Irises are in full bloom right now.
Although there are around 300 species of iris, Bearded Iris and Siberian Iris are two of the most common types of irises grown.
Iris takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow.
During the Middle Ages, irises were linked to the French monarchy, and the fleur-de-lis is now a national symbol of France.
#OTD It was on this day in 1820, that the botanist Joseph Banks died in England.
Banks is best known for his study of Australian flora and fauna in his role as botanist on board The Endeavor with Capt. James Cook.
When banks return to England, he advised George III on the creation of the Royal Botanic Garden, also known as Kew.
#OTD Twenty years after the death of Joseph Banks, the "Raphael of flowers," Pierre-Joseph Redouté died.
He was known for his watercolors of roses and lilies. He's often referred to as the most excellent botanical illustrator of all time.
He was an official court draftsman to Queen Marie Antoinette. One evening around midnight, she summoned him to appear before her, and she asked him to paint her a cactus.
He also became a favorite of Josephine Bonaparte, and his paintings of her flowers at Malmaison are among his most beautiful works.
#OTD It was on this day in 1872 that the English horticulturalist, landscape designer, and botanist Theodore Payne was born.
He made his way from England to California. And, he was an early advocate for California native plants.
He started his own seedling business In 1903 in downtown Los Angeles.
His specialty was California native wildflower seeds, bulbs, and plants.
Payne was involved in the creation of many native plant gardens. In 1939, he created one at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, using 178 plant species and all were native to California.
It was Theodore Payne who said,
"Be a good Californian; be loyal to your own state and keep your landscape Californian, by planting trees from California."
#OTD It's the birthday of Elbert Green Hubbard born on this day in 1856.
He was a writer, artist, and philosopher. Among Hubbard's many publications, with the piece, he wrote about the founder of the Burpee Seed Company called, "The business of distributing flower seeds."
It was Elbert Hubbard who gave us these marvelous quotes:
"Our finest flowers are often weeds transplanted."
"A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world."
"To me, flowers are happiness.
If I had but two loaves of bread
I would sell one of them
& buy White Hyacinths to feed my soul.”
"Without love, the world would only echo cries of pain, the sun would only shine to show us grief, each rustle of the wind among the leaves would be a sigh, and all the flowers fit only to garland graves."
In 1915, Albert Hubbard and his wife, Alice, guy.
They were on a ship called The Lusitania when it was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland.
It's the anniversary of the death of the author of Peter Pan, James Matthew Barrie.
Barrie was inspired by Kensington Gardens.
In 1912, he commissioned Sir George Frampton to build the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. It's been a favorite of visitors to the park ever since.
Gardens and flowers were a tremendous source of inspiration from Barrie. The following are just a few samples of his garden inspired prose:
“There is almost nothing that has such a keen sense of fun as a fallen leaf.”
“The unhappy Hook was as impotent as he was damp, and he fell forward like a cut flower.”
“All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.”
This is one of my favorite resources. Published back in 1997. Brand-new, this book is almost $200.
You can get used copies following the link in today's show notes on Amazon for just under $8.
Describing 900 genera and over 8000 plants, this A-Z gardening encyclopedia also introduces a way of identifying plants from their appearance alone. Hundreds of synonyms and common names are cross-referenced, and the book's coverage encompasses fruit, vegetables, herbs, house plants, flowers, foliage, shrubs, and trees. The main benefits, uses, and any drawbacks of each plant are pointed out, and there are instructions on cultivation, propagation and pruning techniques, and on dealing with pests and diseases.
Today's Garden Chore
It's time to get some new work gloves.
I scoured the options here locally, and these are my favorite. They are at Home Depot, and they are $9.99. They offer the perfect amount of toughness and enhance your dexterity. Also - they fit.
If you jump online at Home Depot, you can find them by searching for "general purpose glove firm grip."
They are yellow, black, and grey.
They are great.
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart
Today is the anniversary of the death of the American actress and film star of the 1930s thirties 40s, Jean Arthur.
I recently ran across the most delightful picture of Jean. She's wearing a graphic blouse That is covered with images of turnips, and then across the upper right shoulder are the words "Victory Garden."
During World War II, people were asked to plant Victory Gardens, and the Victory Garden fashion scene was born.
I ran across one advertisement for a blouse and skirt that came with a free package of seeds.
Here's what it said,
"Blossom forth. Plant seeds in your victory garden and look like a flower yourself."
The blouse was selling for $2.25, and the skirt was $2.89.
Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
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