#OTD It was on this day in 1757 that the botanist John Bartram wrote a letter to Philip Miller.
Miller was the chief Gardner at the Chelsea Physic Garden from 1722 until his death. He corresponded with botanists from all over the world, including John Bartram. Miller even trained William Forsyth after whom Forsythia is named.
When Bartram wrote to Miller he shared some of his personal preferences as a gardener.
First, he shared his desire for variety in the garden. He said,
"One or two is enough for me of a sort."
Later in the letter, he shared his dislike for plants that weren't hardy in Pennsylvania. He wrote to Miller saying,
"I don't greatly like tender plants that won't bear our severe winters but perhaps annual plants that would perfect their seed with you without the help of a hotbed in the spring will do with us in the open ground."
#OTD It was on this day in 1803 that President Thomas Jefferson sent a formal letter to his private secretary and aide, Meriwether Lewis.
Lewis was a captain in the first United States infantry. Jefferson wrote him to request that he might lead an expedition of the Missouri River.
Jefferson never mentioned botany in the letter, but he clearly was thinking about it; and Lewis knew it.
As he was preparing for his trip, Lewis connected with Benjamin Smith Barton. Barton had written the first American textbook on botany and he gave Lewis a little crash course on the subject.
#OTD It was on this day in 1861 that Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born.
In the 1700s, Dr. James Lind had made it known that eating limes would cure a sailors scurvy.
Hopkins work call these substances accessory food factors. Today, we know them as vitamins.
#OTD And it is on this day in 1892 that Benjamin Lincoln Robinson was appointed the curator of the Asa Gray Herbarium at Harvard.
When Robinson took over, both the herbarium and the library were in dire straits.
Robinson was instrumental in acquiring funds and extending the growth of the herbarium in library.
Today, the Gray Herbarium and library are still housed at Harvard at 22 Divinity Ave.
#OTD And It was on this day hundred years ago that Isabella Abbott was born.
She was the first native Hawaiian woman to earn a PhD in science. Abbott became known as the "First Lady of Limu" or seaweed.
When she was a little girl, she spent hours gathering seaweed for her mother to cook in traditional Hawaiian foods.
I found a video online of an interview that Leslie Wilcox did with Abbott back in 2008. When Wilcox asked Abbott about her love of studying seaweed, she said,
"There are so few of us [compared to] the thousands of people work on flowering plants. Flowering plants mostly have the same kind of life history so they become kind of boring; they make pretty flowers and make nice smells, they taste good - many of them. But, they're not like seaweeds.
With every one you pick up, it does go through life a different way ... It's a game, it's a game I bet with myself the whole whole time from the time I cut it on the outside I say oh I think this might be in such-and-such a family, or something like that, and by the time I get to some magnification on the microscope... Oh No. 100% wrong.
So let's begin again."
This book is considered a classic in horticultural literature.
The best part about it remains all of the notes that were compiled by members of the Hillier family. Among all of them, they had an amazing amount of direct experience growing plants and assessing their performance in different regions.
Over 10,500 plants representing more than 650 genera are described in detail, making it an indispensable guide for any keen gardener or botanist.
Today's Garden Chore
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart
Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Be Part of The Daily Gardener Community
- Join a community of like-minded gardeners
- Share your garden
- Learn from fellow DG listeners
- Make your newsfeed more worthwhile
The Daily Gardener Society
- On Patreon Website
- Access to bonus episodes
- Discounts + first dibs on show merch
- Get the Daily Gardener Ring Tone
- Help support the show
The Book Club
- Build that #GardenLibrary
- Strengthen your garden know-how
- Get inspired
- Monthly online video calls via Zoom
- Chat with the author
- Space is limited
What Listeners Say
KIND WORDS FROM LOVELY LISTENERS
"I just discovered you! I googled garden podcasts and I'm so glad I found the show. I start every day with The Daily Gardener!"
"I love gardening. I been gardening for over 40 years. A friend got me started on listening to gardening podcasts and yours just popped up. I am all the richer for it!"
"I've been a Still Growing podcast listener for years. I'm so excited to hear your new one - The Daily Gardener! Thank you."
SI HORTUM IN HORTORUM PODCASTUM IN BIBLIOTEHCA HABES, NIHIL DEERIT.