Dorothy Biddle was a pioneer in the world of American flower arranging, traveling around the country by bus and train from the late 1940s to the late 1950s, encouraging Americans everywhere to grow and arrange their own flowers. Her legacy lives on today in her company, Dorothy Biddle Service, run by her granddaughter, which continues to sell flower arranging supplies—now on the Internet.
Up in Cape Cod, the rhododendrons are in full bloom at the annual Heritage Museums & Gardens Rhododendrons Festival. Home to two noted hybridizers—Charles Owen Dexter and Jack Cowles—the garden is a great place to see the many new varieties in bloom. A new and dramatic water element—the Flume Fountain—and a new children's garden are also worth visiting for their unusual landcaping.
A weed-covered lot in Southern California, owned by Caltrans, is completely redone by a couple who live adjacent to the garden, complete with native varieties, a citrus grove, and hundreds of new plants, creating a Mediterranean idyll.
When Gene Bauer was the native flora chairman of California Garden Clubs in the 1970s, she made small booklets of silk-screened botanic illustrations and sent them to members. Made in limited editions of 50, her booklets are rare and collectible, though the artwork has been collected in a book, Botanical Serigraphs: The Gene Bauer Collection.
For his debut show as Dior's creative director, designer Raf Simons stitched together a setting reminiscent of the fashion house's founding themes—femininity, romance, and flowers. Once again, the house of Dior was a house of flowers.
Glass gem corn was bred years ago by a part-Cherokee farmer and master seed-saver. Yes, it's real, and, as an heirloom, its seeds will grow true. Today, glass gem corn seeds are saved at Seeds Trust, who anticipate more available next month. Glass gem is an extreme iteration of corn's natural tendency towards different-colored kernels, as each kernel has its unique genetic set for color and size.