Who is Liberty Hyde Bailey?

Botanist, horticulturalist, plant breeder, traveler and plant explorer, outstanding teacher, astute and successful administrator, lobbyist, rural sociologist, prolific writer and superb editor, environmentalist, philosopher, photographer, poet, and visionary. Liberty Hyde Bailey: A Man for All Seasons 

It’s strange that Liberty Hyde Bailey is not more of a household name, or even somewhat familiar name, to many of us. To some people, his was a renowned botanist, explorer, and horticulturalist; to others an educator, administrator and rural sociologist; to the third group an editor, lecturer and writer; while still a fourth group knows him best as a poet, philosopher, and counselor. Bailey traveled extensively in his search for plant specimens (his continual "quest for knowledge"), from inner China to the mountaintops around Shasta.  His extensive research and knowledge of agriculture and rural life earned him the position of Chair on President Roosevelt's National Commission on Country Life. He did a lot and wrote even more. He has been credited to authoring sixty-five books and editing 117 titles by 99 authors, dominating the field of horticultural literature. Whether you read his manual on Garden-Making, his poetry in Wind and Weather, or his memoir-style The Harvest, Bailey's fascinating life and particular charm shine through every page. Truly a “man for all seasons,” he was an American conservationist at heart. 
 His vision for the 21st century is this, for us to live in sympathy with our environment, with “pleasure of our dominion, reverently and hopefully, and assume all its responsibilities.” In doing so Bailey proclaims, “we shall have a new hold on life.” 
    The purpose of this blog and the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum in South Haven, Michigan, Bailey's birthplace and hometown, is to fulfill Bailey's vision. Join in the dialog!