Old Time Gardens – If you look at the typical suburban garden now a days you will probably find a large yard of green grass with a couple of planting beds spread out here and there, maybe a tree or two but still a lot of green grass. There is not the type of garden you would expect to have seen a hundred years ago.
A hundred years ago the yards were much different than today there was some lawn but because there were no gas powered mowers they were maintained by push reel mowers so the idea behind a large carpet of grass was not high on the wish list of most home owners.
Also back then homes did not have air conditioning so in the summer when it was hot people spent a lot more time outdoors. The idea of gardens back then was to afford an interesting place to spend time. A typical yard would consist of walkways the would wind through the garden so that to see the whole garden you would have to walk down the paths and that was the great surprise when you would round a corner and see a beautiful planting all in bloom.
People would go out in the evening and stroll the garden there was no television or internet to distract them and preoccupy huge chunks of their time. They would spend time visiting their neighbors and gardening was also a social occasion. There was always an area of comfortable furniture to sit and visit, usually under some shade trees or an arbor. This area was like an outdoor room and was utilized that way.
Walkways and patio areas where made from bricks or stone which where acquired from the local brickyard or quarry. These were not shipped in from hundreds of miles away they were made of local materials saving money and a lot of pollution that would have been caused by trucking them across the country. The typical garden was a showcase for the gardeners talent and also a sign of their wealth.
The gardens of a hundred years ago where a lot more environmentally friendly that they are today. There was no noise pollution or air pollution caused by gas powered mowers out mowing large areas of open green carpets of grass. They garden shed shelves where not lined by cans of chemicals that were designed to kill everything from weeds to insects. Instead weeds were pulled and beds were planted to keep weeds out or to a minimum. Insects were controlled naturally by birds and other predators. People knew their neighbors and spent their free time socializing and enjoying nature and the outdoors. Maybe it is time to step back a hundred years and enjoy a simpler less polluted lifestyle.