July 17, 2019 Daylilies, John McMahan, Charles Theodore Mohr, George William Francis, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, Niels Mogens Bodecker, A Year in Trees by JC Raulston and Kim Tripp, Calendarize Garden Chores, and the Night-blooming Cereus

The Daylilies are blooming their little hearts out right now.

Daylilies are in the genus Hemerocallis which has about 15 species of daylilies. They are not part of the Lilium genus, which is the genus for true lilies.

The name Hemerocallis comes from the Greek words ἡμέρα (Hemera) “day” and καλός (Kalos) “beautiful.” In China, the daylily symbolizes motherhood.

Their name alludes to the flowers, which typically last no more than 24 hours (about a day or so). Daylily flower stems are called "scapes," and as one fades, the next one on the scape opens, keeping daylilies blooming for weeks or even months.

Daylilies have been dubbed the ‘perfect perennial’ because of their wonderful features: they are pretty low maintenance, beautiful colored blooms, excellent drought tolerance, and they can grow in most zones.





#OTD On this day in 1850, The Sydney Morning Herald shared an advertisement from plantsman John McMahon.


McMahan advertised that he had put together a catalog of nearly 2000 species of plants. For his customers, McMahon assured that,

"Plants securely packed for long journeys, glazed plant cabins prepared, and filled with rare plants for transmission to Europe."


#OTD Today is the anniversary of the death of botanist Charles Theodore Mohr who died on this day in 1901.

Charles Mohr was one of Alabama's first botanists. He was born in Germany and educated in Stuttgart - he was a trained pharmacist. Mohr traveled the world before settling in Alabama. He collected in Surinam, emigrated to the United States in 1848, took part in the California gold rush, lived Mexico, Indiana briefly, and Kentucky.

Mohr spent decades gathering the information and plant specimens for his work.

In 1857 he started Chas. Mohr & Son Pharmacists and Chemists in Mobile, Alabama.

His herbarium specimens were donated to the University of Alabama Herbarium (15,000 specimens) and the United States National Herbarium (18,000 specimens).

When Mohr's book on the plants of Alabama was published, he was seventy-seven years old.

The following plants are named for Charles Theodore Mohr:

Andropogon mohrii (Hack.) Hack ex Vasey Mohr's bluestem Grass family
Aristida mohrii Nash Mohr's threeawn Grass family
Eupatorium mohrii Greene Mohr's thoroughwort Aster family
Marshallia mohrii Beadle & F.E. Boynt. Mohr's Barbara's buttons Aster family
Rudbeckia mohrii Gray Mohr's coneflower Aster family
Silphium mohrii Small Mohr's rosinweed Aster family
Tephrosia mohrii (Rydb.) Godfrey pineland hoarypea Pea family
Quercus mohriana Buckl. Ex Rydb. Mohr oak Oak family



#OTD The poet George William Russell, who went by the pseudonym AE, died on this day in 1935.

Russell attended the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin. There he met the poet William Butler Yeats

Russell became the editor of The Irish Homestead.

His famous quotes include the following:

"Our hearts were drunk with aa beauty our eyes could never see."

"You cannot evoke great spirits and eat plums at the same time."



#OTD Today is the anniversary of the death of one of the 20th century's leading landscape architects, Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe.

Jellicoe was multi-talented, but his true passion was landscape and garden design, which he described as "the mother of all arts." He was a founder member of the Landscape Institute.

Over his 70-year career, Jellicoe designed more than 100 landscapes around the world. Jellicoe designed the John F Kennedy memorial site by the River Thames in Berkshire.

Jellicoe’s final and most ambitious project was the Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. Jellicoe imagined a design where visitors could walk through the history of the landscape, from the Garden of Eden and the gardens of ancient Egypt to a design inspired by Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain (1924).

As the Moody Garden website acknowledges, "It was the culminating work of his design career but has not, as yet, been implemented. We live in hope."

Jellicoe's favorite garden was the gardens he designed in Hemel Hempstead. Jellicoe designed the Hemel Hempstead Water Gardens to improve the quality of life for the townspeople. Jellicoe designed a canal with dams and little bridges to take visitors from the town parking lot to shopping.

Jellicoe designed the canal after seeing one of Paul Klee’s paintings of a serpent. Jellicoe said,

“The lake is the head and the canal is the body,” wrote Jellicoe in his book Studies in Landscape Design. “The eye is the fountain; the mouth is where the water passes over the weir. The formal and partly classical flower gardens are like a howdah strapped to its back. In short, the beast is harnessed, docile, and in the service of man.”



Unearthed Words

Here's a poem from Niels Mogens Bodecker, who was an illustrator and author of children's books.

"Mosquito is out,
it's the end of the day;
she's humming and hunting
her evening away.
Who knows why such hunger
arrives on such wings
at sundown? I guess
it's the nature of things."


Today's book recommendation: A Year in Trees by J. C. Raulston and Kim Tripp

Raulston and Tripp point out that just,

"40 species of shrubs and trees make up 90 percent of the landscape plantings in the U.S."

The book is divided into four parts corresponding to the seasons.

Tripp honed her craft at Harvard's Arnold Arboretum, and she wrote weekly articles for the North Carolina State University Arboretum in Raleigh. Those articles became the backbone for 150 profiles of trees, shrubs, and vines. Tripp featured plants are pretty low maintenance and reliable.

This is a terrific resource featuring some under-used, but amazing trees.



Today's Garden Chore

It's time to set appointments on your calendar to accomplish your more significant garden to-dos before the summer comes to a close.

Sometimes it helps to calendarize the garden jobs that seem a little overwhelming or that require extra help or resources. There's no time like the present to line up a contractor, some volunteers, or good friends and get the job done. Plus, it will make next year in the garden so much more enjoyable.

I hate to bring this up, but here's an eye-opening fact: there are just 46 days to Labor Day. Time's a-wasting...


Something Sweet
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart

On this day 1891, The Great Bend Weekly Tribune reported that,

"Will Ferger's night blooming cereus unfolded its loveliness last night. Quite a number witnessed the blooming of this rare plant, and many have envied its owner."

The night-blooming cereus, one of the unique desert plants, is a member of the cactus family. Native to Arizona and the Sonora Desert, the plant is also commonly called the Queen of the Night or the Princess of the Night.

The cereus is generally grown as a houseplant, and it often is a pass-along plant - passed on from friends and family.

As a plant, it can be a bit of a mess. It's generally rather untidy and unruly. But it can be pruned without hurting the cactus. To create more of the Cereus night-blooming cactus, just pot up the cuttings.

Just keep in mind that the night-blooming Cereus won't flower until it is four to five years old. The number of blooms increases as the plant ages. But once it blooms, the white flower is genuinely incredible. It's almost 7 inches in diameter and smells divine. The flowers start to bloom at 9 or 10 p.m. and are fully open by midnight. The morning sun will cause the petals to fall off and die.



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and remember:
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."

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