celebrates old-fashioned plants, seeds and gardens, and the stories they tell.
If either of these resonate with you, you’re in the right place. Yesterday’s Gardener explores seeds, plants, gardeners and gardens from the past and brings them back to life in our modern gardens.
A Gardener’s Manifesto
I believe flowers are gifts.
I believe seeds are pure magic.
I believe gardening is a creative practice.
I believe in the garden’s power to heal us all.
I believe people should have the right to grow and save their own seeds.
Who is Yesterday’s Gardener?
I’m Dani Brown, a passionate gardener and former heritage garden coordinator for a historic farm site in British Columbia.
And because you’re here, Yesterday’s Gardener is also YOU.
I have loved plants and gardens since I was old enough to have a buttercup placed under my chin to see if I loved butter (I did!). I’ve gardened on the southwest coast of British Columbia most of my life.
I’m one part earth-smudged, plant-obsessed gardener and one part archive-loving amateur garden historian. Add a dash of detective and a love of food, beautiful gardens and our amazing planet, and you’ve got Yesterday’s Gardener. My passion is sharing the stories of heirloom seeds, plants and gardens and how they’re relevant to modern gardeners.
My family and I recently moved hundreds of miles east from British Columbia’s coast to its semi-arid Okanagan region. I’m learning to garden all over again in a drier climate that has hotter summers and colder winters. Five years in, it has been a steep learning curve, but I’m getting the hang of it!
I’ve been asked how I became so passionate about heirloom gardening
In 1993 I volunteered to help research, create and maintain heritage flower and vegetable demonstration gardens at the Historic Stewart Farm in Surrey, BC. After volunteering at this living history site for a few years, I was employed to coordinate the project. #dreamjob!
As I researched and grew varieties that the Stewart family would have grown circa 1900, I discovered that many of these old vegetables and flowers had become increasingly rare. This puts our seed and food supply at risk. That’s how I became hooked on heritage gardens and plants. It wasn’t just about gardening anymore. For me there was an environmental and emotional element as well. My work at the Stewart Farm planted the seed of an heirloom gardener in me.
Now I’m reaping the harvest of those years and passing along what I know
In the years since, I have heard this knowledge whispering in my heart, reminding me it needs to be shared. I have always known this is what I’m meant to be doing, and the time is finally now.
I’ve learned it’s crucial to our future to save heritage seeds and keep them growing in our gardens. A decade later the extinction of old vegetable and flower varieties is still a huge issue. My work at the Historic Stewart Farm made me aware how few people know about the loss of our plant diversity. Be warned, this topic can be addictive – it was for me!
You Can Be Yesterday’s Gardener Too!
Here’s how we can make a difference together:
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