Saturday, April 6, 2019

A Tudor Vegetable Garden and A Pause

I have been captivated by this illustration of a Tudor vegetable garden ever since I saw it in my 1935 Woman's Home Companion. 

I'm familiar with Tudor Knot Gardens but I've never seen a picture of vegetables planted in this style except for those dreamy but luxurious vegetable gardens in Monty Hall's French Gardens. 

One thing I love about my vintage women's magazines is that they are full of the most beautiful paintings done by the great illustrators of those days, many who went on to have their work in museums and art galleries. 

This illustration is by Harrie Wood and the article it illustrated was written by Marni Davis Wood. Related? I couldn't find out but the illustration is of her actual Tudor vegetable garden. 

She describes each and every planting in it but admitted that the one drawback was how to keep the garden symmetrical when they pulled a head of lettuce. Key to the garden was "intensive cultivation and succession planting of crops."

I love it for its artistic beauty but I also love it because it is so beautifully tidy. Which is strange because I prefer gardens that are English cottage garden blowsy.

But don't you think that if Marie Kondo had a vegetable garden it would look much like this?

I guess I love tidy gardens and blowsy gardens. I even love wild gardens. In this 2 1/2 acres surrounding our house, there is a big patch I asked RH not to mow and so many unusual wild things (weeds?) have grown there. But I would not want our whole yard and garden to be wild. 

 A certain amount of weeding must be done, both in our gardens and in our lives so that the terribly paralyzing feeling of being overwhelmed is addressed.

And so, I'm giving myself permission to pause posting here at Dewena's Window for a while to pull some weeds in my life and tidy up a bit.

This is only a pause, God willing. And I'll still be visiting a couple of blog friends each day.

A woman must find time for a little inspiration. A whole day cannot be devoted to weeding, can it?

Of course not! 

[RH would never forgive me if I didn't make it clear that I'm speaking of weeding figuratively as he is the one who does the actual weeding in the yard!] 


Monday, April 1, 2019

When the Swallows Return to Capistrano

Does anyone other than me remember that old song recorded in 1957 by Pat Boone?
When the swallows return to Capistrano,
that's the day you promised you'd come back to me.

It was not known as much as its flip side, April Love, which was a #1 Billboard hit from the movie by the same name. Pat Boone starred as Nick, a slightly bad boy sent to a Kentucky horse farm belonging to his aunt and uncle as a condition of his parole for joyriding in a stolen car

Shirley Jones as Liz was a local girl falling for Nick, who at first only had eyes for her older sister. By the end of the movie, the two were in love and almost kissed. 

You had to be a very young teenager to have appreciated the corny movie. I was.

 Ah, Spring love! As tender as the chartreuse green leaves on the trees here in Middle Tennessee. 

After coming home from shopping and errands the other day I put these lavender tulips from Trader Joe's in a vase in front of an old streaky mirror and was inspired to put this plate of swallows I found at Goodwill beside them.

 The pattern of the plate is fittingly named 'Capistrano' and immediately made me think of Pat Boone singing the old love song about the swallows of Capistrano.

Capistrano is San Juan Capistrano in Southern California and sadly, the swallows have stopped returning there each Spring. I found several theories about this online, from the insects the birds ate no longer being in the polluted creeks due to development, to there not being enough mud now for their cliff nests, again due to development.

The swallows used to arrive in Capistrano from late February to about March 19. Isn't the migration of birds fascinating?

Purple Martins flew in last week here, to the clean condos in the sky that our neighbor always has ready for them. But the martins leave us about mid-July whereas the Capistrano swallows stayed in Capistrano until October 23 before their flight to Argentina.

The martins here are such a welcome sight here at Home Hill as they soar and swoop, catching insects in the air over the pond. And I remember the barn swallows at our old house were lovely to watch also as we sat on the patio before supper watching them.

I understand that San Juan Capistrano is trying all kinds of things to bring the swallows back and I hope they succeed, don't you?

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying them on this one plate found at Goodwill by Trend China from Japan.

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments at my previous post on the woman in the green dress and her French Normandy home! 

So many of you wrote that you live in older houses with the craftsmanship of days gone by and that you too wonder about the history of those who lived there before you. One of you even picked out your dream house from the slideshow of beautiful homes in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ruth mentioned the little windows near the front doors on many of the houses, wondering if they could be in a cloakroom. I bet they are, Ruth, and it's a long time since I've heard that word.

One of you had visited Normandy, Madame Là-bas, and wrote that Canada had many settlers from that region. 

And then Mary Ann wrote about her own mother's experience during the Depression, one that so many went through of wondering where the next meal would come from.

My own father talked often of being a child during that time. They were lucky in that they were farmers and grew and raised much of what they ate. 

Not everything in my 1930s magazines were the reality of most women reading them, were they?

Perhaps no closer to reality than for many of us the stylish blogs we avidly follow? 

But we certainly do love them and are inspired by them, don't you think? Just as my mother was by the women's magazines of the 1950s that I remember her reading with so much enjoyment.

I'm wishing you all an April as tender as Spring Love!

It's chilly here now but I already packed away the red wool blanket folded at the end of my bed and spread out the old peacock embroidered sheet that RH and I found at the Nashville flea market over forty years ago, two small children in tow.

Spring will turn into Summer before we know it, won't it? And with Easter late this year it will feel like summer days will be upon us after that.

What have you done to welcome Spring to your home?

I wake up every morning to see this old picture across from me, so it's always Summer in my bedroom!

P.S. First lilac sprig sighted outside the window this morning!