Monday, August 21, 2017

Franklinia at the Eclipse

I was at Vineland Nurseries a few days ago. This is a specialty nursery - the unusual and different.  There are many varieties of Japanese Maple.  It has all kinds of specialty conifers.

I  came upon a large tree in a pot and it turned out to be a Franklinia.  This is a celebrated tree at Longwood as it was identified by the Bartrams - great Philadelphia botanists in the 1700's. It blooms in autumn with white Camellia flowers, so we are looking at the buds in the pictures below.

"Philadelphia botanists John and William Bartram first observed the tree growing along the Altamaha River near Fort Barrington in the British colony of Georgia in October 1765. John Bartram recorded "severall very curious shrubs" in his journal entry for October 1, 1765. William Bartram returned several times to the same location on the Altamaha during a collecting trip to the American South, funded by Dr. John Fothergill of London. William Bartram collected F. alatamaha seeds during this extended trip to the South from 1773 through 1776, a journey described in his book Bartram's Travels published in Philadelphia in 1791. William Bartram brought seed back to Philadelphia in 1777 at which time William reported to his father that he had relocated the plant, but this time had been able to retrieve its seeds although it was not until after John's death (1777) that he was able to achieve flowering plants (1781). After several years of study, William Bartram assigned the “rare and elegant flowering shrub” to a new genus Franklinia, named in honor of his father's great friend Benjamin Franklin."

What are our plans today for the "day the sun disappears?" Is this a story that will "eclipse" all others?  I look forward to the headlines full of puns.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunflower August on the Niagara Stone Road

Wake Up on the Bright Side 

I stopped at the Jams and Jellies stall on the Niagara Stone Road this week.  The stand has been there since I can remember.  I stopped this time to take pictures of the row of sunflowers.  I was rewarded with quince, rose hip and 'almond fruit' jam.  So many unusual varieties.  You can find out about John Wiens - the "jam man" here.  He's in his 80's now, and still cooking jam.