Tuesday, June 30, 2020

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Melon


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Melon

Melon,from Mala, Apple, because ofitsfragrancy. There are but three sorts of Melons that Miller says are worth cultivating, the Portugal or pocket Melon, which is small and round, the Cantaleupe Melon, and the Zatta Melon; the green fleshed Melon, and the netted wrought Melon, he does not esteem, though I have found them very delicious in this country. There is a rough, knotty Melon, called the Diarbekr, from a province belonging to the Turkish empire in Asia, which is reckoned the most exquisite of all Melons, which have been brought to great perfection here, and which are not taken notice of by Miller, probably because it has been brought into England since the publication of his dictionary, unless it is the Zatta Melon. The Portugal Melon has been called by the name of king Charles' Melon, because he used to carry one in his pocket, and also Dormer's Melon, because brought from Portugal by a general of that name. The Cantaleupe originally came from Armenia, on the confines of Persia, but took its name from Cantaleupe, a province about six miles from Rome, where they produce the best. It is known all over Europe, by the simple name of the Cantaleupe Melon, and agrees with all stomachs and palates. The Zatta Melon is greatly esteemed in Florence, Italy, &c. It is small, deep furrowed, rough and warted, and compressed at the ends. Melons should never grow near one another, if of different sorts, or by any means near Gourds, Cucumbers, &c. because the farina of one will impregnate the other, spoil the relish of the fruit, and make them degenerate. , Melon seed should not be sown before three years old, and though they will grow at ten or twelve years, yet they should not be propagated after six years. The early Melon is of little value; the middle of June is early enough. In order to have a proper succession, the seed should be sown at least at two different seasons, about the middle of February if seasonable weather, if not, the latter end. The second sowing should be in March, and the third in May, which last will yield a crop in August, and last until October. The early sowings should be covered with oil paper, in preference to glasses. The culture of Melons and planting theui out, is the same with cucumbers, to which we refer. The compost used by the Dutch and German gardeners, for Melons, is of hazel loam, one third part, of the scouring of ditches, ponds, &c. the same, and a third part of rotten dung, all mixed together, and mellowed by being frequently turned over, and kept twelve months. But Miller prefers two thirds of fresh gentle loam and one third of rotten neats' dung, kept together a year, and often turned. It will take about fifteen good wheelbarrows of dung to a light. Melons of all sorts, but particularly the Cantaleupe, should be planted out as soon as the third or rough leaf appears. These seeds do well to be sown on the upper side of a Cucumber bed. One plant is enough for a light. Watering is very requisite, but in much smaller quantities than Cucumbers, and the water should be laid on at a distance from the stems. When the plant has four leaves, the top of the plant should be pinched off, in order to force out the lateral branches. It must not be cut or bruised ; that wounds the plant, and takes a considerable time to heal. The roots of Melons extend a great way, and often perish after the fruit is set, for want of room, wherefore Miller advises that your beds be twelve feet, and when your frames are filled with vine, to raise it so as to let the vines run under them. When the lateral branches, or, as the gardeners call them, runners, have two or three joints, their tops should be also pinched off, and when your fruit is set, examine the vine and pull all off, except one to a runner, leaving at most about eight to a vine, and pinch off the end of the runner about three joints from the fruit; notwithstanding these are pinched off, there will new runners appear; these should be also taken away. If the ground is not too wet and moist, the lower the plants are the better, and if you plant in a bed, let your trenches be extended in length about three feet and a half wide, and your plants should not be less than five feet asunder, to prevent their vines intermixing. If there are several beds, they should be eight feet asunder, and the spaces between filled up for the benefit of the roots with rotten dung. They ought to be covered in all hard rains. The frames should not be too heavy. Many use laths in imitation of covered wagons; your fruit should be turned twice a week for the advantage of the sun, and if lodged on a board or piece of tile, it will be better; once a week watering will be sufficient. The sign of fruit's maturity is the cracking near the foot stalk; and smelling fragrantly. The Cantaleupe never changes colour, until too ripe. Gather your fruit in a morning before the sun has warmed it, but if gathered after, put it into cold water or ice, and keep those got in the morning in the coolest place; a few hours' delay in gathering will spoil the fruit, wherefore they ought to be overlooked twice a day. Take your seeds from the richest flavoured] fruit, with the pulp, in which it must lie three days before washed out, and save only the heavy seed....that which will sink in water.
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Monday, June 29, 2020

History Blooms at Tho Jefferson's Monticello


Note from Monticello's Peggy Cornett

Peggy tells us today that -

In 1805 wealthy Philadelphia plant enthusiast William Hamilton sent a gift to Thomas Jefferson, a young tree he called "Silk Tree of Constantinople," writing: "I have trees of 20 feet height which for several years past have produced their beautiful & fragrant flowers." The mimosa or Persian silk tree, Albizia julibrissin, was introduced from Asia into Europe in the mid 1700s. It reseeds readily in the landscape and tends to grow along forest edges and against structures at Monticello, including the paling fence and Hemmings Cabin on Mulberry Row.

19C Women & Gardens - American Richard Edward or Emil Miller (1875–1943)

Richard Edward Miller (American painter, 1875-1943) By the Riverbank 1910

Richard Emil Miller (1875-1943), American decorative Impressionist painter, studied at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, & then sailed for Paris to study at Academie Julian (1898–1901).  Paris was the art capital of the 19C. Its museums, exhibition spaces, art academies, & the manner in which the arts were perceived as an integral part of everyday life drew painters, sculptors, & architects from around the world to the French capital. As the painter Cecilia Beaux expressed it, "Everything is there." Miller became part of the “Giverny Group,” the 2nd generation of mostly American artists to study & paint near the gardens created at his home by Claude Monet. Here are a few of Miller's women in gardens.

Richard Emil Miller (1875-1943) In the Garden
Richard Emil Miller (1875-1943) Reading in the Garden
Richard Emil Miller (1875-1943) Summer Reverie 1914
Richard Emil Miller (1875-1943) The Garden Seat
Richard Emil Miller (1875-1943) Woman Reading in the Garden
Richard Emil Miller (1875-1943) Woman with Parasol
Richard Edward or Emil Miller (1875-1943) Reverie 1916

Sunday, June 28, 2020

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Garlic


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Garlic

Garlic....Allium, should be propagated by planting the bulbs in August or September, about five inches asunder. These die about July, and then should be taken up and hung in a dry room for winter use. All these several sorts delight in a rich sandy soil, and eight pounds of seed will sow an acre. When sown they should be trodden, so should they be treated when they run too much into blade, in order to throw their substance into the bulb, and when trodden they ought to be covered with fresh mould; the seed for sowing should never be wet, because it will shoot out its radicle, and never succeed afterwards.
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Saturday, June 27, 2020

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Lavender


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Lavender

Lavender, Lavendula a lavendo, because good in washings and bathing, as it scents the water and beautifies the flesh, should be propagated from the cuttings or slips, and. planted out in March in a poor gravelly soil. It has been found that this soil suits it best, will give it a more aromatic smell, and that it will resist the winters here better than in a rich soil.
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Lavender has been in documented use for over 2,500 years. Lavender was used for mummification & perfume by the Egyptians, Phoenicians, & peoples of Arabia.

Romans used lavender oils for bathing, cooking, & scenting the air, & they most likely gave it the Latin root from which we derive the modern name (either lavare--to wash, or livendula--livid or bluish). The flower's soothing "tonic" qualities, the insect-repellent effects of the strong scent, & the use of the dried plant in smoking mixtures also added to the value of the herb in ancient times.

Lavender is mentioned often in the Bible, not by the name lavender but rather by the name used at that time--spikenard (from the Greek name for lavender, naardus, after the Syrian city Naarda). In the gospel of Luke the writer reports: "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, & anointed the feet of Jesus, & wiped his feet with her hair; & the house was filled with the odor of the ointment."

Perhaps first domesticated by the Arabians, lavender spread across Europe from Greece. Around 600 BC, lavender may have come from the Greek Hyeres Islands into France & is now common in France, Spain, Italy & England. The 'English' lavender varieties were not locally developed in England but rather introduced in the 1600s, right around the time the first lavender plants were making their way to the Americas.

In Medieval & Renaissance Europe, the washing women were known as "lavenders" & they used lavender to scent drawers & dried the laundry on lavender bushes. Also during this time, lavender was grown in so-called "infirmarian's gardens" in monasteries, along with many other medicinal herbs. According to the German nun Hildegard of Bingen, who lived from 1098-1179, lavender "water,"--a decoction of vodka, gin, or brandy mixed with lavender--is great for migraine headaches.

During the Great Plague in London in the 17th century, it was suggested that a bunch of lavender fastened to each wrist would protect the wearer against the deadly disease. Grave-robbers were said to wash in Four Thieves Vinegar, which contained lavender.  In 16th-century France, lavender was also used to resist infection. Glove-makers, who were licensed to perfume their wares with lavender, were said to have escaped cholera at that time.

Charles VI of France demanded lavender-filled pillows wherever he went. Queen Elizabeth I of England required lavender conserve at the royal table. She also wanted fresh lavender flowers available every day of the year, a daunting task for a gardener if you consider the climate of England. Louis XIV also loved lavender & bathed in water scented with it.

In the United States & Canada, the Shakers were the first to grow lavender commercially. They most likely had little use for lavender's amorous qualities (they were celibate), they developed herb farms upon their arrival from England. They produced their own herbs & medicines & sold them to the "outside world."

An apocryphal book of the Bible, reports that Judith anointed herself with perfumes including lavender before seducing Holofernes, the enemy commander. This allowed her to murder him & thus save the City of Jerusalem. The overwhelming power of this seductive scent was also used by Cleopatra to seduce Julius Cesaer & Mark Antony. The Queen of Sheba offered spikenard with frankincense & myrrh to King Solomon,

By Tudor times, lavender brew was being sipped by maidens on St. Lukes day to divine the identity of their true loves. They'd chant, "St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me. In my dreams, let me my true love see."  A famous nursery rhyme called "Lavender Blue, Dilly Dilly" was written in 1680 & talks of "Whilst you & I, diddle, diddle…keep the bed warm." mummification & perfume by the Egyptians, Phoenicians, & peoples of Arabia.

Romans used lavender oils for bathing, cooking, & scenting the air, & they most likely gave it the Latin root from which we derive the modern name (either lavare--to wash, or livendula--livid or bluish). The flower's soothing "tonic" qualities, the insect-repellent effects of the strong scent, & the use of the dried plant in smoking mixtures also added to the value of the herb in ancient times.

Lavender is mentioned often in the Bible, not by the name lavender but rather by the name used at that time--spikenard (from the Greek name for lavender, naardus, after the Syrian city Naarda). In the gospel of Luke the writer reports: "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, & anointed the feet of Jesus, & wiped his feet with her hair; & the house was filled with the odor of the ointment."

Perhaps first domesticated by the Arabians, lavender spread across Europe from Greece. Around 600 BC, lavender may have come from the Greek Hyeres Islands into France & is now common in France, Spain, Italy & England. The 'English' lavender varieties were not locally developed in England but rather introduced in the 1600s, right around the time the first lavender plants were making their way to the Americas.

In Medieval & Renaissance Europe, the washing women were known as "lavenders" & they used lavender to scent drawers & dried the laundry on lavender bushes. Also during this time, lavender was grown in so-called "infirmarian's gardens" in monasteries, along with many other medicinal herbs. According to the German nun Hildegard of Bingen, who lived from 1098-1179, lavender "water,"--a decoction of vodka, gin, or brandy mixed with lavender--is great for migraine headaches.

During the Great Plague in London in the 17th century, it was suggested that a bunch of lavender fastened to each wrist would protect the wearer against the deadly disease. Grave-robbers were said to wash in Four Thieves Vinegar, which contained lavender. In 16th-century France, lavender was also used to resist infection. Glove-makers, who were licensed to perfume their wares with lavender, were said to have escaped cholera at that time.

Charles VI of France demanded lavender-filled pillows wherever he went. Queen Elizabeth I of England required lavender conserve at the royal table. She also wanted fresh lavender flowers available every day of the year, a daunting task for a gardener if you consider the climate of England. Louis XIV also loved lavender & bathed in water scented with it.

In the United States & Canada, the Shakers were the first to grow lavender commercially. They most likely had little use for lavender's amorous qualities (they were celibate), they developed herb farms upon their arrival from England. They produced their own herbs & medicines & sold them to the "outside world."

An apocryphal book of the Bible, reports that Judith anointed herself with perfumes including lavender before seducing Holofernes, the enemy commander. This allowed her to murder him & thus save the City of Jerusalem. The seductive scent was also used by Cleopatra to seduce Julius Cesaer & Mark Antony.

By Tudor times, lavender brew was being sipped by maidens on St. Lukes day to divine the identity of their true loves. They'd chant, "St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me. In my dreams, let me my true love see." A famous nursery rhyme called "Lavender Blue, Dilly Dilly" was written in 1680 & talks of "Whilst you & I, diddle, diddle…keep the bed warm."

19C Women & Gardens - by American Frederick Carl Frieseke 1874-1939

1912c Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Lady in a Garden

Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874–1939) was an American Impressionist decorative painter. He was born in Owosso, Michigan & studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago & the Académie Julian in Paris. Frieseke & his family resided for 14 years in Giverny, home to Monet. Frieseke was attracted to women, gardens, & bright sunlight.
 Frederick Frieseke (1874-1939) The Garden Pool 
1918 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Green Chair 
1923 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Garden Fountain 
1915 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Mother 
1913c Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Hollyhocks 
1916 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Under the Awning 
1913c Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Garden Mirror
1911c Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Breakfast in the Garden
1911c Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939)  Lilies
 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Lady in a Hammock 
 1912c Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The Blue Garden
 1914 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) Sunbath
 1912 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939) The House in Giverny
1904-07 Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939)  Woman with a Flower Basket
1908-09c Frederick Frieseke (American artist, 1874-1939)  Late October
Frederick Frieseke (1874-1939) Under the Alder Tree (Sadie in the Garden) 
Frederick Frieseke (1874-1939) Under the Trees
Frederick Frieseke (1874-1939) 
Frederick Frieseke (1874-1939) 

Friday, June 26, 2020

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Parsnip


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Parsnip

Parsnip...The seed should be sown about February or March in light ground dug pretty deep, and may be mixed with Carrots, though Miller advises against mixing with any thing else, because they spread very much in the latter end of summer. They should be kept very clear of weeds, and should be drawn to about ten or twelve inches asunder. When the leaves begin to decay, which will be about February, after frosts, they should be dug up and put into dry sand, which will preserve them until April. They are not sweet until bit by the frosts. In order to have seed, your strongest plants should be planted out in the spring, and in August or beginning of September your seed will be ripe; you must then cut off the heads, and let them be exposed to the sun three days in order to dry them, after which they should be beat out, and put up for use. Seed are not to be trusted after a year old.




Thursday, June 25, 2020

19C Women & Gardens - American Mary Cassatt 1844-1926

American Mary Cassatt (1844-1926). Lydia Seated in the Garden
Mary Cassatt (1844-1926). Red Poppies 
Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) Cup of Tea 
 Mary Cassatt (American artist, 1844-1926) Children in a Garden 1878
Mary Cassatt (American artist, 1844-1926) In the Garden
Mary Cassatt (American artist, 1844-1926) In the Park
Mary Cassatt (American artist, 1844-1926) Lydia Croceting in the Garden at Marly 1880
Mary Cassatt (American artist, 1844-1926) Woman and Child Seated in a Garden
Mary Cassatt (American artist, 1844-1926) Woman doing Needlework in the Sun
Mary Cassatt (American artist, 1844-1926) Woman Reading in a Garden
 Mary Cassatt (American artist, 1844-1926) Young Girl Holding a Loose Bouquet of Flowers
Mary Cassatt (1845-1926)
Mary Cassatt (American artist, 1844-1926).  Young Woman Picking Fruit 1891

Sunday, June 21, 2020

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Celandine


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Celandine

Celandine, Majus Chelidonium, is a medical herb, often cultivated in gardens. The several varieties are propagated by sowing the seed, and the plants will cast their seeds, and keep you constantly with a stock of young plants, without further trouble. It is an annual Celandine; the lesser is a Ranunculus.