Vintage Garden Photograph – And Why Vintage Gardening Means So Much to Me

Lately I’ve been on an OCD rampage trying to get my yard and garden in order. I’m not one of ‘those’ yard people – really, I’m not. We’ve lived here for 6+ years and our yard has consistently been one of the most neglected and weediest yards in our entire neighborhood. But something snapped this year and I’ve finally had enough of being embarrassed of my yard. I’ve cut down nearly all the brush, taken down 9 trees, created four landscaping beds bordered with beautiful granite boulders, planted a TON of new flowers and bushes, planted several kinds of berry bushes and an apple tree, created a fire circle (with tree stump seating!!), and am almost done with building my raised garden beds. I know I earlier promised a ‘before and after’ post – perhaps once the garden is done I’ll at least post a ‘before and part-way-finished’ post. :)

Honestly, part of my inspiration for doing all this has been my desire to live a more ‘vintage inspired’ life. I want to grow more of our own food. I want to have cut flowers in my house more often. I want to slow life down and enjoy it more. Maybe this is my version of a mid-life crisis, without the crisis. My kids are getting older – my oldest is graduating high school early in less than a year. I can practically count the days until my baby isn’t living in my house any more. It makes me want to squeeze more life out of every day.

That’s my short-story-long way of explaining why my vintage garden and seed catalogs inspire me so much. For me, gardening is such a real, tangible way of bringing an old-fashioned way of living to my home and family. I simply can’t wait until later this summer when I can prepare a meal with every vegetable grown by us. And I can’t wait until I can bring my own mother a bouquet of flowers from my front yard. And I can’t wait until we are picking our own pumpkins and carving them for Halloween. All three of my kids are crazy excited about harvesting their own food – so excited, in fact, that they are willingly helping with yard work. Shhhh – don’t tell them it’s actual work. They would stop helping me!

So – onto this image. It comes from the back cover of my 1917 Peter Henderson & Co. Garden Catalog. Here is an annual vintage flower garden plan from the same catalog.

Interestingly, Mr. Peter Henderson was a highly influential man in the mid-1800’s about gardening as a business. He wrote the book “Gardening for Profit” in 1867, selling around 100,000 copies. He started his seed company in 1871, a full five years before the Burpee Seed Co. was established.

Vintage Garden Harvest Catalog Photograph - Hand Tinted - Click for printable picture

Vintage Garden Harvest Catalog Photograph - Hand Tinted - Click for printable picture

And just for the heck of it, I created an alternative sepia toned version of this image:

Vintage Garden Harvest Catalog Photograph - Sepia Tone - Click for printable picture

Vintage Garden Harvest Catalog Photograph - Sepia Tone - Click for printable picture

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