Are you growing, Cleome?
My daughter just had her senior pictures taken, and I took some cuttings from the garden for her to hold during her photoshoot. For one of the pictures, I had her hold just one large white blossom in her hands. It looked like a giant puffball, and it had a very ethereal quality about it
Cleome is beautiful - but it is also sticky - so keep that in mind if you handle it.
I know some gardeners have no trouble sowing cleome directly into their gardens, but some gardeners complain that it can be an inconsistent germinater.
I like to sow cleome right now since the seeds like intense light to get going. Sometimes cleome can benefit from staking - so keep that in mind as well.
And, if you are planning a cutting garden, it is hard to beat cleome. The blooms are a show-stealer in any arrangement.
#OTD The Botanic garden at Oxford, also known as the Physic Garden, was founded on this day in 1632.
The garden is the oldest in England. When the garden was founded, the ground where the garden stands had been raised to protect it from floods.
During the founding ceremony, dignitaries of the University walked in a procession from St. Mary's church to the garden. Mr. Edward Dawson, a physician, and Dr. Clayton, the Regius Professor of Medicine, each gave a speech and a stone was placed in the garden gateway by the Vice-Chancellor himself.
#OTD Today is the birthday of William Forsyth, who was born on this day in 1804.
Forsyth was a Scottish botanist. He trained as a gardener at the Physic Garden and was an apprentice to Philip Miller, the chief gardener. In 1771, Forsyth himself took over the principal gardening position.
Three years later, he built one of the very first rock gardens with over 40 tons of stone collected from the land around the Tower of London and even some pieces of lava imported from Iceland. The effort was noted for posterity; the garden was a bust.
Forsyth was also the founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society. The genus, Forsythia, is named in his honor.
#OTD The English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge died on this day in 1834.
Along with his friend, William Wordsworth, he helped found the Romantic Movement in England and was a member of a group called the Lake Poets.
In his poem called Youth and Age, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote,
"Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;"
#OTD On this day in 1938, Canadian Naturalist Charles Joseph Sauriol (“Sar-ee-all”) wrote about sharing his garden with a toad.
"One particular toad has taken quite a fancy to the Wild Flower garden. His den is alongside the Hepatica plant. There he sits half-buried, and blinks up at me while I shower water on him."
Here are a few English proverbs about July:
"If the first of July be rainy weather,
It will rain, more or less, for four weeks together."
"The glowing Ruby should adorn
Those who in warm July are born,
Then will they be exempt and free
From love's doubt and anxiety."
This is a beautiful guide to the cultivation of scented flowers. The newly revised edition includes modern varieties as well.
The late Louise Beebe Wilder is that rare figure, a garden writer from another era (she was born in 1878). Her books continue to be published because they are so charming and contain a wealth of horticultural knowledge.
Today's Garden Chore
Go to a local farmers market - not for the produce - for the knowledge.
The growers at the farmer's market have expertise in growing, which is often an untapped resource. Plus, the growers are so generous with Information.
It's always a pleasure to talk to someone who has first-hand knowledge about growing plants.
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart
Today in 1874, The Opelousas Courier shared an incredible story called "A Case of Floral Offerings."
The story was from Berlin, it told of an actress who was playing the role of a female Hamlet.
She wanted to have bouquets and wreaths thrown to her at the end of her performance.
When a man told her that the flowers would cost $20, the actress said that it was too much for one night.
But, the gentleman had an idea. He said twenty dollars would be sufficient for two nights.
And he explained how it would work. He said,
"Today, I and my men will throw the bouquets to you from the first tier. After the performance is over, I shall take the flowers home with me in a basket [and] put them in the water... Tomorrow night [we will toss them at your feet again]. No one in the audience will know that the bouquets have been used before."
The actress liked the man's ingenious plan and paid the sum he had demanded.
Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
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