Today we celebrate a prolific French writer and poet remembered for his realism and in his little home and garden - now a Paris museum. We'll also learn a little history lesson about the Chelsea Flower Show. We hear an excerpt from a beloved children’s story. We Grow That Garden Library™ with an art
Publish Date: May 20, 2021
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Today we celebrate a prolific French writer and poet remembered for his realism and in his little home and garden - now a Paris museum. We'll also learn a little history lesson about the Chelsea Flower Show. We hear an excerpt from a beloved children’s story. We Grow That Garden Library™ with an artistic look at flowers through the eyes of a modern artist. And then we’ll wrap things up with National Pick Strawberries Day. Subscribe Apple | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | iHeart To listen to the show while you're at home, just ask Alexa or Google to “Play the latest episode of The Daily Gardener Podcast.” And she will. It's just that easy. The Daily Gardener Friday Newsletter Sign up for the FREE Friday Newsletter featuring: A personal update from me Garden-related items for your calendar The Grow That Garden Library™ featured books for the week Gardener gift ideas Garden-inspired recipes Exclusive updates regarding the show Plus, each week, one lucky subscriber wins a book from the Grow That Garden Library™ bookshelf. Gardener Greetings Send your garden pics, stories, birthday wishes, and so forth to Jennifer@theDailyGardener.org Curated News 10 Garden Stairways | Gardenista | Meredith Swinehart Facebook Group If you'd like to check out my curated news articles and original blog posts for yourself, you're in luck. I share all of it with the Listener Community in the Free Facebook Group - The Daily Gardener Community. So, there’s no need to take notes or search for links. The next time you're on Facebook, search for Daily Gardener Community, where you’d search for a friend... and request to join. I'd love to meet you in the group. Important Events May 20, 1799 Today is the birthday of the prolific 19th-century French writer, poet, and the father of Realism in French literature, Honoré de Balzac. Today, the Maison de Balzac, or Honoré’s modest Paris home, has been turned into a museum. With its courtyard and garden, the house faced the Eiffel Tower and was a refuge for Honoré, who rented the top floor under his housekeeper's name (Mr. de Breugnol). The home had multiple exits, which allowed Honoré to flee his creditors quickly. Honoré’s friends used a password to be able to gain access to the house to visit him. Today a bust of Honoré de Balzac stands in the little garden where fans of his work can sit and enjoy refreshments during their visit. Laurel shrubs frame Honoré’s bust - a nod to the pivotal women named Laure in Honoré’s life: his mother Laure, his younger sister Laurence, his older sister Laure, and his lover and faithful champion Laure de Berny who was one year older than his mother. Honoré’s house is one of three home museums for French literary greats - along with the homes of Honoré’s dear friend Victor Hugo and George Sand. Today, Honoré’s five-room apartment contains his writing desk and chair, as well as his tea kettle and a coffee pot. Honoré was a notorious coffee-drinker and a night owl as he wrote his masterpieces. But for Honoré’s fans, his most famous possession was his oversized gold and turquoise-studded cane - the handle looks like it is covered in forget-me-knots. Honoré’s cane created a sensation in 1834 Paris, and soon fancy walking sticks were the standard of fashion for gentlemen. When Honoré was alive, his home smelled of pears. Honoré loved pears, and he stockpiled 1,500 pears in his pantry. He picked violets and lilacs for the woman he would ultimately marry in his garden: Ewelina Hańska. Their tragic love story was chronicled in their many letters to each other, which altogether read like a novel. Although she was married, Ewelina had started the affair by writing an anonymous fan letter to Honoré. Honoré and Ewelina’s relationship was forged in nearly two decades worth of letters to each other. Over the course of nearly twenty years, they had only met in person eight times before they were eventually married. Sadly, five short months after their wedding, Honoré died in Paris in 1850.