Today we celebrate an English poet who was good friends with Alexander Pope.
We'll also learn about the French painter, famous for his landscapes.
We celebrate the co-creator of a new hybrid of popcorn called "snowflake."
We also celebrate some of the flowers of the July garden with some poetry.
We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book that helps us explore the world of botanical fragrance.
And then we'll wrap things up with a story about a legendary Indiana botanist.
But first, let's catch up on some Greetings from Gardeners around the world and today's curated news.
To participate in the Gardener Greetings segment, send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org
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If you're living in a small apartment, there's really not a whole lot of room to make your greenery dreams come true. Unless you take things vertically, that is.
1. Plant wall
2. Hanging Bottles
4. Upcycled Stick
5. Wall Containers
6. Above-the-Bed Shelf
7. Doorway Garden
8. Wire Wall Grid
9. Scrap Wood
Alright, that's it for today's gardening news.
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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.
1730 Today is the anniversary of the death of the English writer and poet Elijah Fenton. His tomb is ornamented with a pair of sleeping angels. Alexander Pope composed his epitaph. The first two lines are inspired by the poet Richard Crashaw.
At Easthamstead, Berks, 1729
THIS modest stone, what few vain marbles can,
May truly say, Here lies an Honest Man;
A Poet blessed beyond the Poet's fate,
Whom Heav'n kept sacred from the proud and great;
Foe to loud Praise, and friend to learned Ease, 5
Content with Science in the vale of peace.
Calmly he looked on either life, and here
Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear;
From Nature's temperate feast rose satisfied,
Thank'd Heav'n that he had lived, and that he died.
Elijah Fenton is remembered for working with Alexander Pope and William Broome to translate the Greek epic poem The Odyssey. Pope had specifically asked Elijah for his help with the major undertaking.
Elijah is credited with many wonderful verses:
Wedded love is founded on esteem.
Beware of flattery, 'tis a weed
Which oft offends the very idol--vice,
Whose shrine it would perfume.
O blissful poverty!
Nature, too partial to thy lot, assigns
Health, freedom, innocence, and downy peace.
In a book about Elijah Fenton, it says,
“It is late justice, to Fenton, to point out how often the footsteps of the greater poet may be tracked to his garden plots; how the tones, and something more, of his verses, are echoed in strains which give them their best chance of immortality. Pope was accustomed to say that Fenton's “Ode to Spring” addressed to Lord John Gower, was the best Ode in the English language since Dryden’s Cecilia.”
O'er winter's long inclement sway,
At length the lusty Spring prevails;
And swift to meet the smiling May,
Is wafted by the Western gales.
Around him dance the rosy Hours,
And damasking the ground with flowers,
With ambient sweets perfume the morn;
With shadowy verdure flourished high,
A sudden youth the groves enjoy,
Where Philomel laments forlorn.
— Elijah Fenton, Ode to Spring
Nature permits for various gifts to fall
On various climes, nor smiles alike on all.
The Latian eternal verdure wear,
And flowers spontaneous crown the smiling year;
But who manures a wild Norwegian Hill
To raise the Jasmine or the coy Jonquil?
Who finds the peach among the savage sloes
Or in black Scythia sees the blushing Rose?
Here golden grain waves over the teeming fields
And they're the vine her racy purple yields;
Rich on the cliff the British Oak ascends
Proud to survey the seas her power defends;
Her sovereign title to the flag she proves
Scornful of softer India's spicy Groves.
— Elijah Fenton, Variety of Nature
1796 It's the birthday of the artist Camille Corot ("CAH-MEEL CAH-row"), born in Paris.
Corot was a French painter, famous for his landscapes, and he inspired the landscape painting of the Impressionists.
Corot's quotes about painting are inspiring to gardeners. Here's a little sample of his sensitive perspective on the natural world:
"Beauty in art is truth bathed in an impression received from nature. I am struck upon seeing a certain place. While I strive for conscientious imitation, I yet never for an instant, lose the emotion that has taken hold of me."
Here are some of Corot's words about Nature at the end of the day:
"...Everything is vague, confused, and Nature grows drowsy. The fresh evening air sighs among the leaves - the birds, these voices of the flowers are saying their evening prayer."
Imagine sitting beside Corot as he wrote,
"I hope with all my heart there will be painting in heaven."
Gardeners would reply, "I hope there is a garden."
1907 On this day, Orville Redenbacher was born.
Orville was a USDA scientist and the co-creator of a new hybrid of popcorn called "snowflake." It was lighter and fluffier than traditional popped kernels, and Orville became a household name with his commercials for his popcorn.
To this day, Orville Redenbacher is the number one selling popcorn in the world. Nebraska produces more popcorn than any other state in the country.
Today we celebrate some of the flowers of the July garden.
We like people not just because they are good, kind, and pretty but for some indefinable spark, usually called “chemistry,” that draws us to them and begs not to be analyzed too closely. Just so with plants. In that case, my favorite has to be Physoplexis comosa. This is not merely because I am writing at the beginning of July when the plant approaches maximum attractiveness.
— Geoffry B. Charlesworth, garden author, On the Physoplexis comosa or the Devil's Claw or Tufted Horned Rampion
Light love in a mist,
by the midsummer moon misguided,
Scarce seen in the twilight garden if gloom insist,
Seems vainly to seek for a star whose gleam has derided
Light love in a mist.
All day in the sun, when the breezes do all they list.
His soft blue raiment of cloudlike blossom abided
Unrent and unwithered of winds and of rays that kissed.
Blithe-hearted or sad, as the cloud or the sun subsided,
Love smiled in the flower with a meaning whereof none wist
Save two that beheld, as a gleam that before them glided.
Light love in a mist.
— Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet, Love in a Mist
The marigold, whose courtier’s face
Echoes the sun, and doth unlace
Her at his rise, at his full stop
Packs and shuts up her gaudy shop.
— John Cleveland, English poet, The Marigold
Grow That Garden Library
This book came out in October of 2019, and the subtitle is Exploring the World of Botanical Fragrance.
The author Joe Lamp'l said,
"A brilliant and fascinating journey into perhaps the most overlooked and under-appreciated dimension of plants. Ken's well-researched information, experience, and perfect examples, now have me appreciating plants, gardens, and designs in a fresh and stimulating way."
Ken Druse is a celebrated lecturer and an award-winning author and photographer who has been called "the guru of natural gardening" by the New York Times. He is best known for his 20 garden books published over the past 25 years.
And, after reading this book, I immediately began to pay much more attention to fragrance in my garden.
The book is 256 illustrated pages of 12 categories of scented plant picks and descriptions for the garden - from plants to shrubs and trees.
You can get a copy of Scentual Garden By Ken Druse and support the show, using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $40.
Today's Botanic Spark
1987 Today in 1987, The Indianapolis Star announced the release of the biography of the legendary turn-of-the-century Indiana botanist Charles Clemon Deam who went by "Charlie".
This biography of Charlie was written by Robert C. Kriebel, editor of the Lafayette Journal and Courier.
Charlie Deam was a self-taught botanist, and he also served the state of Indiana as a forester.
And there's a little story about Charlie in this article from The Indianapolis Star that I thought you would enjoy:
In his home herbarium, Charlie kept a loaded pistol in a desk drawer.
One time, Charlie was hosting a guest in his home. Charlie brought his guest into the herbarium, and they began chatting about plants and taxonomy.
Charlie gave his guest quite fright when, without warning, he opened the desk drawer, pulled out the gun, and fired two or three shots through the open window.
And all the while, Charlie uttered some disparaging comments about the "canine ancestry of a rabbit," that had been terrorizing his garden.
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