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 Sure some ideas might be out of date, but you never know what you might find when you explore these catalogs. I’ll be sharing more catalogs as I find them in the coming weeks. –Douglas
THERE is scarcely an English country home where some kind of gardening is not practised, while in a very large number of country places their owners have in some degree become aware of the happiness that comes of a love of flowers, and of how much that happiness increases when personal labour and study work together to a better knowledge of their wants and ways.
In this book a portion only of the great subject of horticulture is considered, namely, simple ways of using some of the many beautiful mountain plants, and the plants of marsh and water. It is intended as a guide to amateurs, being written by one of their number, who has tried to work out some of the problems presented by the use of these classes of plants to the bettering of our gardens and outer grounds.
The book does not attempt to exhaust the subject, neither does it presume to lay down the law. It is enough, in the case of the rock and wall plants, for instance, to name some of the best and easiest to grow. Those who will make such use of it as to work out any of the examples it suggests, will then have learnt so much for themselves that they will be able to profit by more learned books and more copious lists of flowers.
The large quantity of pictorial illustration is in itself helpful teaching. ” I like a book with pictures ” is not only an idle speech of those who open a book in order to enjoy the trivial intellectual tickling of the thing actually represented ; but the illustrations are of distinct educational value, in that they present aspects of things beautiful, or of matters desirable for practice, much more vividly than can be done by the unpictured text.
I am indebted to the proprietors of The Garden for the use of some of the illustrations, and for a valuable list of plants and other particulars communicated to that journal by Mr. Correvon of Geneva ; also to the proprietors of Country Life for a still larger number of subjects for illustration ; to the late Mr. G. F. Wilson of Weybridge and former owner of the gardens at Wisley for several photographs for reproduction ; and to Mr. W. Robinson for two photographs of unusual interest. I have also to acknowledge the kind help of Mr. James Hudson, who compiled the list of Water-Lilies at the end of the last chapter.
In some cases I have made critical observations on pictures showing portions of various English gardens. If any apology is due to the owners of these gardens I freely offer it, though I venture to feel sure that they will perceive my intention to be not so much criticism of the place itself as the suggestion of alternatives of treatment such as might also be desirable in places presenting analogous conditions.
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