Vintage landscape: Verdun

Verdun grave, university of caen, flickrSoldiers’ graves in the region of Verdun, France, ca. 1914 to ca. 1918, photographer unknown, via Université de Caen Normandie Commons on flickr.

“A gravesite decorated and trellised by the soldiers of the X. . . regiment of infantry.”

The photo is one of over 1,800 donated to the archives of Seine-Maritime in Rouen and the Université de Caen by the founder of Lafond Printing in Rouen. The sepia photographs have been digitized in their original condition: glued on bristol board with handwritten captions identifying places and scenes. Most of the pictures concern World War I.

You can click on the image to enlarge it.

The Sunday porch: rustic pavilion

Rustic building, Philadelphia, Library Company of PhiladelphiaThis whimsical shelter was located on a ridge in Philadelphia overlooking the Schuylkill River.  It was “one of the thatch-roof rustic pavilions installed at the [Fairmount Water Works] between 1864-1866 as a decorative improvement,” according to the website Philadelphia Architects and Buildings.

The photo, via Library Company of Philadelphia Commons on flickr, is dated ca. 1870.

In the lower left corner of the picture, you can just see one of the water work’s Classical Revival buildings at the river’s edge below. They housed and disguised the pumping equipment of the city’s water supply system from 1815 until 1911.

I love the birdhouses near the top of the pavilion’s roof.

The little buildings seem to have been replaced during the 20th century by white gazebos more closely matching the style of the other water works buildings, which now house a restaurant and interpretive center.

Spring holds on in France

Tant que mai n’est au 28, l’hiver n’est pas cuit.
Until May 28, winter is not cooked.

— French saying, via Paris côté jardin

École du Breuil, Paris 12e, photo by Alain Delavie.
École du Breuil, Paris 12e, photo by Alain Delavie.

“Sit down, it’s spring!”

This is the message of a charming chair at the Ecole du Breuil in Paris.  The photo is by Alain Delavie* from his blog Paris côté jardin (Paris  garden side).

However, in his post on May 26, Delavie noted that the temperature was “hardly conducive to lazing in the shade of a tree … more to a jacket and mulled wine.”  Indeed, Paris had record cold weather for the end of May.  Today, the temperature will be around 14°C or 57°F — pretty chilly.

Paris côté jardin is a wonderful resource for gardeners preparing to visit (or even luckier, live in) Paris or the Ile-de-France.  Delavie is the editor of Rustica Hebdo magazine and editorial advisor to www.rustica.fr.  Equally impressive, he is a member of the European Network of Master Composters.

(The blog is in French, but there is a Google Translate button.)

The Breuil School is run by the city of Paris and is located on 23 hectares in the Bois de Vincennes.  It was founded in 1867 by Baron Haussmann and Alphonse Du Breuil to provide the Paris and Seine region with properly trained gardeners.  Today, its mission is to train gardeners, technicians, and managers for the city of Paris “on the subject of plants in the urban space.”

The school enrolls 300 students at a time:  200 in the classroom and 100 in apprenticeships.  Its grounds and facilities include an arboretum, heritage orchard, greenhouse, many plant collections, and library.

As gardeners, surely we have done our duty once we have registered our disapproval at the general arrangement of the universe, with complaints of special sharpness directed toward the clumsiness — indeed, sloth — with which wind and rains are scheduled. It is all that can be expected of us. The rest is the full responsibility of the heavens and need not, therefore, concern us. It does seem to me odd, nevertheless, that this “Nature,” which is supposed to be so wonderful, so rarely lets anything come to full perfection. It is all designed on the frog in the well principle, two hops forward and one backward until a certain level is reached, then the whole thing collapses. That is all anybody needs to know about nature.

— Henry Mitchell, from The Essential Earthman


*Used here with his kind permission.

Vintage landscape: Bagatelle Garden (and Chelsea Miscellany)

Bagatelle/enclos*ure Hand-tinted (3″ x 5″) glass lantern slide of Bagatelle Garden, Paris, France, ca. 1930, photographer unknown.

Below: two details.

Bagatelle detail/enclos*ure

The image is from the Garden Club of America Collection, part of the Archives of American Gardens at the Smithsonian Institution (used here by permission).

Bagatelle detail/enclos*ure

The Archives hold over 60,000 photos and records documenting 6,300 historic and contemporary American gardens.  At its core are almost 3,000 hand-colored glass lantern and 35mm slides donated by the Garden Club of America.

Smithsonian Gardens maintains 11 gardens around the Smithsonian Institution’s grounds and also has a good blog here.

Chelsea Miscellany

It’s RHS  Chelsea Flower Show time!  Their website is here.

All The Telegraph’s  Chelsea coverage is here; The Guardian’s is here; The Independent’s is here.

BBC coverage is here.  You may need this to view it.  (View episodes soon; some expire in four days.)

The New York Times reports on how gnomes will be allowed in the show this year (only), here.  In the Herald (Dublin), “Diarmuid Gavin has branded the Chelsea Flower Show ‘dull’ and described Prince Harry’s garden at the centenary exhibition as ‘bad,'” here.

Studio ‘g’  has photos of the Best in Show winner — the Australian garden — here, and they promise more pictures to come.  Also, check out The Galloping Gardener’s report, here (thanks to GD by CM) — Gardenista’s, here — and The Enduring Gardener’s, here.   Anne Wareham of thinkinGardens comments on two of this year’s entries, here.

Sources for seeds for cow parsley — plant of the moment at this year’s show, according to Gardenista — here.

Instagram photos tagged #chelseaflowershow are here.  GAP Photos has 103 photos of Chelsea, here.  More photos, as well as plant lists, are posted on Shoot, here.

Where have you found good photos or reviews of the show?

A look back

This blog in 2012:*

I posted 173 times and received 39,923 views from readers from 147 countries.

(I do, however, take WordPress’s “My Stats” with a grain of salt.  A few mornings ago, it showed me with 10 views from 4 visitors in 6 countries.  Maybe one viewer was on an airplane?)

Posts with the most views: “Enclosures of the kings” and “A garden in the Virunga hills” — both in February and both after enclos*ure was featured on WordPress’s “Freshly Pressed” and Fine Gardening’s “Garden Photo of the Day.”

Most viewed individual photos:  Japanese Tea House (below)

Japanese tea house with mid-century garden chairs.
The Japanese tea house at Tudor Place with mid-century garden chairs.

and Tanner Springs Park (below)

A summer camp visit to Tanner Springs Park in Portland, Oregon.
A summer camp visits Tanner Springs Park in Portland, Oregon.

Thumbnails of both are featured on pages one and two of Google Image Search for those topics.

Search term bringing the most views to this blog: “Chateau Gaillard.”  I have never posted about Chateau Gaillard.

Strangest search term bringing (2) views to this blog: “why would someone enclos [sic] a front porch and make their side entrance the main address.”  Please, I would never do that.

Best blogging lesson learned:  In a country where the power goes off several times a day, click on “save draft” constantly.

Most popular enclos*ure photo on Pinterest:

18 stick in compost pile

from “A visit to GOFTC.”    “A pole is placed in the middle of the [compost] pile so it can slide in and out. If it is pulled out warm and damp, the pile is in good shape.”

Most annoying WordPress feature:  a spellcheck that changes ‘enclos*ure’ to ‘enclose*ure.’   Also, quote marks are frequently facing the wrong direction — see just above.

My own favorite image this year: I really couldn’t pick one, but I did love the pouring teapot in the garden of the Sowathe Tea Factory last January (below).

Sowathe cup of tea

Thank you all for visiting enclos*ure in 2012.

I leave you with this interesting quote:

People often ask us, in an amazed way, “how do you possibly garden together?”. . . [O]ne person’s strengths fill in for the other’s weaknesses. The human eye contains two kinds of receptors: rods respond to light or darkness; cones are sensitive to color and detail. Men’s eyes have more rods, a thousand times more sensitive to light than cones, so men wait for low light, often seeing better in the dark. With a plethora of cones, women may stumble in the dark but are better able to respond to the subtle blush of a rose. It doesn’t stop there. Men and women process the information that comes in through their eyes differently. Women store visual information on both sides of their brains, men on one side only: this give men better depth perception, but at the price of color recall, which is easier for women. Ten percent of men are functionally color blind, and almost none have the selective capacity of a woman’s eye, well trained.

— Nori and Sandra Pope, from Color by Design:  Planting the Contemporary Garden


*according to my WordPress.com Annual Report and “My Stats.”