Why So Many Public Libraries Are Now Giving Out Seeds via City Farmer News

Rhododendron, Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanic Garden, San Marino, California

What interesting flowers and plants do you find in your neighborhood? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Rhododendron, Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanic Garden, San Marino, California

Rhododendron, Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanic Garden, San Marino, California

I hadn’t been to the Huntington in a long time, but with our Italian family in time it was a “must see.” Danielle and Marcello had visited 16 years ago on their honeymoon and knew that her mother, Francesca would love to see it, too. We walked — and photographed — a large majority of the gardens and viewed some amazing documents on display in the Library.

Like many past visits, surprises lurked around every corner. These rhododendrons sprung into view as we were navigating a back way to the new Chinese Garden. Such bright flowers in the shade always “pop” so much and — as you can imagine — a photograph was required to remember them and share them here and on A Gardener’s Notebook. Had I not decided this particular route and turned this particular corner at this particular time, I might have missed them entirely. Serendipity always plays a great part in travel and photography. 

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Historical Garden Books: The gardener’s weekly magazine, and floricultural cabinet Vol. 29 (1886) by Harrison, J. J – 31 in a Series

Archive.org has a host of old gardening books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of 

Historical Garden Books: The gardener’s weekly magazine, and floricultural cabinet Vol. 29 (1886) by Harrison, J. J – 31 in a Series

This is another yearly collection of  a weekly mailing bound together into one volume.

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Download in Text, PDF, Single Page JPG, TORRENT from Archive.org

FOR AMATEUR CULTIVATORS, AND EXHIBITORS OF PLANTS, FLOWERS, AND FRUITS: FOR GENTLEMEN’S GARDENERS, FLORISTS, NURSERYMEN, AND SEEDSMEN:

FOR NATURALISTS, BOTANISTS, BEEKEEPERS, AND LOVERS OF THE COUNTRY.

Conducted by SHIRLEY HIBBERD, F.R.H.S.

“ There are no ancient gentlemen but gardeners. . . They hold up Adam’s profession.”

Hamlet, v. 1

THE GARDEN ORACLE for 1886 is on the same plan as former issues, the present being the twenty-eighth publication of this work. It contains complete lists of the new plants, new flowers, and new fruits, and a complete list of the New Parliament.

More information on this book:

Publication date 1860
Publisher London : [Gardener’s Weekly Magazine]
Digitizing sponsor University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Alternates
Language English
Volume v.29(1886)
 
Find more information on garden history with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

49 Beautiful DIY Raised Garden Beds Ideas via Urban Organic Gardener

Whenever you are thinking about adding to your garden — or starting a new one — it is a great idea to have as many examples as possible to choose from. This is where articles like this can really give you a lot of ideas fast.
 
For me, I have installed some wine bottle edging to create sort of a faux-raised bed. I have also looked into the farm watering troughs (and there is a neighbor who has outfitted their entire front yard with them). The raised salad tables and bed with seats are in my idea file for a community garden we are trying to launch in the neighborhood, too.
 
If you are looking for raised bed ideas, this is certainly one, great place to start! — Douglas
 
 
“If you are planning to a vegetable garden, the best place to plant it may not be in the ground, many gardeners today use raised beds which lift the plants and their roots above ground level. There are a number of good reasons to garden this way; you can choose your soil for good plants and good harvest. Raised bed also brings the garden up where it’s easier to reach for weeding and harvesting.”

Red hibiscus in the neighborhood

What interesting flowers and plants do you find in your neighborhood? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Red hibiscus in the neighborhood

Red hibiscus in the neighborhood

Some flowers are so striking they almost appear to be fake. This hibiscus is so glossy, it looks like something created at a silk flower shop and not actually growing along the street. 

This was another photo taken along my walk in the neighborhood. 
 

I find that the revisiting the same places over time allows me to mark the progression of the days and the seasons as plants move from dormancy, to regrowth, to flowering and then setting seed — in some cases. 

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Learn more about hibiscus with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Bougainvillea in the neighborhood

What is your favorite flower or plant? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Bougainvillea in the neighborhood

Bougainvillea in the neighborhood

Spotted along one of my usual neighborhood walks.

After living in the neighborhood for almost 33 years, I have become familiar with the blooming season of most of the trees and plants. This tropical plant is popular here, although it can be susceptible to frost damage on the 1 or 2 nights each year when we get a hard freeze. It is a tropical plant and although Los Angeles is typically warm enough, we do get significant cold snaps. 

The flower bracts of bougainvillea always seem almost TOO bright to be real. They seem to reflect the light in unique ways that almost makes them glow. 

I had one bougainvillea on the property when we moved in, but was placed badly and never failed to grab or scratch us as we went down our alley. Still I can enjoy them, at a distance in other neighbors gardens. 

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Historical Seed Catalogs: Alexander’s garden and field seed catalogue (1921) – 19 in a series

Archive.org has a host of old seed catalogs (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these catalogs. I’ll be sharing more catalogs as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas

Historical Seed Catalogs: Alexander’s garden and field seed catalogue (1921) – 19 in a series

Historical Seed Catalogs: Alexander's garden and field seed catalogue (1921) - 19 in a seriesHistorical Seed Catalogs: Alexander's garden and field seed catalogue (1921) - 19 in a series

Historical Seed Catalogs: Alexander's garden and field seed catalogue (1921) - 19 in a seriesHistorical Seed Catalogs: Alexander's garden and field seed catalogue (1921) - 19 in a series

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Publication date 1921
Publisher Augusta, Ga. : The Company
Digitizing sponsor U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library
Contributor U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library
Language English
 
 
 
Learn more about gardening history with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Amaranth (?), Orto Botanico di Brera, Milano, Italia via Instagram

Do you take garden pictures on vacation? Leave a comment and share!

Amaranth (?), Orto Botanico di Brera, Milano, Italia via Instagram

Amaranth (?), Orto Botanico di Brera, Milano, Italia

I had no idea what to expect when visiting this garden hidden away in Milan. I checked it out on Google maps but the foliage hid most of the garden from sight. Still, it seemed intriguing enough for a visit and we were going to be nearby at the Museo del Risorgimento anyway.

The usual entrance, through the Museum of Fine Arts, was closed so it took a bit of walking to get around to another entrance. This led us through a very swanky district and offered up some more great photos, so it was worth it.
The garden was neither small nor large but “just right.” Most everything could be observed from the entrance but paths led here and there into an amazing number of specific areas, including some for edible plants like this amaranth.
The lovely purple flowers and seeds drew me close automatically. It is a sizable plant, so it made quite an impression, even from a distance. Even in the shade the colors shown out brightly.

I was so interested, I returned to the garden a second time when I was in my own and @drrosannewelch was attending the SRN Conference. The mosquitos were fierce within the shady and damp environment but I persevered for another hour or so of photography.

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Historical Garden Books: The garden book of California by Angier, Belle Sumner (1906) – 30 in a Series

Archive.org has a host of old gardening books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of 

Historical Garden Books: The garden book of California by Angier, Belle Sumner (1906)- 30 in a Series

Historical Garden Books:  The garden book of California by Angier, Belle Sumner (1906)- 30  in a SeriesHistorical Garden Books:  The garden book of California by Angier, Belle Sumner (1906)- 30  in a Series

Historical Garden Books:  The garden book of California by Angier, Belle Sumner (1906)- 30  in a SeriesHistorical Garden Books:  The garden book of California by Angier, Belle Sumner (1906)- 30  in a Series

Download in Text, PDF, Single Page JPG, TORRENT from Archive.org

THE FLOWER GARDEN AS A FACTOR IN HOME-MAKING

The hope of America is in the homes of America. Whatever will lead to the betterment of our home life is to be sought after.

The garden of the world is California, and the ideal home may be made here. I am fearful at times, however, that home-makers, and this means especially the women, for they are the homekeepers of the land, fail to appreciate the very large influence that the garden, and especially the flower garden, has on the life of the family and of the community.

I believe that nine out of ten people that come to California come because of our fine climate, and they come ex pecting to live out-of-doors the greater part of each year; but the same strenuous conditions that surround life elsewhere are found here. Just as many hours must be put into the daily grind as in New York City, if the livelihood is to be made for the family.

More information on this book:

Publication date 1906
Topics GardeningGardens
Publisher San Francisco, New York, P. Elder and company
Digitizing sponsor MSN
Contributor usage rights See terms
Language English
 
 
Find more information on garden history with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Garden Decor: Urns along the wall via Instagram

What is your favorite garden decor? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Garden Decor: Urns along the wall via Instagram

Garden Decor: Urns along the wall

While I can appreciate both traditional and modern garden elements, there is something about garden decor that recalls the past that touches something fundamental in the human spirit.

I spotted these ersatz Greek amphorae in the middle of Beverly Hills, but for one small moment I was transported to a hillside villa — perhaps in Italy — where the wine flowed like water and life itself was just a bit easier.

Too often we discount the effect that our garden can have on us and, more importantly, our visitors. My own, rather unkempt back garden, transport visitors to a tranquil woodland (as many have told me directly) even though it exists in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world.

In order to enjoy your garden more, you must see it through the eyes of your guests.

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Check out some books on garden decor