Archive.org 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 Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these books.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
I HAVE been induced to compile this little work from hearing many of my companions regret that no single book contained a sufficiently condensed and general account of the business of a Flower Garden. ” We require,” they said, “a work in a small compass, which will enable us to become our own gardener: we wish to know how to set about every thing ourselves, without expense, without being deluged with Latin words and technical terms, and without being obliged to pick our way through multiplied publications, redolent of descriptions, and not always particularly lucid. We require a practical work, telling us of useful flowers, simple modes of rearing them, simply expressed, and free from lists of plants and roots which require expensive methods of preservation. Some of us have gar dens, but we cannot afford a gardener: we like flowers, but we cannot attempt to take more than common pains to raise them. We require to know the hardiest flowers, and to comprehend the general business of the garden, undisturbed by fear of failure, and at the most economical scale of expense. Who will write us such a book?”
I have endeavored to meet their views ; and my plan of Floriculture may be carried into effect by any lady who can command tin services of an old man, a woman, or a stout boy. I have omittcc the names of all tender plants ; and I have given a chapter to eacl class of plants, in language as plain as the subject would allow I have avoided technicality ; and I have endeavored to execute my task with a due respect to economy, simplicity, and arrangement I dedicate my work to all of my own sex who delight in flowers, and yet cannot allow themselves to enter into great expense h their cultivation.
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