Gardening superstars... or: 90th birthday party survival guide

by zoe | 11.03.2014 | gardener , piet oudolf , people , gabriella pape , celebrities , carl nilsson linnaeus , james wong , david austen , makoto azuma , gertrude jekyll | 0 comments | Rating: 1 votes

Carl Nilsson Linnaeus

Carl Nilsson Linnaeus

Carl Nilsson Linnaeus

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„Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it you have to start young“ - Theodore Roosevelt

When you’re young and trendy, it can be difficult to know what to say when you attend a less happening social event, like great auntie Maud’s 90th birthday party. Luckily, by that age there’s a good chance that they have gardened at some point (to be fair, there’s a good chance that they’ve done most things) so here are a few names to drop into a gardening-related conversation.

Carl Linnaeus

Swedish taxonomist Carl Linnaeus laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme (binomical nomenclature, if you really want to sound intelligent).

Interesting fact: Linnaeus wrote some pretty raunchy descriptions of plants in his essays about the sexual systems of plants. For example, he described a plant with nine stamens and one pistil as „Nine men in the same bride’s chamber, with one woman.“

Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll was a famous British garden designer who was particularly famous for her ‚hardy flower borders‘ and her designs can still be seen today at Upton Grey Manor House. Her use of colour was inspired by painter Turner and impressionism.

Interesting fact: Jekyll’s brother was a friend of Robert Louis Stevenson, who borrowed their surname for his famous novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Gabriella Pape

Gabriella Pape is a German garden designer who lived for a long time in England before returning to Berlin. She is a leading actor in the ‚new German style‘ of gardening.

Interesting fact: Pape is famous for saying that „gardening is the new sex.“

James Wong

James Wong is a garden designers who is the youngest 5-time Royal Horticultural Society medal winner.

Interesting fact: Wong is famous for growing unusual fruits and vegetables like the cucamelon, and for creating unusual dishes like purple carrot cheese cake and maple leaf tempura.

David Austin

Rose breeder David Austin started breeding roses over 50 years ago. He focused on the development of roses that are outstandingly beautiful yet easy to prune and care for.

Interesting fact: Austin has introduced more than 200 rose cultivars. Although they are not officially defined as a separate class of roses, they are commonly referred to by rosarians as ‚Austin Roses.‘

Monty Don

Monty Don is a television presenter who succeeded Alan Titchmarsh on Gardeners‘ World in 2003, and featured in a programme ‚Growing out of Trouble‘ about heroin addicts managing a smallholding in an attempt at rehabilitation.

Interesting fact: Don famously left twitter after he refused to condemn badger culling and fell victim to a hate campaign.

Image source: This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. See this photograph's page on the Geograph website for the photographer's contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by Hilary Wright and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Written by zoe

I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree - Joyce Kilmer (1913)

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