Garden Wisdom

I’m dreaming of gardening again this week. . . My collection of galvanized watering cans are standing by for service, planted on a French seed tray ~

  Small peat pots at each place setting are filled with sweet-faced Violas & wrapped in pieces of burlap, tied with twine~

A decorative bird cage houses pots for planting~

 A layer of landscaping burlap functions a decorative cover for my garden table again this week~

My 1959 edition of The Wise Garden Encyclopedia is nearby:  A complete, practical, and convenient guide to every detail of gardening written for all U.S. climates, soils, seasons, and methods.


The jacket reads:

“This encyclopedic volume is not only lavishly illustrated in exquisite natural full colors, but is authoritatively written by E. L. D. Seymour, Editor for the renowned “Garden Encyclopedia,” assisted by a corps of famous flower experts. It is a book as practical as it is beautiful.”


“Parading in all their dazzling, natural glory are 800 different flowers, reproduced with such remarkable fidelity that your can almost inhale their fragrance. Every shade and nuance of the most flaming and most subtle colors of these flowers is captured for your delight and instruction.”

From the Foreward:

“The returns—or should we say rewards?—that one gets from a garden are of various kinds. There are the material products—flowers, vegetables, fruits—to be enjoyed through the several senses, or shared with others and thereby doubly enjoyed. There is the physical benefit and enjoyable recreation to be gained from garden work. There is the pride of ownership of something fine and beautiful, and the inspiration of working hand in hand with Nature in creating it.”

While the language is dated, the sentiment is still current~

“Always there is the well merited satisfaction of having accomplished something that enhances the home and benefits the community; of having taken a step and made contribution toward that noble goal, a more beautiful America.”


“Watering pots are useful in a small way for wetting soil in seed pans, flats, cold frames, hotbeds and seedling beds and for sprinkling foliage.”

 I love the method described in using these “watering pots”~

“These streams can be made to fall more lightly and in rain-like drops by holding the can higher to increase the distance between the apertures and the points where the water strikes.”

I’m looking forward to a gardener’s reward:

“To lounge in comfort beneath a tree, gazing on smooth green lawn and bed of flowers, is due reward for a gardener on a summer day.”

White Plates~ Oneida Westerly Basket

Jute Runner & Napkin Rings~ Pottery Barn

Napkins~ Home Goods

Flatware & Goblets~ Target

Woven Chargers~ World Market

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

Sherry at No Minimalist Here for Open House Party~

  Jenny Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday~ this week’s letter is W~ for Wise Garden Encyclopedia & Watering Pots

  56 comments for “Garden Wisdom

  1. March 16, 2011 at 6:03 am

    I so enjoy passing by your blog, and stare in awesome wonder at your creativity! You have a special ‘something’ that makes me stop and think and smell the roses! I too love the time I spend in the garden, the creativity with nature and all it’s splendour! A beautiful post! x

  2. March 16, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Mary this table is sweet! Absolutely beautiful. I love the violas wrapped in burlap and everything else about your table.

  3. March 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

    You have such pretty things:) Love the violet pots in sweet.

  4. March 16, 2011 at 9:10 am

    The table decorations are excellent! What brilliant ideas :)

  5. March 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Just lovely, from top to bottom & edge to edge! The little violas have such sweet little faces. Perfect launch for spring…sure wish it would hurry up here in OH. The snow is finally melting & we’ll hit 60º tomorrow. Oh Joy!!

    I’ve read about all you past posts in my emails that I get but couldn’t get on ANY blogs to comment while we were away in FL for 6 weeks. I was soooo frustrated! BTW, I waved at you as we passed Lake Norman! :-)

    You always do such a wonderful job. I love coming here to visit!

  6. March 16, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Good morning! Oh, how I love violas!!! They are so pretty and dainty. I just bought some over the weekend, and I’m hoping not to murder them anytime soon. I’m not the best at springtime gardening. :-( Your table is beautiful!!! It’s so calming and lovely…makes me want to slap winter right in the face! We’re actually getting some nice weather this week with highs in the 60s and 70s. I’ll have to pull out the ol’ gardening gloves and knee pads so I can get my violas in the ground! Have a beautiful day, and happy gardening!!!

  7. Pondside
    March 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I love the way that using a watering can makes one slow down in the garden. That was a lovely description of how to use one. As always, the table is exquisite.

  8. March 16, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Beautiful! Lately, I count myself lucky to have set the table at all …your inviting and colorful spring garden table setting is something I can only imagine having the time to do. But thank you for allowing me the time to imagine — and for sharing your once-again lovely creations!

  9. March 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Mary, your post is a work of art. I hope this table remains as is. Surely, no one would dare mess it up by eating there! The way you have photographed is wonderful, making each element seem so important. That is an area in which I feel lacking…any helpful hints?

  10. March 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Mary, you’ve done it again! Your creativity amazes me….thank you for another beautiful and inspiring table

  11. March 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    twins twins twins twins twins…

    cage, garden, books, wine glasses, burlap, napkin rings, chargers, galvanized collection… its all there.


    you stir my soul in a very good way~

  12. March 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Oh my, you’ve put me into full on, hands down, no holds barred, spring fever…And it’s supposed to snow again here tonight…


  13. March 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I inherited a love of plants from my grandfather. There is very little as satisflying as planting a garden and watching it grow!!

  14. Lola
    March 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Hi again!

    Great ‘W’ post -as always. So much garden wisdom!

    Looking forward to *seeing* you again next time,


    Btw Alphabe-Thursday

  15. March 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Wonderful! I believe you have spring fever. :)

  16. March 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Mary, all your tables feel my soul, but his one is really making my heart sing. I’ve been working in the garden all week. My husband thinks I’m rushing it a bit, but the garden centers are full of bring blooming plants, and I can’t help myself. Love the description of watering with a watering can. I use one all the time, but don’t have a beautiful collection such as yours. I do need a replacement. I think vintage may be the way to go. I’ll look at Round Top next week. ;-)
    Sweet little violas ~ I’ve some growing in among the daffodils.
    Oh, how I want to come lunch at this lovely setting, dreaming of gardens and looking out to the lake. ~ Sarah

  17. March 16, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    The personal flower arrangement look wonderful. What a great way to greet your guests to their place at the table.

  18. March 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I’ve been wanting to do a table with sweet little potted plants for a while, but had no “idea”.. yours is wonderful. I love the excerpts from the book. How fitting. There is a beauty to the written word, grammatically correct and maybe “old fashioned” but beautifully composed. The violas are perfect for your outdoor setting, especially this time of year when we are all yearning to dig in the dirt! Thanks for visiting and leaving your very kind comments.

  19. March 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Mary, Your table and photographs are always so pretty! You seem to think of every little detail that makes a tablescape special. I love everything about this one. Thank you so much for sharing this at my new party.

  20. March 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    How have I missed that idea? Putting burlap on a glass table. I love it. It feels so airy and light.

    And that french seed tray. Oh, I am in serious lust over that, too!

    Thanks for a wickedly wonderful link this week.

    Everything was charming.


  21. La
    March 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm


    Everything looks so lovely. I can’t help but smile. :o)

  22. March 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I am so in love with your tablescape! It is spring perfection! Every detail is so lovely!

  23. March 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    This is just such a beautiful setting. I love the garden theme, and I’m certainly ready to get my fingers in the dirt.

  24. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    March 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Oh so pretty Mary, lovin’ the perky violas! We are slowly greening up here in Philly, won’t be long now:@)

  25. March 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Beautiful spring table, I love all the different elements and textures. You’ve set an amazing table. Looking forward to warmer weather here, your table is an inspiration of what is to come. Thank you for sharing.

  26. March 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    what a thoughtful and fun post.
    wisdom is needed everywhere in life.
    Happy Gardening.

  27. March 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    What a pretty tablescape and just perfect for spring planting.

  28. March 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I love this post! It is so sweet with the garden theme and those dear little violas all wrapped up in burlap. Adorable! Garden season will be a little over 2 months from now for me. I hope your’s is sooner :-) Pamela

  29. March 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    What time is brunch, I am so there! What a gorgeous garden tablescape! I love how classy and homey it looks all at the same time!!! The pots inside the birdhouse, the watering can collection, the birdie napkin rings, the burlap covered violet planters… ALL MY FAVORITES! You make it truly look so inviting!!!!
    Visiting from No Minimalist Here : Open House linky party… stop by and visit me at

  30. March 16, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    What a beautiful table. I love anything and everything associated with gardening. I think I may try the little violets in burlap bags thing for my Mother’s Day table. Thanks for the great idea.

  31. March 17, 2011 at 12:24 am

    What a beautiful table! I am so longing for spring and gardening. You have some really pretty images!

  32. March 17, 2011 at 12:27 am

    I only like every single element in this magical tablescape….enough said. Thanks! Cherry Kay

  33. March 17, 2011 at 5:56 am

    I too adore galvanized watering cans! Love the description of watering with a water can. What a sweet tablescape.

  34. March 17, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Everything about your wonderful tablescape spoke to this gardner’s soul.
    Very very nice.

  35. March 17, 2011 at 7:19 am

    such eye candy..i love your rustic display!

  36. March 17, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Sweet, creative and so very inviting! Love the book too!

  37. March 17, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I just found you and sooo glad I stopped by! Everything looks great and just my style! Love your blog and hope you had fun making this tablescape for the rest of us..the wind is howling (warm though) here in Kansas and my tables have to stay bare for a while, so I am really enjoying yours! thanks for sharing!

  38. March 17, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I am in love with this garden party. I HAVE to make a birdhouse like that…it is a must now!!!

  39. March 17, 2011 at 10:11 am

    What a great table setting Mary!! I am so excited for the Spring weather…we planted the peas in the vegetable garden this morning…and I will pick up some pansies today. I love that rustic garden look that you captured in this setting, and I really enjoy vintage gardening books.

  40. March 17, 2011 at 10:19 am

    As a keen gardener myself I was in raptures with all the beautiful things in these photographs and would love to have them all here.

  41. March 17, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Just signed up with Suzanne…wanted to Thank you!

  42. March 17, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Sorry, I got so excited and forgot to comment on your pansies! Here in Texas our pansies are almost done for the season but they are so pretty. It will be 80 degrees today! Love your theme…and watering cans. Spring is coming my calendar tells me so…..Blessings My Friend,

  43. March 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

    That is an incredible table!! I love the burlap with the watering cans and the pansies, it makes for a gorgeous combination. Wish I were there.

  44. Pat
    March 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Lovely post! I love the touches of burlap. It makes me want to go dig in the dirt!

  45. March 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I dearly love the way you set your table & the theme “garden” in it is the most and cutiest thing I know.

    Your treasures are beautiful, indeed! Perfect timing for the spring-y time.

    Happy TS…

    Greetings from Stockholm,

  46. March 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I am new to your blog via Coloradalady and Vintage Thingie…I am lovin’ your tablescapes! You are so talented and I have really enjoyed browsing your blog! I will definitely return. Thanx for sharing Tiff @ The Cranky Queen!

  47. tess28
    March 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    This is so wonderful…makes me forget all of the snow outside. But spring is coming and I think you’ve brought it a little closer. I love your violets…they look like baby pansies!

  48. March 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Mary, this is one of my favorite tables…the little Johnny Jump Ups add so much to the already delightful table. I love the centerpiece with all the galvanized watering cans.
    Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

  49. Alison
    March 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Love this ‘W’ post! Spring fever is really kicking in around here and I personally love Violas. Thanks for sharing –

  50. Coloradolady
    March 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Oh, what amazing photos. I have a love for violets like these too! All your vintage touches makes it such a charming space. Happy VTT!

  51. March 18, 2011 at 12:13 am

    What time did you say lunch would be served? Oh my, what a perfect setting for Spring – you have inspired us with all your amazing touches!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  52. March 19, 2011 at 12:11 am

    This is my fav tablescape so far this week! Love it, just makes me want to be outside and garden! Love your use of the watering cans and more for the decor or centerpiece. Nice!

  53. March 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    …such a pretty, pretty setting! It would be so sweet to sit and visit among friends here.

    Blessings & Aloha!

  54. Botanic Bleu
    May 4, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Browsing through your older posts from before my entering the blogworld, I found this Garden Wisdom. The photos and the script with excerpts from the gardening book are so captivating that I know that I will revisit this post periodically to reread it much like I look at my favorite old magazines.


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