gardening in america

i was at a book store the other day and found a treasure that’s perfect to share with you today:

a treasure book

if you’ve ever been over to our house you know my penchant for books – gardening books in particular.  while i love new books, there’s a certain quality about old books that intrigues me… the worn fabric edges, the graphic flourishes to emphasize the title’s typeface, the smell of well-aged newsprint, the wonder of who’s hands the book has passed through over time…  the book that caught my eye this time was america’s garden book, written by louise bush-brown (former director of the pennsylvania school of horticulture for women, now temple university ambler) and james bush-brown (former landscape architect and member of asla).  it was originally published in 1939 and periodically revised (book shown in 1952) by charles scribner’s sons.  it covers the gamut of horticultural information and includes black and white illustrations, line drawings and photographs.

zones of hardiness - my how they've changed...
compost, a valuable adjunct
"a garden house" (original photo by mattie edwards hewitt)
design viewpoints
croquet anyone?

i tend to file notes, pamphlets and photos in the pages of books – mostly to mark the page i’m on, but i often forget that i’ve filed them there.  i’m glad i’m not the only one:

notes to self
garden warfare requires intelligent care

i found the entry pictured above particularly interesting given this holiday of independence… for to be truly appreciative of our life histories, shouldn’t we know something about the way in which ALL things live and grow…?

happy independence day.


3 thoughts on “gardening in america

  1. I too love old books. My mother has some old farming books, mostly citrus-related I think, that were my grandfather’s. He was a 6-day-a-week fireman that badly wanted to be a farmer. His dad, scoundrel that he was, did some farming (among many other things) and came up with some grafting pecans — Owens pecans. After reading your post, I’ll have to ask my mom if I can go through Daddy Buster’s books. He died a few months before I was born….and about 50 years after he saw his father shoot and kill his mother. No need for reality tv in MY family. 😉

    • that is quite the story michal! no lack of drama there…! hope you find the books you mentioned – perhaps you could find some quilting inspiration in them…?

  2. I have this same book but had not looked at it for quite a while. When I pulled it off the shelf there was a card in it reminding me it had been a gift. I love these old books, too. I have dozens (hundreds) of new ones but, when I began gardening, you had to go to these old books as there were few contemporary titles. There is something magical about them, and part of it is the b/w illustrations which let you see the shape and scale of the plants and garden without the interruption of color.

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