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I really like the feature, I find it very interesting to read the history tidbits every morning. I would want to keep what's on the home page short so that it's easy to read quickly, but if there's something that you have a lot more detail on then maybe there could be a link to a longer more detailed writeup for people who have a particular interest in that event.
I have enjoyed it very much. I'm NOT a big history buff, just interested in the little facts that come out of these tidbits of information about the people and places in gardening history, which are nicely done on the home page. I like the idea of a more link as ecrane suggests.
Juneybug, that's a good suggestion. I'm happy to report that we now have a lot more links--I think you'll find that most of the references to plants, gardens, and books will now have a link to more information.
Just wanted to say Thank You again for this feature. We discuss quite a few on different Forums and alot of members are particularly interested to know about the state plants, vegetables and fruits. I particularly like the oddball ones like todays on the dark mid day in New England. It's fun to speculate on what caused it
That's truly heartening to hear--thanks for letting us know!
I can say it was truly a fun project to work on (hopefully Melody feels the same way, since I roped her into helping *grin*)...from time to time, our job involves a lot of technical research and fact-checking, but this was by far the most fun project of its kind I've been involved with.
Me again How bout a poll on the garden history items? Like this:
Question could be:
I Read the Garden History Items because:
1) It's totally fabby and would never miss it
2) I only read it now and then cuz too many deaths/birth and not enough info on interesting stuff like giant snowflakes
3) I read it because it has links to Plant files
4) I read it but I wish there was a link to discuss the item (especially if it was about giant snowflakes)
5) What are Garden History Items (duh!)
You get my drift. Of course it would have to be formalized but I think it would be a good poll!!!!
O and a choice on the flowers, fruits, birds and bugs like:
5) I read it to learn about trees, flowers, fruits, birds and insects that have been officially adopted by governments as recognized emblems.
How cool is that to capture all the international members too I made this 5 cuz the duh! answer should be at the end.
You are ALL so responsive to the users on DG. I commend your entire staff for the great work in keeping the DG sites well-maintained and orderly and being responsive to us readers and users. I've only met Terry (another DG admin from TN), but kudos and hugs to all who work hard on these sites.
I would suggest that you include inventions and discoveries in the History section. Like the dates various biologists discovered various things that we use all the time. There should be some interesting history around the discoveries, by Europeans, of tulips and irises -- in Turkey. The dates Darwin did various things. The dates when Mendel discovered inheritance, the date of the discovery of DNA. etc. etc.
I would enjoy that more than the dates various botanists died. What day did they make an important contribution? That would be more interesting to me. How about the date various apple varieties were introduced -- the old ones, by Etter, etc.
How about the invention of the pluot?
The importation of the dahlia?
I have been thinking about your question. Will let you know if I come up with anything else.
How about the naming of the Poinsetta and its introduction to the world.
Good suggestions. If you know of any sources that list the dates (not just the years) of those types of discoveries or introductions, we'd love to know what they are. We continue to add new dates to the Garden History, but in many cases, verifiable, specific dates are not readily available.
I thought that would make for an interesting "day in history" tidbit. But when I began digging, I found the rose had been registered in 1962 (no actual date has come to light); the discrepancy on the years means if it was discovered at Cantigny, it wasn't even in the year their own website claims. We frequently encounter disappointing dead-ends like that, so if you have any tips or pointers on any sources of dates, we would be grateful for the pointers.
Yes, I understand. You might email them to see what the story is. Maybe you will learn it. Also, I realize that some facts are disputed. So I will forward any interesting tidbits I find.
Also some dates aren't even remembered but one can usually find introduction dates, especially on roses, irises and daylilies.
We have sent (and continue to send) out a fair number of email inquiries. some of them have panned out (for example, the date of the first Master Gardener classes was provided to us by someone willing to open the original, folder and look at the yellowed notes ;o)
Others--like the date the USDA introduced the zone maps--are more elusive. I double-checked the AIS database to make sure my recollection is correct: years of introduction are also easy to find, but not so easy are the actual dates. (If a plant is trademarked or patented, we can generally find that date.)
That said, we're not trying to make excuses for the paucity of some interesting historical information. The Garden History is a living, growing feature, and we'll continue to seek out items of interest. If anyone stumbles over any facts that we've missed, please do share them with us so we can add them to the lineup.
We've got the date that the first 'lawnmower' was patented and some other similar tidbits and a phone call got another date hammered down on Friday of something else. As Terry said, it is a living database and we do welcome any additions that you may have.
Tony Joe White, of Oak Grove, LA was Born July 23, 1943. He is probably most widely know for his song POKE SALAD ANNIE, one of the few songs about invasive garden plants. It was released in 1968 and topped the US charts in July 1969. Also, from the number of please ID me posts, Poke salat must be one of the most wide spread strange food weeds.
Maybe music about gardening, ETc could be included in the dailys, or even monthly misc. garden oriented list.
Gee, I am so glad to run into other obscure trivia buffs. It can go back even further...the childhood "Found a peanut" or the popular "Don't sit under the appletree" "Green, Green Grass of Home", or" America the Beautiful"
What do ya think Melody? You say tomato, I say tomahto?, or Yes we have no bananas.
And then there's the ever-popular "I'm a lonely little petunia in an onion patch" ;o)
Now more seriously, can anyone find information on what were the Billboard top songs of July/August 1969? I found information where "Poke Salad Annie" made #8 in early August, but no date when that list appeared.
How is this one from Wikipedia on Ralph Randles Stewart. I bet nobody ever heard of him:
In 1960, when Dr. Stewart retired at the age of 70 years, he gave his collection of over 50 thousand plant specimens, now called the Stewart Collection, to Professor E. Nasir at Gordon College (Rawalpindi). The Stewart Collection has now been deposited in the National Herbarium of the Government of Pakistan at Islamabad thus leaving a very rich heritage for the students of plant sciences.
Here is the history of 'Scarborough Fair'. The fair started on August 15th every year according to this link. Although there is no year, maybe it could just be posted as 'Medieval Times'? http://www.geocities.com/paris/villa/3895/#a2
Each piece of history is set to run on the exact date that it happened. We have a calendar that we fill in with items. The date that an item runs, is the exact date that the event took place. Without an exact date to 'plug in' we cannot add an item to the calendar.
I found a way to add Scarborough Fair...look for it later this Fall. I also have the date that Elvis recorded Polk Salad Annie, but being a 'purist' I would prefer the TJW date instead of the Elvis cover. (as that was 'Vegas Elvis') I know that the TJW original hit the top 100 in July of '68 and was released 9 months earlier, but alas, no date...we may use his birthday...(he wrote Rainy Night in Georgia as well)
I get conflicting reports of '68 and '69. At the moment I'm in the '68 camp, but could be pushed back to the other side. I'll call my sis...she owns a music store and specializes in hard to find recordings.
By the way, I looked up the song "The Rose" and it was written by Amanda McBroom and sung by Bette Middler. Janis died in 1970 so she obviously didn't ever sing The Rose. So, my apologies. I was absolutely sure I was right, but I was wrong.
My name came about in kinda odd way...seemed I arrived a bit earlier than anticipated and no name had been chosen. Dad wanted to name me Pansy...Mom had to come up with something quick...and she had just seen the musical 'Oklahoma' one of the lead actresses in the show was named Melody...so...
Now that is a DG history item. Seriously I think we should have DG history in the items. There are many new members and DG history is very important to all of us so I think it should be included. ps Please try to find something where Dave is wearing the amaranthus on his head. I just luv that pic
I haven't seen that one. Can someone give me a link. In fact, I have never seen a picture of Dave with or without an amaranthus. Yes, the founding of Dave's Garden should definitely be on the history list -- before Dave forgets the date it started!
Absolutely true. And the potato famine was at the root of a large diaspora of Irish people which has affect a great many countries. A simple plant has this power. No wonder we are interested in gardening.
Let's not forget what the tulip did to the Netherlands when the Dutch "discovered" it in Turkey -- the Turks had known about it for centuries. After that there was a major "tulip bubble" in the European economy. There ought to be some useful dates there.
Good. Are you all the people who published the reference to the huge wind that knocked down all the trees in the Boundary area of US and Canada? I thought it was fascinating. That kind of thing is definitely appropriate and somehow I had never heard of it. If I didn't read it here in DG, it should definitely be included.
Here is the story of a giant forest fire started by the Federal Government on May 4, 2000. It got out of hand and destroyed 48,000 acres and cost the US Government over 1 billion dollars. It came close to burning Plutonium facilities at Los Alamos National Laboratory, but luckily did not.
KYwoods: The species Tradescantia is named after these two gardeners and Philippa Gregory has written two excellent novels based on their lives: The Virgin Earth and Earthly Joys, if you care to learn more about them.