by Charles Dickens, The Life, and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
On the motionless branches of some trees,
autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads,
as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels...
Today is the birthday of the English Victorian era author and social critic Charles Dickens, born on this day, February 7, 1812.
Charles Dickens' personal garden was called Gad's Hill Place. Every day, Charles Dickens cultivated the habit of walking the circuit of his gardens at Gad's Hill Place before writing his stories.
We know from his oldest daughter Mamie that Dickens's favorite flower was the Mrs. Pollock geranium - a tricolor variety that dates back to 1858. The Mrs. Pollock geranium was bred by the Scottish gardener and hybridist Peter Grieve. It's considered a classic geranium with sharply lobed leaves that sport three colors: brick red, gold, and grass green.
You've heard the saying, "not your grandmother's geranium"? Well, Mrs. Pollock could very well have been your second or third great grandmother's geranium. Dickens loved to wear geraniums in his buttonhole - and he had a steady supply. He grew them into large beds at gad's Hill, and he also grew them in his conservatory.