Lighthouse Gardens

After a few days of this creative hauling, the garden boxes and barrels were filled and ready for planting, and the following afternoon, Mama put on her straw hat and invited us to help her in the garden. While Marian sat on a small quilt nearby, Jacob, Paul, and I poked the seeds into the warm earth. The vegetables were planted in the boxes and in two of the barrels. Two other barrels got flower seeds, and Mama had had the men move the last two barrels to the front of the lighthouse – facing the sea – and we planted the prettiest flowers there. Continue reading

Historic Gardening: WWI & WWII Victory Gardens

This week’s blog post takes gardening, homefront, and the military a historical step beyond the Civil War era. During the 1860’s, growing food was a necessity. People just did it. There wasn’t a propaganda campaign to get farmers into their fields and housewives into backyard gardens.

However, things changed in the 20th Century. In both World War I and World War II, gardening on the U.S. homefront became a patriotic endeavor. Many families planted victory gardens and their garden produce boosted the national and global food supply.

Today, we’ll compare the purpose of victory gardens in World War I and World War II, take about the effects of gardening, and its patriotic vibe. Ready to start? Let’s dig into the history! Continue reading

Historic Gardening: Civil War Gardens

Gardens grow food or flowers. For this blog post – instead of getting into the agriculture of the crops and posies – I thought it might be more fun to share some stories about gardens during the Civil War.

First, though, let’s clarify a few things and then we’ll get to the stories. Most country homes had gardens. That garden would supply the food for a family and sometimes extra which could be preserved or sold in market. In the large cities, some large homes had little garden plots or formal gardens, but “farmers’ marketplaces” were common, and city slickers could buy their fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers from the country folk who brought their produce to the city.

Fresh fruits and vegetables prevent scurvy (and taste much better than hardtack and salt pork). Both armies – Union and Confederate – tried to find ways to get fresh produce from American gardens to the military camps or trenches…or the soldiers simply went foraging to steal from the local farmer’s garden. (More on that later in the article.)

Now – without further ado – here are a few wartime accounts in the garden setting: Continue reading

Historic Gardening: Practical & Pretty, Kitchen or Formal?

Moving forward along the U.S. History timeline, we get to the early settlers and the Colonial Era. In some cases, Native Americans shared their crop growing techniques with the new settlers.

Obviously, in the earliest settlement and colonial days (and along the expanding frontiers) gardening and crop growing focused on food production. But, as the colonials became well-established in larger towns or plantations, they wanted to make their homes and surroundings beautiful. They developed gardens that were both practical and pretty. Continue reading

Historic Gardening: “The Three Sisters”

May 2017’s Historical Theme of the Month on Gazette665 is Growing History: Gardening Through The Centuries, and we’ll be talking about some wonderful gardens and gardening trends in different eras of U.S. History. (Maybe we’ll do some World History gardening in another month!)

Today’s blog post focuses on the main purpose of crop growth and  shares some gardening techniques from northeastern Native American tribes.

Continue reading