Richardson is commemorated in the names of numerous plants, fish, birds, and mammals (including Richardson’s ground squirrel and Richardson's owl).
In his work as a naval physician, he collaborated with Florence Nightingale.
As his biographer David A. Stewart said:
"[Richardson] ....was perhaps a life of industry more than a life of genius, but it was a full, good life, and in many ways a great life. It is not every day that we meet in one person - surgeon, physician, sailor, soldier, administrator, explorer, naturalist, author, and scholar, who has been eminent in some roles and commendable in all."
"I look upon myself as a Native of India.”
"It did not take me many hours to find out that Mr. Hume was a naturalist of no ordinary calibre, and this great collection will remain a monument of the genius and energy of its founder long after he who formed it has passed away."
"Banyan trees offer shade and the fruit is food for several creatures.”
The poet Alice Mackenzie Swaim was born on today in 1911.
Though she moved to America and settled in Pennsylvania, she was born and raised near Aberdeen Scotland, and of Scotland she wrote,
"My soul still, returns like a bird to its nestTo those distant islandsEternally blest,Where poet and seer and lover are oneAnd life a new challenge Beneath an old sun."
When her children were little, Swaim experienced periods of invalidism. Writing poetry became a balm for her.
“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.”
First published in 1929, The Gardener’s Bed-Book is a much beloved gardening classic by the renowned editor of House & Garden magazine in the 1920s and ’30s.
This book is a compilation of 365 little essays.
One word to sum it up: charming.
You can click on the link above to get a used copy on Amazon using the link above; they sell for as low as 99 cents. I kid you not.
Today's Garden Chore
Prune your Spring Flowering Shrubs like Forsythia and Lilac when they are done blooming.
Remove a third of the branches to the base of the plant. Then prune to shape the rest.
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart
When I was researching Sir John Richardson, I learned that on the last day of May in 1865, just days before he died, he and his family went to visit some old friends.
There was a standing joke that Sir John, "never left their garden empty-handed, and that evening he carried off a plant of Forget me-not". He placed it in his favorite border when he returned to his home.
Richardson is buried at Grasmere cemetery near William Wordsworth.
One of the verses of Scripture inserted on his tombstone is from the twenty-seventh Psalm. During times of great duress on their expeditions with Franklin - times when they were starving, facing certain death, when they were too weak to hold a bible in their hands - Richardson and Franklin had repeated this psalm to each other - this was Richardson's favorite verse:
"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
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