Vintage landscape: groundcover

Adirondack flowers, photochrom, Library of CongressAdirondack mountain wild flowers,” ca. 1902, a photochrom by Detroit Photographic Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Here at my feet what wonders pass,
What endless, active life is here!
What blowing daisies, fragrant grass!
An air-stirr’d forest, fresh and clear.

— Matthew Arnold, from “Lines Written in Kensington Gardens

Vintage landscape: the Wizard Tree

Wizard Tree, Library of CongressThe Wizard tree, Cathedral Woods, Intervale, New Hampshire, ca. 1900, a photochrom by Detroit Photographic Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

According to the blog Cow Hampshire, this tree — a birch — “became one of the most frequently photographed and promoted trees in New Hampshire” by 1904.  Its story is here.

Today, the last Friday in April, is Arbor Day in much of the United States.

Here in Germany, we will celebrate Tag des Baumes tomorrow, April 25.

The Sunday porch: Pasadena

So thou dost riot through the glad spring days. . .*

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure -- Pasadena, c. 1902, Library of Congress“Gold of Ophir roses, Pasadena[, California,]” ca. 1902, a photochrom by Detroit Photographic Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The climber Gold of Ophir — also known as Fortune’s Double Yellow and Beauty of Glazenwood — moved to southern California with the settlers and flourished there.

“I remember great heaps of them in every backyard, blazing like moons on fire, yellow, gold, pink. . .,” wrote M. K. Fisher in her introduction to Growing Good Roses by Rayford C. Reddell.

* from “Gold of Ophir Roses” by Grace Atherton Dennen, editor/publisher of The Lyric West

Vintage landscape: meadowland

Meadowland, via LoCA photochrom taken c. 1902, by Detroit Photographic Co.,  via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Why is any cow, red, black or white, always in just the right place for a picture in any landscape?  Like a cypress tree in Italy, she is never wrongly placed.  Her outlines quiet down so well into whatever contours surround her.  A group of her in the landscape is enchantment.

— Frank Lloyd Wright, from his autobiography

The guides at Taliesin will tell you that Wright strongly preferred buff-colored and brown cows to black and white ones.

Vintage landscape: Smiley Heights

Smiley Heights, via LoCRoadside view from Smiley Heights, Redlands, California, between 1898 and 1905, a photochrom by Detroit Photographic Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

(Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Alfred and Albert Smiley — twin brothers — were wealthy New York hotel owners who came to California in their sixties:

In 1889, while in California, the brothers became so impressed with the beautiful scenery and surroundings of Redlands that they purchased for a winter home 200 acres of the heights south of the town, through which tract they caused to be constructed a beautiful series of roads, both for driving and walking, and on the summit and along the northern declivities started a thousand or more species of rare plants and flowers of such varieties as flourish in this semi-tropical climate. Each of the brothers erected a beautiful and substantial residence on the crest of the hill. This property called the Canon Crest Park, commonly known as Smiley Heights, was thrown open to the public and the park has become famous throughout the land, being visited by thousands of Eastern tourists annually.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties (1922) by John Brown, Jr., and James Boyd

The Smiley estate is now “covered by McMansions,”  according to this article about Redlands in The Atlantic.

Below the garden the hills fold away.
Deep in the valley, a mist fine as spray,
Ready to shatter into spinning light,
Conceals the city at the edge of night.

Yvor Winters, from “On a View of Pasadena from the Hills