“House, small, hipped roof, New Roads vic., Point Coupee Parish, Louisiana,” 1938, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
On some days, this is my dream garden.
Just cut a path through the gate, up to the front steps . . .
and plant a fig tree at the end of the porch.
Click on ‘Continue reading’ to scroll through larger versions of the images.
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
– Gerard Manley Hopkins, from “Inversnaid“
“Flowers planted around Spyglass homes built on a terraced hillside[, Los Angeles], May 1975.”
This photo was taken by Charles O’Rear for DOCUMERICA, a 1970’s photography program of the Environmental Protection Agency.
There are more pictures from DOCUMERICA here.
“Tulare Valley, California; gathering flowers in February,” 1868, by Alexander Gardner, via SMU Central University Libraries Commons on flickr.
You can click on the image and enlarge it.
Best and brightest, come away!
Fairer far than this fair Day,
Which, like thee to those in sorrow,
Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow
The Brightest hour of unborn Spring,
Through the winter wandering,
Found, it seems, the halcyon Morn
To hoar February born.
Bending from Heaven, in azure mirth,
It kissed the forehead of the Earth,
And smiled upon the silent sea,
And bade the frozen streams be free,
And waked to music all their fountains,
And breathed upon the frozen mountains,
And like a prophetess of May
Strewed flowers upon the barren way,
Making the wintry world appear
Like one on whom thou smilest, dear.
– Percy Bysshe Shelley, from “To Jane: The Invitation“
(Posts with photos from the here and now are coming shortly. We had house guests and were traveling last week.)
Today, December 22, is the centenary of the birth of environmental advocate, businesswoman, and former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson (Claudia Alta Taylor).
Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)
While her husband was president, she created a First Lady’s Committee for a More Beautiful Capital and then expanded its efforts with successful support for the Highway Beautification Act of 1965.
In 1982, Johnson and actress Helen Hayes created an organization to protect the native plants and natural landscapes of North America. It became the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.
Some of her words:
“Though the word ‘beautification’ makes the concept sound merely cosmetic, it involves much more: clean water, clean air, clean roadsides, safe waste disposal and preservation of valued old landmarks as well as great parks and wilderness areas. To me…beautification means our total concern for the physical and human quality we pass on to our children and the future.”
“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.”
You can listen to an interview about Lady Bird Johnson, An Oral History on “The Diane Rehm Show” at the link on the sidebar under “Today’s Quote.” Adrian Higgins of The Washington Post wrote a tribute to her in October, here.
Public domain photo above by Dr. Thomas G. Barnes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
While the hand-colored images are the stars of the recently released collection of lantern slides taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston, among the new material are these lovely black and white photographs of wildflowers. Johnston used these pictures to illustrate her popular lecture, “Wild Flower Gardening.”
The slide at the top is “Unidentified house, woodland pathway, 1920.” All the portraits of flowers below were taken between 1915 and 1927.
Wood anemone. (All labels by the Library of Congress; click any photo to enlarge it.)
Bell flower (campanula).
Wildflowers in bloom.
Bell flower (campanula).
Unidentified garden or park, woodland daffodils, 1920 (also the photo below).
All photos are from the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day in April
I’m afraid this will have to count for my Bloom Day post this month — it’s pouring outside. To see what’s blooming in other garden bloggers’ gardens, go to May Dreams Gardens, here.