July 2, 2019 Delphinium, Marian Farquharson, Ralph Hancock, Hugh C. Cutler, ECOSTRESS, Herman Hesse, Seasonal Flower Arranging by Ariella Chezar, Dividing Solomon’s Seal, and the Richard Wettstein Memorial

Do you have delphiniums in your garden?

I used to start out every summer by planting twenty delphinium in front of my porch.

By the time I my red lilies were popping, my delphinium would be 4 feet tall.  In that same area, I had planted white astilbe and alyssum; I had a little red, white, and blue garden under my American flag for 4th of July.

The Delphinium is one of the birth flowers for the month July. It's also known as 'Larkspur' and 'Knight's-spur'.

During the Victorian age, people essentially used flowers as emojis: and the delphinium symbolized lightness and an open heart. If your a delphinium lover, it's easy to see how the happy delphinium blooms would be associated with levity and laughter.




#OTD  It was on this day in 1846 that the British naturalist, and women's rights activist, Marian Farquharson was born.

As a botanist, Farquharson had specialized in ferns and mosses.

Farquharson had petitioned the Linnaean Society for four years to allow women.

In 1904, 83% of the Society voted to elect women members. When the first 15 women were nominated, Farquharson was the only one not to be elected on that day in 1904. It took four more years for Farquharson to be elected to the Society in March, 1908.  Sadly, she was too ill to attend to sign the register. Farquharson died from heart disease, in Nice, in 1912.



#OTD  It was on this day in 1893, that the Welsh landscape gardener, architect and author, Ralph Hancock was born.

Hancock created several famous Gardens across Wales, England, and United States.

One of his most famous works is the rooftop garden at the Rockefeller Center in New York.

Hancock designed his rooftop garden in 1934. It was really cutting-edge at the time.

In the interview, he said,

"The days of penthouse gardening in boxes are over and miles and miles of roof space in every metropolis in this country remain to be reclaimed by landscape gardening."

Hancock's rooftop garden was called The Garden of Nations and it featured gardens for eight different countries around a central, old English tea house and cottage garden.  Hancock's Garden of Nations required 3,000 tons of earth, 100 tons of natural stone, and 2,000 trees and shrubs. They were all delivered by the service elevator or by man using a block and tackle pulley system on the side of the building.

The 11th floor Garden of Nations opened on April 15, 1935. Nelson Rockefeller was in attendance as well as students from Bryn Mawr college. The young women arrived wearing costumes from the various nations and there's a beautiful photo of Nancy Nichol wearing a kimono in the Japanese garden.



#OTD   It was on this day in 1940 the St. Joseph Gazette reported that Dr. Hugh C. Cutler of St. Louis had discovered two species of plants in Utah: the wild bridal wreath and a crucifer.

He sent the specimens via airmail to Washington University in St. Louis.


#OTD It was on this day in 2018, that NASA's  Best known as ECOSTRESS berthed at the space station.
ECOSTRESS' mission is to measure the temperature of plants from space enabling researchers to determine how much water plants use and to study how droughts affect plant health.


Unearthed Words

Today we honor Herman Hesse, who was born on this day in 1877.

He was a German poet, novelist, and painter. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.

Hesse had a special appreciation for trees and I thought I'd share some of his prose with you today:

"Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth."

"A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail."


Chezar says in the introduction of her book,

"I use as many blossoms as possible that are in season. I don't want to see a tulip in August or peony in September.

I love them in their season - and when that season passes, it's time to move on."

Chezar is a professional floral designer and she provides step-by-step instructions for 39 seasonal floral arrangements. A pioneer in the farm-to-vase movement, her book is a delightful reminder to gardeners that they can bring their garden indoors and create exciting compositions with cut flowers.



Today's Garden Chore


Multiply your Solomon Seal through division.

All you need to do, is split the large white tubers. Make sure that each piece has at least one big bud.

If you want to plant in drifts, use small pieces and plant them close together; instead of using one large mass.



Something Sweet 
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart


On this day in 1932, the Sydney Morning Herald shared a story of attempted murder.

Richard Wettstein was responsible for the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna. A year after his death, the new head of Vienna University, Dr. Able, had just finished giving a speech after unveiling a statue dedicated to Wettstein.

Suddenly, an old professor named Karl Schneider pushed through the crowd and shouted, "At last we settle an old score."

Luckily, his revolver shot went wide. The Mayor of Vienna seized the old man before he could shoot again.

The excitement of his commemoration, was a far cry from the persona of Wettstein - who was known for his courteous demeanor. And, he was a wonderful speaker.  On more than one occasion, he was considered a potential contender for the president of Austria.


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

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