We took my daughter to the Mall in DC Sunday to do research on a project on Harriet Tubman. Afterwards I talked hubby into letting me check out the community garden they put in at the Mall next to the Sakler infront of the USDA. We also went to the big garden behind the Castle. Here are the pictures.
Very cool. I'm green with envy-- and planning a slight adjustment/addition to what I have now! It never occurred to me that I could put small flat beds at the ends of the raised ones...theyd be good for herbs, and to deter critters from trying to burrow in. Thanks!
I just love the pea gravel walk ways. My whole garden is covered with mulch. First I lay down a thick layer of cardboard boxes and then I cover it with a thick layer of mulch. It works great, but I think I like the pea gravel better.
This and the previous 2 are from the kitchen garden of the Govenors Palace. As you can see it was built on a slope and was a series of terraces. It wasn't walled, just surrounded by a picket fence and the uphill side was the kitchen.
This is an ordinary backyard garden in the town. Iike most of the city gardens its raised bed and done in a form of the " 4 square" type. Keeping these things watered must have been a nightmare, and notice, not a scrap of mulch anywhere.
I remember helping to hang meat to smoke just like this. She also made our own brandy and wine and paid off our mortgage with money from selling our chickens and eggs. Our cellar was lined with shelves of canned and dried food. She also made most of my clothes. Someone once asked her why she did this. We definitely weren't poor. She could have just gone to the commisary. She said its because she was determined never to be hungery again. I find it interesting that other wives I knew that had gone through similar circumstances did exactly the oposite. They couldn't buy enough to make them feel safe again. Mummy would just look out at our productive yard and you could see the look of security come over her. War does strange things to us doesn't it?
Loved seeing the gardens. Thanks for sharing. We just got back from our own road trip during which we visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder buildings in DeSmet, SD. The tour was great, but now -- after seeing your pictures -- I'm realizing that *surely* the Ingalls must have had a kitchen garden out behind the house. But there wasn't one out behind this house. Hmmmm!
I find that interesting about the Ingalls house. I used to be a docent at the Mary Surratt house here in Maryland and they went to great pains to put in a period correct kitchen garden. I also worked at the period park in Chesterfield MO. If you haven't been you just have to go, we were absolutely crazed about everything being period correct. All the houses had been "rescued" and were from the 19th century and were furnished to the period. We all dressed to the period, which was my area of expertise as I had worked for the Smithsonian before we had moved to MO. Anyway, that's where I developed my mania for growing heirloom and antique plants. You all just have to go. Unfortunately we lost our funding and most of the staff was let go, but its still there. Its right next to the butterfly garden if you can't find it when you google it. I've got a lot of pictures I took of the kitchen garden at Mount Vernon, and as soon as I find them I'll get them posted.
yehudith, just got back from a 4,000 mile roadtrip, so probably won't head too far from home again any time soon (have to get the fall stuff going anyway!). But thanks for the info on Chesterfield. I'd never heard of it and it sounds great.
And you're reminding me that somewhere in the bowels of San Antonio is a public gardens with a Victorian section. I'm going to have to check that out.
So...are you growing only heirloom and antique plants? Or is that an evolving process. I tend to tell myself that I'd like to only grow plants for which I can collect my own seeds, but that wish is still "out there." Right now, I'm lucky if I can figure out what seeds to start at all, and tend to run out to the big box store for seeds that I need NOW. One of these days I'm going to get organized and actually PLAN. Working on it.
Thanks for sharing the pics. Your Mummy must have been a superwoman to have done all that, Yehudith. I have often wished I could go back in time and learn how women managed their time and households back before life became so hectic.
Ladypearl - [quote] I have often wished I could go back in time and learn how women managed their time and households back before life became so hectic.[/quote]
Not so hard to do:
Turn off the TV, don't use the internet, electric stove, washer, dryer, air conditioner, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, telephone, car, or anthing else mechanical and you'll pretty much know how my own mother managed until I was eight year's old.
We took baths in a big oval galvanized tub infront of an open fire. Clothes were washed in a boiler that had to be hooked up to a gas line, and filled with water from a cold-water only faucet. I still remember my mother swearing at the cast iron stove she had to keep clean with some black stuff painted on it to keep it from rusting. She had to fill one side with coal and lite it just to boil a kettle of water.
This was in Merry Old England just after World War Two. Food, clothing and shoes were rationed until I was eight, which was soon after we had moved into a brand new house where my 93 year old mother still lives.
Goodness knows how my grandmother managed, or all the grandmothers before her - it must have been awful!
Yep, like they say "you do what you gotta do." : D Wonder why all those machines don't end up saving time for us? I think I could do without everything except the refrigerator - gotta have a place to keep stuff from going bad. My Grandmother lived in south Alabama and I can remember using the out house (that was the bathroom then) and we also washed in a tub by the fireplace. She had a wood stove for cooking and six girls and one boy to feed.. A woman with children certainly never ran out of things to do back then.
On the topic of historical kitchen gardens, I found this treat yesterday and it is rather fascinating.
Thomas Jefferson's Garden book: http://www.masshist.org/thomasjeffersonpapers/cfm/doc.cfm?id=garden_1&mode=lg
You can set it to 'large image' and then use the tiny arrows in the top or perhaps bottom corner, to read through the entire thing or jump to various pages.
To see a little of the garden, go here: http://www.monticello.org/site/house-and-gardens/vegetable-garden
To buy seeds from vegetables of that era, go here: http://www.monticellocatalog.org/outdoor---garden-plants---seeds-seeds-vegetable-seeds.html
(Admiration for the garden should go not just to Jefferson but also to his 'man' (slave) Isaac. Isaac is said to have commented that Jefferson often worked alongside him in the garden.)
I'll also leave you with a Jefferson quote I found elsewhere, from almost exactly 200 years ago:
"I have often thought that if heaven had given me choice of my position and calling, it should have been on a rich spot of earth, well watered, and near a good market for the productions of the garden. No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. Such a variety of subjects, some one always coming to perfection, the failure of one thing repaired by the success of another, and instead of one harvest, a continued one thro' the year. Under a total want of demand except for our family table. I am still devoted to the garden. But tho' an old man, I am but a young gardener." - Letter to Charles Willson Peale, Poplar Forest, August 20, 1811
Actually Lady, I remember when the ice man used to come. Honestly, I'm not kidding and no I'm not 90 years old. Our neighbourhood, one street, was founded by escaped slaves from Va.. The abolishonist who had sponsored their rescue gave them the land and the tools to build a house on it. It was surrounded by horse farms and peach orchards and forgotten by everyone untill it came time to pay taxes or someone had to send their child to school. My parents moved there in the '50's because my father a Master Seargent at the time, was stationed at the fort near by and they gave him a housing allowance rather than house them on base because it was a biracial marriage. My mother bought the house next door using her egg money. I was born after they moved in. It had no electricity, heat or running water like all the other houses on the street. We were the first to get those luxuries after my grandmother came from England for visit and had a fit. My grandfather had been a very well respected and admired surgeon from a very well known and respected family and Mummy had been raised with her own nanny, Granny had never even washed a dish let alone picked up her own underwear from the floor and she, her daughter was living like this! Better she had died in the Blitz. I was 3 when the toilet went in. I remember the day well. Anyway, it wasn't until the late 80's we got city water and sewage. I had already married and left home. It took one of the old ladies who was dying of cancer to go on TV and pull the (G-d I hate to say it) race card to get it. They had sold off all the peach farms around us to Levitt ( deeds specified you couldn't sell to Jews or Negroes) and with all the excavation etc. had displaced the water table so the people on the side of the street opposite of us had all their wells go dry. As the years went by the situation got worse and worse. In the end nearly everyone was without water. In the summer everyone depended on us for water. Can you imagine a sick 80 year old woman hauling water from our well up to her house day in and day out? Hell litteraly broke loose. In end we got water. It took my cousin who had worked on Gov. Wallaces staff, but we got water. Anyway, back to the iceman. We also had the fish man (Ed Fishler) who came 3 times a week, the peddler who brought everything, the breadman ( he never came to our house, my mother was too cheap), and the butcher ( again, not to our house since Mummy slaughtered froze and canned our own meat) and the coal man. We loved our Ice Man, the kids followed him from the minute he came up the street and he would give us slivers of ice. It was wonderful on a hot summer's day. This by the way was in New Jersey. My mother tried for years to have the house torn down and a modern one built, but the town kept saying no it was an historic area and the lot wasn't wide enough. She died in '92. She left the house to my nephew. By 95 every house was bought by a developer, torn down and multi-million dollar Mc Mansions put up. But these people had been forced to live in substandard housing all those years because it was an "historic area". Interesting huh? Especially when the man who bought them out had worked for the township for decades. Oh well, they can't buy my memories.
Grandparents had a cement block with a horse tether ring in front of their home for their milk delivery. And speaking of out houses check this out oldforgehardware.com, "Nature calls jigsaw puzzle" for $16.95. Saw this puzzle framed in a Comfort Inn in Buffalo Wyoming a couple of weeks ago when delivering groceries to the kids and grandkids. Shellacked and framed, hung on the generic bathroom in the lobby area. Gotta get me one of these for my outhouse!!!
Susan, the wife just returned from Texas, helping her oldest son and his family move from Dallas area to KC. Off the subject, but is Arthur Bryants still in business? I still purchase Gates BBQ sauce by the case, but I will always have a fondness for Arthurs which goes back to the mid-fifties, when we went to the old ball park, and down to Arthurs after the game. I can still recall the 5 gallon jugs of BBQ sauce in the window; the monstrous red bull dog; and the old guy with a machete chopping ribs on the nastiest old black stove you ever saw.