We are looking longingly at the garden, we want to be clearing up and planting but we have been away and the weather has hardly been spring-like. So we have been reading old gardening books. Bought because we loved the sequential illustrations (and more of that in another post) they provide a glimpse into gardening history.
And so to ‘Practical Home Garden Illustrated – A sound and comprehensive guide to garden planning and maintenance by Richard Sudell. 1949. Whilst a list of April tasks in a modern book would just raise our anxiety we can read the list from 1949 and gently smile. We can say with authority that we will not be sewing pumpkins, gourds and globe beet under glass, our gladioli corms will not be set rather deep to avoid staking and we will not be training and pollinating our melons and stopping and training our vines. Unfortunately we are not preparing our marrow beds with well-rotted manure covered in 6 inches of soil or sewing our fresia under glass for greenhouse decoration.
Which is all rather pity as I would love to be the man in the planting his shrub during a mild spell in February wearing a particular natty hat and a sports jacket.
But back to our fantasy garden and if you listen very, very carefully, in the distance, you can hear us preparing our celery trenches…..or maybe its just the neighbourhood squirrels digging up the bulbs whilst we sit looking at 1940’s and 50’s illustrations of rockeries, and ornamental ponds and huge vegetable gardens whilst the rain pours and pours….