Gardening Terms Defined

I'm not sure I can retrace my steps through old gardening books to determine how I arrived at Johnson's Gardeners' Dictionary, but as soon as I read about it in the introduction of another book, I decided I needed it.

My newly-arrived dictionary is A New Edition, "Based on the Original Edition of 1846, thoroughly recast and brought down to the year 1917".

There is a lot between the covers of this 923 page dictionary, including every plant genus known at the time, from A to Z, with all their species, plus hundreds of gardening terms. 

Shall we look up a few terms?

(Sure, Carol, let's do that)

First term...

Hoe.  "This is the implement which should be most frequently in the gardener's hand, for the surface of the soil scarcely can be too frequently stirred."   And from there the editors continue with a discourse on the handle (should be light weight) and the types of hoes, mentioning Dutch hoes, crane necks, draw-hoes, amongst others.  All you gardeners who claim not to garden with a hoe. Ha! What are you thinking?


Gardener.  After describing gardeners and under gardeners, the editors provide some  advice, namely, "There are two golden sentences which we have always kept in mind by the gardener -- 1. Let all things be done orderly. 2. Be always ready to give an account of your stewardship."  Words to live by as well as garden by.

How about...

Gardening.  "Is the art of cultivating and arranging plants, so as to obtain from them the greatest amount of produce and beauty."   Produce.  See, gardening does involve vegetables.  We should always make room for a few vegetables in our gardens, no matter what.

And in honor of the day...

Love-apple.  Or tomato for you modern gardeners.  "Tomatoes, whether outdoors or under glass, give most atisfaction when restricted to one stem.  Throughout the summer clear away all lateral shoots, as well as thin the leaves, so as to expose the fruit to the full influence of the sun."  How do you like them love apples? What further proof must I provide to show that real gardeners stake their tomatoes?

Are there any other terms I should look up?

What about...

Bloom as in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is tomorrow. Who's joining me for Year 6?


  1. I will TRY to stake my love apples this year. And I will be joining you, in my own pitiful way, for Bloom Day. Six years! I am only beginning my 4th year.

  2. What a great find! You're going to have a lot of fun with this.


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