has a host of old gardening books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. I happened across a few in my Pinterest feed and gone completely down the rabbit hole in this treasure trove of information. Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these books. I’ll be sharing more books as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas

Historical Garden Books: The planning & planting of little gardens by George Dillstone, Sir Lawrence Weaver (1920) 5 in a Series

Planningplanting00dillrich 0011

Planningplanting00dillrich 0010

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THE object of this book is to assist the owners of small garden plots to determine the best ways of laying them out, so that the greatest possible use may be made of the area, and the most picturesque effects obtained therein. Much general information has also been introduced, indicating the uses to which the garden may be put when it is made, and also what can be grown therein. It was considered unnecessary to crowd the pages with a great many detailed cultural directions or descriptions of plants, and an effort has been made rather to indicate the objective to be aimed at, and the course to pursue to attain it, than to produce a compendium of gardening lore generally. Having decided of what the garden is to consist, readers will do well to look for books treating more intimately with the particular garden feature or features they have decided to adopt.

To those who desire information on rose-growing I would commend “Rose Growing Made Easy” by E. T. Cook ; for information on rock gardening, “The Rock Garden,” by E. H. Jenkins. “Fruit Growing for Beginners,” by F. W. Harvey, will be found useful to those desiring to garden for practical ends ; and whether the garden is large or small, whether the reader is an experienced gardener or a beginner, they will each and all both enjoy and profit by the writings of Miss Gertrude Jekyll, who writes with a practical knowledge gained by experience, and a poetic sympathy with her subjects that makes delightful reading. Moreover, such books as her “Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden” will create for the reader new ideals, new visions of delight, and therefore new pleasures.

G. D.


SINCE the following pages were completed, in 1914, the world has undergone great changes. Whilst the Little Garden Planning Competition was still in pro- gress the flame of war, devastating and world-wide, burst forth. By the time these pages are in print, five years will have elapsed since the idea was conceived. The lessons learnt are, however, just as valuable to-day as they were then. Perhaps in one sense they are more so. With the return of Peace there is an ardent desire to return to peaceful pursuits. Moreover, it is assured that whatever else the cessation of hostilities may fail to achieve one thing will certainly make pro- gress, and that is the schemes for better housing of the industrial population of this country. It was in large measure for this population the competition was inaugurated.

On April 11th, 1919, His Majesty King George, in a speech delivered before representatives of the Associations of County Councils, Municipal Corporations, etc., said :

“Can we not aim at securing to the working classes in their houses the comfort, leisure, brightness, and peace which we usually associate with the word ‘HOME’? The sites of the houses must be carefully chosen and laid out, the houses themselves properly planned and equipped.”

If there is one thing more than another necessary to make an Englishman’s house his home, it is a garden. It is, therefore, to be hoped that this book may prove of service in the development of the surroundings of many a new as well as many an old home.

January, 1920.

More information on this book:

Publication date 1920
Topics Gardening, Gardens
Publisher London, “Country life,” ltd., G. Newnes, ltd.; New York, C. Scribner’s sons
Collection cdl; americana
Digitizing sponsor MSN
Contributor University of California Libraries
Language English

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