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Doing research for historical novel

Posted by lesli8 8TX (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 8, 13 at 21:54

I am researching gardens that took place in Texas,-- Gonzales county and probably Harris county, 1850. What roses, other landscaping flowers and veggies would they most likely have in their garden? I recently published the first novel, and I concentrated mostly on roses for my character. But now writing sequel and want to keep things fairly accurate. These characters are going to be vegetable and flower gardening. Any information you all could offer would be greatly appreciated. If you know any seed companies they would likely have used etc.I would be ever so grateful!

Thank you so much!

Lesli Neubauer

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RE: Doing research for historical novel

  • Posted by girlbug2 z9/10, Sunset zone 2 (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 9, 13 at 8:50

I don't know for sure but I believe Ferry Morse would have been a seed company that existed and was popular back in the 1850s. I have tintype reproductions of their signs to decorate my laundry room.

Garden vegetables that would have been common in Texas at that time no doubt would have been beans of various types, but you will have to research specific varieties -- I'm guessing there were varieites originally from the East coast as well as Mexico, perhaps pinto beans and black beans. I don't know how well other veg would fare in Texas at that time, but given enough water, perhaps they could have grown anything.

Garden flowers that would have likely been grown at that time include evening primrose, calendula, cosmos, bachelor's button, sunflowers and hollyhocks.

If you pick up any of today's heirloom seed catalogs you can dig through and find veg varieties that have been around since that time period. Many of them are popular today such as Brandywine tomatoes, Jenny Lind melons, and old fashioned Sweet Peas like Cupani, Painted Lady, etc. Good catalogs for this are Seed Savers Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, which often have historical information along with the catlog descriptions of the flower and vegetable varieties.

Best wishes to you.

RE: Doing research for historical novel

Thanks so much! Good info.


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