September 17, 2019 Planting Iris like Mom with Rebecca Stoner Kirts, Olaus Rudbeck, Antoine Laurent de Jussieu, Peter Barr, The Milkweed Poem, Hot Color Dry Garden by Nan Sterman, Pumpkin Care, and the Story of a Grass Reader


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There's are some lines from a TS Eliot poem that go like this :

Oh, Do not ask, "What is it?"

Let us go and make our visit."

If you've never visited your local botanic garden this time of year, you really should go. I have a friend who recently did this, and she posted amazing pictures from her visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. She said this:

"This is my PSA : Get yourself to the Arb . Don’t wait to go just to see the change in color of the trees (like everyone else ) Go now ! The colors of the flowers are crazy ! This is just a couple quick snaps with my phone ( which doesn’t do justice) no filters, editing or enhancing. The colors are just THAT bright and bold . I’ve never gone this time of year . I go in the spring, a few times mid summer then I wait like everyone else for the leaves to change and go again. I’ve even gone in the winter but never late late summer /early fall . For some reason I thought there wouldn’t be anything to look at. I thought the flowers would be half dead ( like my potted plants at home 😜) I won’t make that mistake again."


#OTD Today is the birthday of the botanist professor Mildred Mathias who was born on this day in 1906 in Sappington, Missouri.

Mathias was a professor at UCLA from 1962 until 1974.

Mathias also served as president of the American Society for Plant Taxonomists and the Botanical Society of America.

Matthias was a pioneer in the area of ecotourism. She enjoyed bringing brightness and amateurs alike all over the world to study and discover plants. From her early days with Dr. Lincoln Constance at Berkeley and 1937, Matthias began to focus on the umbrella for I family or the carrot family The envelope for Reiff is a family of aromatic flowering plants and it’s commonly referred to as the carrot or sell celery or parsley family. But it also includes other important herbs like Angelica and Annis Carraway and chervil, dill, fennel, luggage, and parsnip, just to name a few. The taproots of carrot and parsnip are big enough to be harvested as food. Plants like coriander and cilantro and dill and parsley or harvested for their leaves which contain essential boils that are very aromatic. In addition the seeds of these plants, like fennel and cumin and coriander are also harvested for cuisine. On both prefer soil that is cool; they grow breast in the shoulder seasons. The umbrella for I family is named because of the tiny flowers that are clustered together to form in amble – a little flower overhang reminiscent of an umbrella The above are favorites among ladybugs and parasitic wasps. Over the course of Matthias‘s career she published over 100 articles and books about the ambler fry.

Mathias became an authority on #Apiaceae #taxonomy. Here's her namesake Mathiasella bupleuroides. She served as the president of the Botanical Soc. of America @Botanical_ & American Soc. of Plant Taxonomists @AmSocPlantTaxon

When volume 26 of Madrono was dedicated to you, the final sentence of the citation read: "Mildred, your pioneering spirit, unbelievable energy, wit, humor, warmth, and effectiveness as a leader have made the world a brighter, greener, and more compassionate place for all of us." With these same words we also salute you, as you honor The Society for Economic Botany by accepting our award as Distinguished Economic Botanist for 1993.

#OTD Today in 1907, Orville Redenbacher, was born.

Redenbacher was a U.S. agricultural scientist and the co-creator of a new hybrid of popcorn called "snowflake." It was lighter and fluffier than traditional popped kernels and Redenbacher 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.

#OTD Today is the birthday of the third son of Charles Darwin, Francis Darwin - known to his family as Frank.

Francis published the results of his work with his dad in a book called The Movement of Plants. The book details their experiments which showed that young grass seedlings grow toward the light.

In 1887, Frank shared a portrait of his father in a book called life and letters of Charles Darwin. The letters revealed Darwins fluid pros and Clarity Frank said that correcting his fathers proof sheets made him a better writer. Frank had been taught by a master teacher and intern he became a teacher as well. At Cambridge he taught students of pure science and medicine. Frank Darwin received many honors during his lifetime including The president of the British Association in the 1908 1909 year And in 1913 he was knighted. It was Frank Darwin who said “the personal affective teacher on people cannot be bought at a price, nor can it be paid for in any coin but gratitude. It is the possibility of earning this payment that makes the best part of a teachers life.“

#OTD On this day in 1991 The NY Times printed printed an announcement about an upcoming symposium at the NYBG featuring Dr. James Duke.

Duke was sharing his research and the topic was plants for health and healing their role in modern medicine. The article share Duke's incredible personal experience using plants for health: "DR. JAMES DUKE is one of those rare botanists who actually eat what they preach. He loves to watch the evening primrose open within 60 seconds. But he also munches its seeds, which are high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that can relieve pain and depression. Purple coneflowers thrive in his rather rumpled wild garden in Fulton, Md. He eats their roots to boost his immune system. To cure a cold, he mashes up the stems and leaves of forsythia. To help strengthen weak capillaries, he makes "rutinade" from violet and buckwheat flowers, lemon grass and rhubarb stalks, and herbs high in rutin (anise, camomile, mint, rosehips)."

Unearthed Words

"Spring flowers are long since gone. Summer's bloom hangs limp on every terrace. The gardener's feet drag a bit on the dusty path and the hinge in his back is full of creaks." - Louise Seymour Jones

Today's book recommendation: The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

Today's Garden Chore

Start moving houseplants back indoors, so they get used to limited sun exposure and humidity. Do this while the windows are still open, to ease the transition.

Move your tropical houseplants indoors by the end of the month.

Something Sweet Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart

I recently had the opportunity to rewatch a video featuring Dr. Oliver Sacks who practiced medicine in NYC across from the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). In the video, Sacks reflected on the garden and what it meant to him. I've cobbled together a few of his inspiring thoughts. Here's what he said: "I think of this garden as treasure. First, it's a haven. In a noisy, crowded New York, we need a haven; we wander around and time doesn't matter too much. When I worked at the hospital opposite the garden, I used to come in every day. Specifically, I would come in after seeing my patients but before writing up my notes. And, I would walk around the garden and put everything out of consciousness except the plants and the air. But, by the time I got back the patient's story would have crystallized in my mind [and then] I could then write it straight away. But I needed this sort of incubation in the garden and to go for a walk in the garden; that sort of thing is an essential thing for me in writing. I think nature has a healing effect; the garden the closest one can come to nature. The garden has affected me and does affect me in various ways; it's not just the pleasure of walking around but [also] the very special virtues of the library and the museum and the fact that, in some ways, this is a university as well as a garden. I just feel very comfortable in the garden and whenever people come to New York from out of town or out of the country I say let's go to the garden. I would like quote a couple of lines from a TS Eliot poem: "Do not ask what is it, Let us go and make our visit." and so I think you can't really describe the garden you have to have to visit it.

Thanks for listening to the daily gardener, and remember: "For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."

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