Chapter 333 Strangest Book Title Ever: Button Gardens and Diminutive Landscapes

First, may thanks to those who sent well wishes regarding my bad back. It was so nice to venture from my bed out to my computer this afternon (which, surprisingly, takes more effort with a sore back than I’d have thought) and find messages from well-wishers. You made my day, and thanks also for the advice from those among you who have back problems. I feel for you, too. I’m feeling a little better today, but still planning to recuperate and take it easy through Tuesday. In the meantime, I am enjoying being spoiled by Thoughtful Husband, Tom, and Huck. I’ve had plenty to read and lots of movies to watch, but it’s just not as fun when one is feeling pain, so I am hoping to be back to “normal” soon. Additionally, we are experiencing a January heatwave. It was 75 degrees Fahrenheit today! I spent all day looking out my bedroom window at the magnolia which, despite it being winter, looks ready to bloom any day now. I can’t wait to get back outdoors. If I have to be stuck inside for a few days, I do wish the weather would acquiesce and be gray and rainy and cold so I felt like being inside.

On Saturday, before I hurt my back, I attended my favorite library sale. Pickings were rather slim this time around, and to avoid going home empty handed, I determined to find at least one interesting book. Mind you, interesting does not, in this case, necessarily mean valuable. I do find valuable books at the library sale from time to time, but not every time, and this visit proved to be one of those times when the good finds eluded me. Interesting, this time around, means odd, strange, and just plain weird, yet somehow intriguing.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Here is the book:

That’s right. It’s a book about how to cultivate a garden on a very small clothing button. Don’t believe it can be done? Here are a couple of photos:



The chapters are titled “How to Garden on a Button”, “Spoon Gardens”, “Lilliput Wood Arrangements”, “Tiny Flower Arrangements in Button Containers,” and “The Value of Button Gardening”. There are others, but these simply had the best titles. What was truly astonishing about this find, which was originally published in 1952 by Button Garden Studio, is that it is a second printing. That presumes that there was enough general enthusiasm for button gardening to reprint the book after the first printing ran out. Oh my!

Strange as it seems, button gardening actually has a bit of charm. I was reminded of the Wee Gardens Tom and Huck created last spring. Still, what an unusual hobby. For it’s $1.00 price, I just had to take this book home with me. Are any of you button gardeners?

I also found that the chapter pictured below seemed to be written expressly for me, laid up with the sore back as I am. It’s “Button Garden Therapy” and it discusses how button gardens actually help speed the healing process for those in a sickbed: “The fact that some of the wee plants are actually living gives the button garden a suggestion of the outdoors, serving as an enjoyable substitute for the gardening enthusiast who no longer is able to carry on vigorous gardening activities.”


Well, that’s about all my back can take sitting in a chair and typing for today. I’ll be back with another post tomorrow, and thank you again for all of your very kind get-well wishes.


Filed under Book Finds

7 responses to “Chapter 333 Strangest Book Title Ever: Button Gardens and Diminutive Landscapes

  1. What an interesting book, Chris.
    I know I am widely read and I have heard of bonzai trees but I have never heard of Button Gardens before.
    Thank you so much for the review of an unusual book.
    And I do hope you get better soon.

  2. Debra Ball

    Hi there. Our local library used to have this book and I checked it out many times. I’ve been trying to find a used copy for ages. It’s a great book!

  3. rose

    After seeing a button garden and a spoon garden at the botanical gardens cacti and succulent show in St. Louis, I ordered this book from Amazon. The gardener was a librarian and told me about Florence Casebolt’s book.

    When I ordered this book there were other books available for oder by Casebolt re same subject but when I went back to Amazon to order they were no longer available.

    I am now gardening with bottle caps and in seashells. Never thought I was one for miniatures, but this is absorbing. I water with an eyedropper. My acre garden is suffering neglect!


  4. Pingback: Chapter 624 Library Sale Finds « Book Hunter’s Holiday

  5. Lillian

    Your comments and article were interesting. Florence Casebolt was my friend and neighbor for years. She would be thrilled to know that people are still reading and being inspired by her little book.

    • Lillian,

      Thanks so much for letting me know that you knew Florence Casebolt. I was intrigued by her concept of button gardening and loved the photos in the book, which I have since sold. Button gardening definitely seems like an interesting hobby.


  6. I went to a wonderful summer camp in West Virginia in the ’50s that had a great art class every day. I still think of the button gardens we made. We used dried flowers, mirror bits for lakes and seeds and pods of all sorts. This started my interest in art and nature.
    JB Thomas

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