June 26, 2019 Moving a Bumblebee Nest, Charles Newbold, Charles Christopher Perry, The Rolling Stones, Margaret Morse Nice, Annette Wynne, Diana Wells, Planting Sunflower Seeds, and San Francisco Gardener John McLaren

Have you ever needed to move a bumblebee nest?

We discovered a nest under the basketball hoop on the driveway when the guys came to seal coat.

To move it, I waited until dusk. Then I grabbed a terra cotta pot that was a little bigger than the nest... and my pizza peel from the kitchen.

I placed the pot over the nest and then slid the peel under the pot.

As I was carrying the nest, the buzzing sound from inside the pot was tremendous.

I moved the nest about 10 feet away into a shaded and out-of-the-way spot in the garden. Then, I cut a 10-inch piece of 1inch tubing from my irrigation system and slipped that under the pot to elevate the pot a bit and to give the bees a way to fly in and out from under the pot.




#OTD It was on this day in 1797, that Charles Newbold patented the first cast-iron plow.

Farmers were worried that the iron would negatively affect the soil.



#OTD It was on this day in 1880, that the Chicago Tribune wrote an article about the herbarium of Dr. Charles Christopher Perry; it contained 15,000 species, and it was being presented to the Davenport Academy of Sciences.

Thirty years earlier, in 1850, Perry had written to the botanist John Torrey, he said:

"I here found a new species of pine growing in sheltered places bout the bluff. Its characters are so unique …. if new I wish it with your permission to bear the name Pinus Torreyana…”

Besides the Torrey Pine, Harry discovered the Colorado Blue Spruce on Pikes Peak in 1862.

Colorado made its official state tree in 1939.



#OTD On this day in 1967, The Rolling Stones compilation album “Flowers” was released.

It included three previously unreleased tracks – “My Girl,” “Ride On, Baby,” and “Sittin’ on a Fence.”



#OTD And it's the anniversary of the death of the ornithologist, Margaret Morse Nice, who died on this day in 1974.

Nice developed a close bond with nature, especially birds; it was deepened with her hobby of gardening and frequent walks.

In 1939 nice wrote these words in the opening pages of her book, The Watcher at the Nest:

“The land was defended and won by age-old ceremonies and fierce battle…. Their conflicts with each other and their neighbors, their luck with their wives and devotion to their babies… the fortunes of their sons and daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren—all these were watched season in and season out until tragedy overtook them.”

It's hard to believe when you hear that passage that Nice is referring to song sparrows.

She was the scientific outsider. She conducted all of her groundbreaking studies at home, in her backyard in Ohio, while she was busy raising a family of five children.



Unearthed Words

Why Was June Made? by Annette Wynne

Why was June made?—Can you guess?
June was made for happiness!
Even the trees
Know this, and the breeze
That loves to play
Outside all day,
And never is too bold or rough,
Like March's wind, but just a tiny blow's enough;
And all the fields know
This is so—
June was not made for wind and stress,
June was made for happiness;
Little happy daisy faces
Show it in the meadow places,
And they call out when I pass,
"Stay and play here in the grass."
June was made for happy things,
Boats and flowers, stars and wings,
Not for wind and stress,
June was made for happiness!



Today's book recommendation: 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names by Diana Wells

Diana knows that every flower tells the story, and she's collected some of the very best stories about our flowers.

Once in an interview, Diana said,

"If we fail to remember the history of our flowers we know them less and to trace their link with us is to make them part of our lives."

Here is an excellent example of Diana's storytelling ability when it comes to flowers. This one's about lilacs:

"American settlers planted lilacs in front of farmhouse doors, not for usefulness but for beauty, while they struggled to make a new life in the wilderness. Sometimes the slowly cleared fields, the houses, and the walls were no more permanent than those who made them, but the liliacs remained by the ghost porches leading nowhere."


Today's Garden Chore

Plant Sunflower Seeds.

I see posts about sunflower seeds pump up all over social media.

And the main question that people have is, "Is it too late to plant them?"

June is still planting season. As with your edibles, you can succession sow your flowers.

Depending on the variety, sunflowers will bloom about 55 to 75 days after planting – 60 days is a good average.

By planting in the back half of June, you'll have a beautiful second flush of blooms - and you'll be able to take cuttings on Labor Day weekend.



Something Sweet

Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart

On this day in 1922, The Nevada State Journal published an article out of San Francisco.

The headline was:

"Laws are changed to help gardener..."

The gardener in question was the famed landscape expert and creator of the city's "Eden," the beautiful Golden Gate Park. His name was John McLaren.

McLaren had come to America from Scotland. For over 30 years, he had served as the park superintendent. For many years he and his wife lived in a little lodge deep in the park.

In 1922, McLaren had turned 70. The law said that McLaren would have to go on the pension list and give up his lodge.

But, McLaren had performed miracles in the park system in San Francisco. His book "Gardening in California" had become a standard textbook.

In recognition of all he had done, San Francisco changed its civil service law so that McLaren would not have to retire.

The board of supervisors voted him, a seventieth birthday present of a 50 cent increase in salary.



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

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