July 11, 2020 Drying Flowers & Herbs, National Rainier Cherry Day, David Prain, Charles Joseph Sauriol, Charles Sumner Lambie, Hamilton Traub, Linden Tree Poetry, Kathryn at Home by Kathryn M Ireland and Clarence Henry Dennesen

Show Notes

Today we celebrate National Rainier Cherry Day.

We'll also learn about the Scottish Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Calcutta and Kew.

We celebrate a journal entry from this day in 1938 by one of Canada's most-beloved naturalists.

We also celebrate a rare orchid breeder from Denver.

We honor the discovery of a very unusual dwarf Amaryllis species.

Today's poetry features a beloved mid-summer tree: the Linden.

We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that will inspire you to decorate your outdoor space for comfort and beauty, and for coaxing us all to enjoy our gardens as a space for breakfasts, lunchtime picnics, and even dinners by candlelight.

And then we'll wrap things up with the 103rd birthday of a Danish botanist.

But first, let's catch up on some Greetings from Gardeners around the world and today's curated news.



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Gardener Greetings

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Curated News

How to Harvest and Dry Flowers & Herbs From Your Garden | The Nerdy Farm Wife

This is an excellent post by Jan Berry. Here's an excerpt:

"Learn how to harvest and easily dry flowers and herbs from the garden. Also included is a list of common flowers and herbs along with ideas for using them!

An ideal time to collect fresh flowers and herbs from your garden is on a dry, sunny day, after morning dew has evaporated, but before the midday sun is out in full force.

Some flowers, such as dandelion, chamomile, calendula and lavender can be dried whole. The petals from larger flowers, such as roses and hollyhocks, should be separated from the flower head before drying. An exception to this is if you're drying small rosebuds. They can also be dried whole, just be sure to turn a few times a day so one side doesn't dry flatter than the other.

I dry flower clusters, like elder flowers and lilacs, upside down on a towel as shown above, to help preserve some of the shape. Small branches of leaves that easily lay flat when placed on a surface, such as elderleaf, can stay together while drying. Leaves that cluster together, like lemon balm and mint, often do best if you detach each leaf before drying."


It's National Rainier Cherry Day.

Rainier cherries were bred at Washington State University by crossing Vans and Bings.

They are one of the most delicate and challenging cherries to grow because of one big drawback: their thin red-yellow skin. This makes them super sensitive to the elements, and they bruise easily.

Even if a grower can address these challenges, they still must contend with the birds.

Birds LOVE Rainiers and can eat as much as 1/3 of the cherry crop before the harvest arrives. Watch what happens if you add a few Rainier Cherries to your bird feeder.


Deadhead to Encourage More Blooms

What happens if you don't deadhead?

You might miss out on valuable time that your plant could use to create that second flush of blooms.

Plants to deadhead include coreopsis, blue and white clips, geraniums, and dianthus.

Another reason is to encourage more blooms the following year.

Dead flower heads become seed pods, and that takes energy from the plant. So be sure to deadhead peonies, roses, iris, and lilies.

As a general rule, when any plant looks leggy, it will benefit from deadheading or plain ol' pruning.


Alright, that's it for today's gardening news.

Now, if you'd like to check out my curated news articles and blog posts 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.

There's no need to take notes or search for links - the next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group.


Important Events

1857   On this day in Fettercairn Scotland, the amateur botanist David Prain was born.

He would ultimately become the Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Calcutta and Kew.

In 1887, David was sent to Calcutta to be the curator of the herbarium. While he was there, he researched Indian Hemp along with crops like Wheat, Mustard, Pulses, and Indigo. But, David's most crucial work involved Cinchona plantations. The bark of Cinchona trees contains quinine, which is used to treat malaria. In David's obituary, it said that he set up a system with the local post offices to send quinine to every Indian village and undoubtedly saved countless lives.

After David returned to England, he became the director at Kew. During his tenure, David implemented many notable changes. David oversaw the effort to have the medicinal garden installed at Cambridge Cottage, and he acquired the Japanese gateway for the 1910 Japan-British exhibition. In terms of promotional efforts, David also reinstated the Kew Bulletin.

David's most significant professional challenge at Kew came not from a plant, but a person. William Purdom was a sub-foreman at Kew, and he was passionate about making sure that the garden staff was being treated fairly.

Tensions started when some of the gardeners discovered that their positions were only temporary. In addition, wages were well below market level. Even though all of these challenges were legacy issues David had inherited, the problems fell squarely on his shoulders.

David's humble origins gave him a heart for his workers, and he did his best to mediate the situation. While David stayed professional, Purdom made it personal and he pressured David relentlessly. Finally, when he felt despite his best efforts that Purdom would never be satisfied, David forced the issue. David basically said to the powers that be, that they had a choice;  it was him or Purdom.

In the end, David got the support he needed and Purdom moved on.  In a noble gesture, David worked to get Purdom a lead spot on the expedition to China sponsored by Harry Veitch and the Arnold Arboretum. Today, history looks back at David Prain with admiration, that he could recognize the talents of an employee, even while disagreeing with him - acting with both fairness and integrity.


1938   On this day Canadian Naturalist Charles Joseph Sauriol ("Sar-ee-all") wrote in his diary:

"I find it hard to come in from the flower borders. My Pansies are a garden of enchantment in themselves. People who love Pansies should grow them from seed. I took the advice and I have never had such a profusion of bloom and of so many colors."


1941  On this day, the Amarillo Daily News ran an article featuring Charles Sumner Lambie, who was a Denver area civil engineer by day and a rare orchid breeder by night.

Charles grew up in Pittsburgh, tending the family garden. He later married Margaret McCandless, and together they raised nine children.

As his engineering firm became successful, Charles's wife said he turned to the hobby of raising orchids as a means of relief from the stresses of his job. Charles shared an upside that he discovered about greenhouse gardening: He no longer suffered from hayfever as he did when he gardened outside.

After sharing the various types of orchids grown by Charles Lambie, the article shared his unique and detailed method for documenting his plants. Here's what it said:

"Mr. Lambie has a card index file ... on each plant. Here is a sample entry from the card of C. Talisman:

L.O. Talisman: 6 inches, December 1938, Christmas; Winter Bloomer, October to early summer, variable. Flowers large, Sepals and petals – Light to dark rose. Lip, dark rich crimson; Throat purple with yellow – gold veins."

Mr. Lambie puts a protective canopy over the orchids when they are in bloom, and he sprays them several times a day.

When Mr. Lambie leaves town on business, Mrs. Lambie makes sure that the orchids are watered several times today.

As the reporter for the story was leaving, Mrs. Lambie showed him a small orchid and shared that Mr. Lambie was given the orchid when he subscribed to an orchid magazine.

The orchid is called the Charles Lambie Rittenberry orchid named for their grandson, and of course, it receives "very careful attention," she added with a smile.


1950   On this day, a very unusual dwarf Amaryllis species was collected in Peru by the eminent botanist, Dr. Ramon Ferreyra ("feh-REY-rah").

Dr. Ferreyra sent the bulbs to another botanist, Dr. Hamilton P. Traub, in the United States.

Unfortunately, the bulbs experienced frost while they were in the mail. Some of the bulbs were totally destroyed, the surviving bulbs all had been damaged.

It took almost 18 months for Dr. Traub to nurse the frosted plants back to health. In recognition of his patience and skill, the Amaryllis was named Hippeastrum traubii.


Unearthed Words


The Linden, in the fervors of July,
Hums with a louder concert. When the wind
Sweeps the broad forest in its summer prime,
As when some master-hand exulting sweeps
The keys of some great organ, ye give forth
The music of the woodland depths, a hymn
Of gladness and of thanks."
— William Cullen Bryant, American poet and editor, Linden


Before midsummer density
opaques with shade the checker-
tables underneath, in daylight
unleafing lindens burn
green-gold a day or two,
no more, with intimations
of an essence I saw once,
in what had been the pleasure-
garden of the popes
at Avignon, dishevel

into half (or possibly three-
quarters of) a million
hanging, intricately
tactile, blond bell-pulls
of bloom, the in-mid-air
resort of honeybees'
hirsute cotillion
teasing by the milligram
out of those necklaced
nectaries, aromas

so intensely subtle,
strollers passing under
looked up confused,
as though they'd just
heard voices, or
inhaled the ghost
of derelict splendor
and/or of seraphs shaken
into pollen dust
no transubstantiating
pope or antipope could sift
or quite precisely ponder.
— Amy Clampitt, American poet and author, Lindenbloom


Grow That Garden Library

Kathryn at Home by Kathryn M Ireland

This book came out in 2016, and the subtitle is  A Guide to Simple Entertaining.

I ordered a copy of this book at the start of the pandemic. What I thought would be a simple book of eye candy, became an inspiration: for using fresh ingredients from the kitchen garden, decorating my outdoor spaces for comfort and beauty, and for coaxing us out of the house by heading outdoors for breakfasts, lunchtime picnics, teas, barbecues, and dinners by candlelight.

Kathryn Ireland is among House & Garden's "10 to Watch" architects and designers expected to influence 21st-century style. For the last decade, House Beautiful has named her one of the top 100 designers in the United States. She is the author of Creating a Home and Classic Country. She divides her time between Santa Monica, California, and Montauban, France.

This book is 224 pages of gorgeous images and inspiration. It is truly a beautiful scrapbook of ideas and style.

You can get a copy of Kathryn at Home by Kathryn M Ireland and support the show, using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $9.


Today's Botanic Spark

1936   On this day, the Danish botanist Clarence Henry Dennesen celebrated his 103rd birthday.

Dennesen was once an internationally recognized authority on botany, and he led a wonderful life.

Dennesen served as a captain under Christian IX in Denmark's war with Germany. He was wounded in battle and captured by the enemy. He was shipwrecked on the Isle of Crete and sailed around Cape Hope. After the adventurous days of the soldier and sailor, he became a professor at the Copenhagen School of Botany, and among his pupils was a little princess who later became Queen Alexandria, mother of King George of England, and a little prince who later became King Constantine of Greece.

The newspaper reported that,

"The men's Bible class of St. John's Lutheran Church, in Jacksonville Florida, had planned a surprise birthday party, but the jolly old Dane winked as he hinted it is hard to surprise the man who has been around for 103 years."

Dennesen immigrated to America in 1881 and lived to be 111 years old.

Now that's an old botanist.

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