“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.” ~Thomas Jefferson
“If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve?” ~John Adams
I will be delivering four new lectures over the next two weekends on the occasion of Scattergood Foundation’s celebration of its BiCentennial. It is an excellent opportunity to focus on the achievements of Quakers in both Horticulture and other Medical and Scientific Disciplines. I am awed by how much has occurred under our direct control for the benefit and future success of the human race.
It is at times such as these, that we should reflect on the journeys that we have made. We should revisit both the sparkling sun on tops of mountains we have climbed and quiet shade by rushing rivers in the darkened valleys. It is the time to be poetic and allow some brief enjoyment of refreshments and self-congratulations!
Time is of the essence. You may yet still register for these special celebratory gatherings. Certainly be aware that the botanical artists’ exhibit is running throughout the entire month. Let us be happy in our country and with its many benefices.
The following are the subjects and the descriptions of the lectures that I’ve developed over these last many months and with much additional study. My travels have been extended by visits to others of the major Quaker gardens in the greater Philadelphia area.
John Bartram and the Quaker Botanists
John introduces the fellow Quakers that worked to define the science and practice of Botany to the world. Their remarkable legacy makes the world richer for the plants that were discovered, the system of nomenclature that was developed and the interaction of old-world aristocracy with new-world exploration. John’s humor, his passion and his achievements will entertain, inspire and awe as he shares his hope for the future of the earth and the men who inhabit it.
John Bartram’s Horticopia
John Bartram will welcome you with the horticultural history of America as it began in Philadelphia and Penn’s Woods. His story starts in 1699 and moves up to the American Revolutionary War and 1776. He stands at the very beginning of the international world of plant discovery and identification. He introduced more than 200 species and 100 trees to the trade. His plant shipments reforested the whole of Southern England and gave color to the island’s autumns with native American trees like Maples, Oaks, Magnolias, Poplars, Hawthornes, Ash, Beech and Willows.
John Bartram: A Physician’s Gardener
From an early age, John Bartram was a leader in the horticultural world promoting the healing benefits of plants and gardening. His physic garden was a model of the time for the wealth and diversity of homeopathic plant material. His neighbors consulted him for his advanced knowledge and keen eye. His reporting skills and his insatiable curiosity opened the doors that kept him in correspondence with some of the greatest scientific minds of the age. He placed a very high value on the restorative power of nature.
John Bartram: The King’s Gardener
Passionately religious, John’s dozens of plant forays into the wilderness of the original colonies always completed his vision of a God-centered life. He traveled across the Eastern Seaboard and into the wilds of the interior virgin forests. He saw divinity in the spirit of his trees. Along with his son, William, his explorations of Georgia discovered at least one species known only through his collection: Franklinia altamaha. Close friends with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington as well as many of the other founding fathers, he is credited with starting the first public garden in America. After years of new plant introductions, John was rewarded with the title of Official Botanist to the North American Colonies by King George III and presented with annuity of 50 pounds per year.