Points: On Gardening in 1901

With Numerous Illustrations Reproduced from Drawings by Ethel Roskruge
pg. 109 - 111

"1.  Grow no plant which does not strike you as either beautiful or interesting.

2.  Learn the requirements of every plant as far as possible before ordering it, and have everything ready before its arrival.

3.  Do not overcrowd, but allow every plant to develop and display its own form of beauty. On the other hand, show as little bare earth as possible at every season of the year.

5.  The borders should generally be wide -- where there is ample space not less than nine to twelve feet. They should be backed by a plant-covered trellis or wall, or by flowering and evergreen shrubs.

 10. Keep a special garden notebook in which to note things which want correcting or developing. If not noted when recognized, they are likely to be forgotten when the season for making the change comes round.  Also note any good plants or good effects which you may see in the gardens of others.

11. Buy your seeds from the best seedsmen, regardless of price. Buy your plants from the best nurseries, even though they may be listed a little cheaper elsewhere.

12.  Do not be content merely to copy the "arrangements", "groupings" and such which you may see suggested in books or practiced by your friends. Study books, study gardens, and study wild nature, but use your own brains.

13. Make, or remake, one border every year.  You will thus always have sufficient surprise to afford spice or seasoning to the "settled" part of your garden.

14.  It is interesting, in addition to cultivating a large variety of flowers, to grow one flower or one race of flowers as a specialty."

Ah, yes, the wisdom of old gardening books...


  1. Timeless good advice! Love #3 but so difficult to manage.

  2. Wisdom is good no matter how old, I'll have to get this book! Winter days aren't as dreary with good gardening books. #11 is so true. It is something you learn after not doing it!

  3. by the way. I just ordered the book on amazon.com (they seem to have everything) 18.99 in case anyone else wants to get it also.

  4. This would make for a nice gardening creed, I think.

  5. How interesting that gardening advice has changed so little in over 100 years. Number 13 speaks great wisdom!

  6. These comments are a breath of fresh air compared to the flannel that is offered up these days. Give me old gardening books anyday!

  7. I am once again widening one border...will pay more attention in the future. Should have read this book.

  8. I love number 12: use your own brains!

  9. Love old books - this is oen reason why I work at a library. Some advice never ages.

  10. I really don't trust what any old garden books say, just by what I read in them before. There was no scientific research to back it up. They may have thought that their garden was productive by something they did, but who's to say it wasn't the weather, or some animal urinating on the plant to add a natural fertilizer...just my thoughts!

  11. That's the kind of garden wisdom that is timeless. Congrats on finding that book!


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