When a gardener collects vintage postcards

When a gardener collects vintage postcards, especially vintage Christmas postcards, she quickly realizes she needs to narrow down her choices for which postcards to collect, or she will soon be overwhelmed with postcards.

So she decides to look for postcards that feature flowers and plants other than the traditional poinsettias, holly, and ivy.

Her eye is drawn to this card which features violets, one of her favorite flowers.

Sent on Dec. 21, 1911

Then she finds one with panies on it, also a favorite bloom.

Sent Dec. 23, 1909

Her horizons are expanded when she finds a card with both violets and lily of the valley on it.
"With love to Aunt Georgie from Edna" - 1909
She does a little on-line sleuthing and finds out that in days of old, lily of the valley pips were once forced into bloom for the holidays.

No date on this one, but addressed to Mrs. Ruby Knight, Sheridan, Ind.
It was a lucky find for her because now she buys pre-chilled lily of the valley pips and forces them into bloom for herself in the dark days of winter.

When a gardener collects vintage postcards, she is bound to find some cards with the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger, on them.
Sent in 1913
They remind her to look for some in bloom at the store.

Later she found another card with the Christmas Rose on it.
"From Nillison"
This one also featured little elves, which reminded her of the tree fairies that come inside and mess around in Christmas trees, throwing ornaments to the floor and blowing out some of the lights.

Speaking of Auld Lang Syne, if you are Scottish she supposes heather is a seasonal bloom - at least it is on this card.
No date, but based on the stamp, it's British.
She is not sure who thinks irises are a flower of the season.
Sent in 1916, 100 years ago!

But she definitely agrees that snowdrops can be seasonal.
Sent in Michigan in 1908
Though her snowdrops usually come up at the end of January or beginning of February, there are some fall blooming snowdrops that might bloom at Christmas time.

When a gardener collects vintage postcards, sometimes she buys one with no flowers at all on it.
From Bessie to Ella, 1916
This one reminded her of the story of the Christmas Cottontail, which someday she plans to publish as a book.

And finally, when a gardener collects vintage postcards, she can't pass on this one.
Vintage 1922

No gardener could pass up a card with a sentiment related to gardening, even if it does feature the most common of Christmas flowers, the poinsettia.

And so the season begins...

*Most of the postcards in my small collection date from the 1900s through the 1920s. Not all of them relate to gardening and flowers.  Check that. All of the ones I really like relate to gardening and flowers. Otherwise, why have them?


  1. When I saw the rabbit one, I immediately thought of your rabbit statue on the patio.

  2. This is an intriguing array of postcards. Nice collection.

  3. I have a few also and display them at Christmas. This year I found some thanksgiving cards in an antique store in Christiansburg, VA. He had boxes and boxes of them, all carefully divided into categories. Fun to look at and read the sweet notes. And nice to sit and rest a few minutes while shopping.

  4. These are lovely! I've collected postcards in the past too. Love that you have translated what someone thought so long ago, into what you can do now. Even just the concept of an idea...it is amazing how it fades and then grows again. Gardeners really are the best people--even ones who seem like ghosts, our commonalities connect us. They are not gone.

    I love your last postcard: "In the garden of your heart
    may Christmas plant
    ease and peace..."

    and the Christmas bunny.
    and the Snowdrops with the sunset.

  5. So beautiful! Someone I went to high school and college with collects vintage postcards and sells them on eBay. She will love this post.

  6. Wow. So beautiful. Thanks for your sharing

  7. Those are so lovely. Times and cards have changed so much, but at least the love of flowers continues.


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!