Category Archives: landscape

Life in gardens: sowing

Gardeners at the 1936 White Hse., Library of Congress“Grounds workers at White House, Washington, D.C.,” March 1936, by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. (You can click on the photo to enlarge it.)

The National Park Service has maintained the White House gardens since 1933.

. . . [W]hile lawns are cultural (in the sense that they are meaning-laden), they are not the product of some pre-existing “culture,” and are instead the meaningful expression of political and economic forces. . . . Lawns are propelled into the landscape both by economic imperatives (e.g., real estate growth) and also by intentional and thoughtful efforts to produce certain kinds of subjects. Lawns are a strategy, therefore, both for capital accumulation and making docile and responsible citizens.

– Paul Robbins, from Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are (p. 32)

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The Sunday porch: Ste. Genevieve, Mo.

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure- 1934 J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., HABS, Library of CongressThe Jean Baptiste Valle House from the southeast, Sainte Genevieve,  Missouri, April 10, 1934, by Alexander Piaget, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The town of Ste. Genevieve is the oldest permanent European settlement in Missouri — established about 1735 by French Canadian colonists. Today, its National Historic Landmark District has a number of surviving late 18th century and early 19th century homes.

The Jean Baptiste Valle house was built between 1785 and 1796 by Valle and his wife, Jeanne Barbeau.

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure- 1934 J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., S.W. view, HABS, Library of CongressA view of the southwest corner (same photographer and date as above).

The house has an “interrupted French colonial gallery” porch on all sides.

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure- cropped 1985 plan of J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., HABS, Library of CongressA plan of the property drawn in 1985 for HABS. The site is about 200′ x 250′.

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure- 1934 J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., N.W. view, HABS, Library of CongressA view of the garden from the interior of the west-side porch (seen on the left side of the second photo above), 1933, photographer not noted.

This section of porch connected a back bedroom and the kitchen.

These pictures from the 1930s were part of photographic surveys of early Missouri sites made by Alexander and Paul Piaget and Charles von Ravenswaay. In 1984, their work was donated to the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) collection of the Library of Congress (all photos here via the LoC).

1934-The Sunday porch:enclos*ure-  J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., HABS, Library of CongressA view of the flower garden on the north side of the house, April 10, 1934, by Piaget.

Spring 1934-The Sunday porch:enclos*ure-  J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., HABS, Library of CongressLilac along a pathway.

The photo above and the two below are not dated, but also seem to have been taken in April 1934. The steps went into the kitchen pantry.

probably April 1934-The Sunday porch:enclos*ure-  J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., HABS, Library of CongressThe garden was laid out in 1867.

probably 1934-The Sunday porch:enclos*ure-  J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., HABS, Library of Congress

1985-The Sunday porch:enclos*ure-  J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., HABS, Library of CongressAn undated view of the garden entrance “at side.”

West side, 1985-The Sunday porch:enclos*ure-  J. B. Valle Hse, Mo., HABS, Library of CongressThe west garden and porch in 1986, by Jack Boucher for HABS. Additional images and information were added to this property’s survey in 1985 and 86.

Today, the house is not open to the public. However, in 2013, it was sold to the National Society of the Colonial Dames to ensure its preservation.

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Vintage landscape: Petit Trianon

Petit Trianon, Versailles, FrancePetit Trianon, Versailles, France, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900, a photochrom by Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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Life in gardens: royal sneeuwpop

One hundred and two years ago today. . .

Juliana and her mother, Norway“The Dutch queen Wilhelmina and princess Juliana [and their little dog] as snowmen [or sneeuwpop],” January 21, 1913, The Netherlands, via Nationaal Archief Commons on flickr.

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Vintage landscape: promenade

More beautiful photochroms of France from the Library of Congress. . . . Enjoy.

[The Promenade, Montpelier, France“The Promenade, Montpelier, France,” between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900, a photochrom by Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (and all photos below).

The Tuileries garden, Paris, France“The Tuileries garden, Paris, France.”

Brest France photochrom, ca. 1900, Library of CongressThe Cours Dajot, Brest, Brittany, France.

[The Square and the Place D'Arcy, Dijon, France“The Square and the Place D’Arcy, Dijon, France.”

Caen, France, c. 1895, Library of Congress“Royal Palace and hotel de ville, Caen, France.”

Hotel de ville, posts and telegraphs, Vichy, France“Hotel de ville, posts and telegraphs, Vichy, France.”

Monks' promenade, Mont St. Michel, France“Monks’ promenade, [Abbey of] Mont St. Michel, France.”

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