The front window

“Mrs. Herman Perry in her home at Mansfield, Iron County, Michigan,” May 1937, by Russell Lee, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Look through the net curtains at her tomato plants in tin cans. I wonder if she really waited until the average last frost date* for zone 18 — which is currently between July 1 and 10 — to put them in the ground.

Lee took the photo on assignment for the U.S. Farm Security Administration. Mrs. Perry was “the wife of an oldtime iron miner who worked in the mines before they were abandoned.”

*The average first frost date is between September 1 and 10.

The winter garden: palms

Winter garden:enclos*ure - Glover House, via Library of Congress“Glover House, Washington, D.C.(?),” c. 1900, a cyanotype by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

I haven’t been able to find out anything certain about Glover House.  It seems possible that it was the home of Charles Carroll Glover, who purchased and then donated the land for Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., in the 1870s. (He lived at “Westover,” at 4300 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., which is now a modern townhouse development.)

He and  Johnston moved in the same social circles at the turn of the 19th century. As part of her photography business, she took pictures of the homes of many wealthy Washingtonians (and the White House).

Three more winter gardens are here.

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor. . .

Wallace Stevens, from “Of Mere Being

The winter garden: Illinois farmhouse

The winter garden/enclos*ure: farmhouse living room, Mercer County, Illinois, November 1936, by Russell Lee, via Library of Congress“Window of farmhouse living room. Mercer County, Illinois. Hired man lives in house on farm which was formerly residence of owner-operator,” November 1936.  Photo and caption by Russell Lee, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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Another winter garden is here.

Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

— Carl Sandburg, from “At a Window