Category Archives: design

Vintage landscape: lilac bush

Lilacs, between 1905 and 1915, by  via Library of CongressSirenʹ  or lilacs – an early color photograph taken between 1905 and 1915 – by Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich Prokudin-Gorskiĭ, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love. . . .

– Walt Whitman, from “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

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The Sunday porch: somewhere in Texas

The Sunday porch/enclos*ure: unidentified Texas porch, by Fanny Ratchford, 1936, via Texas State Archives Commons.“Unidentified house,” probably by Fanny Ratchford, 1936, via Texas State Archives Commons on flickr. (You can click on the photo to enlarge it.)

It’s interesting to me that the roof of the house extends beyond the edge of the porch. The pretty columns are not attached to the railings, but come down to the ground a few feet beyond them.

There seems to be a word — maybe a name — on the wall above the chair on the left side, but I can’t read it.

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Among a little wind grit, in a grid on a grid, somewhere
like the crossroads of outer space and Earth, Texas,
a handful of ragged elms withstand a long sway
of heat and wind. These old guards of a home haunt
the field but wither even as ghosts must. Honor them
with a walk among homesick bricks, and prophesy good.

John Poch, from “The Llano Estacado

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Filed under American gardens, architecture, design, landscape, nature, The Sunday porch, vintage landscape

Life in gardens: White House

Sadat and Carter at the White House, 1980, Library of Congress“President Jimmy Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat have refreshments in the garden of the White House,” April 8, 1980, Washington, D.C. Photo credited to Marion S. Trikosko and Warren K. Leffler,via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.*

The previous spring, Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin had signed the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty on the White House lawn.

*U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection.

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Filed under a garden in history, American gardens, culture and history, design, food, garden design, landscape, life in gardens, nature, vintage landscape, Washington, D.C., gardens

A walk around a Kigali nursery

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Green Passion plant nursery – which I visited yesterday – has beautiful, healthy plants and knowledgable owners who speak French and English.

It’s located on Avenue du Lac Kivu in Kigali, Rwanda.

You can scroll through larger images by clicking on ‘Continue reading’ below.

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Filed under African gardens, design, garden design, landscape, nature, plants, Rwandan gardens, working in the garden

Vintage landscape: spring rain

Showers, White House, early 1920s, via Library of Congress“Sidewalk in front of White House, Washington, D.C.,” early 1920s, by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour. . .

– Geoffrey Chaucer, from “The General Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales

Translation: April showers bring May flowers.

Today is Whan that Aprille Day – a day to enjoy “alle langages that are yclept ‘old,’ or ‘middel,’ or ‘auncient,’ or ‘archaic,’ or, alas, even ‘dead.’” This is the idea of @LeVostreGC (or Chaucer Doth Tweet), who blogs at Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog.

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Filed under a garden in history, American gardens, architecture, culture and history, design, garden design, landscape, nature, vintage landscape, Washington, D.C., gardens