The day after the funeral, I was given one of her old garden books that she kept on a side table in her living room. It's well worn with use, and I'm sure she picked it up at a thrift store because she loved finding bargains. The book is The Old Dirt Dobber's Garden Book by Thomas A. Williams, copyright 1944. I wanted to share a few of the tips today in honor of Grandma Dorothy. I will miss our garden talks more than anything else. These are from a chapter entitled Just Rambling Around.
In spite of good care, an occasional arborvitae, juniper, pine or cedar will become so ragged and ill-shaped that it destroys the beauty of planting. These trees are not generally pruned severely, but in cases like this a drastic treatment is the only recourse. If you decide to prune these, don't stop half-way; cut the top on-third out and prune the side growth at least half way back.
Any of the dwarf or intermediate bearded irises may be dug in late winter when the ground is frozen hard, put into pots and brought into excellent bloom in the window garden. Pack the soil well into the pot when it thaws out indoors, put them in a sunny window and water well every three days. One gardener wrote that by following this method she had twelve kinds in bloom at Easter.
Many reports have come from different parts of the country telling how gardeners protect the plants of snapdragons during the winter so that they will bloom much earlier the next year. In the south and midsouth a heavy covering of leaves is piled over the pruned plants and left until late spring. In colder sections, a box, basket or hamper in turned over the plants, stuffed with leaves and soil and then hilled around with a mound of soil to keep the air from getting underneath. This protection if taken off in early spring. A few degrees of frost do not damage the plants.
Morning Glories in Winter
Every window gardens needs trailing vines, and the regular morning glories may be brought into fine bloom during winter. Plant the seeds in pots of good soil during late summer. Given them plenty of moisture and heat and they will come up in a few days. Set the pots in a sunny, sheltered spot in the garden, where they will continue to grow until time to take them indoors. Don't wait too long; carry them in a week or two before frost is expected.
Years ago I had asked Grandma Dorothy if I could share a few of her recipes on OFL, and she agreed. These were the only ones she could give me exact measurements on: