The Sunday porch: the frame

Oatlands, Leesburg, VA, Library of CongressA view from the summer house at Oatlands, Loudoun County, Virginia, in the 1930s, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Oatlands Plantation was established in 1798 by a member of Virginia’s prominent Carter family. In 1903, it was sold to William and Edith Corcoran Eustis, and  Mrs. Eustis began to revive the old gardens in the Colonial Revival style. Since 1965, the property has been a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is open to the public from April 1 to December 30.

Vintage landscape: repurposed

Formal victory garden, ca. 1918, Library of Congress

World War I victory garden in a formal setting, location unknown,* ca. 1917 – ca. 1920, by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The photo seems to have been taken for the National War Garden Commission, also known as the National Emergency Food Garden Commission.

The organization was created in early 1917 by Charles Lathrop Pack.  It sponsored a campaign of pamphlets, posters, and press releases aimed at “arous[ing] the patriots of America to the importance of putting all idle land to work, to teach them how to do it, and to educate them to conserve by canning and drying all food that they could not use while fresh.”

Like it or not, what you do with the land around your house tells the world what sort of citizen you are.

Abby Adams, The Gardener’s Gripe Book

*Harris & Ewing was located in Washington, D.C.

The Sunday porch: lattice and brick

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“William Windom house, 1723 de Sales Place, Washington, D.C., Terrace,” ca. 1925, four hand-colored glass lantern slides by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Johnston used these slides in her “Gardens for City and Suburb” lectures. (You can scroll through larger version by clicking on ‘Continue reading’ below.)

De Sales Place (now Row) is an alleyway between L and M Streets, N.W. (It connects 18th and 19th Streets.) The house is gone; an office building occupies the site.

The William Windom who gave his name to the home was twice Secretary of the Treasury, as well as a Congressman and Senator from Minneasota. He died in 1891. His son, also a William, may have been living in the house at the time of these photos.  He died in 1926.

[We] usually learn that modesty, charm, reliability, freshness, calmness, are as satisfying in a garden as anywhere else.

— Henry Mitchell, from The Essential Earthman

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