A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The End of the Season and a New Book

Here it is the end of our growing season. Everything is shutting down in our gardens. The beautiful leaves have fallen to the ground. The migrating birds are gone. The winter birds have arrived. The squirrels are gathering in our yards and the bunnies are huddled under the blue spruce. I have talked about the birdhouse on the post outside of our breakfast nook. The sparrows lived in the house, when I moved here.After I moved in we had a surprise. It seems that the wrens had followed me from my former town, because they were never here before me. They busied themselves taking all the debris out and putting it back in. Now the house was theirs. Yesterday, I noticed a nuthatch doing the same thing. He was also trying to make the hole a little larger. He could fit in the hole, but it took some doing. He worked for most of the day on his project. This morning the sparrows are looking at his work. It seems that life is a circle for the birds too.

I got a call from the library yesterday. I had requested a book a long time ago and they had finally found it. Barbee from http://barbeeslog.blogspot.com/ asked me if I had read An Island Garden by Celia Thaxter. She and I share a love for Gladys Taber books and the book she asked me about is written like a garden journal also. I asked for it at the library, and today I picked it up. It is the sweetest book...written in 1894. It has a cloth like cover, moss green, with gold stamped flowers and lettering. The beautiful old fashioned illustrations are by Childe Hassam. I started reading it as soon as I came in the house. It's a small book...only 126 pages. The book is the life of Celia Thaxter and her garden. She lived on land during the cold weather, but when the seasons changed she leaves for Appledore Island in the Isles of Shoals. Here is just an excerpt of her writing.

She lives in the old town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire she says:

...Whither I repair in the autumn from the Isles of Shoals, remaining through the cold weather and returning to the islands on the first of April. My upper windows all winter are filled with young Wallflowers, Stocks, single Dahlias, Hollyhocks, Poppies and many other garden plants, which are watched and tended with the most faithful care till the time comes for transporting them over the seas to Appledore. A small steam tug, The Pinafore, carries me and my household belongings over to the islands, and a pretty sight is the little vessel when she starts out from the old brown wharves and steams away down the beautiful Piscataqua River, with her hurricane deck awave with green leaves and flowers, blossuming houseplants go also and there are Palms and Ferns and many other lovely things that make the small boat gay indeed.

Can you just imagine seeing this boat full of plants waving in the wind and their caretaker watching them on deck?

I don't know if the above is of interest to anyone, but to me...it is a precious writing. I am going to do my best to find an old copy...so that I can have my own. Thankyou Barbee....I am going to enjoy it. This little treasure would make a nice Christmas gift for a gardener.



Margie's Musings said...

Sounds very interesting, Balisha.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's a lovely book! See more about the restoration of Celia's original island garden at www.sml.cornell.edu !!

OhioMom said...

What a wonderful garden journal, I hope you are able to find a copy for yourself.

The season is over here too, we had our first dusting of snow and east of Cleveland got 6 inches. Brrrrr!

This is my reading time also, I am reading histories of Cleveland. My Mom came here as a 3 year old, and witnessed the building of the Terminal Tower, a Cleveland landmark.

Balisha said...

I have read more of the book and find that gardening is pretty much the same as in those days. We pass hints down through the years to new gardeners. I think that more people kept daily garden journals back in old times than now.Maybe our blogs are the "new" garden journals. Ah....the internet.I will have to check out that website. Thanks

Isn't it interesting to find out what happened to our parents in their day? We have all witnessed so much in our lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

Glad you have discovered Celia Thaxter's book. I am one of the caretakers of her recreated garden on Appledore Island as well as a tour guide for the garden and island. This link will bring you to the 2008 garden tour brochure http://www.sml.cornell.edu/doc/garden.mailer.08.pdf
Many writers, gardeners and painters from around the world visit the beautiful garden each summer. Hopefully you, too can plan a visit there to see An Island Garden come to life.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I enjoy some of the older books on gardening as well. This one sounds interesting. Thanks for the tip.

Balisha said...

Isn't the internet something. Just yesterday I was starting to read a new book about an Island Garden and today a comment from a caretaker and tour quide of that same island. How did you happen upon this blog, if I might ask?

Hi Marnie,
Read the comments here.
You would love this book. I haven't checked Amazon, but I will later.The book was published in March 1894...1000 copies. A second printing 1000 copies was published in Nov.1894. After her death the book was declared out of print in 1902.Then a book without illustrations was brought out 2 yrs. later. This is the first reissue with the famous paintings.So, if you would by any chance purchase the book, you would want to buy one with the illustrations.Probably more info than you wanted to know.