While these garden guides date from the past, they are as relevant today as they were one – or five – hundred years ago. They invariably use inexpensive (or free) products close to hand, and are based on many years of practical experience, and thus are invaluable for people seeking to re-establish their links with the natural world.
Articles listed in chronological order.
Excerpts from Fitzherbert’s Husbandry, c. 1534
Thomas Tusser‘s list of ‘Husbandly Furniture’ – a sixteenth-century list of tools and equipment that every farmer needed, and his instructions on how to grow hops.
An Almanac of things to do in the Kitchen, Orchard and Fruit Gardens c. 1800
Duncan MacDonald (late eighteenth century):
Watering and Sewering the Kitchen Garden
Hotbeds (how to make hot beds with horse manure or tanner’s bark)
Directions for Servants (not strictly a garden guide, but it gives hints on storage of vegetables etc.)
Charles McIntosh’s instructions on How to Build Garden Paths 1828
How to Build Heated Walls for Fruit Trees 1828
See the page on early nineteenth century fertilizers, composts and manures for a simple recipe for garden fertiliser.