One spring morning a lady walking through a garden in the Midwest was fascinated
by a row of handsome, vigorous hollies. They were just what she needed for her own garden, and she asked her host what they were. "Those are Nellie Stevens hollies," was the reply. She looked again and couldn't help but wonder about the name. Who in the world is Nellie Stevens, and how did her name ever become associated with this plant?
She noted other intriguing names, and she asked similar questions. She saw a beautifulblue clematis and wondered if Betty Corning was still alive and what stories she had to tell.She wondered about the places and people whose names are associated with so many popular garden plants. She is not alone.
If necessity is the mother of invention, curiosity is the mother of research.
In many cases, we wonder not what our gardens grow, but who our gardens grow.
Until now, these accounts have not been compiled and unfortunately, many of the people are disappearing, their stories with them. Now gardeners can enjoy the beauty of their plants and delight in the tales they tell.