Today we celebrate the gardener who had his home and garden trashed by the Russian Czar and the poet who wrote one of his most famous poems under the plum tree in his garden.
We'll learn about the American Landscape Architect who never lived to see the big park he dreamed of, and we'll learn about the horticulturist who created the first International Flower show in NYC.
We'll hear the October Poem about woodbines (or honeysuckle).
We Grow That Garden Library with an herb-based cookbook.
I'll talk about late-season cover crops (and no, it's not too late), and then we'll have a witty article about shortening tall sunflowers.
But first, let's catch up on a few recent events.
The midwife and physician Tieraona Low Dog over at Medicine Lodge Ranch recently wrote a post called 4 Important Herbs for Women and Their Health.
- Black Lace Elderberry
- Sambucus ‘Black Tower’
- Black Mondo Grass
- Black Scallop Ajuga
- Dark Horse Weigela
- Fine Wine Weigela
- Brunette Snakeroot
- Platt's Black New Zealand Flax
- Purple Copper Beech
According to current projections, the global population will hit 8 billion in 2024. And it will reach 9 billion by 2042.
Now, if you'd like to check out these curated articles for yourself, you're in luck - because I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So there’s no need to take notes or track down links - just head on over to the group the next time you're on Facebook - just search for The Daily Gardener Community - and request to join.
#OTD Today is the birthday of the English Gardner and writer John Evelyn who was born on this day in 1620.
Evelyn kept a detailed diary for 66 years, and he had an excellent understanding of trees. In 1664, Evelyn wrote a treaty called A Discourse of Forest Trees. It was basically an appeal to his fellow countrymen to plant trees. The English Navy was growing, and they desperately needed timber to build more ships.
"Chestnuts are delicacies for princes and a lusty and masculine food for rustics, and able to make women well-complexioned."
"By reason of its soporiferous quality, lettuce ... still continues the principal foundation of the universal tribe of Sallets, which is to cool and refresh, besides its other properties... including beneficial influences on morals, temperance, and chastity."
(FYI: Soporiferous means Inducing or tending to induce sleep. Some lettuce secretes lactucarium - a milky fluid found in the base of the lettuce stems. It is known as lettuce opium because of its sedative and pain-relieving properties. It has also been reported to promote a mild sensation of euphoria.)
"The gardener’s work is never at end, it begins with the year and continues to the next. He prepares the ground, and then he plants, and then he gathers the fruits."
"Gardening is a labour full of tranquility and satisfaction; natural and instructive, and as such contributes to the most serious contemplation, experience, health and longevity."
Bear in mind Evelyn's appreciation for the amount of work a garden requires as I tell you this little story about him.
#OTD Today is the birthday of the English romantic lyric poet John Keats who was born in 1795.
Another famous poem by Keats is Ode to Autumn. Keats came up with this poem 200 years ago while walking to the hospital of St. Cross. The most famous verse is:
"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun."
"Later flowers for the bees,Until they think warm days will never cease."
"How beautiful the season is now — How fine the air. A temperate sharpness about it.Really, without joking, chaste weather — Dian skies — I never liked stubble-fields so much as now — Aye better than the chilly green of the Spring.Somehow, a stubble-field looks warm — in the same way that some pictures look warm. This struck me so much in my Sunday’s walk that I composed upon it."
#OTD Today is the birthday of Andrew Jackson Downing who was born on this day in 1815.
#OTD Today is the anniversary of the death of Richard Morris Hunt who was an American architect during the gilded age.
Gardeners know Hunt for his collaborations with the Frederick Law Olmsted. They worked together on the Vanderbilt mausoleum and the Chicago world‘s fair. Their ultimate collaboration occurred in Asheville, North Carolina, where they worked together to design the gardens, house, and manor village for the Biltmore Estate.
"The first thing you've got to remember is that it's your clients' money you're spending. Your goal is to achieve the best results by following their wishes. If they want you to build a house upside down standing on its chimney, it's up to you to do it."
#OTD On this day in 1913, the horticulturist Charles Totty received a medal from the New York Horticultural Society for developing a new rose called "Shell Pink Shawyer."
"it was up to the growers to open up new avenues for their products and that publicity stunts that gave away flowers cheapened [the industry]. He cautioned that no other trade gave away anything of value so why should florists?"
"No Shakespeare garden in the world, not even the one at Avon, the birthplace of the poet, quite reaches the beauty and perfection of ... St. Elizabeth’s.”
"Corn and grain, corn and grain,
All that falls shall rise again."
- Wiccan Harvest Chant
~ By Charlotte Fiske Bates
Today's Garden Chore
Plant Late-Season, Cold Hardy Cover Crops in your kitchen or herb garden.
If you've never tried a cover crop, you're in for a treat. Cover crops keep the soil aerated and they add a layer of protection to your beds in freezing weather. Best of all, cover crops add nutrients and nitrogen back into the soil. They’re one of the best shoulder season activities you can do in your garden.
Even when you have a cold fall like we do this year. You can still plant cover crops late - even after the first frost. Thankfully, cover crops germinate quickly - think 7-10 days. So amp up your soil health with cover crops now - your kitchen garden will thank you in the spring.
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart
On this day in 1986, The Tribune out of Seymour Indiana shared a post about making sunflowers shorter:
"A North Dakota botanist has discovered that a herbicide can retard the height of sunflowers. Being easier to harvest can make the crop more profitable. [He] should write a book: "How to Make Money in a Declining Stalk Market."
Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
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