Section I: The Written Word

The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, enlarged and amended by Thomas Johnson

John Gerard (1545-1612). The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, enlarged and amended by Thomas Johnson. London: A. Islip, J. Norton and R. Whitakers, 1636.

"The almost incessant labour which that art [i.e. gardening] requires leaves so little time for study that one can hardly find any person of sufficient experience capable of writing. On the other side, men of letters have so few opportunities of applying themselves to the general practice that the rules they lay down, however plausible they may seem in the closet, would often ruin the honest gardener who should venture to follow them."
John Martyn (1699–1768) in a review of Miller’s Dictionary read to the Royal Society in May 1731.

"Why, then, presume to write a book about gardening? The simplest answer is that a writer who gardens is sooner or later going to write a book about the subject – I take that as inevitable. One acquires one’s opinions and prejudices, picks up a trick or two, learns to question supposedly expert judgments, reads, saves clippings, and is eventually overtaken by the desire to pass it all on."
Eleanor Perényi (1918-). Green Thoughts : A Writer in the Garden. New York: Random House, 1981.



Section I: The Written Word