I happened upon this gorgeous flower the other day when out for my walk –

I did some research on the flower and found out that its name was Heavenly Blue Morning Glory and found the most interesting woman who is responsible for giving the world this beauty.  So in celebration of National Garden Month I give you the story of the remarkable Theodosia Burr Sheperd.

Theodosia Burr Shepherd (1845-1906)

Shepherd was born in the Iowa Territory and suffered many hardships, including the death of her mother when she was 3 years old.   As an adult, poverty drove her to advertise in a magazine barter column to supply California wildflower seeds and Calla lily bulbs in exchange for clothing for her daughter and household items. This business became tremendously successful. She then began supplying flower seeds and bulbs to large seed companies on the East Coast.

Soon she was making $1000/year, a sizeable sum in the 1880s, and had founded the California seed and bulb industry. Seed merchants Peter Henderson and W. Atlee Burpee visited the West Coast after receiving Shepherd’s seeds and bulbs and soon began West Coast production themselves.

Shepherd next established a retail florist business in Ventura, Calif. The business became very successful and was incorporated into a stock company, one of the first companies in the United States owned and operated by women. In addition to her seed and florist businesses, Shepherd was a successful flower breeder. She made tremendous improvements in nasturtiums, cosmos, abutilon, begonia, and petunia. Among her creations are ‘Golden West’ California poppy, ‘Oriole’ rose, and ‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glory.


I invite you to share a story about an inspiring woman in the comments section. Just leave us a link to your post. We can never read too many stories about inspiring women. 


The above information is from an article that was written by David R. Hershey, Notable Women in the History of Horticulture

About Bernadette

I live in the small town of Haddonfield, NJ. I am at an age in my life when I seem to spend time thinking and musing about life. These musings are usually stimulated by my walks through Haddonfield, my reading of books and fellow bloggers, and my interaction with my group of fabulous family and friends.

14 Responses

  1. Bernadette, I love morning glory flowers and this Heavenly Blue lives up to its name! How wonderful to learn about its creator, Theodosia Burr Shepherd. What an extraordinary life and fortitude and business sense…I’m in admiration of her and her success and creative prowess. Thank you so for sharing with us and a delight to read with my breakfast this morning – a real treat. Wishing you a very happy weekend! 😀❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Many thanks, Bernadette – I had a most wonderful harmonious holiday. Especially bonded closely with my son without distractions of the internet and we all read loads!!



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