April 22, 2019 Perennials, Tasha Tudor, Earth Day, August Wilhelm Eichler, Gloria Galeano, William Bartram Journal, Kew’s Gardener’s Guide to House Plants, Planting Trees and Shrubs, the Eichler Treasure Trove, and Peter Hirsch

Children's book writer and illustrator Tasha Tudor (Books by this author) once said,

It's exciting to see things coming up again, plants that you've had for 20 or 30 years. It's like seeing an old friend.

This made me think of the old saying;

Make new friends, but keep the old.

One is silver and the other gold.

Perennials are old friends. Gold friends. They are the best kind of garden friends.

They may not be as flashy or exciting as the gardener's silver friends; annuals.

But, they have staying power. Peony, daylily, hosta, iris, baptisia, catmint; these are just a handful of some of the longest-lived perennials.





#OTD Today is Earth day - a celebration that started in 1970.

Next year will be the 50th anniversary.




#OTD It's the birthday of August Wilhelm Eichler, (born April 22, 1839, Neukirchen, Hesse, Ger.—died March 2, 1887, Berlin).

Eichler was a German botanist, and he developed one of the first widely used natural systems of plant classification. Most importantly, it was the first classification system based on evolution. In addition, Eichler divided the plant kingdom into non-floral plants and floral plants.

Eichler spent many years of his life working tirelessly as a private assistant to the naturalist Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martinus. Martinus had traveled to Brazil and collected over 20,000 specimens. He spent the final three decades of his life documenting his findings in a book called Flora Brasiliensis, which Eichler helped edit. Generally speaking, a Flora is a book describing all plants from a set geographic area. When Martinus died in 1868, Eichler carried on the work of Flora Brasiliensis unassisted. It was a labor of love. After Eichler died, botanist Ignatius Urban continued on with the project until its completion. Today, Wilhelm Eichler Strasse (Street) in Dresden is named in his honor.

Wilhelm Eichler who said,

"The felling of the first tree is the beginning of human civilization. The felling of the last is his end."





#OTD On this day in 1958, Gloria Galeano was born.

Known as "The Queen of the Palms," Galeano was a Colombian botanist and agronomist, and she devoted her entire career to studying and classifying the palm family. A passionate teacher and researcher at the National University of Colombia, She classified more than 260 species of Palm in 45 wild genera.

It's difficult to imagine, but at the beginning of the 1980s, Colombian palm taxonomy was almost non-existent. Thus, Galeano worked in concert with her partner Rodrigo Bernal to resolve this issue. After decades of fieldwork, they published their groundbreaking work Palmas de Colombia Field Guide, the most exhaustive Flora of Colombian Palms.

Galeano never tired in her devotion to the subject of Palms. She was the author or co-author of some seventeen books, fifteen book chapters, sixty-eight scientific articles, and ten electronic works, mostly on the palm as highlighted by the Institute of Natural Sciences. When Gloria Galeano first saw pictures of the newly discovered Sabinaria magnifica palm (named for her daughter, Sabina with Rodrigo Bernal), she described it as "the most beautiful of all Colombian palms." She was remembered for telling her students, "any project in which we would get involved, should be thrilling and make our blood boil."

Galeano was well aware of the harvest impacts of Colombian plants and Neotropical palms, and she was a leading voice for conservation efforts for Columbian palms. In June of 2015, Galeano co-organized the World Palm Symposium. At the event, Galeano revealed that less than four percent of tropical dry forest remains in the Colombia Caribbean region. Galeano died in 2016. Today, her legacy lives on in the plans for the conservation and sustainable use of the native wax palm.




Unearthed Words

#OTD in 1775, William Bartram left Charleston, South Carolina on horseback to explore the Cherokee Nation near Franklin, North Carolina.

In addition to his botanical discoveries, his journal describes traveling through a terrible storm during his journey,

"It was now after noon; I approached a charming vale... Darkness gathers around, far distant thunder rolls over the trembling hills; ...all around is now still as death, ... a total inactivity and silence seems to pervade the earth; the birds afraid to utter a chirrup, ...nothing heard but the roaring of the approaching hurricane; ...now the lofty forests bend low beneath its fury,... the face of the earth is obscured by the deluge descending from the firmament, and I am deafened by the din of thunder; the tempestuous scene damps my spirits, and my horse sinks under me at the tremendous peals, as I hasten for the plain.

I began to ascend the Jore Mountains, which I at length accomplished, and rested on the most elevated peak; from whence I beheld with rapture and astonishment, a sublimely awful scene of power and magnificence, a world of mountains piled upon mountains."





Today's Book Recommendation: The Kew Gardener's Guide to Growing House Plants: The art and science to grow your own house plants by Kay Maguire

Which are delicate and which are indestructible? - We show how to find the right home for your plants and the right plants for your home.

KEW GROWING HOUSE PLANTS is a beautifully illustrated giftable gardening reference book, combining exquisite botanical illustrations with practical indoor projects. Readers can discover over 70 life-changing plants and 12 home-transforming projects. Each project is described and illustrated with step-by-step photographs. Starting from the premise that we want to show how to grow the right plant in the right place, we demonstrate the benefits of all common house plants and how to care and curate them in the home. Includes cacti, succulents, bromeliads including air plants, foliage house plants, flowering house plants, house plants for scent and air freshening.





Today's Garden Chore

Prioritize planting trees and shrubs!

This is a great tip from gardener Lou Nicholls on twitter. Lou points out that especially if you garden on a windy spot, trees and shrubs should be your first investment. Lou says it best when he says, "You may not notice them as much as other "firework" plants, but they create a backdrop, shelterbelt, and cover for birds."

Exactly right!





Something Sweet

Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart

While researching August Wilhelm Eichler, I ended up on the Berlin Botanic Garden website.

Eichler was the director of the Botanic Garden from 1879 to 1887. In one of their annual reports, they shared this interesting tidbit regarding the Eichler tenure in Berlin:

"This was an eventful time, with world’s fairs, the invention of electricity, and rapid industrialization. There is no question that the director of a botanic garden would have been preoccupied by such innovations, but a recent find has provided us with absolute proof that this was so. In the attic of a residential building that almost certainly once belonged to the Eichler family, a box of handwritten papers, galley proofs, herbarium material and correspondence was found... This legacy is currently being catalogued by Peter Hirsch."





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and remember:
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."

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