June 7, 2019 Garden Journal Format, Louis Claude Richard, Daniel Boone, Fletcher Steele, Jack Harlan, Jean Arp, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Robin Karson, Photo Friday, and the Southeastern Plant Symposium

I ran across a fascinating old journal as I was researching this show - what I especially loved about it was the layout.

If you want to copy it here's what you do:

  • Dedicate a page of your journal to each type of plant in your garden.
  • Make some notes about the characteristics of the plant. (Maybe what you like about it as well)
  • Then leave room to chart the significant events with the plant.

For instance, after describing Kalmia Angustifolia, it says this:

  • June 7, 1908, First Flowers
  • June 15th Generally comes into bloom
  • July 13 Still in flower
  • Rarely any flowers in the autumn.

Doesn't that make for a convenient and personal reference guide for your garden?





#OTD It's the anniversary of the death of one of the most eminent botanists of his age: Louis Claude Richard, who died on this day in 1821.

His great grandfather had been in charge of the menagerie at Versailles.

His grandfather had been in charge of the botanic gardens at Trianon.

Even his own father was placed in charge of the King's Garden.

A biography of Richard was featured in the International Gazette in 1831. It said:

"Louis Claude Richard was therefore born in the midst of plants; he learnt to know them sooner than the letter of the alphabet; and before he he was able to write correctly, he could draw flowers, or plans of gardens... He did not recollect a moment of his life in which be had not been a botanist; and if he ever engaged in other studies, botany was always the object of them."

In 1781, he was the naturalist to the king.

Richard sailed from France to French Guyana. Eight years later, when he returned to France, he brought his herbarium, which contained over 1000 plants.




#OTD It was on this day in 1769, that Daniel Boone first laid eyes on the forests of present-day Kentucky.

Boone wrote in his journal:

"Not a breeze shook the most tremulous leaf. I had gained the summit of a commanding ridge, and, looking round with astonishing delight, beheld the ample plains, the beauteous tracts below."

Thirty years later, Boone left Kentucky and followed his son to Missouri.

He was often asked why he left Kentucky. He always answered the same way:

“Too crowded! Too crowded! I want elbow-room!”




#OTD It's the birthday of Fletcher Steele, an American landscape architect who designed over 700 gardens. He was born on this day in 1885.

His most iconic work was nestled into the Hillside in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.

It's called The Blue Staircase at Naumkeag.

Steele designed the staircase for Mable Choate in 1926. She would become his most important client. She was 56, and he was 41.

Choate had a history of working with designers, and she knew how to collaborate with them.

Steele was one of the first landscape architects to speak of plant material as one of the elements in a composition.

It was Fletcher Steele who said

"Gardening seems to be the most ephemeral of the arts."




#OTD It's the birthday of the botanist Jack Harland born on this day in 1917.

Harlan followed in the footsteps of his botanist father, Harry Harland, going on seed collecting expeditions mainly in search of new genetic material for the USDA's crop breeding program

Harlan was worried about genetic vulnerability and genetic wipeout

Harlan said:

"We MUST collect and study wild and weedy relatives of our cultivated plants... we cannot afford to ignore any source of useable genes.”

Harlan wrote those words in 1970.

And one of his final works contains these words:

"We will not and cannot find a time or place where agriculture originated. We will not and cannot because it did not happen that way. Agriculture is not the result of a happening, an idea, an invention, discovery or instruction by a god or goddess. It emerged as a result of long periods of intimate coevolution between plants and man. Animals are not essential; plants supply over 90% of the food consumed by humans."




Unearthed Words

Here's a quote from poet, sculptor, and artist Jean Arp who died on this day in 1966.

"Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother's womb."

Here's a quote from Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who was born on this day in 1868.

"Art is the flower - Life is the green leaf."




Today's book recommendation: Fletcher Steele, Landscape Architect: An Account of the Gardenmaker's Life, 1885-1971 by Robin S. Karson

Karson wrote this book back in 2003.

The cover shows Steele's signature work: The Blue Staircase.

The beginning of Karson's book includes Steele's most famous quote. He said,

"The chief vice in the garden is to be merely... pretty."




Today's Garden Chore

It's another Photo Friday in the Garden.

Water your plants and then take pictures.

I did this with my student gardener today. Her images of blossoms with water droplets on the petals were absolutely incredible.




Something Sweet

Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart

The First-Ever Southeastern Plant Symposium is taking place in North Carolina.

Mark Weathington and Tony Avent are launching this event in Raleigh.

They will be talking about cutting edge plants, new trends in gardening, and new plant selections that reinvent how we think about gardening.

Today the event runs from 9 AM to 8:30 PM and then Saturday, tomorrow, it runs from 9 AM to 4:45.

So, if you're in North Carolina, be sure to check this out.




Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
and remember:

"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."

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