Category Archives: American gardens

Life in gardens: more chickens

Hugh Magnum chickens, via Duke on flickrChild with white chickens, taken between 1890 and 1922, by Hugh Mangum, via David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University (on flickr).

Mangum was a traveling photographer who worked along a rail circuit in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. You can see his portraits here.

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Life in gardens: feeding the chickens

Feeding chickens, ca. 1899 Georgia, Library of CongressA fenced-in backyard in Georgia, ca. 1899, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

These photos were included in one of several albums depicting African American life, which were compiled by W. E. B. Du Bois for the 1900 Paris Exposition.

Feeding chickens in ca. 1899 Georgia backyard, Library of Congress

There’s a brief history of the American backyard here.  Until the 20th century, it was a space for work, not recreation.

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The Sunday porch: Mobile, Alabama

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure- Tom Riley Hse., 1936, Mobile, Ala., HABS“Tom Riley House,” 256 North Jackson Street, Mobile, Alabama, September 1936, by E. W. Russell for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Decaying. . . but still elegant.

A Google street view for this address shows an empty lot, but the house next door is still standing.

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The Sunday porch: the peacock

The Sunday porch/enclos*ure: Federal Hill, by FBJ, Library of CongressFederal Hill, Fredericksburg, Virginia, between 1927 and 1929, Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Peacocks are probably the ultimate garden ornament — if you have the room and patience.  (It takes several years for a male to grow a substantial tail covert or “train.”)

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Life in gardens: warm afternoon

Warm afternoon 2, Southwest Washington, D.C., E. Rosskam, LoC. . . in Southwest Washington, D.C., 1941, by Edwin Rosskam, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Southwest is the capital’s smallest quadrant, located south of the National Mall along the Potomac River.  After the Civil War, it was populated by freed Blacks to its east and Scotch, Irish, German, and Eastern European immigrants to its west. Its old neighborhoods were largely destroyed in some very questionable “urban renewal” in the 1950s.

Summer specializes in time, slows it down almost to dream. . .

Jennifer Grotz, from “Late Summer

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