I'd like to thank Mary Ann of Gardens of the Wild, Wild West for recommending that I obtain a copy of Grandmother's Garden: The Old-Fashioned American Garden 1865 - 1915 by May Brawley Hill (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1995). This book is a treasure of old photographs and paintings and insight into the gardens of days gone by.
It will no doubt lead me down a primrose path tempting me with books I must find, plants I must grow, and seeds I must sow. I can hardly wait. Good-bye, no time to blog now! (I'm kidding, I'll find time to blog, maybe.)
I also owe thanks to Frances of Fairegarden, Layanee of Ledge and Gardens, and Elizabeth of Garden Rant and Gardening While Intoxicated for sending me some lovely pictures of gardens in England for a presentation I've put together with the rather long title of "Timeless Tips and Treasures for Today's Gardens from the 19th and 20th Centuries Including Wisdom, Lore, and Ageless Advice for Every Gardener."
I made the title long on purpose because many of the old gardening books have titles that were as long as a sunflower is tall. They went on and on.
Whenever I think about the kindness of the many gardeners I have met through the correspondence of blogs, Facebook and other social media, I'm reminded, of course, of Elizabeth Lawrence, the famous Southern garden writer who corresponded with gardeners from all walks of life for decades.
She often mentioned these gardeners with whom she exchanged letters and observations in her books and newspaper columns. I have included some tidbits from some of her books in my presentation because without her books, I don't think I would have found even half the old gardening books I now own. And without her inspiring quote, "We can have flowers nearly every month of the year", I don't think I would have met even half of the gardeners I know today.
Old gardening books and the gardeners who wrote them have certainly enhanced my life and outlook as a gardener, and I hope to pass my enthusiasm about them on to other gardeners. We'll see. If they start to snooze during the presentation, I can always stop and tell them about the five secrets to achieving happiness in your garden. Or show them my hoe collection.