July 16, 2019 Tarragon, Camille Corot, Orville Redenbacher, Rachel Peden, Good Planting by Rosemary Verey, Blueberries, and Charles Clemon Deam

Did you know Tarragon is an artemisia?

Like all plants in the Artemisia genus, Tarragon is gray and silvery. Artemisia's were sacred to Artemis, and there are over 180 species - all of them are ornamental, most are medicinal, and of course, a small few are culinary.

Tarragon is quite a graceful plant when it is fully grown. Never demanding, Tarragon can stand some shade and a heavier soil.

French tarragon has a subtler aroma and flavor compared to Russian tarragon. Tarragon has a peculiarly sweet taste recalling anise.

Tarragon is an integral part of dijon mustard.

Tender, fresh stems of Russian tarragon can be cooked and consumed as asparagus.

The tea stimulates the appetite, especially when it has been lost because of illness.

Drinking the tea before bedtime is helpful because Tarragon compounds are mildly anesthetic and sedative. The tea can also help with hyperactivity.

And, here's something valuable to remember about tarragon: the flowers generally do not produce viable seed. So, tarragon propagates via root cuttings, rhizome sprouts, and stem division.

As an example, the French tarragon commercial growers dig it up in the fall after all the foliage has been harvested. Then they cut the roots into short pieces.


#OTD It's the birthday of Camille Corot, born in 1796 in Paris.

Corot was a French painter, famous for his landscapes, and he inspired the landscape painting of the Impressionists.

Corot's quotes about painting are inspiring to gardeners. Here's a little sample of his inspiring perspective on the natural world:

"Beauty in art is truth bathed in an impression received from nature. I am struck upon seeing a certain place. While I strive for conscientious imitation, I yet never for an instant lose the emotion that has taken hold of me."

Here are some of Corot's words about the end of the day:

"...everything is vague, confused, and Nature grows drowsy. The fresh evening air sighs among the leaves - the birds, these voices of the flowers are saying their evening prayer."


Imagine sitting beside Corot as he wrote,

"I hope with all my heart there will be painting in heaven."

Gardeners would reply, "I hope there is a garden."



#OTD Today, in 1907, Orville Redenbacher was born.

Redenbacher was a U.S. agricultural scientist and the co-creator of a new hybrid of popcorn called "snowflake." It was lighter and fluffier than traditional popped kernels, and Redenbacher became a household name with his commercials for his popcorn.

To this day, Orville Redenbacher is the number one selling popcorn in the world. Nebraska produces more popcorn than any other state in the country.


Unearthed Words

Rachel Peden was a famous environmentalist, newspaper columnist, and author.

Peden had a profound appreciation for the minutia in the natural world, and she was hilarious.

She wrote,

"The serene philosophy of the pink rose is steadying. Its fragrant, delicate petals open fully and are ready to fall, without regret or disillusion, after only a day in the sun. It is so every summer. One can almost hear their pink, fragrant murmur as they settle down upon the grass: 'Summer, summer, it will always be summer.'"




Today's book recommendation: Good Planting by Rosemary Verey

Verey is regarded as the "Queen of the Traditional English Country Garden."

Verey was known for creating gardens with a mix of traditional elements and beautiful plantings. The gardens she created are timeless.

Verey's practical reference book covers planting throughout the seasons. This book is a classic for your garden library. The best part about this book is that it offers advice for successful planting and utilizing difficult areas of the garden.



Today's Garden Chore

Get serious about planting blueberries.

Blueberries provide more than just fruit; they can be an effective screen; they can add greenery to the walls of your house. They provide massive interest during three seasons in the garden: In spring, the beautiful white flowers kick off the growing season, there are blueberries during the summer (of course), and they offer gorgeous fall coloring. Don't forget that blueberries need full sun. They require acidic soil. Blueberry plants grow slowly and reach full size in 8 to 10 years.



Something Sweet
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart


Today in 1987, The Indianapolis Star announced that the biography of Charles Clemon Deam, the legendary turn-of-the-century Indiana botanist, and author had been published.

The book was written by Robert C. Kriebel, editor of the Lafayette Journal and Courier.

Charlie Deam was a self-taught botanist and served as a state forester for Indiana.

In his home herbarium, Deam kept a loaded pistol in his desk drawer

One time, Deam and a guest were discussing something about taxonomy. Suddenly, Deam quickly opened the drawer, pulled out the gun, and fired two or three shots through the open window, making some disparaging comments about the "canine ancestry of a rabbit," which had been terrorizing his garden.


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

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