"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The memories and wisdom found in very old books

Old books.........I love them. There is something about the images and the print in old books. I have such a book.....among the shiny and inviting covers of my garden books, sits this very unassuming book. Printed in 1935, The Complete Book Of Garden Magic, by Roy E. Biles, is the first book I reach for and keep beside me throughout the year.
It may not look like much, but once opened, the wisdom of garden know how pulls you in and once tried, the results in the garden, make this book priceless. This book was given to me, when I lived in town and only dreamed of gardens, greenhouses, and chickens. My elderly neighbor, Ruth, passed away, the only good soul left in the neighborhood. We would often spend late afternoon hours out on the sidewalk, talking about flower gardens and children. Her daughter found this book among her mother's things, and knowing that Ruth and I often exchanged flower cuttings with each other, brought the book over to me. I have cherished it since.
This is the book, from where I am going to share wonderful tidbits of good garden advice with you! It is full of things on how to make your soil better, composting, greenhouse managing and so on. One particular section I have grown to love is the garden calendar. In this section, the book takes you through each month, telling you what you should and should not be doing during a particular month. And so, for this month of January..........a note about Poinsettia
If you were fortunate to receive one of these Christmas beauties and have trouble on keeping them after Christmas, maybe this tip will help.
Protect the Poinsettia from draft, keeping it in a temperature of seventy degrees in the daytime and not lower than sixty-three at night. Water twice a day with tepid or slightly warmer water from above. When it has finished blooming and begins to drop it's leaves, set it aside and give it only enough water to keep it from drying out. In April, the plants are pruned back hard and repotted in a rich light soil. They are kept growing in a light position and in early June are plunged in the garden, where they may remain until late September.
* Please note that this is from a very old book. I have not worked with a Poinsettia, wish I had gotten one at Christmas now, however.
If you have tried this and it turned out to be a wonderful way....please let me know, I would love to hear.
Now, how about you? Are there any old books that you hold dear and have found to be a good source of wisdom or comfort? I would love to hear!
*If you want to see what I cooked from The Blue Willow Inn Cookbook, please visit My Country Kitchen blog. http://countrykitchenkat.blogspot.com


Julie Harward said...


Anonymous said...

I love old books like the one you share today. Sometimes at thrift stores, I am lucky enough to find such a book. How very special that it belonged to your friend and brings back fond memories of your good times together.

Marydon Ford said...

The book is spot on for advice on the Poinsettia ... done it for years off & on.

Love browsing thru some old books ... the advice of yore is often humorous to us now, also.

Happy New Year! May your year bring beauty, joy & blessings ...
TTFN ~ Marydon

Linda said...

Happy New Year Kathleen...may this new year bring you and yours good health, happiness and wonderful memories for future years.

What a treasure of a book, especially since it belonged to your friend. I didn't get any Poinsettias this year but I'm going to jot don't this information for the future. Mine never seem to last much past January...so this is very helpful information...hugs, Linda

Daisy said...

Old books are definitely treasures in my mind, Kathleen. I have several bookcases of books, both old and new.

Paula said...

What a great old book and I love how you got it! I have an old book fetish and pick interesting one's up whenever I find them at yard sales and such. One with the words "Garden Magic" in the title would certainly grab my attention.
I have a Poinsetta, so am going to try your books advice. Hopefully it will work. I better get busy, certainly haven't been watering it twice a day!

peggy said...

What a wonderful gift from your friend, she will go on gardening by your hands. Going now to see that recipe.

grammy said...

Great Garden book

I am so not a good gardener.. but manage to keep a few plants alive.
Loved the rooster embroidery. Will go check out the other sites (o:

nancy huggins said...

I am also a lover of any old books..Just looking at how tattered they are and wondering how many have read them before me brings me joy..I will be happy when I am able to move and watch your posts for garden advice...I can not grow anything here in the south and did well in the Midwest and am anxious to return to what I call "HOME"
Hope you and yours have a Great New Year
Keep an eye on my blog as I will be doing another give away in the next few weeks and am also in the process of adding new items to my selling blog.

DayPhoto said...

I love old books also. And that one seems esp. wonderful!

Together We Save said...

What a wonderful treasure!!

Anonymous said...

this is a good story.
i like the smell of old books...as long as they are not musty.
i am also attracted to some of the old ink drawings.

this is such a warm story of your neighbor and her daughter giving you the book.

Pat / Silver Thimble Quilt Co. said...

I'm not such a good gardener but I'm going to get better. I have a poinsettia tho it is in a box in the attic. Looks great when I pull it out every year.