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Directions for the Gardiner and other Horticultural Advice

Directions for the Gardiner and other Horticultural Advice
John Evelyn
Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 

Cloth, 310 pp., $27.95

This volume is a reprint of selected horticultural works of John Evelyn (1620–1706), the noted author renowned for his Sylva and Diaries. The editor, Maggie Campbell-Culver, has selected three subjects of horticultural interest. The first, often reprinted, is a monthly calendar of horticulture, relating the regular duties of a gardener and a catalogue of plants at their prime. The second section provides instructions for the gardener; these are taken from notes for an apprentice workman. The last subject is a gardening cookbook, Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets. A booster for a healthy diet, Evelyn was a fine example of his own recommendations, living to a fine old age. In an excellent introduction to the text Campbell-Culver briefly describes the life and times of John Evelyn as well as annotates the text. Although some terms and plant names may not be familiar to contemporary readers, it is apparent that when Evelyn wrote these essays, gardening had advanced into a quite enlightened pursuit.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden