Wednesday, November 20, 2013

There is No Excellence Without Labor

I came across an abbreviated quote by Bailey about excellence. However, you need the full quote for the full meaning. Here it is and keep your dreams alive!

There is no excellence without labor.One cannot dream himself into either usefulness or happiness. Every person needs the dream, if he is to be sensitive to his place in the world and if he would really accomplish; but the result comes only through good application. -L.H. Bailey, October 1911

Monday, May 27, 2013

All Children are Born to the Natural Sky

We know it is not right that any family should be doomed to the occupancy of a very few dreary rooms and deathly closets in the depths of great cities, seeing that all children are born to the natural sky and to the wind and to the earth. We do not yet see the way to allow them to have what is naturally theirs, but we shall learn how. - L.H. Bailey, The Holy Earth

Thursday, April 25, 2013

L.H. Bailey on Herbs

An Herb is a plant which dies to the ground each year. It may be annual, as bean, candytuft, pigweed; biennial, as mullein, parsnip; perennial, as burdock, foxglove, rhubarb. To the gardener, however, the word Herb is ordinarily synonymous with herbaceous perennial; and he usually has in mind those particular perennial Herbs which are grown for ornament, and which remain where they are planted. Goldenrods, bleeding heart, sweet William, hollyhock, daffodils are examples. To many persons, however, the word Herb is synonymous with Sweet Herb, and it suggests sage and tansy.
    Herbs have two kinds of values, —their intrinsic merits as individual plants, and their value in the composition or the mass. It is usually possible to secure both these values at one and the same time. In fact, the individual beauty of Herbs is enhanced rather than diminished by exercising proper care in placing them. Planted with other things, they have a background, and the beauties are brought out the stronger by contrast and comparison. It is quite as important, therefore, to consider the place for planting as to choose the particular kinds of plants. The appreciation of artistic effects in plants is a mark of highly developed sensibilities. Happily, this appreciation is rapidly growing; and this fact contributes to the increasing popularity of landscape gardening and ornamental gardening. Some of the best effects in Herb planting are to be seen in the wild, particularly along fences, roads and streams. In interpreting these native effects, the planter must remember that Herbs are likely to grow larger and more bushy in cultivation than in the wild. He should cover the bare and unseemly places about the borders of his place. He may utilize a rock or a wall as a background (Fig. 1043). He may hide the ground line about a post or along a fence. Some of the commonest Herbs are handsome when well grown and well placed.  Always plant where the Herbs will have relation to something else,—to the general design or handling of the place. This will usually be about the boundaries The hardy border is the unit in most planting of herbs. A rockwork Herb border is often useful in the rear or at one side of the premises. Fill some of the corners by the house. In remote parts of the grounds, half-wild effects may be allowed. A pond or a pool, even if stagnant, often may be utilized to advantage. A good Herb out of place may be worse than a poor Herb in place. But when Herbs are grown for their individual effects, give plenty of room and good care: aim at a perfect specimen. -L.H. Bailey, Cyclopedia of American Horticulture, 1900

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Library of America Publishes New Aldo Leopold Collection

At the Liberty Hyde Museum, Aldo Leopold is referred to as a legacy writer. As Bailey scholar Frederick Kirschenmann notes, "Aldo Leopold was, of course, deeply influenced by Liberty Hyde Bailey and shared Bailey’s conviction that the only way to achieve a 'permanent' agriculture was by means of a new land ethic grounded in such ecological principles."  A new collection by Library of America now allows the reader to delve closer to this environmental luminary. In this collection, A Sand County Almanac is joined by over fifty previously uncollected articles, essays, speeches, and personal letters that chart the evolution of Leopold's ideas, most notably his revolutionary "land ethic" : a manifesto for bringing humanity into right relationship with the natural world. A great read to start out a new year.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

May Dreams Gardens: Garden of Desire

May Dreams Gardens: Garden of Desire: It was Liberty Hyde Bailey who wrote in The Gardener (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1925), " Gardening is more than the gro...

Liberty Hyde Bailey Interpretive Garden Path: Great Backyard Bird Count!

Liberty Hyde Bailey Interpretive Garden Path: Great Backyard Bird Count!: Russ Schipper and students looking at birds     This past Friday my students participated in the Great North Ame...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Birds-Bailey's First Published Essay

With the annual Great Backyard Bird Count coming-up on Friday, February 15th and with students and teachers at the Liberty Hyde Bailey Interpretive Garden Path doing their part, it is fitting to feature the first published essay by a young L.H. Bailey fittingly entitled, "Birds."
    Mr. President, Ladies And Gentlemen,—When the rigors of winter are over, and the pleasant days of spring return, what is more charming and delightful than the presence of birds? What is more useful in destroying the myriads of insects which infest our vegetation? Each one, from the different kind of insects it destroys, is almost indispensable to every farmer and fruit grower. As to food, our common birds may be divided into three classes ; first, insectivorous, or insect eaters, which include the blue bird, wren, swallows, nut-hatch, kingbird, and woodpecker.
     The bluebird, which is one of the earliest comers and most beneficial of all our singing birds, feeds principally on cut-worms, grasshoppers, and beetles. Like the wren, he will build in most any little box put up for the purpose.
     Next in order is that familiar little bird the wren. It subsists mostly on millers and larvae; on account of its small size it destroys a good many insects which other birds do not.
    The numerous swallow family feed upon beetles, mosquitoes, and other winged insects.
    The nut-hatch, though not so well known as the preceding species, is one of our most useful orchard birds. You may see him creeping about the trees with head downwards, destroying every insect that comes in his way. He suspends his nest underneath a limb, and it is composed of fine twigs and the inside layer of bark.
     The kingbird, or tyrant fly-catcher, subsists mostly on beetles, flies, and all sorts of winged insects. Observe him perched upon some old mullen stalk, capturing every insect that comes in sight, and see if he does not fully repay for the few bees he destroys.
     The woodpeckers feed upon beetles and larvae. They also destroy the apple tree borer.
     Class second is called granivorous, or grain-eating birds, which include the thistle, or yellow bird, cedar bird, chipping sparrow, and ground bird.
    The yellow bird, though not insectivorous, may be regarded as our friend. His food consists chiefly of the seeds of thistles and other weeds, thus destroying a great many noxious plants.
    The cedar bird, or cherry bird as he is commonly called, feeds almost entirely upon fruit, although in the spring he destroys the canker worm. Nuttall says: "For hours together he may be seen feeding on the all-despoiling canker worm, which infests our apple and elm trees."
    The chipping sparrow and ground bird live on seeds, bugs, and worms on the ground.
The third class of birds is called omnivorous, or all-eaters, which include the robin, thrush, lark, and cat-bird.
In the spring the robin destroys an immense number of cut worms and injurious insects. Later in the season he takes to fruit.
    The thrush, or brown thrasher, feeds mostly on beetles, larvae, and berries. The lark seems to subsist upon grubs, worms and seeds. The food of the cat-bird is mostly larvae, pear slugs, and fruit.
    Thus nearly all the noxious insects which infest our fields and forests are devoured. Thousands are destroyed in a day by these harmless songsters, yet the selfish man dooms them to destruction. But this is not all; they have powers of music unequaled by works of art. Their charming songs and beautiful plumage lend life and vivacity to the dullest place:
The robin sings sweetly from her native bowers,
The humming bird sips the dewy flowers,
And the blue-jay's voice is often heard
From the forest, by fragrant breezes stirred.
The thrush, perched upon some lofty tree
That overshades the way.
Pours forth her song with joy and glee,
As if to welcome the coming day.
The lark's sweet warble from the grassy dale
Mingles with the lay of the cat bird and quail,
And the chipping sparrows afford a charm
To the thicket as well as the farm.
The wren chants merrily from the spreading trees
That surround her home of delight,
She smooths her pinions in the passing breeze
And sings from morning until night.
The blue birds warble from the orchards fair,
And the swallows twitter as they fly through the air,
And the yellow-bird's notes from the neighboring hill
Resound to the echoing whip-poor-will.
Among the birds so beautiful and gay
I love to wander all day long;
On pinions of light they fly away
And join the universal revel of song.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

The Apple-Tree in the Landscape

The April sun is soft on the broad open fenced fields, waking them gently from the long deep sleep of winter. Little rills are running full. The grass is newly coolly green. Fresh sprouts are in the sod. By copse and highway the shade bushes salute with their handkerchiefs. Apple-trees show tips of verdure. It is good to see the early greens of changing spring. It is good to look abroad on an apple-tree landscape.
As to its vegetation, the landscape is low and flat, not tall. There is a vast uniformity in plant forms, a subdued and constrained humility. A month later the leafage will be in glory, but that also will have an aspect of sameness and moderation. Perhaps the actual variety of species will be greater than in many parts of the abounding tropics, and to the careful observer the luxuriance will be as great, although not so big; but as I look abroad I am impressed with the economy of the prospect. It comes nearer to my powers of assimilation, quiets me with a deep satisfaction; the contrasts are subdued, the processes grade into each other imperceptibly in the land of the lingering twilight.
In this prospect are maples and elms and apple-trees. The maples and elms are of the fields and roadsides. The apple-trees are of human habitations and human labor; they cluster about the buildings, or stand guard at a gate; they are in plantations made by hands. As I see them again, I wonder whether any other plant is so characteristically a home-tree.
    So is the apple-tree, even when full grown, within the reach of children. It can be climbed. Little swings are hung from the branches. Its shade is low and familiar. It bestows its fruit liberally to all alike.- L.H. Bailey, The Apple Tree

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Feeling For Plants

     One does not make a good library till one has a feeling for books, nor a good collection of pictures without a feeling for pictorial art. Neither does one make a good garden of any kind without a feeling for plants. This does not mean that the feeling must be born with the person. It would be a hopeless world if we could not acquire new sentiments and enthusiasms. One can cultivate a feeling for plants by carefully observing them, growing them, reading about them, and particularly by choosing the company of persons who know and love them. As soon as one begins to distinguish the different kinds closely, one acquires the feeling of acquaintanceship; every kind then has its own qualities, and every kind is admirable in itself. Plants have personality.
    The interest in plants is primarily, I suppose, in their forms. They are endlessly diverse. Vine, herb, tree, shrub, aquatic, they inhabit the earth and clothe it, and give significance to scenery. The greenery of vegetation is the mantle and the garnish of the planet. Leaf-forms, flower-forms, fragrances, shapes and colors and odors in fruits, twig-habit and bark and buds are all perfect of their kind. To admire a plant is to be keen in observation, appreciative of nature, responsive in sympathy and suggestion.
    The plant-grower has a special intimacy with his plants. They respond to his care; they come up slowly from the seed or the cutting; they take on new forms and adapt themselves to the conditions he provides. Often will one see a gardener run his fingers over the stem or branches and pass his hand over the foliage as if caressing the plant.
     The lover of plants enjoys them in their surroundings, in the places where they grow. When they seem to fit the place, or become a part of the general composition, they have the added beauty of association, one plant complementing another. The growth-form of one differs from the form of another; the color and fashion of bark are different; the foliage effects are distinct; yet they may not be inharmonious.
    The plant-lover responds to the plants as they grow in the wild. The bush by the roadside interests him; he looks for it as he comes and goes. The fence-row has its charm, even though he must cut it out to make room for crops. The herbs and the trees, the plant-forms in the marsh, all awaken a pleasurable response. He wants to transfer them to his grounds. It is well to have a nursery plot at one side, out of sight and out of the way, to which all kinds of things from the wild may be transferred. As they grow, some of them may be wanted for the grounds, and in any case, there is the pleasure of anticipation, of experiment.
    Much of the interest in plants is conditioned on the seasonal changes. In this are they unlike animals, and hereby do they have a special charm. The swelling of the buds in spring marks an epoch: the birds come back; the creeks are overflowing; a new odor rises from the earth; the sky is soft; the men and teams take to the fields. Then the buds burst, the leaves unfold and grow, the branches lengthen, the foliage is complete, the flowers come and fade, fruit appears; then comes the yellowing of the leaf, the dropping one by one as the autumn moves on, and finally the bare twigs go well prepared and secure into the great test of winter. Next year, will the miracle be repeated? We know it will!
    After a time one expresses one's knowledge and skill in the raising of plants. The kinds come to be familiar. The books and catalogues have a new meaning. Acquisitions are prized. Experiment is fascinating. One is proud of one's workmanship. Then does the growing of plants become a real enthusiasm.
    No modern home that has a yard is meeting its best opportunities unless it exhibits a discriminating feeling for plants. One owes it to oneself to cultivate an appreciation of plants, of gardens, and of landscapes. One owes it to one's family and to the children. -L.H. Bailey, Home Grounds: Their Planning and Planting

Monday, January 14, 2013

L.H. Bailey on the Oak Tree

OAK: Strength, solidity, durability are symbolized in the Oak. The tree is connected with the traditions of the race, and it is associated with literature. It is a tree of strong individuality, with bold, free growth and massive framework. Its longevity appeals to every person, even though he has no feeling for trees. It connects the present with the past. It spans the centuries.
    This feeling that the Oak represents a long span of years is itself the reason why we should consider the tree with veneration and let it live its full time; and this is the particular lesson which the writer would impress. Spare the isolated Oak trees! Of whatever kind or species, a mature Oak is beyond price. To allow it to remain bespeaks culture and kindly feeling.
-L.H. Bailey, Cyclopedia of American Horticulture

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Winter Wildlife Gardening

Ernie Allison loves nature. More specifically, he loves birds and wants to teach others how to appreciate them, too. To help further this mission, he writes for the bird feeder accessories provider,
It is pretty well-known that gardening can be great for your health. It offers stress relief, exercise, improves mental health, and provides you with fresh food to eat and beautiful plants to look at. It is also good for the environment. By making specific choices, you can provide native plants that are great for the local wildlife to thrive off of, especially in the winter.
Many people assume that you need to cut down all your plants and kill your garden before winter does. This is a lot of unnecessary work. By leaving your garden as is, you allow nature to take its course, which gives shelter and food sources for native animals. Here are some benefits of leaving your garden be for the winter.
·         Snow is known to bend large plants. This of course eliminates perches for birds, but creates pathways for them as well as other creatures to utilize.
·         Piles of leaves provide a warm shelter for small animals.
·         Cutting the tops off plants can actually cause them to die completely due to the cold.
·         Worms and other bugs may take shelter also, which will attract birds for your viewing pleasure, especially in the spring when everyone warms up and comes out to feed.
·         By skipping the needless landscaping, you save yourself a lot of stress, which is what gardening is all about! Why clean up your garden in the fall and the spring, when you can get away with doing it once, and have better results!
·         You can use your extra time to watch the wildlife and plan your garden strategy for the spring
Here are some extras you can do in order to provide for the winter wildlife in your area. After all, not everyone sleeps all winter, and freezing temperatures can make food difficult to find.
·         Choose seed and berry producing plants that can stand up to the winter cold. Some options are:
o        Bayberry
o        Dogwood
o        Virginia Creeper
o        See what’s native to your area 
·         If you choose to supplement with a bird feeder, be sure to get your seed from a source that is guaranteed not to use pesticides or other harmful ingredients.
·         Minimize the mullet, and remember that bread is bad for birds. Stick with nuts, seeds, and other unprocessed foods. For more information on what food to choose, check out this resource page about feeding birds.
By using your gardening habit to benefit the wildlife around you, you are spreading the health benefits that gardening brings to you. That should help you sleep easier at night, on top of everything else.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Vegetable-Gardening Tools

     There is a tool for every labor. Many of these tools are the products of necessity. Others satisfy the inventive fancy of the American. Foreign writers wonder at the variety of tools pictured in our rural books, but the number of tools which are in actual use far exceeds those which are described in books. To an important degree it is true that the successful American farmer is known by the number and variety of his tools. The man who has many useful implements emphasizes brain above brawn. He is tactful and resourceful. He means to be master of the situation. He is to accomplish the given result with the least expenditure of mere physical energy. He will do his work better and more expeditiously than the man who depends on his hands and his muscles. Good tools educate the man. Their use cultivates ingenuity. They teach him to think.
     On the other hand, the man who is rich in agricultural implements has less intimate contact with his plants than the hand-worker has. The machine is between him and the plant. He depreciates the value of painstaking human care in the growing and the training of the plant.
     In selecting a tool, the buyer should know (a) what labor is to be performed, (b) what implement will best perform it. Many farmers buy a tool because it is perfect as a mechanism or merely because it is an improvement on what they already have. This is well; but it should be borne in mind, after all, that the tool is not the first consideration,—it is not the unit. The unit is the work to be done or the condition to be attained. A farmer may not ask, therefore, whether he shall buy a spading-harrow: he should consider his soil and what he wants to do with it, and then search for the tool which will do the work best. -L.H. Bailey, The Principles of Vegetable Gardening