PRACTICAL HORTICULTURE AND GARDENING
General gardening literature in the University of Delaware Library's Special Collections is represented by over 300 titles, many in multiple editions, spanning the mid-sixteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. British and American imprints are present in roughly equal proportions, providing an opportunity to study the evolution of Anglo-American horticultural practices over a four-hundred-year period. British gardening works in Special Collections range from the late sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, with the greatest concentration of titles from the eighteenth century. American gardening literature is very well represented for the entire nineteenth century. In addition to American monographs on general gardening and practical horticulture, gardening magazines such as the Magazine of Horticulture, American Journal of Horticulture, Gardener's Monthly, and Meehan's Monthly played an important role in guiding and instructing a large American audience in the pleasures and profits of garden cultivation.
Thomas Hill (ca. 1528-1575).
The Arte of Gardening, widely regarded as the first general gardening book to be published in England, first appeared ca. 1558. The Gardeners Labyrinth was originally published in 1577. A Profitable Instruction of the Perfect Ordering of Bees includes a section entitled "The Booke of the Art or Craft of Planting and Graffing," which is an altered version of a treatise published ca. 1518 by Wynkyn de Worde considered to be the first work printed in England on a gardening subject.
Illustrated with nearly 800 woodcuts, Paradisus Terrestris is considered the most important treatise on horticulture published in England at the time.
John Evelyn appears to have been only partly responsible for this English translation of Jean de La Quintinie's Instruction pour les Jardins Fruitiers et Potagers. The work consists mainly of directions for fruit and kitchen gardens, with shorter essays on orange trees, melons, and agriculture. Evelyn is also noted for several other horticultural works, including the Kalendarium Hortense: or The Gard'ners Almanac, the first gardener's calendar published in England, and Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees, originally published together in 1664, and represented in Special Collections by first and later editions.
Of Philip Miller's several publications, his most important and respected work was The Gardeners Dictionary, first published in 1731. It remained a definitive work on gardening practice for over a century, and substantially influenced American horticulture. Peter Collinson was a prominent British horticulturalist who was a close correspondent of John Bartram and Benjamin Franklin, with both of whom he traded seeds and plants, and he was the chief English sponsor of Bartram. It was through his American acquaintances that Collinson was able to introduce hundreds of North American plants to England, which he grew at his gardens in Peckham and Mill Hill. Both Bartram and Franklin owned and used Miller's Dictionary, which went through many editions. The progression of editions reveals the advances made in gardening over the eighteenth century and the number of new plants introduced to British gardens, including many of Bartram's imported by Collinson. Special Collections holds several editions of The Gardeners Dictionary published from 1731 to 1764.
Every Man His Own Gardener, first published in 1767, was an extremely popular work, going through many editions well into the nineteenth century.
One of the first books on general gardening written and published in America.
The standard authority for general gardening in America for fifty years, going through eleven editions. Devoting eighteen pages to "Ornamental Designs and Planting," it is also the first American work to give advice on landscape gardening. Special Collections holds all but the fifth and sixth editions.
The first American gardening book to break from the English calendar format, A Short Treatise on Horticulture described and gave directions for the cultivation of numerous fruits, ornamental trees and shrubs, flowers, and greenhouse plants. The book was an immediate success, but was never reprinted.
Gift in memory of Samuel Moyerman
The first American magazine relating to general gardening and practical horticulture. The title changed in 1837 to The Magazine of Horticulture, Botany, and all Useful Discoveries and Improvements in Rural Affairs, and continued under this title until 1868.
William Nathaniel White's work influenced gardening practices in the South, and he is regarded as the first American to use the practice of slow-burning fires to protect fruit trees from frost.
Thomas Meehan, an Englishman who established a well-known nursery near Philadelphia, founded this gardening magazine and Meehan's Monthly, A Magazine of Horticulture, Botany and Kindred Subjects, published in Philadelphia from 1891 to 1902.
A very popular gardening manual that went through many editions. New York seedsman and horticulturalist Peter Henderson wrote a number of popular manuals on general, vegetable, and flower gardening. Orange Judd Publishing Company was a successful publisher of popular horticultural and agricultural works from 1836, when it was founded as the firm of Charles M. Saxton, to 1972. The name was changed to Orange Judd in 1864.
Liberty Hyde Bailey, Professor of Horticulture at Cornell University, was a prolific writer on horticultural and agricultural subjects, and author of several encyclopedic works, including this one "comprising suggestions for cultivation of horticultural crops, and descriptions of the trade species of fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants, together with geographical data and biographical sketches." This is the first edition of a work that went through numerous reprintings and editions to the 1960s.
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Last modified: 12/21/10