Visiting or looking at photographs of other people’s gardens not only gives us insight into their thoughts, ideas, and lifestyles but it can also be a source of inspiration for how we organize our own spaces. Gardens can be a sign of wealth, a means of putting food on the table, or just beautiful spaces in which to relax. These elements are all reflected in the garden photos that are part of the Minnetrista Heritage Collection.
The first two images depict a house and gazebo on Wheeling Avenue. Florence Dye and her brother are posed near the gazebo and she is holding a bouquet of some variety of daisy. Behind them the giant leaves of elephant ears are visible as well as daisies, bushes, and several potted plants. The front and side of the house also have many plants indicating that this family enjoyed gardening, took pride in the appearance of their yard, and thought it worthy of being photographed and used as a background for photos.
The next set of photos depicts Sadie Gause Robinson and daughter Dorothea Robinson McShurley in a family member’s garden. The women are posed near irises and what appear to be the white blooms of snow in summer. A succulent in a concrete pot, bushes, pine and deciduous trees are also visible. This garden is another example of a well-maintained space that served as a lovely setting for photographing family members.
This image depicts two women hilling up beans in a large garden space. The photo was taken by John Crozier for a newspaper article but the date and identification of the women are unknown. It does however show the method of hilling and how much work goes into maintaining a large home vegetable garden.
Another image of a backyard gazebo depicts children at the residence of Clarissa Hickman Schreiber on East Adams Street. There is a vining plant growing on the gazebo and the yard is surrounded by a large hedge that creates a private yard space. Structures such as gazebos permit one to enjoy the outdoors more comfortably by providing covered seating in a room-like setting. Their often intricate designs also add an element of artistry to yards and gardens.
The Muncie Garden Club scrapbook details the group’s activities which included tours, educational programs, and flower displays. They toured the C.M. Kitselman and Otto Carmichael formal gardens, both a reflection of wealth and local examples of planned formal landscapes. The group sponsored a Junior Garden Club to teach young people gardening techniques as seen in the photo here. They also created displays for shows and events and held plant sales to benefit community beautification projects.
C.M. Kitselman estate
Otto Carmichael estate
Muncie Junior Garden Club
Plant sale display