Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Prince Edward Island Author November 30, 1874   Today is the birthday of the Canadian writer and author of the Anne of Green Gables series Lucy Maud Montgomery. Lucy was born on Prince Edward Island, and she was almost two years old when her mother died. Like her character Ann of Green Gables, Lucy…

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Martha Ballard

Martha Ballard

Martha’s Marvelous Journal November 30, 1791   1799  On this day, Martha Ballard recorded her work as an herbalist and midwife. For 27 years, Martha kept a journal of her work as the town healer and midwife for Hallowell, Maine. In all, Martha assisted with 816 births. Today, Martha’s marvelous journal gives us a glimpse…

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Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens November 30, 1835 Today is the birthday of the American writer and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain. Samuel used the garden and garden imagery to convey his wit and satire. In 1874, Samuel’s sister, Susan, and her husband built an octagonal shed for him to write…

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Nathanael Pringsheim

Nathanael Pringsheim

The Founder of Algology November 30, 1823  Today is the birthday of the German botanist Nathanael Pringsheim. Nathanael was a founder of algology or the study of algae. Nathanael’s work led to an understanding of how algae and fungi live, develop, and reproduce. In 1882, Nathanael founded the German Botanical Society.   This post was…

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Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens November 27, 1959   On this day, the Edmonton Journal wrote a little article about the Bicentenary at Kew: “Less than ten miles from the heart of London lies an area of nearly three hundred acres in which color, fragrance, and birdsong are the companions of research, learning, and economics. Here…

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Albert Etter

Albert Etter

Ettersburg Ranch November 27, 1872   Today is the birthday of a lifelong American plantsman and master plant breeder Albert Etter. Albert was a born horticulturist. When most children are mastering the alphabet and learning to tie their shoes, Albert was learning to graft and hybridize plants. By the time Albert was 12, his plant…

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Karl Foerster

Karl Foerster

Karl Foerster Grass November 27, 1970  Today is the 50th anniversary of the death of the revered German plant breeder, writer, and garden designer Karl Foerster. Karl was born into an intellectual and accomplished family. His father was an astronomer, and his mother was a famous painter. Many gardeners are surprised to learn that Karl…

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Ruth Myrtle Patrick

Ruth Myrtle Patrick

A Window to a Whole Other World November 26, 1907   Today is the birthday of the botanist Ruth Myrtle Patrick. Ruth developed new methods for measuring the health of freshwater ecosystems. Today, the Patrick Principle measures the biological diversity of a stream; the greater the diversity, the greater the health of the water. Ruth…

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W. Atlee Burpee

W. Atlee Burpee

Burpee Seeds November 26, 1915 Today is the anniversary of the death of the pioneer seedsman and founder of the Burpee seed company, W. Atlee Burpee – the “W” stood for Washington. Atlee died at 57; just two days after Thanksgiving in 1915. As a young boy, Atlee immigrated from England with his parents. The…

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George Ellwanger

George Ellwanger

The Garden’s Story November 26, 1906  Today is the anniversary of the death of the German-American horticulturist and nurseryman George Ellwanger (“El-WANG-ur”). In the mid-1800s, George Ellwanger and his Irish business partner and experienced nurseryman, Patrick Barry, claimed their Rochester, New York nursery was the largest in the world. Built on 650 acres along Mount…

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Jean-Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan

Jean-Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan

Internal Circadian Clock November 26, 1678   Today is the birthday of the French geophysicist, astronomer, and most notably, chronobiologist Jean-Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan. Mairan’s job as a chronobiologist is a job one rarely hears about these days. In 1729, Mairan put together an experiment showing the existence of a circadian rhythm in plants. Mairan…

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Alma Gluck

Alma Gluck

“Miss Gluck is Quite a Farmer” November 25, 1914   On this day, the St. Joseph Gazette wrote a front-page article about the  Romanian-born American soprano Alma Gluck and the headline was “Miss Gluck is Quite a Farmer.” “One would scarcely expect a young and beautiful prima donna who… is recognized the world over as…

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Francis Chantrey

Francis Chantrey

The Sleeping Children November 25, 1816 Today is the anniversary of the death of one of the great English sculptors, Francis Chantrey. Francis, who sculpted both kings and presidents, was commissioned to sculpt a memorial to two young girls, Ellen-Jane and Marianne Robinson. Ellen-Jane and Marianne had lost their father, Reverend William Robinson when he…

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Leonard Sidney Woolf

Leonard Sidney Woolf

Monk’s House November 25, 1880  Today is the birthday of the British political theorist, writer, publisher, civil servant, and gardener Leonard Sidney Woolf. Leonard was the husband of Virginia Woolf. Leonard was the primary gardener and garden designer of Monk’s House – although Virginia helped him. Virginia and Leonard lived at the house when they…

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