I found these wonderful images of vintage seed catalogues on the Smithsonian Library’s online collection.
The seed trade catalogs document the history of the seed and agricultural implement business in the United States, as well as provide a history of botany and plant research such as the introduction of plant varieties into the United States. Additionally, the seed trade catalogs are a window into the history of graphic arts in advertising, and a social history, through the text and illustrations, showing changing fashions in flowers and vegetables.
It is a wonderful resource, as you can search by plant, image content or company. Here are some of my favourites.
I came across Norfolk’s Old Town Clothing on pinterest: someone had pinned one of the above ‘small trades’ photographs and I was intrigued. I shouldn’t have clicked, because I then spent far too much time devouring their website and googling them. They make really attractive, nostalgic workwear clothing from British fabrics. They say on their website:
To the casual observer Old Town might appear to be simply an exercise in nostalgia, but we hope that the discerning might notice that the garments are essentially useful items with reference points and influences from past costume. In much the same way as today’s townscape is made of elements from different periods, we attempt in a simple way, to play with the notion of Now and Then.
There is a great interview with co-founder Will Brown here and I particularly recommend viewing their lookbook, Piccadilly Pleasures. I am pretty sure I am going to have to order the Jaywick dress, pictured below.
Hooray for Friday, it has been a long week. There is finally a really great atmosphere in London (whinging has subsided significantly!). I watched the Olympic torch go past Farringdon Road yesterday on my way into the office and the crowds were immense: loads of cheering office workers in great humour. To be honest, my favourite thing about the whole experience was the crowd cheering on normal cyclists making their way into work! I managed to get tickets to the BMX and I am really excited to see the landscaping and wildflowers at the Olympic park. This weekend we might visit Chelsea Physic Garden before we try the journey to Putney to watch the road race. Hm, wish us luck!
Every Friday I share the best outdoorsy blog posts for your distraction and pleasure. Here you go:
Amazing wedding in Berlin’s Botanical Gardens featuring some stunning images of the couple in the glasshouse
A summer camping trip on Junkaholique
Leading the Search for a Self-Reliant Bloom
Paul and Amy Hamilton’s wonderful home
You can now purchase British grown wasabi from The Wasabi Company
And, i’ve just discovered Sarah Raven’s youtube channel! There are only two videos up at the moment, but the oast garden tour is well worth a watch.
I was so happy to find this as, in my opinion, so many garden products have terrible branding and/or packaging design. This is simple but really effective: I could imagine that I would be seduced by this were I a complete novice. Designed by Sarah Rainwater as a self promotional design project, these kits are available to US residents only through her etsy shop.