Anne Brontë

Anne Brontë

The Brontë Garden May 28, 1849  Today is the anniversary of the death of English novelist and poet Anne Brontë. Today we remember the Brontë sisters for their writing, but their lives were one of hardship. Their mother, Maria, died a year and a half after giving birth to Anne – the youngest Brontë children.…

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Frank Nicholas Meyer

Frank Nicholas Meyer

The Plant Explorer May 28, 1918 On this day, the intrepid Dutch-American botanist and USDA Plant Explorer, Frank Nicholas Meyer, boarded a steamer and sailed down the Yangtze River – starting his long return journey to America. Sadly, after Frank boarded that steamer ship on this day back in 1918, he died. His body was…

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Floral Clock

Floral Clock

The Time of Blossoming May 27, 1873 On this day, out of Pratt’s Junction, Massachusetts, there was a detailed post about how to make a floral clock. “Please tell the girls if they think country life dull… they can pass many happy hours… studying the plants about them.  I saw it stated that Linnaeus had…

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Vincent Price

Vincent Price

Horror Films and Gardens May 27, 1911 Today is the birthday of the American actor Vincent Price. Known for his performances in horror films, Vincent also enjoyed gardening. He especially loved cymbidium orchids, and he had hundreds of them growing on the shady side of his California home. He also grew wildflowers, cactus, poinsettia, and…

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Sébastien Vaillant

Sébastien Vaillant

The Structure of Flowers May 26, 1669 Today is the birthday of the French botanist Sébastien Vaillant. Appointed to the King’s garden in Paris, Sebastien loved organizing and cataloging plants. Biographical accounts say Sebastian showed a passion for plants from the age of five. His masterpiece, forty years in the making, Botanicon Parisienne, was a book…

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Intellectual Declaration of Independence” May 25, 1803 Today is the birthday of the American transcendentalist, essayist, philosopher, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a son of Boston. By the time he finished his schooling at Harvard, he had decided to go by his middle name, Waldo. He was his class poet, and…

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Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid

Dreams of Gardeners May 25, 1949 Today is the birthday of the Antiguan-American novelist, essayist, and short-story writer Jamaica Kincaid born Elaine Potter Richardson. Jamaica Kincaid is a gardener and popular garden writer. Her book Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya offers many wonderful excerpts. And here, she discusses the dreams of gardeners – and how…

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Sarah Josepha Hale

Sarah Josepha Hale

The Children’s Author May 24, 1830 On this day, Mary Had A Little Lamb by Sarah Josepha Hale is published by the Boston firm Marsh, Capen & Lyon. Born in New Hampshire in 1788, Sarah was homeschooled, and she attributed all of her learning and success to her mother. She wrote, ”I owe my early predilection for…

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Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon

Chabon’s Writing Shed May 24, 1963 Today is the birthday of the American novelist and short-story writer Michael Chabon (“SHAY-bon”). In 2000, Michael wrote The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001. Michael is married to the writer, Ayelet (“eye-YEll-it’”) Waldman, and together they have four children. They…

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Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope

Bridge in Bath, Capability Brown, and Prior Park May 21, 1688 Today is the birthday of the British poet, critic, gardener, and satirist Alexander Pope. Known for his poetry and writing, Alexander Pope is less remembered for his love of gardens. Yet Alexander was a trailblazer in terms of garden design and originality. He designed…

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Eugene O’Neill

Eugene O'Neill

Anna Christie May 21, 1922 On this day, the Pulitzer prize was awarded to Eugene O’Neill for his play “Anna Christie.” Remembered as one of America’s greatest playwrights, most people are unaware that Eugene O’Neill was also a gardener. After becoming a Nobel laureate in literature, Eugene used his Nobel prize money to buy over…

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Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac

The Father of Realism in French Literature May 20, 1799  Today is the birthday of the prolific 19th-century French writer, poet, and the father of Realism in French literature, Honoré de Balzac. Today, the Maison de Balzac, or Honoré’s modest Paris home, has been turned into a museum. With its courtyard and garden, the house…

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Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea Flower Show

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show May 20, 1913 On this day, the first Chelsea Flower Show was held at Chelsea General Hospital. Originally called the Royal Horticultural Society’s Great Spring Show, the first Chelsea Flower Show was held in 1862 at the RHS garden in Kensington. Staged in a single tent, the first…

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Catherine Furbish

Catherine Furbish

The Maine Botanist May 19, 1834 Today is the birthday of the daring self-taught American botanist Catherine Furbish. Kate is remembered for her life-long work collecting, classifying, and illustrating the flora of the great state of Maine. Kate spent six decades crisscrossing her home state. Her delicate, beautiful, and simple botanical art charms gardeners still…

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