Perry's Perennial Pages, Perennial Arcade Quiz

Who Was ____________?

(Pioneers of Horticulture)

Try this quiz to learn some lesser known, but none the less important, persons in the history of gardening. Don't worry if you only get a couple, this is fairly difficult with some really obscure but important folks here!

Click on the answer link, then back button for the next question.

1. George Acland? Answer

2. Bertrand de Moleville? Answer

3. Carly Nyberg? Answer

4. Ton Guen-ming? Answer

5. Theophrastus? Answer

6. Robert Sharrack? Answer

7. Leonard Mascall? Answer

8. Jan van de Heide? Answer

9. Henry Bewley? Answer

10. Nathaniel Ward? Answer


1. He was the first to commercially manufacture jute garden twine, in Dundee, Scotland in 1828.

2. A French aristocrat and politician, he was also the one that in 1818 invented secateurs (as known in Britain, we often call them pruners in the U.S., this French word meaning "cutters"). These were originally used in orchards, vinyards and for roses.

3. From Sweden, he was the inventor of the flame weeder in 1881. Originally used as a blow torch, it was later used as a flame thrower in WWI.

4. A Chinese civil servant and poet in the 4th century AD, he was the probably inventor of Chinese penjing ("gardens in trays"), the predecessor to Japanese bonsai and from which it was derived. Although the term "bonsai" wasn't used until later, this concept was brought to Japan from China by Buddhist monks in AD1195.

5. Known by most as a famous Greek philosopher and writer, he was also a naturalist and gardening guru of the time. He was the first to systematically classify plants (yes, beating Linnaeus by a few centuries), the first Greek to classify roses (they had only pink and white, no reds), and the first to establish what could be considered a botanic garden at the Lyceum about 300BC.

6. With a day job of the arch-deacon of Winchester Cathedral in England, in 1694 he devised the simplest mole trap to date (a pot sunk in the ground).

7. He was the first to describe in print (1640) a method for slug control (hand picking).

8. In 1672 this Dutchman invented the standard leather garden hose, which was used until newer materials in the mid 1800s.

9. He was a British chemist and the first to manufacture garden hoses from gutta percha-- a Malaysian derived natural material similar to rubber-- which was also used until the mid 1900s to cover transatlantic cables.

10. A London doctor, in 1832 he discovered the use of glass cases to hold and grow plants while using them to breed butterflies. These became known as Wardian cases, and were used extensively on sea voyages and plant explorations to send back exotic plants to Britain from all over the world. James Hooker used them to transport tea plants from China to India, thus establishing the important India tea trade.

For more on these folks, and others, see the book Gardeners, Gurus and Grubs by George Drower, Sutton Publishing, Gloucestershire, UK.