Last week we discovered a little gem in the 600s of the North Carolina Room: a small book by Mary Reynolds Babcock entitled First Aid for Flowers.

This charming volume was first printed privately in 1954 by her husband, Charles H. Babcock, shortly after her death, with a red cloth binding. Farrar, Straus & Company picked it up  for publication and the copyright was registered to Old Salem, Incorporated in the same year, with a teal hardback binding (as shown on

From abebooks.comWe have both editions of this book. The red, privately printed edition includes an inscription by Nan Early of the Twin City Garden Club, as well as Mrs. Early’s handwritten notes and sketches on the art of flower arranging. The book includes illustrations and is a compilation of Mrs. Babcock’s notes regarding the care of cut flowers and plants. One of the sections is entitled: “Alphabet of Flowers, with hints for the care of each.”

Mary Reynolds Babcock’s biography in the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography: