Luther Burbank’s Wizardry
A 1915 photograph at the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens in Santa Rosa, CA, chronicles a visit paid to the plant genius by inventor extraordinaire Thomas Edison and industrialists Henry Ford and Harvey S. Firestone. The guest book also reveals Burbank was visited by writer Jack London and Helen Keller, as well as people from Mongolia and Europe.
Great minds were not only following the work of Burbank, they were determined to get a peek at his experiments.
I recently toured the gardens, and I was taken by the maze of flowering plants. But I was even more impressed by the man who experimented with the same dogged stamina as Edison. Burbank introduced 800 new plant varieties to American growers from 1825 to 1926.
The horticulturist of international fame believed my town of Santa Rosa was the “chosen spot” in all the world for growing. This leaves me befuddled because my husband says I have a gift for growing potpourri. But after strolling through Burbank’s gardens there’s hope for this potpourri artist.