After 1880 advertising in newspapers and magazines meant more than simply information about a product…
Boxed Perennials for Sale at Local Grocery Chain
To my surprise I found an array of sixteen pernnials for sale at the local Star Market, a large grocery chain.
The plants each came in an individual box. All were assembled into a large cardboard stand which was a about 3 feet high and 1 1/2 feet wide.
The source of the plants was simply listed on the side of the container as ‘From Holland.’ [below]
What amazed me was the variety of the plants that were old-fashioned, tried and true.
Each of these plants has decorated gardens for decades, if not centuries.
I checked my trusted resource Noel Kingsbury’s book Garden Flora for the date that they first were cultivated in the home garden.
Here are some of the varieties and the date they first appeared in the garden:
Hemerocallis – 16th century
Echinacea – 11th century
Hosta. – 19th century
Hollyhock – 6th century
Phlox – 18th century
Large Peony – 18th century
There are several ways one could interpret this simple spring form of sale of perennials.
First, of course, just notice how long they have appeared in our gardens.
Everyone knows them.
If you are new to gardening, here is a group of perennials that will not fail you since they have decorated the home garden for decades.
We still plant these same perennials.
Aren’t there other choices for the gardener?
Finally, the garden that we plant has been the same for centuries, with the same plants.
This columbine was also included [below]. Spague’s illustration dates from the nineteenth century
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