Edwardian (Horti)culture 2: Getting the Right Gloves

'Pink Aquilegia, Yellow Foxgloves, Cow Parsley' by Christiana Herringham (Royal Holloway)

‘Pink Aquilegia, Yellow Foxgloves, Cow Parsley’ by Christiana Herringham (Royal Holloway)

June 2nd. – It must be admitted that one of the great drawbacks to gardening and weeding is the state into which the hands and fingers get. Unfortunately, one’s hands belong not only to oneself, but to the family, who do not scruple to tell the gardening amateur that her appearance is ‘revolting’. Constant washing and always keeping them smooth and soft by a never-failing use of vaseline – or, still better, a mixture of glycerine and starch, kept ready on the washstand to use after washing and before drying the hands – are the best remedies I know. Old dog-skin or old kid gloves are better for weeding than the so-called gardening gloves; and for many purposes the wash-leather housemaid’s glove, sold at any village shop, is invaluable’ (Mrs C. W. Earle, Pot-Pourri From a Surrey Garden, 1897).

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