Myrtle Bankterrace, 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.
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 Arrosé, by Louis Lumière. You can see it here.
Schoolchildren’s victory gardens on 1st Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets, New York City, June 1944, by Edward Meyer for U.S. Office of War Information, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all photos here).
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer . . .
by our water hoses.
We are just below the equator here in Rwanda, so technically it is near the end of winter — and of the long dry season, which began in May and normally ends in September.
But last night there was a light rain for about seven hours, so today I don’t need to water anything in the garden, not even the new plants.
We’ve really cut back on watering this year, anyway — none for the grass and a lot less for the planting beds. The grass is going brown, but we still have a lot of flowers, particularly my stalwarts, yellow daylilies and pink gerbera daisies.
My biggest project in the last month has been to tackle our mess of a vegetable garden, which has consisted of several not very productive, but very wide and long raised beds. Their dimensions just weren’t manageable, so we’ve dug new paths and now all the beds are about 4′ x 5′.
Growing among the argula, lettuce, kale, strawberry, and tomato plants are also celosias, nasturtiums, Missouri primroses, and sunflowers.
Recently, I tried to grow American hardy hibiscus from seed (in the vegetable garden, where the soil is best), and, despite the fact that I have always read that this is a very easy thing to do, only about ten seedlings appeared from two packets of seeds, and for weeks they have remained at 2″ tall.
Nothing at all came up from a packet of black-eyed Susan seeds; only one plant from a packet of Verbena bonariensis. However, alpine strawberry seeds have produced about 15 plants.
I have also done well with re-seeding lettuce, dill, basil, garlic chives, and coriander and with rooted rosemary cuttings. I have high hopes for my cherry tomato plants, many of which have clusters of tiny fruit.
In the long flower border along the lower lawn, I have one bloom from several purple coneflower plants that I have grown from seed.
Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is the 15th day of every month. Check out May Dreams Gardens to see what’s blooming in other garden bloggers’ gardens today.