Natchez, Mississippi

Myrtle Bank terrace, Natchez, Mississippi, ca. 1900, from the Stewart Photograph Collection,* via Mississippi Department of Archives and History Commons on flickr (both photos).

The two houses shown here are about two blocks from each other, both on N. Pearl Street.

Major Benbrook residence, corner with B Street, ca. 1895, also from the Stewart Collection.

The neighborhood evidently had good water pressure. Both houses still stand.

In ancient Greece, the first hoses (for fire fighting) were made from ox intestines. In the late 17th century, Jan van der Heiden and his son sewed leather into long tubes for Amsterdam’s fire department. Then, in 1821 Boston, James Boyd invented a rubber-lined, cotton-webbed hose. By the 1870s, the first rubber and cotton fiber hoses for gardeners appeared on the market.

In 1895, a garden hose was the subject of what is believed to be the first comedy film, L’Arroseur Arroséby Louis Lumière. You can see it here.


*By brothers Robert Livingston Stewart and William Percy Stewart of Natchez, Mississippi, from ca. 1890 to ca. 1905.

More Bloom Day in March

The borders along the upper lawn in our Kigali garden are blooming particularly well this month. I took these pictures yesterday.

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Our front garden is a rather formal arrangement of two long lawns that run parallel to each other and to the length of the house and its terrace. The narrow upper one is separated from the much wider lower one by two sets of 3′ retaining walls, which are joined in the center by a flight of steps. Irregularly curving planting beds border both sides of the lower lawn and one side of the upper.

I’ve tried to balance the formal layout with an informal, sort of “country garden” planting plan. The beds contain a closely planted mix of tropical and temperate plants and shrubs. Most are cultivated, but the “wild” plants and vines that work their self-seeding way up through the jumble can stay if they they add nice textures or colors.

The beds between the retaining walls and the one along the far side of the lower lawn are anchored by several large, often flowering, shrubs and lianas, and even some small trees.

Because of the vigorous plants and the constant warm weather, I’m always pruning or chopping something back.

Almost every plant repeats in the garden, often in several places.  But each 7′ to 15′ section of border has its own primary and secondary colors and then a bit of a third color trailing through the middle or around the edges.

The border along the upper lawn starts out orange and white (with a little pink) at its south end, then becomes yellow and blue/purple with some orange to the center steps. On the north side of the steps, it is yellow and blue/purple again with a stronger trail of orange (red hot poker, lantana, tropical hibiscus). At the north end, it is red and pink with blue around the edges.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the 15th of every month. To see what’s blooming today in other bloggers’ gardens, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

My earlier March Bloom Day post today is here.
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