Today we celebrate the French admiral and explorer who had a female botanist posing as a male valet on his voyage.
We'll learn about the botanist who is remembered by the State Flower of California and the Landscape Architect, who restored the entire Landscape of Colonial Williamsburg.
We'll learn about the Spanish rose breeder who is remembered for cultivating the white Nevada rose,
We'll hear some prose about November from three of the country's top naturalists.
We Grow That Garden Library with a fabulous old book about growing your own herbal tea garden,
I'll talk about potting up some Paperwhites and Amaryllis, and then we'll wrap things up with the codebreaker who also cracked the code on preserving England's garden history.
But first, let's catch up on a few recent events.
Today's Curated Articles:
Cancer, Libra, Virgo: THESE Zodiac Signs love nature and find gardening therapeutic | @Pinkvilla
Finally, a horoscope I find myself wholeheartedly agree with - Cancer, Libra, Virgo: THESE Zodiac Signs love nature and find gardening therapeutic. That said, to borrow a phrase from Ratatouille, "Everyone can garden."
Someone keeps stealing my compost, and I have no idea why they want my rotting food | @billy_penn @amandahoovernj
Good Lord. As Compost Services are introduced in new areas of the country, thieves need to understand the contents are only golden if you're a plant.
This is Australia’s most popular indoor plant. | @bhgaus @Bhg
A delicious choice, mate! The Monstera deliciosa appears in most Australian homes.
The mesmerizing sculptures you can see at The Savill Garden | @SurreySculptors @surreylive
Yes, to all of them! The Savill Garden is hosting the @SurreySculptors 25th Anniversary Exhibition. Take a load off and scroll through the 60 pieces of Art in the Garden! Thank you to all the Artists, Excellent Post @surreylive
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 - the next time you're on Facebook, just search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group.
#OTD Today is the anniversary of the death of the French admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who died on this day in 1729.
On Bougainville's expedition, a woman named Jeanne Baret joined the crew after posing as a valet to the expedition's naturalist: Philibert Commerçon.
Commerçon had terrible health, and he likely needed Baret to help him.
Baret herself was actually a botanist in her own right. When the ship stopped in Rio de Janeiro, it was Baret who ventured out into the tropics and returned with the lovely tropical vine that would be named to honor the expedition's commander: Bougainvillea.
#OTD Today is the birthday of Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz, who was born on this day in 1793.
When the German poet Adelbert van Chamiso ended up in the San Francisco Bay area, and he wrote about the California poppy, which he named Eschscholzia California after his friend Johann Friedrich Von Eschscholz.
In return, Eschscholz named a bunch of plants after Chamisso - a little quid pro quo.
In 1903, the botanist Sarah Plummer Lemmon put forth a successful piece of legislation that nominated the golden poppy (Eschscholzia californica) as the state flower of California.
#OTD Today is the anniversary of the death of the Landscape Architect Arthur Shurcliff who died on this day in 1957.
Shurcliff's path to Landscape Architecture was not clear cut. His dad had been a successful businessman, and Arthur was supposed to follow in his dad's footsteps and become a Mechanical Engineer. But after receiving his degree from MIT, the field of Landscape Architecture was making waves thanks to the Olmsteds, Charles Eliot, and the Chicago World's Fair. Since no formal degree programs existed at the time, Shurcliff cobbled together his own curriculum at the Lawrence School of Science at Harvard.
All his life, Shurcliff loved being outside. He enjoyed camping and canoeing. He loved the scenery and sketching the landscape. Looking back on his decision to pursue Landscape Architecture, Shurcliff remembered,
"All led me away from mechanics toward scenery, toward planning and construction for the scenes of daily life..."
In 1904, Shurcliff opened his own firm. Shurcliff designed recreational spaces in and around Boston like the Rose Garden, the Washington Garden at old North, and the park Back Bay Fens. But, Shurcliff will forever be remembered for the work he did at Colonial Williamsburg.
It was the first time an entire American community was to be restored. John D. Rockefeller financed the project. Shurcliff had over 30 years of experience behind him when he officially started the project on St. Patrick's Day of that year. He didn't just bring his Landscape Architecture skills; he brought everything he had; his training in engineering, his meticulousness, and his ability to get things done through his personal clarity, energy, and charm. The project would use every bit of knowledge, skills, and expertise that Shurcliff had acquired. It wasn't just the buildings that needed restoration; it was the land, the paths and streets, the gardens, and green spaces. It required tremendous research to restore it all. Shurcliff insisted that wherever possible, original items and authenticity was paramount. For example, Shurcliff's team actually went looking for "fence-post holes to ascertain the outlines of a "typical" backyard" - this was a true restoration in every sense of the word.
It took Shurcliff 13 years to finish the project. But, once it was done, Shurcliff had redefined Williamsburg; helping it to lay claim to it's past and ensuring that Colonial Revival garden design found legitimacy in 20th Century Landscape Architecture.
#OTD On this day in 1972 that The Greenville News shared an article called Orchidist Finds Hobby Versatile.
The orchidologist was Gilbert L. Campbell.
At the time the article was published, Campbell had been collecting orchids for six years, and he had amassed a collection of more than 300 plants in addition to a library of orchid reference materials.
Campbell recalled, "My first orchid was a gift,' and it led him to visit a commercial orchidologist in Newberry for more information.
Orchid lovers grow orchids all year long, and his passion led him to add greenhouses to help with his hobby.
"Some orchidologists do grow their flowers in their homes... but he advises against it. 'Growing an orchid is like being a fisherman,' he says. 'Some fishermen may be content to sit on the bank and fish, but most want to get out in a boat on the lake. It's a lot easier to grow orchids in a greenhouse.' He cites temperature and humidity control as one major benefit of growing the tropic blooms "under glass."
As for why Campbell had two greenhouses, his answer was simple.
"He has the two, he says, because he needs a "cool" house for his cymbidium orchids and a "medium" house for his cattleyas. In "orchidese" this means a temperature difference of 5- 10 degrees. A "medium" house, he says, has a minimum temperature of 55 to 60 degrees, and a "cool" house, a minimum of 45-50 degrees. Campbell also advocates fresh air for the plants, which he moves outside in summer and on balmy days throughout the winter. "Orchids, like people, do best in a spring-like fresh-feeling atmosphere,"
The two things which cause growers the most difficulty, he believes, are proper watering of plants and placement for best performance." When a plant ceases to function properly, it is vulnerable to insects and disease," he notes, adding that his constant problem, snails, crops up periodically.
To help combat problems, he makes these recommendations: For the beginner, start with a few mature plants. Orchids like dry roots, so they should be watered thoroughly, then allowed to dry out."
#OTD Today is the anniversary of the death of the Spanish rose breeder Pedro Dot who died on this day in 1976.
As a young boy, Pedro learned about plants from his father, who was a highly regarded gardener and plant breeder. The estate where his father worked, grew roses and the Marquise of the estate funded Pedro's early work in hybridizing.
Dot is remembered for his white rose, which came out in 1927. It was called Nevada and is named for its color. Nevada is the Spanish word for "snowy."
The British rosarian, Peter Beales, called 'Nevada' one of the best-known semi-double shrub roses.
The American horticulturist and professor, Dr. Griffith Buck, taught horticulture at Iowa State University, and he created over 80 cultivars of rose. When Buck wanted to name one of his roses after Pedro Dot, he reached out to his son. He wrote:
“I wanted to name a rose after Pedro Dot, a famous Spanish rose breeder who supported me in my breeding. I wrote to Pedro’s son, telling him that I would like to name this rose for his father. I told him I knew his father was very proud of being a Spaniard who was also proud of being a Catalonian. His son replied, “If you are going to name it for my father, why don’t you name it in Catalonian and call it ‘El Catala.’” “ which I did.”
#OTD On this day in 1972, the Greenville News shared that the American Rose Society had chosen Pat Nixon to be their patroness.
"Mrs. Richard M. Nixon recently accepted an invitation to become the first patroness of the American Rose Society on the invitation of Dr. Eldon W. Lyle, president of the group. She was presented with a gilded brassa brass gilded vase of 24 porcelain roses to commemorate the occasion. The Garden Party roses were created by Mrs. Oscar Tilleaux."
"Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable, the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown
along the street or road by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.
Both are warnings of chill days ahead, fireside, and topcoat weather."
- Hal Borland, Naturalist
"The wind that makes music in November corn is in a hurry.
The stalks hum, the loose husks whisk skyward in half-playing swirls, and the wind hurries on...
A tree tries to argue, bare limbs waving, but there is no detaining the wind."
- Aldo Leopold, Ecologist
"It is autumn; not without
But within me is the cold.
Youth and spring are all about;
It is I that have grown old."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Autumn Within
Create your own herbal tea garden!
This inspiring guide covers everything you need to know to grow herbs and use them in homemade tea blends successfully. Providing plans for 22 themed tea gardens, Marietta Marshall Marcin offers expert tips for growing and harvesting a variety of common herbs. Clear directions for more than 100 recipes include Flu Brew, Double Green Digestive, and Women’s Energizing Tonic. Before you know it, you’ll be creating enticing herbal teas to suit every occasion.
At the beginning of the book, Marcin shares the Chinese legend of the tea plant.
The White Buddha known as Ta' Mo would sit in his garden near the place and meditate through all the seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The White Buddha would meditate unblinking and unsleeping. Finally, after many years, His attention wavered, his chin dropped, and his eyes closed in sleep.
When the White Buddha awakened - Perhaps a day or year later - he was so angry with himself for neglecting his meditation that he took out a knife's life, sliced off both his eyelids and threw them on the ground.
The Saint's eyelids took root in the fertile soil and grew into a tea bush, the symbol for wakefulness.
I love to find books like this for you - oldie but goodies that are so affordable on the used book market. You can get a used copy and support the show, using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for under $2.
Today's Garden Chore
Now is the perfect time to pot up some Paperwhite or Amaryllis bulbs for forcing this winter.
Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus) and Amaryllis (Hippeastrumspp.), make great gifts and to your holiday décor.
One of my favorite Christmas mantles over the fireplace featured a row of these large silver goblets that I used to pot up Paperwhites. Along the feet of the goblets, I strung Christmas lights, and on top of the mantle, I had laid a sheet of moss. It was such a gardener's holiday mantle.
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart
#OTD Today is the anniversary of the death of Mavis Batey, who died at the age of 92 on this day in 2013.
Mavis Batey is remembered for her work with the Enigma research team. Mavis broke the German Enigma code, which allowed the Allied forces to stage their D-Day invasion.
In 1955, Mavis and her husband settled on a farm in Surrey. It was here that Mavis began learning about Landscape history.
After Surrey, the Bateys moved to Oxford and lived on a park designed by Capability Brown. The park was also home to a garden designed by William Mason in 1775.
"We lived in the agent's house, right in the middle of a Capability Brown park, but it was William Mason's garden that really got me. We had to cut our way into it. It was all overgrown, and garden ornaments were buried in the grass, but I knew at once it wasn't just an ordinary derelict garden: someone had tried to say something there, I knew at once it wasn't just an ordinary derelict garden: someone had tried to say something there."
It wouldn't be the last garden Mavis Batey saved.
In 1986 Mavis was honored with the Veitch Memorial Medal for her work, preserving gardens that would otherwise have been lost to time.
Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
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