April 23, 2021 Isabel Bannerman on Scented Plants, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Simple Flowers, Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke, and English Bluebells for St. George


Manage episode 290717011 series 2576332
By Jennifer Ebeling. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Today we celebrate the birthday of the greatest playwright who ever lived - and he incorporated over 200 seeds, flowers, fruits, herbs, grasses, and trees into his large body of work. We'll also learn about Wordsworth’s favorite flower - lesser celandine. We’ll hear some words about the flowers we often fall in love with - simple flowers. We Grow That Garden Library™ with a book about Kitchen Gardening. And then we’ll wrap things up with English Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) for the patron saint of England, St. George. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring:

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Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Curated News Isabel Bannerman on the evocative pleasure of scented plants | House & Garden | Isabel Bannerman Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. 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 search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community, where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events April 23, 1564 Today is the birthday of the English author, poet, and playwright William Shakespeare. A lover of gardens and the science of botany, William Shakespeare included hundreds of references to flora and fauna in his plays and sonnets. And each flower would have conveyed symbolic meaning to his audiences. In addition, William was a master of metaphor. Since William’s death, there have been many books written on the elements of nature mentioned in Shakespeare’s works. In 1906, the garden author and illustrator Walter Crane created beautiful anthropomorphized plants mentioned in Shakespeare's plays as people in his 1906 book, "Flowers from Shakespeare's Garden." In 2017, a book called Botanical Shakespeare by the Shakespeare historian Gerit Quealy was published. The subtitle for the book is An Illustrated Compendium of All the Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Trees, Seeds, and Grasses Cited by the World's Greatest Playwright. And, by the way, this book is gorgeous - the watercolor illustrations are incredible, and I love all the quotes and insights provided by Gerit. Helen Mirren wrote the forward. Today, Shakespeare fans and gardeners delight in Shakespeare Gardens, and there are roughly 50 of these specialty gardens around the world that only cultivate plants mentioned in William’s work. There's a lovely semi-hidden Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco. There’s another Shakespeare Garden with over 50 flowers on the Evanston campus of Northwestern. Central Park has a little Shakespeare Garden located between 79th and 80th Streets. And in 1914, the Dunedin Botanic Garden in New Zealand established a Shakespeare Garden, including a replica of Shakespeare’s Boxwood Knot Garden in Stratford on Avon. Here are some favorite flower quotes from Shakespeare: Sweet flowers are slow, and weeds make haste. — William Shakespeare, Richard III There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance pray, love, remember: and there is pansies. That’s for thoughts... – William Shakespeare, Hamlet I know a bank where the wild thyme grows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine... – William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream April 23, 1770 Today is the anniversary of the death of one of the founders of English Romanticism, the poet William Wordsworth. A lover of nature, William wrote about our relationship with the natural world. Although William is best known for his poem about Daffodils that starts, “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” William’s favorite flower was the spring-blooming Lesser Celandine (Ficaria Verna), and he wrote three poems about it. He wrote: There is a flower, the lesser celandine That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain And, the first moment that the sun may shine Bright as the sun himself, 'tis out again!’ Lesser celandine is a yellow buttercup or Ranunculus. It’s a woodland star-shaped flower that loves wet areas, and when it is happy, it spreads everywhere. In fact, many places now label Lesser Celandine as an invasive plant. Lesser Celandine also has the unfortunate common name pilewort - since it was used to treat hemorrhoids. William loved Lesser Celandine so much that he asked that his tombstone be carved with the flower. But, in a twist of fate, Thomas Woolner, the British sculptor, and poet carved a poppy flower known as greater celandine - a flower that looks nothing like Wordsworth's favorite blossom. The marble Wordsworth memorial was described by the Oxford University Press this way: “The memorial, erected in August 1851, is a white memorial tablet in the shape of a squat, stylized obelisk, with the poet's profile in relief on the base section, against a panel of grey marble… In two narrow squares on each side of [Wordsworth’s] head are... the daffodil, the celandine, the snowdrop, and violet.” Unearthed Words The arbutus is now open everywhere in the woods and groves. How pleasant it is to meet the same flowers year after year! If the blossoms were liable to change – if they were to become capricious and irregular – they might excite more surprise, more curiosity, but we should love them less; they might be just as bright, and gay, and fragrant under other forms, but they would not be the violets and squirrel-cups, and ground laurels we loved last year. Whatever your roving fancies may say, there is a virtue in constancy which has a reward above all that fickle change can bestow, giving strength and purity to every affection of life and even throwing additional grace about the flowers which bloom in our native fields. We admire the strange and brilliant plant of the green-house, but we love most the simple flowers we have loved of old, which have bloomed many a spring, through rain and sunshine, on our native soil. ― Susan Fenimore Cooper, American writer, and amateur naturalist Grow That Garden Library Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke This book came out in 2020, and the subtitle is A modern guide to creating a stylish, small-scale, low-maintenance, edible garden. In this book, Nicole shares everything you need to know to set up and establish a functional and beautiful kitchen garden. Nicole sees the potential for kitchen gardens in any and all outdoor spaces. A fan of raised beds, smart crop selection, gorgeous design, attentive care, and harvesting your favorite garden-fresh edibles, Nicole’s season-by-season guide helps you create the kitchen or food garden of your dreams. This book is 208 pages of growing your own delicious organic food in a beautiful, low-maintenance raised garden right outside your door. You can get a copy of Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $11 Today’s Botanic Spark Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart Today, April 23, is St George’s Day - the feast day of the patron saint of England, St. George. Known as the dragon slayer, St. George was partial to the color blue, and he is remembered with the English bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) - a flower that blooms around this time each year. Cicely Mary Barker created a Blue Bell Fairy poem along with a beautiful watercolor. The first verse goes like this: My hundred thousand bells of blue, The splendor of the Spring, They carpet all the woods anew With royalty of sapphire hue; The Primrose is the Queen, ’tis true. But surely I am King! And in her book, The Brief Life of Flowers, Fiona Stafford writes, "Bluebells are reminders of the very origins of 'spring,' the great gush of life." English bluebells are simpler and less floriferous than the invasive Spanish variety. Anne Brontë recognized the simplicity of the bluebell in her poem about the blossom. She wrote, But when I looked upon the bank My wandering glances fell Upon a little trembling flower, A single sweet bluebell. Today a modern bluebell poem from Stella Williams addresses the damage humans can do to natural areas - like the woodlands where bluebells like to grow. In 2018, The Woodland Trust featured verses the poem along woodland paths to remind people that traipsing through nature areas can cause long-term damage. Here’s The Bluebell Blues by Stella Williams, a content manager at The Woodlands Trust. Help us beat the bluebell blues, a problem caused by paws and shoes. Keep to the path, enjoy the view and let the new green leaves push through. As leaves unfurl and buds hang free, they hint at beauty we’ll soon see; but if dogs or walkers go off track, we may never get that beauty back. Now the flowery bells unfold and violet carpets are unrolled, to delight you and all who follow. Let’s ensure they’re here tomorrow. When the bluebells fade and die beneath the soil, their bulbs still lie. If damaged, they could disappear; protect them, and they’ll grow next year. Thanks for listening to The Daily Gardener. And remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."

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