Listen up. Garden History Matters. It does and these are. The aim and hope of this blog is to 'up' the profile of this fascinating and diverse subject. And along the way to share some of the remarkable, quirky, bizarre and human stories that make garden history so enjoyable.
Monday, 9 January 2012
Early Plant Introductions - Gerard's Forgotten Gem
A few posts ago I introduced the first written records of plants in British gardens - and it has generated some interest. So in this vein, the Book of the Week this week is a tome by John Gerard (1545-1611/12).
John Gerard from the 1636 ed. of The Herball
And no, its not the book he is most famous for, The Herball or generall historie of plantes which first appeared in 1597 and was posthumously enlarged and reprinted in 1636
- click the date for the different editions from the Biodiversity
Heritage Library. In any case The Herball is not an original work, but a translation of Cruydeboeck, the herbal published in 1554 by the
Flemish physician and botanist Rembertus Dodonaeus (1517-85).
The Herball (1597)
Gerard was head gardener to that great maker of gardens, Sir William Cecil (1520-1598) -later Lord Burghley and Secretary of State to both Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I (1533-1603. As such Gerard was one of the most respected horticulturists of his day, and in a position to acquire many rare and unusual plants, both for his master and to plant in his own garden in Holborn, London.