David Douglas

Gave His Life for Science  On this day, about a month before his 35th birthday, the Scottish plant explorer David Douglas and his little Scottish terrier named Billy arrived at the northern tip of Hawaii.  After landing, David met up with a man named Ned Gurney. And I know it’s hard to imagine, but Gurney…

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Today we celebrate the man who inspired National Simplicity Day (It’s dedicated every July 12th). We’ll also learn about the tragic death of a Scottish botanist and prolific plant collector. We celebrate the friendship between Charles Darwin and his mentor. And, we also celebrate a woman who started botanizing late in life, yet made a…

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20200101 The Daily Gardener Album Cover

Today we celebrate the daughter of a millionaire who found solace in nature and the refreshing approach of one of the country’s top naturalists. We learn about the discovery of vanilla (complete with a ravishing recipe for vanilla coffee liqueur from 1974), and we’ll commemorate the Doctor’s Pit where the botanist David Douglas died. We’ll…

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David Douglas

Exploring Identification #OTD   It was on this day in 1799, the Scottish botanist David Douglas was born.    Douglas was responsible for the identification of over 200 new plant species in North America including the famous Douglas-fir.   Douglas never received a formal education, and he was primarily a plant collector rather than a published…

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David Douglas

Work Lost in TIme #OTD  It was on this day in 1833 David Douglas’ luck ran out.   On the Rocky Island of the Fraser River at Fort George Canyon, Douglas’s canoe was smashed into bits and Douglas himself barely escaped alive.   All of Douglas’s work: his specimens and all of his writings -…

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20200101 The Daily Gardener Album Cover

My aunt Debbie in Des Moines sent me some fantastic pictures of a great portable elevated planter idea. She was at Lowes, and they had taken two old Weber grills and had spray-painted them different colors. Then, they turned them into planters. In between the two of them, they placed a bench. What a great…

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Half-Hardy Plants. That’s a term you don’t run into very often – but when you do, it can be confusing. Just this morning, I swung by a garden center to check out their clearance plants, and I ended up chatting with a gardener who had running to a label that had that term: Half-Hardy Plants.…

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20200101 The Daily Gardener Album Cover

I realize you are very excited to get going in your own garden. But don’t forget to schedule some time this spring to visit other gardens. The gardens of friends, neighbors, or public gardens can provide you with inspiration and teach you something new – even when you didn’t think you’d learn anything. #BTW This…

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Mount Hooker

After breakfast at one o’clock… I became desirous of ascending one of the peaks, and accordingly, I set out alone on snowshoes … The labor of ascending the lower part, which is covered with pines, is great beyond description, sinking on many occasions to the middle. Halfway up vegetation ceases entirely, not so much a…

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