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 Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these books.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
The wide-spread interest in gardening that is steadily growing throughout the land will have prepared a large public for the reception of such stimulating encouragement as will be found in the following pages. One thinks of a great and fertile field ready ploughed and sown, and only waiting for genial warmth and moisture to make it burst forth into life and eventual abundance. The book will come as these vivifying influences. The author’s practical knowledge, keen insight, and splendid enthusiasm, her years of labor on her own land and her constant example and encouragement of others — combine to make her one of those most fitted to direct energy, to suggest and instruct — to communicate her own thought and practise to willing learners.
Many are those who love their gardens, many who know their plants, many who understand their best ways of culture. All these qualities or accomplishments are necessary, but besides and above them all is the will or determination to do the best possible — “to garden finely” — as Bacon puts it.
Such a desire is often felt, but from lack of experience it cannot be brought into effect. What is needed for the doing of the best gardening is something of an artist’s training, or at any rate the possession of such a degree of aptitude — the God-given artist’s gift — as with due training may make an artist; for gardening, in its best expression, may well rank as one of the fine arts. But without the many years of labor needed for any hope of success in architecture, sculpture, or painting, there are certain simple rules, whose observance, carried out in horticulture, will make all the difference between a garden that is utterly commonplace and one that is full of beauty and absorbing interest.
Of these one of the chief is a careful consideration of color arrangement. Early in her gardening career this fact impressed itself upon the author’s mind. A study of the book reveals the method and gives a large quantity of applied example. A few such lessons put in practise will assuredly lead on to independent effort; for the learner, diligently reading and carefully following the good guidance, will soon find the way open to a whole new field of beauty and delight.
More information on this book:
Publication date 1922
Publisher New York, Scribner
Digitizing sponsor NCSU Libraries
Contributor NCSU Libraries
Learn more about gardening history with these books
* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library