IT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS WORK to make a complete record of the status of horticulture as it exists in North ‘America at the close of the nineteenth century. The work dis‘ cusses the cultivation of fruits, flowers and garden vegetables, describes all the species which are known to be in the horticultural trade, outlines the horticultural possibilities of the various states, territories and provinces, presents biographies of those persons not living who have contributed to horticultural progress, and indicates the leading monographic works relating to the various subjects.
The work is made first-hand, from original sources of information. Before the active preparation of the manuscript was begun, a year was expended in making indexes and references to plants and literature. The prominent plant and seed catalogues have been indexed, and the horticultural periodicals have been explored. A dozen artists have been employed in various horticultural centers to draw plants as they grow. Expert cultivators and botanists have contributed on their various specialties. All the important articles are signed, thus giving each author full credit for his work, and holding him responsible for it.
So far as possible, the botanical matter has been newly elaborated from the plants themselves ; and in all cases it is specially prepared directly for this Cyclopedia, and is not the work of copyists nor of space-writers. In many of the most important subjects, two authors have contributed, one writing the culture and the other the botany; and in some cases the culture is presented from two points of view. When it has been necessary to compile in comparatively unfamiliar groups, the greatest pains has been taken to select authentic sources of information ; and the proofs always have been submitted to recognized specialists. In fact, proofs of every article in the work have been read by experts in the given subject.
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