Perennial Wisdom

The internet unfolds in interesting ways. One remarkable new development is the increasing availability of books in the public domain as libraries digitize their archives and make them available. For gardeners this means valuable gardening literature from botanic enyclopedias to landmark books by historically influential gardeners to interesting works from local horticulturists - all easily at hand. But thats not all, we are now also able to enjoy them in some interesting new ways.

The first is that they can be enjoyed intact, as they were originally published, even the paper they were printed on as these books are digitized with high quality scans. For me, aesthetically, the thrill of seeing the illustrations, the font choices the cloth bound covers and how they have both aged and stood the test of time is phenomenal. Intellectually its interesting to measure if the gardening wisdom on offer from a hundred years ago is also perennial and still relevant today.

But its yet another technological improvement that makes this even more interesting- the ability read the document, by flipping through the pages, as you might a real book-except, in your browser. And so I launch my digital library of vintage gardening books. Select a book from the list below, and click on the top right icon which takes you to full screen mode-give it a little time to load and you are all set. You can also search for keywords in the document and view it in other ways.

This collection will increase over time but here are a few that I have chosen to begin with:
An Island Garden by Celia Thaxter
Old Time Gardens by Alice Earl Morse ( which I mentioned in this post).
The Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper
The Evolution of Plants by Dunkfield Henry Scott

Full List here

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