The Sunday porch: irises

Japanese Iris GardenTwo women in a pavilion overlooking irises in Japan, between 1860 and 1910.

Japanese Iris Garden, cropped 1

Detail of photo above.

This hand-colored photograph comes from the National Museum of Denmark Commons on flickr — part of a collection that belonged to journalist Holger Rosenberg.

Unfortunately, the museum does not have any additional information about it.

Japanese Iris Garden, cropped 2

Detail of top photo. The flowers are probably growing in slightly sunken, wet or damp ground.

In Heian Period [794 -1185] Japanese gardens, built in the Chinese model, buildings occupied as much or more space than the garden. The garden was designed to be seen from the main building and its verandas, or from small pavilions built for that purpose. In later gardens, the buildings were less visible. Rustic teahouses were hidden in their own little gardens, and small benches and open pavilions along the garden paths provided places for rest and contemplation. In later garden architecture, walls of houses and teahouses could be opened to provide carefully framed views of the garden. The garden and the house became one.

— “Japanese garden,” Wikipedia

Click here to see all the Museum’s online photos of Japanese landscapes (and some wonderful kimonos).

There’s also a 1913 Japanese iris garden in East Hampton, N.Y., here.

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The fire pit in May

There is a fire pit underneath, awaiting summer cleanup — but I was drawn to the nice arrangement of shaggy grass and logs* (and, of course, the bench and the other beautiful pile of wood in the background).

This is at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s home in Loudon County, Virginia. The picture is from her (mostly about) quilting blog, deeroo designs.  Check out the spring color in their garden and also some ideas for half-square triangles here.

Tomorrow Tuesday, about my own long grass. . .

*I imagine a nice little snake has been drawn to it too.

Photo © deeroo designs.

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Life in gardens: flower fair

Grand Kermesse poster, Library of Congress“Country flower fair, May 19 and 20, 1918, at the Bordeaux Town Hall. To benefit the war charities and children’s charities.” Poster art by A. Guindet, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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Vintage landscape: Verona, Italy

Watercolor of Italian courtyard, Natl. Archives of EstoniaSan Giorgio cloister, Verona, Italy, May 19, 1878, via National Archives of Estonia Commons on flickr.

The watercolor is one of many Italian scenes collected (perhaps painted?) by a Baroness Meyendorff in the 1870s and early 1880s.

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Life in gardens: from the window

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Hagar Olsson — Finnish novelist, essayist, and critic — in her parents’ home in Räisälä (then in Finland, now in Russia), ca. 1920, photo by Edith Södergran, via The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland Commons on flickr.

Edith Irene Södergran was a Finnish poet and one of the first modernists in Swedish-language literature — both she and her close friend Olssen wrote in Swedish.  She was also an amateur photographer. She died in 1923, at the age of 31, from tuberculosis.

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Look out our astounding
clear windows before evening.
It is almost as if
the world were blue
with some lubricant,
it shines so.

Denis Johnson, from “Looking Out the Window Poem

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