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Garden Hortiscopes & History: Today's snippet on Robert Fortune made me curious

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angele

September 16, 2009
3:18 PM

Post #7070284

When I read he 'introduced tea' I had to find out where because the 1800s seemed too late to be introducing tea anywhere. I'm still wondering what is meant by the tea plant in this article from Encyclopædia Britannica.

Scottish botanist and traveler. He was employed by the Edinburgh Botanical Garden and afterward in the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Chiswick. Upon the termination of the first Opium War in 1842, he was sent out by the society to collect plants in China. Another journey, undertaken in 1848 on behalf of the East India Company, had much more important consequences, occasioning the successful introduction into India of the tea plant in 1851. In 1853 he visited the island of Formosa (Taiwan), where he observed the manufacture of rice paper, and about the same time he made several visits to Japan, where he collected various plant specimens. He described the culture of the silkworm in A Residence Among the Chinese (1857). His travels resulted in the introduction into Europe of many trees, shrubs, and beautiful flowers, some of which bear his name, including Chamoerops fortunei, Wigela rosea, Daphne fortunei, Jasminium nudiflorum, Skimmia japonica fortunei, Berberis japonica, and Dicentra spectabilis. He related stories of his travels in a succession of interesting books, including Yeddo and Peking (1863).

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


September 16, 2009
4:01 PM

Post #7070403

Tea (and tea plants) were not unknown...I think the plants themselves are what Fortune is credited with introducing ;o)
angele

September 16, 2009
5:03 PM

Post #7070600

Tea is something I really enjoy on occasion. Glad I don't live in a pre-tea world :-)
angele

September 16, 2009
6:08 PM

Post #7070790

...continuing on my thirst for knowledge about 'tea' this morning I just found this tidbit on the Stash Tea web site
Coffee Houses
Tea was the major beverage served in the coffee houses, but they were so named because coffee arrived in England some years before tea. Exclusively for men, they were called "Penny Universities" because for a penny any man could obtain a pot of tea, a copy of the newspaper, and engage in conversation with the sharpest wits of the day. The various houses specialized in selected areas of interest, some serving attorneys, some authors, others the military. They were the forerunner of the English gentlemen's private club. One such beverage house was owned by Edward Lloyd and was favored by shipowners, merchants and marine insurers. That simple shop was the origin of Lloyd's, the worldwide insurance firm. Attempts to close the coffee houses were made throughout the eighteenth century because of the free speech they encouraged, but such measures proved so unpopular they were always quickly revoked.

...Love "Penny Universities"...
angele

September 16, 2009
6:22 PM

Post #7070834

and we have the English Tea Gardens to thank for tipping

Tipping as a response to proper service developed in the Tea Gardens of England. Small, locked wooden boxes were placed on the tables throughout the Garden. Inscribed on each were the letters "T.I.P.S." which stood for the sentence "To Insure Prompt Service". If a guest wished the waiter to hurry (and so insure the tea arrived hot from the often distant kitchen) he dropped a coin into the box on being seated "to insure prompt service". Hence, the custom of tipping servers was created.

...I'll stop now because I'm reminding myself of Cliff Clavin :-)
ZoarGardener
Bolivar, OH

September 16, 2009
8:34 PM

Post #7071178

Great info! I also love the phrase "penny university". Also very interesting to know where "tips" came from.
angele

September 16, 2009
11:26 PM

Post #7071853

Penny University. If I were rich I'd go in competition with Starbucks, might have to call it 5 buck University though, lol
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

September 17, 2009
1:51 PM

Post #7073677

Very interesting, angele. Thanks for sharing the 'Penny University' story. I had never heard that.
I had to laugh at the 'Cliff Clavin' remark! One of my all-time favorite shows.
angele

September 17, 2009
3:41 PM

Post #7074041

Me too!
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

September 24, 2009
7:06 PM

Post #7100138

Keep them coming Angele Clavin ^_^ This is very interesting reading.

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