The Mark of Adventure (part 2 of 4)

DSC07305

Have you ever thought about where our garden plants come from?

In the year 1768, Captain James Cook… then 40 years old, set out as commander of HM Bark Endeavour .

English: Captain Cook, oil on canvas painting ...

English: Captain Cook, oil on canvas painting by John Webber, 1776, Museum of New Zealand Tepapa Tongarewa, Wellington (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Captain Cook and his crew were the first to circumnavigate New Zealand.

The voyages were tough, the scurvy rampant, the Tahitians wiling, the thrill of adventure and discovery. These adventures always included a number of scientists, surveyors, geologists, physicians and surgeons, naturalists and botanists.

Risk of making it back to England was not good, as ships usually returned with less than half their crew – the call of adventure and willing patrons for King or Queen and country had it’s allure.

In reading some of their logs, many of the adventures would make today’s society blush!

Botanicals were important cargo, whether for feeding the crew, curing the crew, or making new discoveries in medicine.  Advances in textiles for clothing, or securing a much sought after spice, or medicinal solution.  It was the prospect of a lush bounty of botanicals that launched ships and planted the conquering flags of Motherlands.

This voyage in particular, English naturalist and botanist Joseph Banks (25) his assistant, Daniel Solander (35) a Swedish naturalist and botanist. Together they collected, measured, sketched, documented and preserved samples of over 350 plants from their explorations of coastal New Zealand.

After leaving New Zealand, Captain Cook dropped anchor & landed in 1770 – in a beautiful bay near what is now Sydney Australia – which they named “Botany Bay” – you get the picture:

” It’s all about the Plants!”

This is the motto of my beloved JC Raulston Arboretum named after dearly departed botanical adventurer J. C. Raulston.

245 years later horticulturists are still hunting for plants.   Their tools and technology might have changed (more on that tomorrow), but the mark of adventure is the same.

Why do arboretums, botanical gardens and growers mount expensive expeditions?

Simple… the thrill of the hunt.   The opportunity of finding  a cool specimen growing in the wild – to test to see if it will grow and thrive in a different climate, elevation, ecosystem.  The opportunity to  bring a new plan to market or genetically match the Pangaea heritage – our continents created as one, long ago.

Some of today’s horticultural advernturers include: Dan Hinkley, Ted Stevens, Barry Yinger, Tony Avent, David Parks, Mark Weathington, David Creech, Todd Lasseigne, Brian Upchurch, Bill Barnes, Liu Gang, Takayuki Kobayashi, Yamaguchi-san, Suzuki-san, Dr. Fu andTeobaldo Eguiluz.

Stay tuned for the next installment of  The Mark of Adventure…

Enjoy – living the  EntwinedLife

Jayme B

NC Certified Environmental Educator

Garden Conservancy Regional Representative

JC Raulston Arboretum Volunteer

About these ads

2 thoughts on “The Mark of Adventure (part 2 of 4)

  1. Sarah says:

    Just discovered your blog. Capt Cook is an amazing character. You might like Tony Horowitz’s book A Voyage Long and Strange if you don’t know it. He retraces some of Cook’s travels, and puts some of his achievements in context. I believe many maps were still based on Cook’s navigation until the 1970′s. Incredible.

    And, a bit of self-promotion: I just started a blog and happened to have featured JCRA and Sarah P Duke in my first two posts. I love visiting your area w/ all the fabulous gardens and nurseries. Cheers.

    • entwinedlife says:

      So nice to meet you Sarah!
      Glad you could visit our Hort Mecca!
      Where are you based?
      Will you be heading to Portland for this year’s Garden Blogger’s Fling?
      Enjoy living an Entwined Life.
      Jayme

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s