanical writing and publishing. Jane was an extraordinary person. She was a fantastic writer in her own right, but she also possessed an…

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Ellen Ann Willmott

The Warley Place Horticulturalist Today is the birthday of Ellen Ann Willmott, who was an English horticulturalist who lived in Brentwood. Ellen was the oldest in her family of three daughters. In 1875, her parents moved to Warley Place, which was set on 33 acres of land in Essex. Ellen lived there for the rest…

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ElizabethLawrence

Love of Gardening On this day, Elizabeth Lawrence wrote a letter to her sister Ann. In the letter, she mentions their mom, Bessie, who shared both her daughters’ love of the garden. “I am so happy to get back to my rickety Corona; Ellen’s elegant new typewriter made anything I had to say unworthy of…

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The Potato

by Joseph Stroud Three days into the journey I lost the Inca Trail and scrambled around the Andes in a growing panic when on a hillside below the snowline I met a farmer who pointed the way— Machu Picchu allá, he said. He knew where I wanted to go. From my pack, I pulled out…

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Jane Kenyon

by Jane Kenyon In haste one evening while making dinner I threw away a potato that was spoiled on one end. The rest would have been redeemable. In the yellow garbage pail, it became the consort of coffee grounds, banana skins, carrot peelings. I pitched it onto the compost where steaming scraps and leaves return,…

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World Daffodil Day Today is World Daffodil Day, and there’s really one poem that is regarded as the Mother of All Daffodil Poems, and it’s this one. I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside…

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Benjamin Alvord

A Passion to Learn Today is the birthday of Brigadier General, mathematician, and botanist Benjamin Alvord. Born in Rutland Vermont, Benjamin was always drawn to nature. He graduated from West Point and even spent some time teaching there as a Math Professor.  Benjamin fought in the Seminole Wars, the Mexican–American War, and the Civil War.…

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Olav Hauge

Apples and Poems Today is the birthday of the Norwegian poet and gardener Olav Hauge. Olav was a trained horticulturist and fruit grower. Olav earned a living as a professional gardener. When he wasn’t writing poetry, he could be found working in his apple orchard – he had 70 apple trees. Here’s my translation of…

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