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Amateur Gardencraft A Book for the Home-Maker and Garden Lover   By: (1848-1916)

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AMATEUR GARDENCRAFT

[Illustration:

Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love

Tennyson ]

AMATEUR GARDENCRAFT

A BOOK FOR THE HOME MAKER AND GARDEN LOVER

BY EBEN E. REXFORD

WITH 34 ILLUSTRATIONS

[Illustration]

PHILADELPHIA & LONDON J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY 1912

COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY, 1912

PRINTED BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY AT THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS PHILADELPHIA, U.S.A.

FOREWORD

The home that affords the most pleasure to its owner is the one which is largely the result of personal effort in the development of its possibilities. The "ready made home," if I may be allowed the expression, may be equally as comfortable, from the standpoint of convenience, and possibly a great deal more so, but it invariably lacks the charm which invests the place that has developed under our own management, by slow and easy stages, until it seems to have become part of ourselves.

Home making is a process of evolution. We take up the work when everything connected with it is in a more or less chaotic condition, probably without any definite plan in mind. The initial act in the direction of development, whatever it may be, suggests almost immediately something else that can be done to advantage, and in this way we go on doing little things from day to day, until the time comes when we suddenly discover what wonderful things have been accomplished by our patient and persistent efforts, and we are surprised and delighted at the result. Were we to plan it all out before beginning it, very likely the undertaking would seem so formidable that it would discourage us. But the evolutionary process takes place so gradually, as we work hand in hand with that most delightful of all companions, Nature, that work becomes play, and we get more enjoyment out of it, as it goes along, than it is possible to secure in any other way if we are lovers of the beauty that belongs about the ideal home. The man or woman who sees little or nothing to admire in tree, or shrub, or flower, can have no conception of the pleasure that grows out of planting these about the home our home and watching them develop from tiny plant, or seed to the fruition of full maturity. The place casts off the bareness which characterizes the beginning of most homes, by almost imperceptible degrees, until it becomes a thing of beauty that seems to have been almost a creation of our own, because every nook and corner of it is vital with the essence of ourselves. Whatever of labor is connected with the undertaking is that of love which carries with it a most delightful gratification as it progresses. In proportion as we infuse into it a desire to make the most of any and everything that will attract, and please, and beautify, we reap the reward of our efforts. Happy is the man who can point his friends to a lovely home and say "I have done what I could to make it what it is. I have done it not the professional who goes about the country making what he calls homes at so much a day, or by the job." The home that somebody has made for us never appeals to us as does the one into which we have put ourselves . Bear that in mind, and be wise, O friend of mine, and be your own home maker.

Few of us could plan out the Home Beautiful, at the beginning, if we were to undertake to do so. There may be a mind picture of it as we think we would like it to be, but we lack the knowledge by which such results as we have in mind are to be secured. Therefore we must be content to begin in a humble way, and let the work we undertake show us what to do next, as it progresses. We may never attain to the degree of knowledge that would make us successful if we were to set ourselves up as professional gardeners, but it doesn't matter much about that, since that is not what we have in mind when we begin the work of home making... Continue reading book >>




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