June 11, 2019 Garden Journal, National Corn on the Cob Day, John Constable, Julia Margaret Cameron, Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Love Peacock, The A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants by Christopher Brickell, Chamomile, and ET

Here's another idea for your garden journal:

Flip to the back and save two pages.

On one page, write "Successes," and on the other "Failures."

In the garden, we learn equally from both.





#OTD Today is National Corn on the Cob Day - June 11th.

Corn is part of the grass family. It's a cereal crop.

A cob of corn is actually part of the flower, and an individual kernel is a seed.

On average, an ear of corn has 800 kernels and 16 rows.

By the way, corn on the cob will always have an even number of rows.




#OTD It was on this day that the English landscape painter John Constable was born in 1776.

He was born in Suffolk England in an area now known as "Constable Country."

When he wrote to his friend John Fisher in 1821, he said,

"I should paint my own places best"


"Painting is but another word for feeling.".

Gardeners will enjoy constable's painting of the trunk of an Elm Tree (1821) and his 1815 paintings of Golding Constable's Kitchen Garden and Flower Garden.

It was right about this time of year - Spring and mid-summer - that constable considered the most critical times of the year for a landscape painter.

He didn't care for autumn. He felt the leafless trees were not inspiring to paint.

John Constable gives us several beautiful quotes. Here's a sampling:

"Nature is the fountain's head, the source from whence all originality must spring."

"Landscape is my mistress - 'tis to her I look for fame."

"When I sit down to make a sketch from nature, the first thing I try to do is to forget that I have ever seen a picture."




#OTD Today is the birthday of Julia Margaret Cameron, the mother of photography, who was born on this day, in Calcutta, in 1815.

In 1863, Cameron was given a camera by her daughter and son-in-law and made her first photograph at the age of 49.

Her niece, Virginia Woolf wrote, that the camera was,

“at last, an outlet for the energies that she had dissipated in poetry and fiction, in doing up houses, in concocting curries, and entertaining her friends."

At the time, Cameron had moved to the Isle of Wight, an island off the southern coast of England.

On the Isle of Wight, Julia Margaret Cameron converted henhouse in her garden into her darkroom and another building into her studio.

One of her most famous photos is called The Rosebud Garden of Girls, and a phrase is taken from Tennyson’s Come Into the Garden, Maude.

The photo was taken in June 1868. It shows four beautiful, young Victorian women wearing the white robes you'd find on a Greek goddess.

The setting is a lush garden. Their hair flows freely down past their shoulders. They each hold blossom as they each cast their gaze far off in slightly different directions.

It’s a very dreamy, almost trance-like, innocent image; The Rosebud Garden of Girls.





Unearthed Words

Here are some poems about June:

"So sweet, so sweet the roses in their blowing,
So sweet the daffodils, so fair to see;
So blithe and gay the humming-bird a going
From flower to flower, a-hunting with the bee."
- Nora Perry, In June

"It is dry, hazy June weather. We are more of the earth, farther from heaven these days."
- Henry David Thoreau

"In a bowl to sea went wise men three,
On a brilliant night in June:
They carried a net, and their hearts were set
On fishing up the moon."
- Thomas Love Peacock




The AHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants by Christopher Brickell

This is an excellent little resource with more than 15,000 plants and 6,000 photographs and illustrations.

Plants are arranged alphabetically by their botanical names for fast, straightforward access.

Detailed plant profiles, prepared by an international team of more than 40 expert contributors, describe growth habit, leaf and flower anatomy, plant height and spread, geographical origin, and hardiness.

The full diversity of growth habits within a genus is shown wherever possible, and unique close-up panels illustrate the range of flower colors and shapes.

A comprehensive introduction and glossary guide beginners and experienced gardeners alike to more excellent knowledge and understanding of the critical elements of plant classification, anatomy, and cultivation.





Today's Garden Chore

Plant some chamomile.

Chamomile is an aromatic herb. Every year, I save all the flowers for my last flowering plants. I store them and then replant them next growing season.

Chamomile blooms from June to July. Flies are the primary pollinator of chamomile flowers.

The word "chamomile" has Greek origins; “chamos,” which means “ground” and “milos” which means “apple.”

The name chamomile is apropos; it grows close to the ground, and it smells like apple.





Something Sweet

Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart

On this day in 1982, a little movie about a botanist was released.

It was about a group of alien botanists secretly visit Earth under cover of night to gather plant specimens in a California forest. When government agents appear on the scene, the aliens flee in their spaceship, but in their haste, one of them is left behind.

In a suburban neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, a ten-year-old boy named Elliott discovers something is hiding in their tool shed. Elliott leaves Reese's Pieces candy to lure the alien to his house. Later, Elliott's siblings - Michael and five-year-old sister, Gertie - meet it. They decide to keep ET hidden from their mom. ET demonstrates its powers by reviving dead chrysanthemums.

In the end, E.T. says goodbye to Michael and Gertie, as she presents him with the chrysanthemum that he had revived. Before boarding the spaceship, he embraces Elliott and tells him, "I'll be right here," pointing his glowing finger to Elliott's forehead. He then picks up the chrysanthemum, boards the spaceship, and it takes off, leaving a rainbow in the sky as everyone watches it leave.




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