Primrose box

Sakurasō (primrose: Primula sieboldii or P. japonica), ca. 1810, a woodcut print by Kubo Shunman, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Another way to display primroses. This also makes me think of photographer Sibylle Pietrek’s boxed flowers here.

To see how other garden bloggers have arranged flowers today, please take a look at “In a vase on Monday,” hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Also, the blog It’s About Time, is currently running a series of posts of paintings, “Arranging Flowers in 19C & Early 20C America.”

Arrangement in blue and pink

“Cornucopia of flowers,” between 1820 and 1890, an American watercolor by an unknown artist (possibly related to this?), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

I wasn’t able to make my own flower arrangement this week for the Monday meme “In a vase on Monday,”‘ but to see what other garden bloggers have created, please visit host Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Verona, Italy

A group of children with flowers in the cloister of San Zeno, Verona, Italy, May 10, 1918, by Fernand Cuville, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Départment of Hauts-de-Seine.

Tradition has it that the crypt of San Zeno is where Romeo married Juliet.

The autochrome above is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photo (A 19 474) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

In a vase on Monday: peonies

For each of the last two springs in this house, the peony plant in the back yard has given me exactly one bloom. This week, there were eight — all but two opening fully on the same day. Their stems are very curved from being knocked over earlier in the month by a late snow and then rain and wind.  Next year, I will try to remember to rig up some sort of support before they emerge.

The blooms look red, but they’re actually a very dark pink, and they have a nice light scent. I arranged them with some wild pink geranium that comes up along the back fence (maybe G. palustre?) and some sweet woodruff. The Westerwald salt-glazed pottery pitcher is from this Saturday’s flea market.

To see what other bloggers have put in a vase today, please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. She hosts this Monday meme.

The flower seller, NYC


An Easter floral display at Bradshaw & Hartman, New York City, between 1900 and 1905, by Detroit Publishing Co.via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (both photos).

I found this advertisement in The Weekly Florists Review, Vol. 12, 1903:

Established 1891
Geo. E. Bradshaw   John R. Hartman
Wholesale Florists
53 West 28th Street, New York
Telephone 1239 Madison Square
Consignments Solicited
Mention the Review when you write.

The current building at 53 W. 28th Street seems to be the same one in these pictures.

There have been flower wholesalers on this section of 28th Street since the 1890s, according to this interesting article in The Economist.