Vintage Tips for Planning Your Garden

“Painting the Patio Green”

Plan Before You Plant

…it is well, above all things, that the garden be small enough or the planting of one’s grounds simple enough to be maintained in comfort both to one’s self and to one’s pocket book, that gardening may not become a weariness but remain a pleasure, and the garden be a delight to the eyes instead of a visible evidence of things undone.

Now, in order to realize this pleasing vision, there are certain homely details which, before she buys her seeds and decides upon her summer’s planting, the prospective gardener would do well to consider, such as these: What sort of diet can be provided for the plants? Is the soil rich or poor? If poor where can well rotted manure be had? How much can be spent on fertilizer? What water supply is possible? What position can be given the plants shade or sunshine exposure to wind or shelter?

And here are a few “Don’ts for beginning gardeners:

  • Don’t try for bargains in plants. Get good, carefully packed stock from a trustworthy, well established firm.
  • Don’t send in your order the last minute and expect to get the choicest stock.
  • Don’t begin your garden experience with extraordinary novelties. Such plants usually require expert care to bring forth anything but disappointment.
  • Don’t try too many sorts nor plan too large a garden; a few plants well grown and a small garden well cared for are better than many unhappy plants on a large area untended.
  • Don’t slight the preparation of the ground.
  • Don’t economize on manure.
  • Don’t use any but well rotted manure; if that is not available get commercial fertilizer.
  • Don’t fail to find out all you can about the soil.


~The Joyous Art of Gardening

The History of the Kitchen


These days kitchens are a beautiful thing. Full of granite and shiny stainless steel. Tall pantries and as many drawers and cupboards for whatever you can think of.

Our carries an 8 foot island, dishwasher, big corner pantry and a nice linen cabinet to keep all my tablecloths and china.

But what were kitchens like for women long ago?

Imagine what a kitchen without electricity, easy running water, microfiber moths, and a tall cool fridge in the corner would be. Not pretty to our luxurious way of life is it.

Imagine cooking on a wood stove, or over an open fire even.

Imagine have to can and preserve everything because refrigerators hadn’t been invented yet.

But women made it work.

I found a great article on the History of Kitchens for you.

Giving Thanks for What We Have

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

“If, deep in our hears, we are grateful in proportion to the good that is ours, then we are sure to know a kind of Peace and Thanksgiving that can make us kin to all the world.”
~Mary Brooks Picken, 1924

This is a quote beginning the November chapter of my Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun book by Amy Barickman

Thanksgiving is upon us. It’s a wonderful reminder to be thankful of all that good that we have. Not comparing our good to others but to look upon what we as an individual have been blessed with and known/

~Happy Thanksgiving

Vintage Style Thanksgiving Decorations

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Aren’t these lovely?

Vintage Thanksgiving decorations for your home. The style is deliciously vintage.

These are created by Betsy at B.Nute Productions and hosted at Catch My Party.

Housekeeping vs. Homemaking


A small treatise on what it means to keep a home. The gist of it is that the people in the home are more important than the things.

WHAT is good housekeeping?

One feels tempted in answering this question to paraphrase Plato’s definition of a “good education” with the following result: Good housekeeping is that which gives to the home, and the members of the household, the greatest perfection and happiness of which they are capable.

To most of us the words “good housekeeping” mean simply the keeping of the house in perfect order and the prompt serving of well cooked meals. Is this all the words signify?

Let us go into a well kept house for a few minutes.

…a dainty reception room. The shades are half way drawn in order to keep things from fading and also to give a subdued light. There are attractive rugs on the polished floor, quantities of bric a brac on the mantel; one log carefully adjusted on the finely burnished andirons and beneath it a neatly swept hearth. There are dainty gilt chairs scattered about the room and everything is immaculate.

The few books in neat piles on the corner tables look as if they had never made friends with anyone, in fact as if there were no one there who would sympathize with them, were they to open their hearts.

A person might have gone through the entire house, found the same neatness everywhere and still have gone away, feeling that it was not a real home or that people were not particularly happy there.

What was lacking?

Certainly order is Heaven’s first law and conducive to the happiness of a household.

To order one’s house well is simply to place things in their proper relation. We must constantly remember that the house was made for man; not man for the house.

This order, or placing of things in their proper relation must extend to every portion and member of the household; otherwise though our house be swept and garnished from top to bottom, it will be full of unhappiness.

It is much more indicative of poor housekeeping to have the baby pale from lack of sunshine than to have every carpet in the house faded. It denotes much better management to set a simple table where things are wholesome and appetizing than to ruin our children’s stomachs…with rich food.

If we have this just adaptation of parts to each other, our home life will rise in a beautiful harmony– a tribute to God, who has given us its possibilities, a blessing to the community, and an inspiration to everyone who enters our doors.

~The American Kitchen Magazine, Volume 3 p.165

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