June 14, 2019 Sunflowers, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ruth Stout, President Harding, G. K. Chesterton, Emily Dickinson, In Bloom by Clare Nolan, Photo Friday, and Making Pineapple Flowers

Are you planning to grow Sunflowers this year?

Five years ago, Hans-Peter Schiffer toppled the Guinness World Record for the third year in a row - growing a sunflower that was 30'1" tall!

Over at the Facebook group for the show, you can check out a time-lapse video of sunflowers growing from seed to seed heads; just search for The Daily Gardener Community the next time you're on Facebook and request to join.




#OTD It's the birthday of Harriet Beecher Stowe board on this day in 1811.

Stowe is best known as the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

When Stowe met Pres. Abraham Lincoln, he greeted her by saying,

"So you're the little woman who started this great war."

During the Victorian era, the language of flowers was all the rage. Stowe used that language in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Her use of roses connotes both tragedy and Tom's loving nature. Ferns are a sign of both grit and memory. The most important flowers in the story are the brilliant scarlet geranium and one single white Japonica; Red and white conveyed suffering and purity.

The character Topsy has the purity of a small child, but as a slave, she was forced to endure the beatings and punishments by her master.

Uncle Tom's Cabin was a sensation. During its first year in print, it sold a record 200,000 copies. One year after it's publication, Eva became one of the most popular names for baby girls; Eva was the name of the beloved slave girl in Stowe's novel.



#OTD It's the birthday of garden author Ruth Stout, born on this day in 1884.

Ruth wrote several garden books, including The No Work Garden and Gardening Without Work.

Here's a sampling of her famous prose:

“If you have the soul of a gardener, not for anything would you work with gloves on.”


“I read somewhere that a shallow pan of beer put into a garden at night will do away with slugs. (Whether they are dead or just dead-drunk in the morning, I don’t know.) I wrote this to one inquirer and he answered: ‘I’m certainly not going to carry beer out to the garden for slugs. If they want beer they can come in the house and ask for it, like everybody else.'”


"If 'heartache' sounds exaggerated then surely you have never gone to your garden one rare morning in June to find that the frost, without any perceptible motive, any hope of personal gain, has quietly killed your strawberry blossoms, tomatoes, lima and green beans, corn, squash, cucumbers. A brilliant sun is now smiling at this disaster with an insensitive cheerfulness as out of place as a funny story would be if someone you loved had just died."



#OTD It was on this day in 1922 that Pres. Harding's voice was heard on the radio.

Just the year before, Pres. Harding and his wife had opened the grounds to the White House. The Harding enjoyed throwing garden parties, especially for veterans.

During one event in the garden, in October 1921, Marie Curie visited the garden at the White House. She presented Pres. Harding with one gram of radium worth half a million Swedish kroner.




Unearthed Words

#OTD We celebrate the prose of Gilbert Keith or G.K. Chesterton, who died on this day in 1936.

He was a British author creator of father Brown, a fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective of Chesterton's short stories.

Known as the "prince of paradox," Chesterton is supposed to have handled episodes of writer's block by firing arrows from his window into the garden.

From the Father Brown series, here's an excerpt from "The Secret Garden"...

“The garden was large and elaborate, and there were many exits from the house into the garden. But there was no exit from the garden into the world outside; all round it ran a tall, smooth, unscalable wall with special spikes at the top; no bad garden, perhaps, for a man to reflect in whom some hundred criminals had sworn to kill”


Here's a bit of philosophy from Chesterton:

"When your father told you, walking about the garden, that bees stung or that roses smell sweet, he did not talk of taking the best out of his philosophy. When the bees stung you, you did not call it an entertaining coincidence; when the rose smell sweet you did not say, 'My father is a rude barbaric symbol enshrining (perhaps unconsciously) the deep delicate truth that flowers smell.' No, you believed your father because you had found him to be a living fountain of facts, a thing that really knew more than you; a thing that would tell you to truth to-morrow as well as to-day."




Today's book recommendation: In Bloom: Growing, Harvesting and Arranging Flowers All Year Round by Clare Nolan

In this gorgeous book, Clare Nolan shares her top tips for growing a bountiful harvest and styling spectacular homegrown arrangements.

Clare expertly guides you through the entire process - from choosing the best plants to laying out your cutting garden.

She even wrote an entire chapter on arranging - breaking down the secrets to styling flowers to maximum effect in your home.




Today's Garden Chore

It's another Photo Friday in the Garden. Today take close-ups of your succulents.

You'll be glad to have this group of photos for an indoor project during the winter - turning your photos into art.

Succulents are everywhere, and there's nothing better than having art hanging on the wall or in a picture frame that captures the beauty of your own garden!




Something Sweet

Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart

Pineapple Flowers

Take a pineapple and thinly slice it. Place the slices on the cookie sheet and then slowly dry them in an oven.

In 8 to 10 minutes, the slices will bloom into delicate pineapple flowers.

They're adorable little garnishes to delight your guests.




Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
and remember:
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."


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