CGC: February 1940

The February meeting of the Garden Club met at the home of Miss Marie Senseny.

The opening was in charge of Mrs. Alfred Zollickhoffer who had Miss Marie Burley sing us two lovely numbers: “Madame Butterfly” and” Love’s a Merchant”.

After the roll call, the minutes were read and approved.

The committee to arrange a gift for Joan Ann Hesson reported that it was decided to give her a spoon.

Each member was asked to pay 5 cents for the booklet rather than take the money from the treasury.

The Veritus Club* of Westminster wish to join the club on its annual tour.. It was decided that the tour committee notify them of time and place.

The program for the afternoon was on birds. The Wild Canary was discussed by Mrs. Herbert Snyder.

  • Robin–Mrs. Dowell
  • Wren–Mrs. Stauffer
  • Cardinal or Redbird–Mrs. Englar.

An article on Mount Vernon Gardens was given by Miss Marie Senseny to close the program.

Each member had been asked to bring a winter garden** of his own making. Over three-fourths of the members responded. Much time was spent looking over the gardens at the lovely original designs. The prize was won by Miss Mildred Zumbrum.

The hostess served tea after which the club adjourned to meet March 6.



Hilda Speicher

*of St. Paul’s Reformed Church

** a dish garden

“In the early 20th century, indoor gardening became far less popular than in the previous century. Although the electric light had been invented by that time and was therefore providing superior illumination in comparison to gas lighting, central heating had lowered the humidity of indoor environments, and that made it more difficult to maintain plants indoors. About the only plants that could still be effectively grown indoors were palms, and you could only have so many of them in one house. Foliage plants were also difficult to obtain during that time and cut flowers were inexpensive substitutes.

 During the 1930s and the Great Depression, houseplants again experienced a revival, this time in the for of dish gardens. Some homes had a few plants here or there, but the lushly adorned indoor gardens of the previous century were still a few decades away. The interior landscape industry didn’t really start in earnest until the late 1940’s.”¹

“Before the 1940’s the home environment was not suitable for tropical and subtropical plants, the popular foliage plants of today. After this time though, more precise control of indoor temperatures in both summer and winter greatly improved and there was no longer a need for conservatories and greenhouses to keep these plants over the winter”.²

      A History of the Interior Landscape Industry¹
        A Brief History of Houseplants²

In wartime 1940’s Britain, it was almost impossible to obtain new houseplants so they had to be creative while living in austerity. After carrots had been prepared for eating, the thrifty Brits took the cut-off tops of carrots and placed them in water to grow “foliage houseplants”.