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Violas to Pansies and Bridgerton?

How in the world could Pansies possibly have anything in common with the stunning Netflix series Bridgerton?

Well, as it happens, our modern Pansies—one of the earliest spots of colors in spring gardens—evolved from violas and violets. Today Pansies are a common sight but at the beginning of the 1800’s these colorful flowers didn’t even exist. It’s thanks to the enthusiasm of two British plant enthusiasts of the Regency Era—Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennet and Lord Gambier—that we have these beautiful blooms to enjoy today. Both employed gardeners to accomplish their goals of developing a bigger version of the woodland viola by collecting naturally occurring specimens and cross-breeding to develop a new variety of plant. William Richardson was the gardener employed by Lady Bennet and William Thompson worked for Lord Gambier.

If you’ve watched the gorgeous and widely popular Netflix series Bridgerton, you’ve seen the stories of the high society of the Regency Era. Wouldn’t it be great fun to know the stories of those avid gardening enthusiasts, most likely considered the “geeks” of their day?


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