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Theodosia Burr Shepherd (1845-1906) was born in Keosauqua, Iowa. In 1873, Mrs. Shepherd,
her husband, and four children, moved to California for her health. In 1884 Mrs.
Shepherd turned an old piano crate into a greenhouse, and began her career as a professional
seed and bulb grower. By 1892, she had eight acres under cultivation. Among her specialties
were Begonias, Smilax, Calla lilies, Cobaea scandans, Mexican orchids, and cacti,
but she also sold —
and hybridized —
roses, at her nursery in “Ventura-By-The-Sea.” In
1902, she incorporated her business. She died on September 6, 1906 at age sixty one.
Mrs. Shepherd is considered to be the founder of California’s flower seed and cut flower