20200101 The Daily Gardener Album Cover

Today we celebrate the avid gardener who transformed the gardens at what was once the largest private residence in the United States. We’ll also learn about the man who created many new citruses through hybridizing. We’ll hear some January advice from a Dig For Victory brochure from WWII. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a…

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Isabella Preston

Dean of Hybridists Today is the 55th anniversary of the death of Canada’s first professional woman plant breeder – a woman called the “Dean of Hybridists” and the “Grand Lady of Canadian Horticulture” – Isabella Preston. When Vita Sackville-West first heard her name, she famously acknowledged, “I must confess I don’t know anything about Miss…

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Hazel Schmoll

The Colorado State Botanist Today is the anniversary of the death of Colorado State botanist Hazel Schmoll. Hazel was born in a sod cabin in McAlester, Kansas, in 1890. Her family settled in Colorado when she was just two years old. Hazel was the first woman to earn a doctorate in botany from the University…

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Horace Hagedorn

Founder of Miracle-Gro Today is the anniversary of the death of the founder of Miracle-Gro plant food Horace Hagedorn. Every year on November 15th, the Horace Hagedorn outstanding philanthropy award is given out on philanthropy day. Horace was a marketing genius and a philanthropist. A resident of Port Washington, Long Island, Horace and his wife…

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Melvin Bergeson

The Man Behind Red Splender January 31, 1906 Today is the birthday of the nurseryman Melvin Bergeson who, ironically, lived in Fertile, Minnesota. After World War II, an employee of Melvin’s named Norris Oftedahl was walking along a row of trees at the nursery. As expected, all of the trees in the row had succumbed…

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American Iris Society

The Flower of the Rainbow Today marks the hundredth anniversary of the American Iris Society. The Society started with about 60 eager members. A year later, membership had climbed to nearly 500 members. Today, you can join the Iris Society online at Irises.org. “The Mission of The American Iris Society is to organize and disseminate…

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Georg Dionysius Ehret

Gardening and Drawing Today is the birthday of the botanist and the incomparable botanical illustrator Georg Dionysius Ehret. Georg was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to Ferdinand Christian Ehret, who was a gardener and also had a talent for drawing. He taught his son both skills- gardening and drawing – before he died. Georg made his…

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Adelbert von Chamisso

A Romantic Poet Today is the birthday of French-German poet, naturalist, and botanist Adelbert von Chamisso (“Sha-ME-So”). Born into a French Noble family, Chamisso’s family fled to Germany after the French Revolution. Chamisso is remembered for a number of different accomplishments. His creativity was captured in a novella called Peter Schlemihl’s Wonderful History, published in…

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Louise Beebe Wilder

One of America’s Greates Garden Writers Today is the birthday of one of America’s greatest Garden writers and one of the 20th Century’s most famous horticulturists, Louise Beebe Wilder. Louise was born into a wealthy family in Baltimore. After marrying an architect named Walter Wilder, they bought a country place – a 200-acre estate in…

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Ann Taylor

“You’re never fully-dressed without a smile” Today is the birthday of the English poet and literary critic Ann Taylor. Her sister Jane was a poet as well. Ann famously said, “The most important thing is to wear a smile.” Here’s a collection of poems about the garden by Ann Taylor. Come And Play In The…

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San Francisco

Yerba Buena Today the city of Yerba Buena (“YAIR-Bah Byoo-Nah”) is renamed San Francisco. San Francisco was originally known as Yerba Buena – Spanish for “good herb” – a small mint-like plant early explorers found. Over the years, people have left their hearts in San Francisco. The author Rudyard Kipling said, “San Francisco has only…

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George Engelmann

The Savior of French Wine January 29, 1879 On this day, the physician and botanist George Engelmann lost his wife, Dorothea. Dorothea was also his cousin, and the couple married in their native Germany before immigrating to the United States. Engelmann had settled in St Louis, Missouri. George and Dorothea had one son, George Jr -…

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Sir Michael Foster

“In hybridizing, be bold” Today is the anniversary of the death of the English physician and iris breeder Sir Michael Foster. In the late 1890s, Michael became the first person to crossbreed and name new varieties of Iris. Michael started working with purple and yellow iris. He was successfully able to produce a beautiful blend…

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Olga Owens Huckins

Evidence of Havoc January 29, 1958 Duxbury resident, journalist, and nature-lover Olga Owens Huckins wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in the Boston Herald in Section 3 on Page 14 and was titled “Evidence of Havoc by DDT.” Olga and her husband, Stuart, had created a little bird sanctuary around two kettle ponds…

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