Loudon's Rules of Horticulture

Before I become too engrossed in spring gardening activities, (if it is possible to become too engrossed in gardening, and I don't think it is) may I present one more treasure that I brought up from the rabbit hole of old gardening books.

Loudon's Rules of Horticulture

(Who is Loudon? I believe he is John Claudius Loudon, a Scottish horticulturist from the early 1800’s.)

Without further ado, and restraining from adding my own comments, I present.

Loudon’s Rules of Horticulture

(Do these rules apply yet today? Well for the most part, though I think we are less diligent in picking bugs off plants – see rule no. 7.)

Here now for your enjoyment and education, I present

Loudon’s Rules of Horticulture

(Is this the last treasure for this season from that rabbit hole of old gardening books? No, I still have quite a bit of information to share about Ida Dandridge Bennett.)

And now, the latest in an occasional series of gleanings from old gardening books, I present.

Loudon’s Rules of Horticulture

Oops, I forgot to note that I got these rules from The Horticulturist's Rule-Book by L. H. Bailey (1895)

Finally, as promised, advertised, and promoted...

Loudon’s Rules of Horticulture

1 Perform every operation in the proper season and in the best manner.

2 Complete every operation consecutively.

3 Never if possible perform one operation in such a manner as to render another necessary.

4 When called off from any operation leave your work and tools in an orderly manner.

5 In leaving off work make a temporary finish and clean your tools and carry them to the tool house.

6 Never do that in the garden or hothouses which can be equally well done in the reserve ground or in the back sheds.

7 Never pass a weed or an insect without pulling it up or taking it off unless time forbid.

8 In gathering a crop take away the useless as well as the useful parts.

9 Let no plant ripen seeds unless they are wanted for some purpose useful or ornamental and remove all parts which are in a state of decay.

(I would have made it a complete ten list of rules. Hmmmm… what should that tenth rule be?)


  1. 10. Try not to have too many rules of work and enjoy your time in the garden.

  2. 10. Make sure there is no bird do-do on the benches so you can relax and enjoy all that work.

  3. 10. Never take rules and guidelines so seriously~that they impede your enjoyment of gardening.

  4. Oh for a hot house or back shed! I have a long way to go to live up to some of those rules.

  5. 10. Secure help when needed before performing an operation?
    Rule #1 conflicts awfully with our GADS impulses.

  6. I think there is a lot of wiggle room in number one. What if you don't know what the proper season is or the best manner? If I followed this rule I would be paralyzed pondering these questions.

  7. All gardens of merit shall have benches for resbite and adoration of horticultural acheivements

  8. Yeah, I'll get right on that.



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