Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Old Garden Treatises and Handbooks online

I have been following up some bits and bobs during the delightful (not) process of editing my footnotes and I have discovered that several sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century treatises and dictionaries of gardening are now available to download from various libraries. Found these via Europeana that I mentioned below, it is in the Bibliotheque nationale du France, link to the book here.

The book is by a Phillip Miller and the titlepage reads:

The Gardeners Dictionary
The Best and Newest Methods
Cultivating and Improving
Kitchen, Fruit, Flower Garden, and Nursery
As also for Performing the
Practical Parts of Agriculture
The Management of Vineyards
with the
Methods of Making and Preserving the Wine
According to the present practice of
The most skilful Vignerons in the several Wine Countries in Europe
Together With
Directions for Propagating and Improving
From real Practice and Experience
All sorts of Timber Trees

Phew, a snappy title indeed.

Some entries provide an interesting window into ideas about gardens in the period. For instance under the entry for 'Gardens' we read that:

Gardens are distinguished into Flower Garden, Fruit Gardens, and Kitchen Gardens. The first being designed for pleasure and Ornament, are to be placed in the most conspicuous Parts, i.e. next to, or just against, the back Front of the House, the two latter being principally intended for Use and Srevice, are placed less in Sight.... Ina Garden for Pleasure, the principal Things to be considered are, 1st, the Situation, 2nd The Soil, Aspect, or Exposure, 3dly, Water, 4thly, Prospect.
Perhaps it is still a distinction we have now, though modern gardening books tend to be less authoritative.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hit Counter