But Now in September,

But Now in September,

by Robert Finch But now in September, the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head… The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on. As featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: Words inspired by the…

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Caspar Wistar

Caspar Wistar

The Younger Wistar Today is the birthday of Caspar Wistar, the Younger who was born on this day in 1761. His grandfather was also Caspar Wistar, so the Younger distinction helps people tell them apart. Wistar was a Professor of Anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania. The botanist Thomas Nuttall named the genus Wisteria in…

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Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl

A Giant Peach Today is the birthday of the British author, Roald Dahl, who was born on this day in 1916. Today, his birthday is celebrated all over the world as Roald Dahl Day. Dahl was an avid gardener. In fact, his garden shed doubled as his writing nook, where he wrote many books, including…

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Summer Hyacinth

Summer Hyacinth

by Beverley Nichols On an August night, when the moon is full, there is an almost ectoplasmic radiance around its petals.       Note: All week long, The Daily Gardener has been sharing quotes from the author Beverley Nichols, who was born on Monday of this week in 1898. A prolific writer, Nichols is…

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A Great Deal of Weeping

A Great Deal of Weeping

by Beverley Nichols A great deal of weeping goes on in my garden, but it is a happy sort of weeping, for all this bending of branches and bowing of heads is simply due to the fact that so much beauty is displayed on so small a stage.     Note: All week long, The…

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Why Gardens are Increasingly Precious

Why Gardens are Increasingly Precious

by Beverley Nichols One of the many reasons why gardens are increasingly precious to us in this day and age is that they help us to escape from the tyranny of speed. Our skies are streaked with jets, our roads have turned to racetracks, and in the cities, the crowds rush to and fro as…

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Caryopteris

Caryopteris

by Beverley Nichols Paradoxically, blue is the color that makes many people see red, by which I mean that fears arguments are continually developing as to which flower is the bluest… The Caryopteris is radiant in any weather… The blue of its petals seems to have the quality of caring for great distances, as though…

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Mesembryanthemum

Mesembryanthemum

by Beverley Nichols This flower is a startling proof of the fact that when nature decides to be vulgar – really vulgar – she can achieve the effects of almost blinding beauty. For nothing could be more opulent, more blatant, more shamelessly exhibitionist than a bed of the Mesembryanthemum in full bloom. Magenta jostling scarlet,…

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Regal Lily

Regal Lily

by Beverley Nichols The regal lilies do indeed praise the Lord. Some of my own last summer were so exultant that they praised Him through no less than thirty snow-white trumpets on a single stem, and even the most accomplished angel could not do much better than that.       Note: All week long,…

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Golden-bell Clematis

Golden-bell Clematis

by Beverley Nichols If I had to confine my choice of creepers to a single-family – what a hideous thought! I should probably choose the family of clematis. And if I were limited to a single member of the family, I should probably select Clematistangutica. I said probably because these hypothetical decisions are so excruciating.…

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Algerian Iris

It Was Not Till I Experimented With Seeds

by Beverley Nichols One of my grandfathers died of a clump of Iris stylosa; it enticed him from a sickbed on an angry evening in January, luring him through the snowdrifts with its blue and silver flames; he died of double pneumonia a few days later. It was probably worth it.       Note:…

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Fritillairies

Fritillairies

by Beverley Nichols Each Stage of our lives has its signature flower, and those of us who keep diaries would have a little difficulty in assigning to each year those flowers which are especially evocative… Fritillairies are linked with my years as an undergraduate… Year after year, for generation after generation, these flowers have danced…

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Iris Siberica

Iris Siberica

by Beverley Nichols How can one ignore… that singular infinitely sinister blossom Iris siberica? This latter flower can undoubtedly claim to be exclusively dressed, for the petals of no other blossom has Nature designed so curious of fabric, vein with slate and violet and purple.     Note: All week long, The Daily Gardener has…

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Magnolia

Magnolia

by Beverley Nichols I must confess that, for me, the flower of the magnolia is most beautiful when life has almost ebbed from it. These are the twilit hours when the petals flag and falter, when their immaculate ivory texture dims, when they glow with a ghostly radiance that seems to come from another world.…

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