Category Archives: American gardens

Life in gardens: tea stop

Tea and bicycle, ca. 1900, Univ. of Washington Libraries“Two women with bicycle,” Hoquiam, Washington, photographer unknown, via University of Washington Libraries Commons on flickr.

Modern and stylish, ca. 1900.   That’s an interesting device for keeping the kettle warm.

Young women of that time must have been pretty desperate to get out on their own — to bicycle in corsets, puffy high-necked blouses, and large hats.

Beautiful, thick vines on the porch behind them. (You can click on the photo to enlarge it.)

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Vintage landscape: cabbage

Cabbage portrait, Mississippi Dept. of History and ArchivesCrystal Springs, Mississippi, between 1900 and 1950, via Luther Hamilton Photograph Collection, Mississippi Department of Archives and History Commons on flickr.

The almost 1,000 photos in this collection were taken or collected by the Luther Myles Hamiltons — Sr. and Jr. — during the first half of the 20th century.  They document life in and around the farm town of Crystal Springs.  

Luther Sr. was a portraitist, and his pictures of the babies, children, and women on this page are lovely.

Many of the farm fields in the suburbs of Stuttgart are blue with rows of cabbages right now.  I will try to get a photo before the harvest.

The stump of the newborn
dries in the crook of my arm.
I am the witch, cradling
the pale green head,
murmuring, “Little one,
you look good enough to eat.”

Lisel Mueller, from “Found in the Cabbage Patch

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The Sunday porch: ecchoing green

Green, Oregon State University Archives
“J.D. Irvine Residence, Brownsville[, Oregon],” ca. 1918, via Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Commons on flickr.

What is green? the grass is green,
With small flowers between.

— Christina Rossetti, from “Color

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Life in gardens: dahlias

Woman with dahlia, Library of Congress“Woman with dahlias,” ca. 1930, by Doris Ulmann, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

In this beautiful portrait of an older Appalachian women, you can just see her stand of dahlias behind her.

In the traditional language of flowers, the dahlia is usually said to represent dignity, sometimes elegance.

A well-to-do New Yorker, Doris Ulmann trained as an art photographer with Clarence H. White in the 1910s. In the 1920s, she began traveling to the southeast to photograph rural people, particularly in the hills of Kentucky and the Sea Islands of South Carolina — people “for whom life had not been a dance.” She also documented Appalachian folk arts and crafts, working with musician and folklorist John Jacob Niles.

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Life in gardens: 1967

Tompkins Square Park, 1967, George Eastman HouseTompkins Square Park, East Village, New York City, 1967, by James Jowers, via George Eastman House Commons on flickr.

Tompkins Square Park . . .  was reconstructed [in the mid 1960s,] just in time for an era of sweeping changes. The surrounding neighborhood became the east coast version of ‘Haight-Ashbury.’ Rock musicians, poets, hippies, and political activists transformed downtown Manhattan into a center for counter-cultural activities and political protest. It was during the mid- to late-1960s that the area surrounding Tompkins Square Park came to be called ‘The East Village.’ . . .

Tompkins Square had once before been the site of powerful expressions of joy and rebellion. A century earlier, German-Americans had transformed the square with their volkefestes and mass demonstrations. Their spirit and command of the space were being revived— only now in 1960s terms. Young people demonstrated at the bandshell against American involvement in Vietnam and in favor of women’s and third world liberation movements. They gathered to hear bandshell concerts put on by the Fugs, the Grateful Dead and Charles Mingus. They were certainly ignoring signs that cautioned ‘keep off the grass.’ . . .

— Laurel Van Horn, from “A History of Tompkins Square Park

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