William Taylor

William Taylor

Autumn Work We’re going to travel back in time, about 144 years ago, and read William Taylor’s thoughts on Autumn Work that he shared in The Nottinghamshire Guardian on this day in 1875.  He wrote: “WHAT a relief to the flower gardener to bid farewell to the summer of 1875! The work has been quite…

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Odoardo Beccari

Odoardo Beccari

Travelling to The Titan Arum Today is the anniversary of the death of Odoardo Beccari, who died on this day in 1920. After growing up an orphan, Beccarri managed to get an education in his native Italy, and he eventually traveled to England to study at Kew. Beccarri was friends with Hooker and Darwin, but…

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Count Bertrand de Molleville

Count Bertrand de Molleville

Developer of the Pruner Today is the birthday of Count Bertrand de Molleville, who was born on this day – 275 years ago -in 1744. During the French Revolution, Molleville escaped to England, where he developed the secateurs or the pruner. He created them to help with pruning grapevines – something he was all too…

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Bernard Verdcourt

Bernard Verdcourt

Flora, Snails, and Slugs Today is the 8th anniversary of the death of the botanist Bernard Verdcourt or who died on this day in 2011. For over 60 years, Bernard Verdcourt was known as “BV” to his colleagues at Kew. Verdcourt specialized in East African flora, and he had an unrivaled knowledge of around 4,000…

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Autumn Song

Bliss Carman

by Bliss Carman Shall we not grow with the asters? – Never reluctant nor sad, Not counting the cost of being, Living to dare and be glad. Shall we not lift with the crickets A chorus of ready cheer, Braving the frost of oblivion, Quick to be happy here? The deep red cones of the…

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Henry Austin Dobson

Henry Austin Dobson

A Fancy From Fontenelle It was on this day in 1885 that a little poem about a rose by the English poet Henry Austin Dobson appeared in the Leicester Chroniclein England. It was an instant hit and picked up by newspapers around the world. I spent a bit of time piecing together various remnants about the…

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Margaret Owen

Margaret Owen

“The Patch” Today is the fifth anniversary of the death of Margaret Owen, who died on this day in 2014. Owen was an English farmer and gardener. When she was twenty, Margaret married Godfrey Owen (he had proposed to her in a cattle shed). On their family farm, they raised four children together. They were…

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Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Father of Microbiology Today, in 1632, the “father of microbiology” Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was born.  Leeuwenhoek’s interest in making lenses led to his discovery of microbial life. Leeuwenhoek’s work set the stage for plant anatomy.     This post was featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: helping gardeners find their roots, one story at a time…

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Marianne North

Marianne North

The Marianne North Today is the birthday of the intrepid traveler and botanical artist Marianne North who was born on this day in 1830. Marianne’s father was friends with Darwin and Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, who was the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. When she was 25 years old, Marianne’s mother died, and…

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Nature 27 – Autumn

Brown Walnut (Juglans sp.)

by Emily Dickinson The morns are meeker than they were, The nuts are getting brown; The berry’s cheek is plumper, The rose is out of town. The maple wears a gayer scarf, The field a scarlet gown. Lest I should be old-fashioned, I’ll put a trinket on. As featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: Words inspired…

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Ernest Thompson Seton

Ernest Thompson Seton

Founder of Boy Scouts Today is the anniversary of the death of the Englishman Ernest Thompson Seton, who died on this day in 1946.  When he was six, Seton’s family immigrated to Canada. He grew up in Toronto and found solace in the woods along the Don River. His father was abusive and cruel. When…

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François-André Michaux

François-André Michaux

A Father and Son Duo Today is the anniversary of the death of François-André Michaux, who died on this day in 1855. François-Andre was the son of the botanist, Andrea Michaux. His father named an oak in his honor. When François-Andre was 15 years old, he and his dad set sail for North America. The…

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Bonnie Templeton

Bonnie Templeton

Wild Victory Gardens Today is the birthday of the botanist Bonnie Templeton who was born on this day in 1906. In 2002, Templeton died at the age of 95. She was a trailblazing female in the field of botany. Her obituary noted her some of her botanical accomplishments which included, “discovering a rare plant on…

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Ludwig Leichhardt

Ludwig Leichhardt

Prince of Explorers Today is the birthday of the Prussian botanist Ludwig Leichhardt who was born on this day in 1813. Leichhardt is remembered for his impressive and arduous collecting efforts in Australia. For his part, Leichhardt loved Australia. He wrote, “I would find it hard to remain in Germany, or even in Europe, now.…

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