Noble Seed

Much of what is fun to know about the Laurel tree (Laurus noblis) is explained beautifully by John Claudius Loudon, in volume III of his multi-volume Arboretum Et Fruticetum Britannicum (published in 1838). Here are some extracts: “in the reign of Elizabeth, the floors of the houses of distinguished persons were strewed with bay leaves. …

The Pinnacle of Hospitality

As tea was brewing in Boston’s harbor, pineapples were trendy specialties in Britain, where 18th century gardeners had learned to grow the lowland tropical bromeliads, making fresh pineapples available to the wealthy.  This exotic and remarkable fruiting structure of a South American native plant, topped with its crown of leaves, had already come to symbolize …

Bittersweet

Sarah Goodin Barrett Moulton was born in St. James, Jamaica, 22 March 1783.  Her mother’s family had grown wealthy through owning and managing sugar cane plantations on the island since 1655.  The prominent Barrett scions, so very proud of the island empire they had built, mandated that any individual in succeeding generations maintain the family …