In the centre of the living room inside my childhood home, a heavy 70′s era fake colonial-style coffee table sat on top of a grass green shag rug. It was a behemoth of a thing, all dangerous sharp corners and rock hard, pressboard edges. Its matching end tables were equally large and bevelled, and together, in a small room unsuited for their girth, they formed a perilous minefield on which my energetic little brother cracked his skull at least a thousand times.
A Way to Garden Radio – I recently appeared as a guest on Margaret Roach’s weekly podcast to talk about Holiday gifts to make using plants and things gleaned from the garden. Click here to listen for free. To get your Holiday gift giving started, Margaret is giving away two garden-themed tees from our shop, so head over there to get your name in the running to win.
It’s that time of year. Let’s do this!
Yee Olde Merry Basket of Preserves: A basket or box (tip: I look for good quality ones at thrift stores throughout the year), some tissue paper, a few jars of dried herbs and fruit, pickles, jam, ketchup, etc and you’ve got yourself a gift that anyone who eats food (as-in all of us) will enjoy. I give some version of this gift so often that some friends just flat out tell me what they want ahead of time. This is fine by me as it saves the guesswork.
It may come as no surprise that in addition to plants, I also collect things that are connected to the world of plants and horticulture in some way: old books in the categories of gardening, botany, or nature; prints that feature images of plants, birds, insects, and other things of a scientific nature; old gardening products and packages; vintage seed packets, catalogues, and ephemera; plates, cups, and other dinnerware with botanical motifs; and still other things not related to plants at all… the list goes on and on. From my background in graphic design and art comes an interest in printing processes of a bygone era, the result of which is a small printing press, and a collection of assorted metal and wood print blocks and type. What don’t I collect? The only honest answer I can give is things that do not catch my eye.
Nothing should ever be touched with one’s fingers. This was one of the principles behind Victorian dining etiquette and it resulted in a plethora of highly specialized utensils and serving pieces, including the Tomato Server, a decorative slotted/pierced spoon designed specifically for serving slices of fresh tomatoes.
Think on that a moment. Someone invented a spoon whose sole purpose is to transfer a tomato slice from a serving dish to your plate. Victorians were kind-of bonkers.