Francis Darwin

Francis Darwin

A Legacy of Darwin  Today is the birthday of the third son of Charles Darwin, Francis Darwin – known to his family as Frank. In 1887, Frank shared a portrait of his father in a book called life and letters of Charles Darwin. The letters revealed Darwin’s fluid prose and clarity. Frank said that correcting…

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Spring Flowers are long Since Gone

by Louise Seymour Jones Spring flowers are long since gone. Summer’s bloom hangs limp on every terrace.  The gardener’s feet drag a bit on the dusty path, and the hinge in his back is full of creaks.” As featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of…

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Bernard McMahon

Bernard McMahon

The Philadelphia Nurseryman Today is the birthday of the Irish-born botanical steward of the plants collected by Lewis and Clark; the Philadelphia nurseryman, Bernard McMahon, who was born on this day in 1816. McMahon’s lasting legacy was his American Gardener’s Calendar. Packed with monthly directions and information about all things gardening, McMahon’s Calendar was the most popular…

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John N. Darby

John N. Darby

Tension in the Botany World Today is the anniversary of the death of the botanist and chemist John N. Darby, who died on this day in 1877. In 1841, Darby wrote one of the earliest floras, and he focused on the southeastern United States. His flora was practical and regional, so it’s no surprise that…

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Abel Aken Hunter

Abel Aken Hunter

The Panama Orchid Hunter Today is the birthday of the Panama Orchid Hunter and son of Lincoln, Nebraska, Abel Aken Hunter, who was born on this day in 1877. In a biography of his older brother, it was mentioned that all the kids in the Hunter family were “born naturalists, for they knew all the…

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Caught in the Doldrums of August

Denis Mackail

by Denis Mackail Caught in the doldrums of August we may have regretted the departing summer, having sighed over the vanished strawberries and all that they signified. Now, however, we look forward almost eagerly to winter’s approach. We forget the fogs, the slush, the sore throats, and the price of coal. We think only of…

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Antoine Laurent de Jussieu

Antoine Laurent de Jussieu

The Palace Gardener Today is the anniversary of the death of Antoine Laurent de Jussieu, who died on this day in 1836. He was a French botanist who developed the first natural classification of flowering plants. Today, there’s a metro station near the botanical garden in Paris that is named in honor of the Jussieu…

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Peter Barr

Peter Barr

The Daffodil King Today is the anniversary of the death of the Scottish horticulturist known as “The Daffodil King, Peter Barr, who died on this day at the age of 84 years old in 1909. Since Queen Victoria was not a fan of daffodils, Barr had much to overcome. At his home in Surrey, he…

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Olaus Rudbeck

Olaus Rudbeck

Renaissance Man Today is the anniversary of the death of Olaus Rudbeck, who died on this day in 1702. Olaus Rudbeck was born in Sweden. He was a “Renaissance man.” He contributed to medicine, especially anatomy. Rudbeck was a professor at the University of Uppsala, where he taught medicine, botany, mathematics, astronomy, and architecture. One…

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September

by Alexander Theroux September. It was the most beautiful of words, he’d always felt, evoking orange-flowers, swallows, and regret.       As featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all. Alexander Theroux

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The Milkweed

The Milkweed

by Cecil Cavendish The milkweed pods are breaking, And the bits of silken down Float off upon the autumn breeze Across the meadows brown.   As featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all. Cecil Cavendish

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Robert Fortune

Robert Fortune

A Fortune of Tea Today is the birthday of the Scottish plantsman Robert Fortune who was born on this day in 1812. Robert Fortune’s name is inextricably bound to China and tea and the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.  For centuries, China had a monopoly on tea. They, alone, grew the plants. They made black tea…

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Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection 1835 Charles Darwin arrived at the Galapagos Islands on board a ship called the HMS Beagle. Once he’s on the islands, Darwin begins to check out all of the different and unique plants, and it gets him thinking.  The experience basically shapes his theory of natural selection.      …

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Charles V of France

Charles V of France

Death by Poisonous Mushrooms Today is the anniversary of the death of Charles V of France, who died on this day in 1380. He commissioned his cook, Guillaume Tirel, to create the first cookbook. The full title of the book is an exceptionally long one. In English, it translates to: “Hereafter follows the [recipe collection]…

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