The Dewey Decimal Files

No book review today, but I wanted to share with you an old relic… remnants of the Dewey decimal filing system!! ūüíē An archaic method of finding book call numbers before computers. A system which almost turned me off books forever! I remember I was in second or third grade when the librarians showed us how to use it, and I thought, if this is what I‚Äôll have to do when I become a grown-up then find me Peter Pan pronto, because I never want to grow up. ūüėė .

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#bibliophile #bookphotography #booknerd #bookgeek #bookstagram #book #reading #library #amreading #amwriting #history #libraryofcongress #research #catalog #bookclub #bookshelf #vintage

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Indoor Gardening: A Happy Journey Through Winter.

The fashion for growing plants indoors is very understandably on the increase.  The lead had been given to us by the Scandinavia countries, where the climate must be more difficult to manage than our own, and where the inhabitants go to the most elaborate lengths to ensure a supply of living vegetation and greenery in their rooms throughout their long winter.  It is a pleasant fashion, and I hope it never proves to be ephemeral.

-Vita Sackville-West
November 14th, 1954

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Rather on the contrary to Vita’s fear, I think indoor gardening is on the rise.   I myself, don’t think I could live without the pleasure of gazing at my blooming houseplants all winter long.  I feel so blessed to have a collection that provides me with something at all times.  I no longer dread the coming of winter because I know my work indoors will begin.  Just because the roses are gone and the dahlias are dug up doesn’t mean I won’t have flowers.  In fact, I will have plenty.

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Forget fresh flowers in each room- what about live flowers instead?  With all the positive research which proves plants provide clean air for our stagnant wintery houses why wouldn’t one want a plant to bring some new oxygen and color?

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My love for flowers began with the cactus- if you can believe it.  They were inexpensive and there little pots did not impose on the limited space in our home.  However, as I was trying to roll myself out of a wintery funk, gazing upon one little cactus wasn’t good enough.  My broken spirit needed something more- something bigger than me.  Soon that little pleasure took the form of a therapeutic obsession which branched out into the interest of other plants and soon tramped off to expand itself outdoors.  I followed it willingly and found myself feeling the greatest pleasure.  I attached myself to a positive energy that spun all the heaviness away.


In the dead of winter, we can all get a little run down.  So when this happens, I venture off to my favorite place: Telly’s Greenhouse in Troy, MI.  Their collection of house plants is out of this world and the displays are nothing short of inspirational.  Stepping out of the cold and into their greenhouse (pictured above) one is immediately struck by the humidity and the most wonderful smell of wet dirt.  Find a nice greenhouse near you and make it your safe haven.

People tell me they kill cacti, succulents and orchids too.  I myself cringe at the times I threw phalaenopsis orchids away when their blooms died.  Not anymore.  I have one that has been blooming consistently (taking short breaks here and there), throwing up blooms since two years ago.  Don’t let anyone fool you, their care is not challenging.

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My latest achievement however, is getting my dendrobium to bloom this year.  I’ve been waiting two years and my hard work has finally paid off.  Since dendrobium’s and cacti need a drought period in order to bloom, they are such rewarding plants when they finally shoot up some color for you.  Indeed, they teach patience and perseverance.

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Sounds complicated and annoying to have to wait so long, but that’s the fun of it.  If you need a distraction or feel a bit heavy, get out into the garden and start with something simple.  I promise you, gardening can cure all mental ailments if you’re willing to be cured. Whether indoor or outdoor there is an endless amount of knowledge to learn and practice.  Be well this winter; allow the flowers to lift your spirit.

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Short and Sweet Woodruff

There are things we grow in our gardens and forget about, and then remember suddenly, as I have just remembered the Sweet Woodruff, that meek, lowly, bright green native of Britain, so easy to grow, so rapid in propagation-every little bit of root will grow and extend itself-keeping weeds down and making a bright green strip or patch wherever you want it.
It is not showy.  Its little white flowers make no display, but it is a useful carpenter for blank spaces, and it certainly makes sweet bags for hanging in the linen cupboard to discourage the moth or to put under you pillow at night.

-Vita Sackville-West
May 14th, 1950
In Your Garden

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I read about these late one night and was intrigued by a certain useful quality the Sweet Woodruff possesses.¬†¬† So intrigued and attracted, that¬†I headed to the nursery strictly to get my hands on some.¬†¬†¬†I’ve since¬†planted it¬†all over my flower beds¬†and under trees, so my supply¬†is great and my harvest will be plentiful.

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Vita advises that if you cut the leaves in autumn, which, if they¬†grow as rapidly¬†as I’m told,¬†I would just cut their long stalks of leaves and hang them upside down as you would a spice.¬† They will not have a scent until they are dried.
After which, you can make them into little sachets¬†which smell of freshly mowed grass¬†and¬†lingers for years.¬† Imagine the lift you’ll receive when¬†in the dead of winter you’ve¬†forgotten what grass looks like let alone smells like!¬† Slip it under your pillow to remind yourself.¬†¬†You’ll sleep peacefully knowing that¬†spring is always right around the corner.