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May 09, 2008

Renaissance Man: Photos from the Garden


Conde Nast Traveler stuntman Mark Schatzker is on a mad quest to make himself into a modern-day Da Vinci during a month's stay in Europe. Last week, Mark "mastered" golf in Scotland.  This week, Mark tended a very special English garden.  To go along with this most recent feat, we've posted a photo tour of Mark's  jour au jardin.

Click on the thumbnail photos below for full size images.

Tending to my cannabis.

This morning, at the not so ripe hour of 10:12 a.m., I found myself taking just-germinated cannabis seedlings and tucking each one into its very own pot of fresh soil...That's how it works with a botanical physic garden these days. They grow cannabis because it has a rich history of medical usage, but they grow it only for the sake of growing it... [READ MORE]

The glorious English garden.

Don't for a second think that the Chelsea Physic Garden is not pretty--or fragrant, life affirming, serene, rejuvenating, and so forth. In spring, a heady combination of British rain and waxing sunlight gives it an undeniable visual and olfactory pop... [READ MORE]

Galapagos tomatoes.

Later on, I bumped into the garden's curator and told her about my conversation with the woman studying Galapagos tomatoes. As it turns out, this woman's great, great grandfather also visited the Galapagos Islands to study the wildlife. He even wrote about it in a book called The Origin of the Species... [READ MORE]


The most famous taxonomist ever was a Swede named Carl Linnaeus. He came up with the system of naming plants and animals whereby we use two Latin names, and he was the first to divide organisms into kingdoms, orders, genera, and species... [READ MORE]

The Chelsea Physic Garden.

David Frodin.

The Chelsea Physic Garden has its own taxonomist. His name is David Frodin. Born and raised in Chicago, he did his PhD in Cambridge and spent 15 years in Papua New Guinea, where, while battling bouts of malaria, he discovered a number of new species of plant... [READ MORE]

One is the loneliest number.

Occasionally, he comes upon a genuine botanical mystery. Awhile back, a hosta was found that didn't seem to correspond to the known varieties of hosta. After much inquiry, he finally realized it was something new, a hybrid that had come into its own right there at the Chelsea Physic Garden... [READ MORE]

So close, but so far away.

The greatest irony at the Chelsea Physic Garden is that the closest plant to David Frodin's office sits furthest away from his field of knowledge. To get to the bottom of it, Frodin will have to take a cutting to the Royal Horticultural Society office at Wisley, where there is also one stunner of a horticultural garden... [READ MORE]

<< Ode to Taxonomists | Learning to Eat >>



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