One hundred ten years ago today, a little article appeared in The St. John Weekly News out of St. John, Kansas. It was titled "Making Home Attractive," and Ruth Cameron wrote it.
Here's what it said:
"There ought not to be such thing as an unlovely home outside the city the next two months.
For all the threadbare, barren spots of the poorest home may be covered and healed by the beauty brought in from outside.
It takes but a very little time to bring some of the flowers that bloom In the fields and gardens into the house.
And yet many a time I've seen the garden gay with rose and poppy, pansy and nasturtium, and the house flowerless or maybe illy decorated with one or two bowls of half decaying flowers.
You haven't just the little time necessary?
Then make it the children's daily 'task to keep the flower vases freshly filled.
Teach them to have pride in it. Remember occasionally to comment in their presence to a visitor on some tasteful arrangement they have made, and you need never have an empty vase as long as the flowers last.
And not only will you have beautified the house thereby, but you will also have curtailed Satan's proverbial chance of hunting up mischief for idle hands.
If you can possibly manage it - and It's worth while to try to make the time even if you have to leave a few specks of dust on the mopboard behind the bookcase - go out occasionally with the children and help them gather the flowers.
Teach them harmony of color and grace of arrangement.
Perhaps in doing the latter, a principle [that] an artist friend taught me may help:
"If possible never rearrange flowers," he said. "Just as you gather them is nature's arrangement and it Is best."
And if you do manage to make some of these morning excursions with your children into the garden or field, the chances are that you will bring back to your work something even better than flowers.
Don't be satisfied with a few vases. Have two or three in every room.
Not just in the dining room and living room, but in every chamber and the kitchen for good measure.
A vase of nasturtiums over the sink or a bowl of pansies on the kitchen table isn't going to make it any harder to do the dishes or fill the lamps.
So many vases cost, you say?
How much? For ten cents you can get a slim, tall glass vase that, filled with your peonies or roses, would be a fit ornament for a duchess' piano.
For eleven cents you can buy a blue Japanese bowl that overflowlng with your nasturtiums, wouldn't look bad on a queen's breakfast table.
And when you are picking the flowers that probably you've had too many of to half appreciate, don't forget the people who are unlucky enough to know how to appreciate a single flower.
Probably, there is a flower mission handy ready to take anything you may give to these who need.
If there isn't, try at least once or twice this summer being a flower mission to some poor shut-ins all by yourself."