Legends in the Garden: Who in the World is Nellie Stevens?


Oftentimes, we wonder not what our gardens grow, but who our gardens grow. Legends in the Garden is a collection of the history, places, people, and stories behind the names of some of America’s most well known plants. These anecdotes, researched and written by authors Linda L. Copeland and Allan M. Armitage, are a compilation of forty-six of these little known origins of plant names.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
BN.com price
(Save 21%)$19.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $6.00   
  • New (5) from $12.08   
  • Used (2) from $6.00   
Sending request ...


Oftentimes, we wonder not what our gardens grow, but who our gardens grow. Legends in the Garden is a collection of the history, places, people, and stories behind the names of some of America’s most well known plants. These anecdotes, researched and written by authors Linda L. Copeland and Allan M. Armitage, are a compilation of forty-six of these little known origins of plant names.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

"People and plant stories intertwine, greatly enlivening the history of horticulture."
Horticulture, January 2003
Detroit Free Press
"Those curious about the origins of plant names like Annabelle hydrangea and Arnold Promise witchhazel will enjoy Legends in the Garden."

—Marty Hair, Detroit Free Press, December 15, 2002

The Washington Post
"A unique little hardcover that will put faces with the names of a number of those cultivars, or hybrids, that have become so popular ... Stimulating, educational reading."

—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post, November 30, 2002

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591865230
  • Publisher: Allan Armitage
  • Publication date: 5/9/2011
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Langston Copeland grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and graduated from Wheaton College, Norton, and Massachusetts, with a BA in Economics. Always passionate about flowers and gardens, her serious studies in the field of horticulture began at the University of Georgia in 1992, where she took related courses for the next five years. Linda lives and gardens in Atlanta, Georgia, where she has served as a volunteer and board member of the Atlanta History Center, the Southeastern Flower Show, Northwood Garden Club, the Georgia Perennial Plant Association, and Gardens for Peace. Presently, she serves on the Board of the Cherokee Garden Library. Gardening is also a favorite pastime at the family's cabin on Lake Rabun. For the last seventeen years, she has coordinated garden tours in the United States and abroad for Garden Vistas. She and her husband, Dean, have a son who lives in Atlanta and a daughter who, with her husband and three sons, lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Allan M. Armitage is widely considered one of the world's foremost horticulturists. Armitage is a well-known professor, teacher, writer, speaker, and researcher throughout the world. He holds a B.S. from MacDonald College of McGill University, Quebec; an M.S. from University of Guelph, Ontario, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. At the University of Georgia (UGA), he runs the research gardens where new plant material from most of the flower breeders of the world is tested. The Trial Gardens at UGA are among the finest in the nation. His teaching and writing awards are many and include the Golden Trowel Award from Garden Writers of America for his book Allan Armitage on Perennials. Additionally, his book Herbaceous Perennial Plants is an industry standard. Greenhouse Grower magazine named Armitage one of the ten most influential people or organizations—ever—in the floriculture industry. Armitage's engaging style is widely appreciated for being charming and lively as well as knowledgeable. He is in constant demand as a speaker, and he considers his work with plants to be therapeutic, exciting, and creative.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

It was a close call. According to Mrs. Van Lennep, the 'Nellie R. Stevens' holly almost had her "head chopped off" before she was ever known. Having become holly collectors, Vida Stockwell Van Lennep and her husband, Gustav (Gus), were avid gardeners and had planted their own holly orchard in St. Michael's, a picturesque town on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The Van Lenneps were well-known for their holly interest and in 1952, Vida made a report about their holly orchard at a plant meeting of the Talbot County (Maryland) Garden Club. Eunice Parsons Highley, a friend from the neighboring town of Oxford, was also at the meeting, and when she heard about the Van Lennep's interest, she immediately asked them to visit her at her home, Maplehurst, to look at three unidentified hollies she was preparing to remove to make way for adjacent magnolias. Vida and Gus accepted the invitation and drove to Oxford.

In the world of holly enthusiasts, the Van Lenneps were still neophytes, but they compared each of Highley's hollies with the hollies they knew and realized each was different and unlike the other. They took cuttings of the plants, one female and two males to show at the Holly Society of America's annual meeting. The holly experts at the gathering were also mystified by the cuttings. Full of new hope for the previously doomed hollies, the Van Lenneps returned to St. Michael's and propagated the cuttings. After evaluating the plants, Gus Van Lennep was most impressed with the female clone and named it 'Nellie R. Stevens' to honor the lady who originally planted the seeds of the now-famous holly in her garden at Maplehurst. He introduced it to the commercial trade in 1954.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)