336 pages, Line drawings
John Evelyn is best known today for his Diary, second only in reputation to that of his friend and fellow-diarist, Samuel Pepys. In his own day he was famous for Sylva , his great work on trees and timber management, and he was also writing meticulous notes on the upkeep of his garden at Sayes Court - instructions for his gardener 'which may be of use for other gardens'. In Directions for the Gardiner he advises how to cultivate and tend perennials, annuals, root vegetables and trees, with lists of plants and gardening terms and tools.
The Kalendarium Hortense and the Acetaria, the other two works collected here, are equally fascinating for their mixture of practical advice and insights into seventeenth-century horticulture. One of the earliest gardening calendars, the Kalendarium gives month by month advice on work in the kitchen and flower garden as well as listing each month's 'prime' flowers and vegetables; the Acetaria deals with salad crops, and how best to dress and prepare them for eating. Providing a window into our gardening past, Directions for the Gardiner is a charming and eye-opening companion for garden lovers everywhere.
It is the purest pleasure to read and its traditional wisdom is still instructive in this allotment age. Saga A lovely edition that will charm all bookish gardeners. Highly recommended. Library Journal
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