Archive for May 1st, 2013

Well, it is May 1 and there is still a small patch of snow on the north side of the house (here in the wilds of the foothills of New Hampshire’s White Mountains). However, the snow patch is much smaller than it was when I last talked about it.


I was looking forward to announcing the official “Snow Out” here at the homestead – the day the last bit of snow melted. I was thinking that it would be May 11th, but I think this last bit of snow will be gone within a day or so.

Meanwhile, it has been very dry this spring. We had very little rain in April – so much for April showers bringing May flowers. With the last of the snow cover gone there are warnings all over that there is a high risk of brush fires.

GARDDENLost Cowboy fans know that my gardening skills are limited. I love planting things every year and seeing what I get and my results have been very humble. However, I love looking at other people’s gardens and I am always impressed by what people are able to do with nature.

Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston also appreciated beautiful gardens and for the first part of the last century, she took some amazing pictures of America’s best. In the wonderful book, Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935 by Sam Watters, Frances Benjamin Johnston’s garden photographs are presented together for new generations to discover and admire.

About Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935 by Sam Watters: “Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935 presents for the first time 250 colored photographs of urban and suburban gardens taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston photographer of presidents, celebrity authors, tastemakers, and estates of the County House Era. Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935, written by Sam Watters and published in collaboration with the Library of Congress, presents 250 of Johnson’s colored lantern slides, not seen since the 1940s. They picture New York town house yards, Long Island villas, California hillside terraces and plantations of the South identified by Watters over years of research and travel.”

Mr. Watters has truly curated a goldmine of history with this book. He took the archives of Frances Benjamin Johnston’s work and meticulously researched and collated the photos into an amazing book showcasing the timeless qualities of beautiful gardens and gorgeous photography.  The perfect book to flip through on May Day.

Gardens for a Beautiful America, 1895-1935 by Sam Watters is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

If you need a great gift for the garden lover in your life, Gardens for a Beautiful America comes in a stunning leatherbound limited edition.