April 5, 2019 Garden Dreams, Birkenhead Park, Lord Viscount Morpeth, Matthias Schleiden, Algernon Swinburne, Joseph Paxton, Garden Picture Day, Edward Kemp

The Daily Gardener

0:00
08:45
10
10

April 5, 2019 Garden Dreams, Birkenhead Park, Lord Viscount Morpeth, Matthias Schleiden, Algernon Swinburne, Joseph Paxton, Garden Picture Day, Edward Kemp

The Daily Gardener

It’s decision time in the garden.

What will your projects be this year?

Often, we have no idea if our dreams for our gardens will come true.  Gardeners may dream bigger dreams than emperors, but we can often get stuck, too.

We put plants in the wrong spot. We buy the wrong thing. We spend too much money. We over do.

But, every now and then we get it completely right.  I waited for years to put paths in around my front garden. Why did I wait so long. No reason really.  But, once it was in, I knew it was the perfect thing my garden had been missing. Whatever you’re dreaming of and planning for your garden this season, I hope you get it completely right.

Brevities

On this day in 1847, Birkenhead Park opened to

"great rejoicing and festivity, and in the evening there was a gorgeous display of fire-works. The day at Birkenhead, and indeed partly at Liverpool, was observed as a holiday; and the workmen at the Birkenhead Docks, 2,000 in number, each received a day's wage.  Later in the evening a ball and supper took place in the Dock warehouse”

Designed by Joseph Paxton, Birkenhead was the first publicly funded civic park and inspired New York’s Central Park.  

Clippings from the Liverpool Mercury during the month of April that year show that Birkenhead was quickly becoming a bustling port city and, mindful that the people of the community who were the “source of all wealth and power” would appreciate the "accommodation and recreation”, the commons area, "overgrown with fern, and rough with prickly gorse [had] been converted into a magnificent park, beautifully laid out, and planted with every variety of shrubs and flowers”.  The prickly gorse mentioned in that clip, now considered noxious, is a yellow-flowered shrub and member of the pea family.

The day of the grand opening, Lord Viscount Morpeth gave the commemorating speech gushing,

“We have seen something this day beyond even the dreams of Venice.  For instance, such an array of steamers as has today graced the Mersey, never could have been witnessed in Venice; and though perhaps a steamer may not be so picturesque an object as a gondola, I may yet remind you that… Venice never could have sent forth a message which in ten days might reach those harbors and roadsteads of the new world."

In the first four days following the grand opening, the paper reported that a Mr. Cooper had  crossed the river and visited Birkenhead park, and 58,000 persons had done the same.

On April 23rd of this year, there will be a presentation hosted in conjunction with the Friends at Birkenhead Park.  For over two years, plans have been developed to secure Birkenhead Park's listing as a World Heritage Site. The evening's presentations are intended to provide an opportunity to learn more about this process.  Presenters include Professor Robert Lee of the University of Liverpool’s Department of History.

Happy Birthday today to the German botanist and early evolutionist Matthias Jakob Schleiden, (born April 5, 1804, Hamburg[Germany]—died June 23, 1881, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) Schleiden was also the cofounder (with Theodor Schwann) of the cell theory, Schleiden was the first person to recognize the importance of cells in plants.

Later, speculated on the roll of the nucleus in cell division. Matthias Schleiden who said,

"Youthful fancy

lends to the rock, the tree, the flower,

an animating genius,

and in the thunder hears the voice of God.

Then comes earnest science

stripping Nature of that inspiring charm,

and substituting

the unvarying law

of blind necessity."

Unearthed Words

The poet Algernon Swinburne was born on this day in 1837. In A Forsaken Garden, the poem describes a garden - or rather, “the ghost of a garden”. Although the sun still shines and the rain still falls, the beds in the garden are blossomless. Now there is only brushwood and thorn.  Branches and briars cover the paths. Even the weeds are dead. The wind is relentless. The sun burns. The only thing left is one gaunt bleak blossom of scentless breath.

Here’s the first five verses of A Forsaken Garden -

In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland,

At the sea-down's edge between windward and lee,

Walled round with rocks as an inland island,

The ghost of a garden fronts the sea.

A girdle of brushwood and thorn encloses

The steep square slope of the blossomless bed

Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its roses

Now lie dead.

The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken,

To the low last edge of the long lone land.

If a step should sound or a word be spoken,

Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest's hand?

So long have the grey bare walks lain guestless,

Through branches and briars if a man make way,

He shall find no life but the sea-wind's, restless

Night and day.

The dense hard passage is blind and stifled

That crawls by a track none turn to climb

To the strait waste place that the years have rifled

Of all but the thorns that are touched not of time.

The thorns he spares when the rose is taken;

The rocks are left when he wastes the plain.

The wind that wanders, the weeds wind-shaken,

These remain.

Not a flower to be pressed of the foot that falls not;

As the heart of a dead man the seed-plots are dry;

From the thicket of thorns whence the nightingale calls not,

Could she call, there were never a rose to reply.

Over the meadows that blossom and wither

Rings but the note of a sea-bird's song;

Only the sun and the rain come hither

All year long.

The sun burns sere and the rain dishevels

One gaunt bleak blossom of scentless breath.

Only the wind here hovers and revels

In a round where life seems barren as death.

Here there was laughing of old, there was weeping,

Haply, of lovers none ever will know,

Whose eyes went seaward a hundred sleeping

Years ago.

Today's book recommendation

In honor of the anniversary of the opening of Birkhead Park, Today’s book recommendation is:

The Busiest Man in England: A Life of Joseph Paxton, Gardener, Architect & Victorian Visionary

by Kate Colquhoun

Today's Garden Chore

Friday is picture day!

Today take wide-angle shots of your garden.  Get the vistas from the windows of your house, from the approach from the street, from your neighbors house, from the corners of your property.  

Something Sweet

to revive the little botanic spark in your heart

Edward Kemp the landscape gardener and architect at Birkenhead, placed an ad in the Liverpool Mercury after the opening of Birkenhead, he was out of work and was offering his services,

“[Edward Kemp] begs to offer his services to the Noblemen and Gentlemen in the vicinity of Birkenhead and Liverpool…The fluttering testimonials which he has received from numberless visitors to the Birkenhead park, induce him to believe that a simple reference to the past and present condition of the park …. will be sufficient to ensure for him a large and liberal patronage.”

He must have found something - because Edward Kemp went on to be a leading Victorian Landscape Gardener and successful gardener.

Episodes
Date
Duration
Recommended episodes :

October 14, 2021 Ron Kujawski, Tad Lincoln, Katherine Mansfield, Pulp Fiction, Eva Ibbotson, Seeking Eden by Staci Catron and Mary Eaddy,...

The Daily Gardener

October 13, 2021 Bringing Plants Back Inside, Victor Hugo, Clinton Scollard, Mark Vitosh, G. K. Chesterton, The Flower Recipe Book by...

The Daily Gardener

October 12, 2021 Top Trees For Fall Color, Berthe Hoola van Nooten, George Washington Cable, Cecil Frances Alexander, Terri Irwin, Carving...

The Daily Gardener

The podcast The Daily Gardener has been added to your home screen.

It’s decision time in the garden.

What will your projects be this year?

Often, we have no idea if our dreams for our gardens will come true.  Gardeners may dream bigger dreams than emperors, but we can often get stuck, too.

We put plants in the wrong spot. We buy the wrong thing. We spend too much money. We over do.

But, every now and then we get it completely right.  I waited for years to put paths in around my front garden. Why did I wait so long. No reason really.  But, once it was in, I knew it was the perfect thing my garden had been missing. Whatever you’re dreaming of and planning for your garden this season, I hope you get it completely right.

Brevities

On this day in 1847, Birkenhead Park opened to

"great rejoicing and festivity, and in the evening there was a gorgeous display of fire-works. The day at Birkenhead, and indeed partly at Liverpool, was observed as a holiday; and the workmen at the Birkenhead Docks, 2,000 in number, each received a day's wage.  Later in the evening a ball and supper took place in the Dock warehouse”

Designed by Joseph Paxton, Birkenhead was the first publicly funded civic park and inspired New York’s Central Park.  

Clippings from the Liverpool Mercury during the month of April that year show that Birkenhead was quickly becoming a bustling port city and, mindful that the people of the community who were the “source of all wealth and power” would appreciate the "accommodation and recreation”, the commons area, "overgrown with fern, and rough with prickly gorse [had] been converted into a magnificent park, beautifully laid out, and planted with every variety of shrubs and flowers”.  The prickly gorse mentioned in that clip, now considered noxious, is a yellow-flowered shrub and member of the pea family.

The day of the grand opening, Lord Viscount Morpeth gave the commemorating speech gushing,

“We have seen something this day beyond even the dreams of Venice.  For instance, such an array of steamers as has today graced the Mersey, never could have been witnessed in Venice; and though perhaps a steamer may not be so picturesque an object as a gondola, I may yet remind you that… Venice never could have sent forth a message which in ten days might reach those harbors and roadsteads of the new world."

In the first four days following the grand opening, the paper reported that a Mr. Cooper had  crossed the river and visited Birkenhead park, and 58,000 persons had done the same.

On April 23rd of this year, there will be a presentation hosted in conjunction with the Friends at Birkenhead Park.  For over two years, plans have been developed to secure Birkenhead Park's listing as a World Heritage Site. The evening's presentations are intended to provide an opportunity to learn more about this process.  Presenters include Professor Robert Lee of the University of Liverpool’s Department of History.

Happy Birthday today to the German botanist and early evolutionist Matthias Jakob Schleiden, (born April 5, 1804, Hamburg[Germany]—died June 23, 1881, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) Schleiden was also the cofounder (with Theodor Schwann) of the cell theory, Schleiden was the first person to recognize the importance of cells in plants.

Later, speculated on the roll of the nucleus in cell division. Matthias Schleiden who said,

"Youthful fancy

lends to the rock, the tree, the flower,

an animating genius,

and in the thunder hears the voice of God.

Then comes earnest science

stripping Nature of that inspiring charm,

and substituting

the unvarying law

of blind necessity."

Unearthed Words

The poet Algernon Swinburne was born on this day in 1837. In A Forsaken Garden, the poem describes a garden - or rather, “the ghost of a garden”. Although the sun still shines and the rain still falls, the beds in the garden are blossomless. Now there is only brushwood and thorn.  Branches and briars cover the paths. Even the weeds are dead. The wind is relentless. The sun burns. The only thing left is one gaunt bleak blossom of scentless breath.

Here’s the first five verses of A Forsaken Garden -

In a coign of the cliff between lowland and highland,

At the sea-down's edge between windward and lee,

Walled round with rocks as an inland island,

The ghost of a garden fronts the sea.

A girdle of brushwood and thorn encloses

The steep square slope of the blossomless bed

Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its roses

Now lie dead.

The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken,

To the low last edge of the long lone land.

If a step should sound or a word be spoken,

Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest's hand?

So long have the grey bare walks lain guestless,

Through branches and briars if a man make way,

He shall find no life but the sea-wind's, restless

Night and day.

The dense hard passage is blind and stifled

That crawls by a track none turn to climb

To the strait waste place that the years have rifled

Of all but the thorns that are touched not of time.

The thorns he spares when the rose is taken;

The rocks are left when he wastes the plain.

The wind that wanders, the weeds wind-shaken,

These remain.

Not a flower to be pressed of the foot that falls not;

As the heart of a dead man the seed-plots are dry;

From the thicket of thorns whence the nightingale calls not,

Could she call, there were never a rose to reply.

Over the meadows that blossom and wither

Rings but the note of a sea-bird's song;

Only the sun and the rain come hither

All year long.

The sun burns sere and the rain dishevels

One gaunt bleak blossom of scentless breath.

Only the wind here hovers and revels

In a round where life seems barren as death.

Here there was laughing of old, there was weeping,

Haply, of lovers none ever will know,

Whose eyes went seaward a hundred sleeping

Years ago.

Today's book recommendation

In honor of the anniversary of the opening of Birkhead Park, Today’s book recommendation is:

The Busiest Man in England: A Life of Joseph Paxton, Gardener, Architect & Victorian Visionary

by Kate Colquhoun

Today's Garden Chore

Friday is picture day!

Today take wide-angle shots of your garden.  Get the vistas from the windows of your house, from the approach from the street, from your neighbors house, from the corners of your property.  

Something Sweet

to revive the little botanic spark in your heart

Edward Kemp the landscape gardener and architect at Birkenhead, placed an ad in the Liverpool Mercury after the opening of Birkenhead, he was out of work and was offering his services,

“[Edward Kemp] begs to offer his services to the Noblemen and Gentlemen in the vicinity of Birkenhead and Liverpool…The fluttering testimonials which he has received from numberless visitors to the Birkenhead park, induce him to believe that a simple reference to the past and present condition of the park …. will be sufficient to ensure for him a large and liberal patronage.”

He must have found something - because Edward Kemp went on to be a leading Victorian Landscape Gardener and successful gardener.

Subscribe Install Share
The Daily Gardener

Thank you for your subscription

For a better experience, also consider installing the application.

Install