Alan from Sepia Saturday says:
The other week I made a confession about my aversion to gardening and all things horticultural and I was challenged to include a possible gardening theme for a future Sepia Saturday. Well, here it is - for Sepia Saturday 224 (post your post on or around Saturday 19th April 2014) you can choose from gardens, gardening, watering cans, and men stood watching women do all the work. The title of this 1943 photograph, which appears on the US National Archives stream on Flickr, is "Frequent watering of the Victory Garden is necessary during the early stages of growth". You are, of course, able to interpret the theme image in any way you want.
Anyone who knows me well, GrandPurlBaa for example, knows that gardening is not my forte. I appreciate a beautiful garden...really appreciate it but will do nothing to create my own. Lazy sod that I am.
And yet I can't blame it on my genes. Both sides of my family seem to have loved gardens and been quite good at creating them.
|10 December 1936 from State Library of Queensland|
I live in Queensland, blessed with sunshine and a sub-tropical environment - great for growing lots of things but not necessarily bulbs, which I love.
Going through my family albums, I am reminded that most of the beautiful gardens that I admired in my youth were in the Blue Mountains.
I have posted this photo before but it bears repeating. It's my lovely Gran Ethel Conner (nee Carrett) and her husband, Edwin Arthur James Conner,my paternal grandfather who I never knew but who I also understand was lots of fun. They lived at Springwood in the Blue Mountains - 30 Valley Road to be precise. The house was called Natoma or Mybush And yes I have blogged about it before in Sepia Saturday here. They lived here from 1949 until 1960.
I assume this is taken out the back of the house.
Here's another photo of Mybush. I think that my grandmother and grandfather must have renovated the house because I also have this photo. Unless Mybush was in one part of Valley Road and Natoma was in another. Must ask my father.
which bears a remarkable resemblance to what is there today....
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Interestingly, all the pine trees at the front have been removed.
Now I am particularly intrigued by the name Natoma. This is after my grandmother's childhood home at Parsley Bay in Sydney.
|Xmas card 1914|
And yes, I realise that the card says Natona rather than Natoma but I think that's a typo.
A search of Trove reveals that this was up for auction in 1951 and described as being 61 Fitzwilliam Road Vaucluse, though we always knew it as Parsley Bay.
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It now seems to be called appropriately Le Mer.
So why call your home Natoma? I've googled Natoma (yes, lazy I know) and it seems to be an opera from 1911, a motorboat from the US Navy from 1917 to 1919 and of course there is Natoma in Kansas and Lake Natoma in Sacramento, California. The opera was a bit of a flop as far as I can tell. Although I do feel obliged to include a photo of the soprano who played the part of Natoma as her surname does seem to link with this week's theme.
|Mary Garden as Natoma in Victor Herbert's "Natoma" Photo was published in the 1909 U.S. book "Heart Songs", so no later than that year.|
Here's a picture of Natoma Street in San Francisco after the quake and if you want to see more of the devastation on Natoma Street, check out Stanford University's website here. Maybe my great-grandfather wanted to commemorate his work in Natoma Street??? I'm happy for others to volunteer opinions.
So that's one garden story.
Here's another photo from the other side of the family.
|Kit and Barbara|
My mother always put a lot of work into her gardens and Lord knows, they were often bleak enough to begin with.
This is a very blurred photograph of 3 Nungara Street Aranda when we were building there in the late 1960s. That's my mother on the left and my grandmother on the right. My grandmother's stance says it all I think..."Oh dear, there's work to be done".
|3 Nungara Street|
And here it is, in all its glory...finished...well the building that is...now the gardening had to start...
|3 Nungara Street Aranda, Canberra|
Here is my father making a start on the front garden....and here's me walking out the front door with my skipping rope, determined to have fun...garden or no garden.
Here are some more photos of my mother continuing her gardening endeavours - this time in Leura in the Blue Mountains.
|Barbara digging at 11 St George's Road Leura c1984|
|Barbara cutting a path|
No doubt about it. She was a hard worker and a saint.
I am reminded of a quote from John Williams Stoner which I read for the first time this week....and which I can heartily recommend.
"Now they were in the earth to which they had given their lives; and slowly, year by year, the earth would take them."
A bit sobering but true.....to see what others have made of this week's theme go here.