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Garden Hortiscopes & History: Garden History item, local connection!

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Kylaluaz
Clinton, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 20, 2009
9:12 PM

Post #6296224

I am so tickled to report that my local garden center owner, Robert Menzies, is, I just learned today, a direct descendant of Archibald Menzies, the Scottish horticulturist featured in the Garden History items a little while ago. I can't recall what day it was or even what else was said about him, but I noted the same surname and this morning asked our local Menzies if he is related and he said yes, that is what he has to try to live up to! His family have been horticulturists since the 1400's.

Oh wow. It was so cool to have that awareness... and be able to ask about his name. I had never heard of Archibald Menzies before, and it just felt good to have that point of connection, especially as I am new in this area, so making connections is more important even than usual for me.

So, thank you for educating us about our gardening history!

Kyla
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

March 20, 2009
9:17 PM

Post #6296240

Kyla - what a find!! And I'm sure he was tickled by your inquiry, as well. It must have made him feel that much more important today.

And now I have a "little known fact" to share during my next casual garden conversation.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


March 20, 2009
9:34 PM

Post #6296302

Wow--what a serendipitous connection you discovered! I agree with katie59, I bet he was really pleased that someone asked ;o)
Kylaluaz
Clinton, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 20, 2009
9:44 PM

Post #6296336

Yes I think he was pleased. So now, are those items archived somewhere that I might go back and look at what was posted? Because really all I remember is the name.

I bet others too will find local connections if they look... here or there. ;-)

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


March 20, 2009
9:49 PM

Post #6296355

I went and dug it out of the pile for you:

March 15, 1754

Archibald Menzies, Scottish physician and naturalist, was born near Perthshire, Scotland. Many plants, including the Menziesia genus, are named for him. He is credited for introducing the Monkey Puzzle tree to England in 1795.
Kylaluaz
Clinton, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 20, 2009
10:07 PM

Post #6296430

Thank you!!! ;-)

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


March 20, 2009
10:22 PM

Post #6296479

You're quite welcome...I wish I could pick his brain for a couple of hours!!
Kylaluaz
Clinton, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 20, 2009
10:27 PM

Post #6296513

Wellllllll I am going over there tomorrow morning to pick up some potting soil and some 15 gal containers. He sells the nursery pots to his customers for half what he pays new... sells the used ones. He said they can let me have some of the large ones as he knows they will only be planting about half what they did last year, as the economy has taken its toll. But he is willing to support local gardeners and striving to keep his business going...

Anyway, all that said, if you want to share a couple or three questions here, and if it feels right when I chat with him in the morning, I might be able to ask on your behalf... His specialty tho seems to be this locale and native plants here, forestry, etc, so not sure what all his knowledge base includes.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


March 20, 2009
10:38 PM

Post #6296562

I wouldn't have specific gardening questions...just wondering since he's in the business if he feels closer to his roots.

I know that when I have an heirloom vegetable seed. I can hold it in my hand and imagine the journey it took to get to me. All of the souls who kept saving it each year whether there was war, drought or migration...they maintained the seeds as a connection to their past. I can almost feel their approval as I maintain old and rare varieties. I just wondered if he feels similar as he carries on a family tradition that is over 600 years old. I would feel humbled and honored to be able to do so.
Kylaluaz
Clinton, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 20, 2009
10:42 PM

Post #6296588

Ah, I see.

Yes, from his tone when we spoke today I imagine he does feel that way.

And I know what you mean. ;-)
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

March 20, 2009
11:47 PM

Post #6296837

Funny, melody, I'm with you. I always thought it was because my mom was a genealogist and we spent summer vacations visiting cemeteries and photographing headstones.

I'm amazed at those pioneers and their meticulousness and fortitude to keep going under awful conditions and without all the acclaim they deserved.

Enjoy your visit on Saturday and encourage your new friend to join DG!

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


March 20, 2009
11:50 PM

Post #6296847

Oh, I've done the cemetery dance and dusty record halls myself...one of my umpteenth grandfathers was married to the grand daughter of Pocahontas...she died before they had children though..my ancestors were with his second wife.
katie59
Woodinville, WA
(Zone 8b)

March 20, 2009
11:55 PM

Post #6296864

Kewl . . .
OutsidePlaying
Laceys Spring, AL
(Zone 7a)

March 22, 2009
1:21 AM

Post #6301476

Kyla, that is so cool that you found the local connection! Must have made him feel great too to find out someone knew about his ancestor.
Kylaluaz
Clinton, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 22, 2009
1:33 AM

Post #6301525

It is kind of fun... Of course I knew about the local guy before I learned about the history. And right now he seems mostly focused on seeing how to downsize his business and keep it viable. But he has good info about local conditions, told me when to plant tomatoes ("not until all the snow is gone from Black Butte!") and gives me a deal on potting soil etc... I do hope to find out more about his family heritage perhaps one day, but today was not the time, it was kinda hectic over there as they were trying to ready things for the season.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


March 22, 2009
2:12 AM

Post #6301686

What about listing him in Go Gardening? It is a free service we offer.
Kylaluaz
Clinton, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 22, 2009
6:30 PM

Post #6304074

Editing my original response to say, I had actually read the single comment in Go Gardening last fall. I just added mine. Thanks for the suggestion, Melody.

This message was edited Mar 22, 2009 11:41 AM

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Other Garden Hortiscopes & History Threads you might be interested in:

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Tell us how we're doing, please! Terry 91 Aug 6, 2009 12:12 AM
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