Gardening During War Time
This weekend after reading "Fanciful Gardens Emerge in a City of Tan and Gray" by John Leland, a New York Times war correspondent in Baghdad, I thought oh thank god things must be pretty quiet if he is actually writing about gardening of all things. As I was reading this "fancifull" article it struck me that John Leland used the sales of ornamental landscape plants as a barometer of a more stable, confident, economy rather than washing machines or LCD TVÂs. It was a reminder of the sense of hopefulness and restorative powers that can be found growing plants purely for their ornamental value. I wonder what solace does your garden offer you?
All of this pondering brought me to a google search of war time gardening in New England and an Arnoldolia article "Short Guide to Care of the Garden during War Time" written in March of 1944, by Donald Wyman. I thought it was a wonderful look at a gardening primer from seventy five years ago. It was interesting to read that as in Baghdad today there was a focus on ornamental landscape plants and not solely what was coming out of the Victory Garden. A number of things throughout this article struck me including Ornamental vine, like bittersweet, clematis, honeysuckle, bower actinidia and the like need little pruning except the regular removal of any dead wood. Cripes in 1944 bittersweet was not yet known as one of the top invasive thugs in New England, I shudder to think what a strong hold this vine will have in the next seventy five years. There were many things in this guide that caught my attention, including the spray program for lace wing on rhododendrons, but I am much more interested in what your thoughts are. Peace, Katy