Friday, April 20, 2012

Gardening Flashback: 1960s

I recently received a copy of my late grandfather's Better Homes and Gardens Garden Book.  It's a spiral bound book of everything to know for the suburban gardener.  Originally published in 1951, I have the revised copy of 1961.  In a quick scan of the book, I noticed that much of gardening has not changed.  The plants, the flowers, how to care for them, etc. are mostly unchanged.  The tools are slightly different today and the landscape layouts have altered like the fashion industry, however, there's comfort in knowing that a half century later, we garden much like my PopPop. 

For the sake of nostalgia, I pulled out a few pictures and some differences between then and today.  The picture quality isn't the greatest because of the paper used for printing.  Enjoy.

1.  They used much more metal and less (or no) plastic.  Even this page shows how to cut away the metal container that your plant came in.

2.  There were accessories we rarely see these days like clothes lines (some big enough to be twice the size of my garden) and these funky chairs.  Brady Bunch anyone?

3.  Women garden a lot more casually these days.  Check out the heels and dress!  There's even a boy in the pruing section of the book with his blazer on while he prunes away at the bushes.  Wow, a child in a suit and with pruners.  An unheard of combination today.  Glad I can wear sweatpants or capris to dig around in my garden. 


  1. The fashions and photography might make us smile - but they knew a thing or two about gardening that we can still learn from. Having said that, you'll probably find some horrific examples of over-use of weed-killers and other chemicals!

  2. LOVE these pics! Thanks for sharing :) I was watching Trudy feed her baby in last week's Mad Men episode--she was dolled up to hilt in her own kitchen! I say sweatpants area wonderful advancement of modern times ;)