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What Would Luther Burbank Do?

The Smithsonian Institution maintains an online collection of vintage seed catalogs of about 10,000 seed and nursery catalogs dating from 1830s in their archives. Many of the catalogs were part of the Burpee Collection donated to the Horticulture Services Division by Mrs. David Burpee in 1982. The impressive collection maintained by The Smithsonian includes seed catalogs from Burpee its competitors and smaller companies like those of Miss C.H. Lippincott.

Vintage Seed Company catalogs
Vintage seed catalog examples from the Smithsonian Libraries.


The Art of Instruction, Plant and Animal Anatomy Prints

Wall charts were first introduced in primary schools and would quickly find their way into high schools and universities. These wall charts became important teaching aids as populations increased and the numbers of students increased with it making circulating picture books, loose engravings and biological specimens impractical. According to Katrien Van der Schueren, author of The Art of Instruction, these educational wall charts originated in Germany around 1820. During the decade between 1990 and 1890 German printers alone published more than twenty thousand distinct charts that were sold and distributed around the world.
Sundew Illustration, The Art of Instruction


Transplanting Oriental Lily Bulbs

A few years ago I planted two bags of Oriental lily bulbs in my garden after I found the bulbs on sale and couldn't pass up a discount. Over two years the bulbs established themselves, grew taller and produced more blooms per stem. One evening while the clumps where at their peak a stranger walking past the garden stopped and asked me what I had sprayed in the garden to get it to smell so good. Then a day later a family member asked me the same question. Both of them where referring to the scent emanating from the lily blooms that is downright enchanting on a humid summer day. When another family member asked me to help start a garden the first plant I thought to share where some of my Oriental lilies. So I set about transplanting Oriental lily bulbs from my garden to this new garden.


Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine Layering Propagation.

Propagating your ornamental sweet potato vine to expand your plant collection, or to overwinter your plant to grow again next year is really easy. You can take cuttings of your ornamental sweet potato vines and root the cutting in water. But using a simple layering method or (tip layering) is just as easy and saves you the repotting step of rooting in water because the vine will root in a pot with potting soil as it grows.

Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine propagation