As February ends and before the garden chores of March begin, I am taking a break. I have gathered a few books and settled into my spot. Several years ago, I received a 1910 first edition of the “Manual of Gardening” by L. H. Bailey. Although this book is well over 100 years old, instead of keeping it untouched on the shelf, I find that it is a treasured resource.
Although the information about a hitching post is dated for most, the in-depth information of plants and shrubs by geographic region is still spot on. He gives plant names, times to seed, how to place plants in the soil, and ways to overcome any obstacles that might hinder the plant’s success. Obstacles such as watering, sun, shade, mice, rabbits, fumigation and spraying are discussed. He shares information about trees, perennials, annuals, and the preparation of the garden space. There are even 1915 newspaper clippings about tent caterpillars tucked between the pages — I love that now I share these pages with someone from the past.