Thursday, 12 September 2019

Old Gardening Books.

The wife recently bought me a gardening book from a car boot sale.  It set her back the princely sum of 50 Cents.  Its entitled: ROCK GARDENS By Lewis B Meredith.
Published in 1914.  The year of the start of the First World War.
The Iris Valley In the Author's Garden.
A touching couple of lines of a gift from a son to his mother.

  I browse read the book in less than an hour.  The principles of clearing, weeding, construction and planting are the same but the price of plants have altered a little in the last one hundred and five years in the following passage:

The cost of plants varies also not a little; but, excluding the rarer kinds, I should say about five shillings a dozen is a fair price to pay.

Flipping heck.  I thought I sold my Perennial plants cheap!

Did I learn anything reading the book?  Yes that gardening methods are still basically the same: two men working together will do more in one day than a man working on his own for two days.  

Also cutting up zinc strips and tying them together with copper wire and wrapping them around precious and tender plants will give old Mr and Mrs slug or snail a mighty electric shock!  

The book is a second edition and you can buy it on Amazon for Four Pounds plus packaging I suppose?  I had a good hours reading for fifty Cents.  I put it on my book shelf and it seems to have settled in nicely with all the other myriad of books and stuff we collect!


  1. Are you going to electrocute your slugs?

  2. I might put a sign up saying Slugs And Snails Will Be Electrocuted. I usually throw them over the fence. Suppose I could advertise for a hedgehog slug exterminator Gwil? Thanks.

  3. As someone who can't even follow the instructions on a seed packet I leave it all in your hands, Dave.

  4. I am not capable of scattering the vegetable seeds correctly Gwil. My jobs are the removal of dead rats, nettles, spiders, digging, weeding and carrying things. In no particular order.

  5. I forgot about removing the bat that flew down the chimney in the front room. Guess who got the job of catching the bat?

    1. Ha, ha. I thought that was my job. In my case it was merely a starling trapped in the chimney. I opened all the windows first so there'd be no soot to clean up. It flew out like a rocket. And not a speck of soot left behind.

    2. Good thinking Gwil. Opening all the windows. I sometimes get bird visitors in the polytunnel.

  6. Rock gardens were all the rage when I grew up in the forties. They were well established when I walked to kindergarten, so I imagine they were started long before.

  7. Yes Joanne rockeries and rock gardens use to be very popular. Using natural materials can really enhance the garden. The author of the book calls pointed stone constructions 'Dogs graves'. He obviously had a good sense of humour. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Ah a rock garden. Something which I keep hinting at when so-called gardeners pass by. Those books would be invaluable in my house.

  9. Have you ever been to Biddulph Grange Velerie? Its supposed to some fantastic rockeries and unusual garden features. I have read about it, seen pictures and watched it on television. It's a good book and apart from mechanical excavators moving large stones these days. The gardening methods are still very much the same. Thanks!


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