Search

jamesgray2

A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A WordPress.com site

Tag

Gardening

“what joy may you have, that you living to such an age, shall see the blessings of God on your labours while you live” Country House-Wife’s Garden 1631

273J William Lawson (1553/4–1635)

A nevv orchard and garden or The best way for planting, grafting, and to make any ground good, for a rich orchard: particularly in the north, and generally for the whole kingdome of England, as in nature, reason, situation, and all probabilitie, may and doth appeare. Wit the country housewifes garden for hearbes of common vse their vertues, seasons, profits, ornaments, varietie of knots, models for trees, and plots for the best ordering of grounds and walkes. As also the husbandry of bees, with their seuerall vses and annoyances all being the experience of 48. yeares labour, and now the second time corrected and much enlarged, by William Lawson. Whereunto is newly added the art of propagating plants, with the true ordering of all manner of fruits, in their gathering, carring home & preseruation.

aha2_log

London: Printed by Nicholas Okes, for Iohn Harison, at the golden Vnicorne in Pater-noster-row, 1631.    $1,900

 

Quarto.A⁴ B-I⁸ K⁴ (last leaf blank).

This copy is disbound  in a folding cloth binder  There are a few woodcut illustrations.    Minor wear, one leaf cropped close with slight loss; a very nice copy.

This is an early issue of this horticultural classic, first published in 1618, and notable for the inclusion of Lawson’s Country House-Wife’s Garden, the first book on the subject specifically written for women, and one of the most delightful gardening books in the language, illustrated with the oft-reproduced cuts of knot designs.

aha2_orchardWilliam Lawson was a writer on gardening and Church of England clergyman, was probably a member of the extensive northern English gentry family of Lawson, but his parents’ names are not known. He was ordained deacon in 1580, and became vicar of Ormesby, near Teesmouth, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, in 1583. He spent the rest of his life there. His first wife, Sibille, with whom he had two children, was buried at Ormesby in 1618; on 28 April 1619 he married Emme Tailer, who survived him.  Lawson was a long-lived Yorkshire parson and a real ‘hands on’ gardener: he declares his book to be written from ‘my meer and sole experience, without respect to any former-written Treatise’. His two passions were orchards and bees and he covers all aspects of his subjects, soil management, planting and pruning, the construction of beehives, the control of various ‘nuisances’ (including birds, deer and moles) and the harvesting of fruits and honey.

Lawson refers several times to the difficulties of the local environment and warns his fellow northern gardeners to ‘meddle not with Apricockes nor Peaches, nor scarcely with Quinces, which will not like our cold parts’. He also stresses how important it is to keep bees in weatherproof accommodation using a good northern term to explain that the ‘nesh Bee can neither abide cold or wet’!  However, he writes lyrically of the pleasures of an orchard: ‘your trees standing in comely order which way soever you look … your borders on every side hanging and drooping with Feberries, Raspberries, Barberries, Currents and the roots of your trees powdred with Strawberries, red,white and green, what pleasure is this?Interestingly, in his advice to the country housewife, Lawson advises that every household should maintain two gardens, a kitchen garden and a flower garden. He suggests that the reason for this is that ‘your garden flowers shall suffer some disgrace if among them you intermingle onions, parsnips etc’.
aha2_tree

The woodcuts which illustrate the book are delightful (Lawson tell us that he instructed the publisher to expend ‘much cost and care … in having the Knots and Models by the best Artizan cut’) They include patterns for knot gardens (the little prancing horse and the man with a sword represent topiary designs) and images of gardeners, sporting some very jaunty headwear, digging and planting.

Lawson’s summary of the satisfaction to be gained from gardening remains as true today as it was for his seventeenth century readers: ‘whereas every other pleasure commonly fills some one of or senses, and that only, with delight, this makes all our senses swim in pleasure’.

aha2_tpcropThis is Lawson’s only book, A new orchard and garden, has a dedication to a connection of one branch of the Lawsons, Sir Henry Belasyse. It was the first published work on gardening in the north of England, and its second section, Aha2_countrytp.jpeg

The Countrie Housewifes Garden, was the first horticultural work written specifically for women (there would not be another in English for a century). The ‘sound, clear, natural wit’ manifested in it was praised by John Beale forty years later (Beale, 14), Illustrated with cuts of tools, a garden plan, and knot designs.

aha2_beehives

ESTC S4739;  STC 15331.3; Henrey 228n, p. 160; Rohde, p. 54; British Bee Books 20; Poynter, p. 176.

‘To conclude, what joy may you have, that you living to such an age, shall see the blessings of God on your labours while you live, and leave behind you to heirs or successors (for God will make heires) such a work, that many ages after your death, shall record your love to their Country? And the rather, when you consider to what length of time your worke is like to last’

Three libraries hold copies in the US!, Berkeley :University of Illinois :Yale

and now I will copy from  GLASGOW UNIVERSITY LIBRARY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT

Book of the Month

July 2006

William Lawson 

A New Orchard and Garden with The Country-Housewifes Garden for Herbs

London: 1648.     Sp Coll Ferguson Ah-a.2

Our July choice is a popular Renaissance work on gardening, A new orchard and garden by William Lawson. It was printed together with the first horticultural book written solely for women, The country housewife’s garden. Both are full of sensible and practical advice, imbued with Lawson’s charming philosophy. For Lawson, working in the orchard and garden was the ideal kind of rest and relaxation: ‘For whereas every other pleasure commonly fills some one of our senses, and that only, with delight, this makes all our senses swim in pleasure, and that with infinite variety joyned with no lesse commodity’.
William Lawson (1553/4-1635) was the vicar of Ormesby, a country parish in Yorkshire.  First and foremost a religious man who carried out his clerical duties most diligently, he was obviously also a keen gardener with considerable land. A man of some learning, he evidently read widely on agriculture and gardening, and his two works are also scattered with references to the classics. When he died he willed ‘all my latine books & mie English books of contraversie’ to his son William, which suggests that he may well have owned a relatively substantial library of books for the period.
A New Orchard and Garden and The Country Housewife’s Garden were Lawson’s only published works. They were first printed together in 1618* and proved popular enough to warrant further reprints in quick succession. The copy featured here is a later, enlarged edition from 1648, part of A Way to Get Wealth, a compilation of treatises on husbandry and other household matters by Gervase Markham.
Lawson dedicated his work to Sir Henry Belloses (Belasyse), a prominent Yorkshire baronet who was also an orchard enthusiast. In his dedication, Lawson thanks him for the profit he received from his ‘learned Discourse of Fruit trees’. However, in the preface following he is at pains to point out that his book is in fact a product of ‘my meer and sole experience, without respect to any former-written Treatise’. It is a result of forty eight years experience in working a northern garden. Occasionally in the text he refers to the difficulties of this environment. He advises his fellow northerners, for instance, to ‘meddle not with Apricockes nor Peaches, nor scarcely with Quinces, which will not like our cold parts’. This book can therefore be credited with being the first to deal with the northern garden.
Gardening had become a national passion in the Sixteenth Century. Then, as now, it was a recreation that brought peace and contentment, and Eyler suggests that it provided a welcome escape from the trials of a turbulent age. Renaissance interest was certainly sparked by the influence of Protestant refugees from the Continent, while an increase in travel abroad and geographical discovery brought back new plants and ideas. There was a subsequent demand for new knowledge and exchange of information, spurring the production of horticultural manuals such as this.
Although not published until 1618, Lawson’s work is really the product of an Elizabethan life. But it is interesting to note that in its practicality, it is also an example of the age of reason; at this time there was a growing preoccupancy with the workings of nature and science, and a burgeoning interest in subjects such as botany, concentrating on the useful qualities and medical virtues of plants. Such a utilitarian outlook was also to be found in the tenets of Puritanism: good husbandry was keenly pursued, physical toil being regarded as a form of devotion to God. It should be remembered that Lawson was a Protestant preacher, and as Thick points out, his religious convictions were broadly puritan; as he states, he had no time for ‘popery and knavery’.
The heading preceding the first chapter sums up the aim of Lawson’s New Orchard: ‘the best, sure and readiest way to make a good orchard and garden’.  He begins with the traits to be sought in a good gardener should the reader be in the position to employ one: he should be honest, and certainly not ‘an idle, or lazie lubber’. If lucky enough to have the services of such a paragon, ‘God shall crowne the labours of his hands with joyfulnesse, and make the clouds drop fatnesse upon your trees’. For those who have to roll up their own sleeves, however, Lawson has written this book and ‘gathered these rules’ together.
 
The work goes on to deal comprehensively with all aspects of orchard management, covering: the kind of soil required (‘blacke, fat, mellow, cleane and well tempered’) and how to improve it; the best kind of site and how to protect it with fencing, or even better, ‘quickwood, and moates or ditches of water’; how to deal with ‘annoyances’ such as animals, birds, thieves, disease and the weather (not to mention the evils of a ‘carelesse master’); how to plant, space and prune your trees; the different types of fruit trees and bushes and their qualities; and how to gather, store and preserve the fruits of your labours. As Lawson sums up, ‘skill and pains, bring fruitful gains’.
Lawson’s advice is eminently sensible. His instructions are clear and obviously draw on the considerable personal skills he accrued over his lifetime. However, it is the underlying philosophy of the author and his frequent lyricism and rhetorical eloquence that still makes this book such a pleasure to read today. This is apparent even in the most technical of chapters, where Lawson deals with topics such as raising sets, planting and grafting. A typical example is found in the section on pruning where he emphasises the need for man’s intervention by drawing a comparison with an uncultivated wood full of neglected, rotten, and dying trees, as he rails: ‘What rottennesse? what hollownes? what dead armes? withered tops? curtalled trunks? what loads of mosses? drouping boughes? & dying branches shall you see everywhere?’
 
 
But Lawson’s sentiments rarely override his practicality. For instance, he devotes a considerable section to the measures required to counteract the ‘whole Army of mischiefs’ that plague the gardener. He ruefully acknowledges that ‘Good things have most enemies’ and catalogues a whole host of enemies ranging from deer to moles (they will ‘anger you’). He even advises that sparrowhawks are useful against plundering garden birds: although he acknowledges the delight of hearing blackbirds and thrushes singing on a May morning, ‘I had rather want their company than my fruit’.
Despite his problem with flying cherry thieves, the overall impression gained from reading the book is that Lawson’s ideal garden would be a delight. As well as abundant fruit trees, there would be sweet scented flowers, humming bees (whom, he assures us, do not sting their friends), beautiful ornaments, silver sounding music, broad and long walkways, a maze, and even a bowling alley for exercise.
The satisfied gardener should ‘view now with delight the works of your owne hands, your fruit trees of all sorts, loaden with sweet blossomes, and fruit of all tasts, operations and colours: your trees standing in comely order which way soever you look … Your borders on every side hanging and drooping with Feberries, Raspberries, Barberries, Currents, and the roots of your trees powdred with Strawberries, red, white and green, what a pleasure is this?’
Having gathered in the  harvest, Lawson recommends a period of reflection: ‘Now pause with your selfe, and view the end of all your labours in an Orchard: unspeakable pleasure, and infinite commodity’. But although the yield will hopefully be profitable, the means is not all about the end: ‘For what is greedy gaine, without delight, but moyling, and turmoyling in slavery? But comfortable delight, with content, is the good of every thing, and the patterne of heaven … And who can deny but the principall end of an orchard, is the honest delight of one wearied with the works of his lawfull calling?’
The book is also loved for its woodcut illustrations. In the preface, Lawson explains that no expense was spared in producing these for the ‘common good’: much ‘cost and care’ was bestowed by the publisher in having them produced by ‘the best Artizan’.
The illustration depicting the ‘overall plan for the form of a garden’ is a simplified view of a typical late Elizabethan garden. The overall rectangular shape is split into six square sections set over three levels or terraces, negotiated via flights of stairs and intercrossing walkways. Its design demonstrates the Tudors love for symmetry and patterns. A mount (‘M’) at each corner overlooks the garden and the countryside beyond it, and a fountain plays at one of the walkway crossings. There are two still houses in the top corners (‘N’). The individual gardens within gardens are variously landscaped with trees, kitchen gardens, flowerbeds, knots, and topiary (signified by the horse and sword wielding man). A river runs at the top and bottom of the garden. The presence of water nearby is lauded as being both practical (in providing moisture for thirsty trees and in acting as a barrier) and pleasant for sport, for ‘you might sit in your mount and angle a peckled trout, sleighty eel or some other daintie fish’. According to Malcolm Thick, this garden would have been considered old-fashioned by the most fashion-conscious gentlemen of the early Seventeenth Century who were more interested in Italian influenced grand ‘Renaissance’ gardens, preferably laid out by a Continental gardeners. But is should be remembered that Lawson was hearkening back to the 1570s when writing his work, and the gardens he favoured ‘had an intimacy never regained once the impact of the high Italian Renaissance and the French grand manner reached England’ (Miles Hadfield, quoted by Thick).
The second work in Lawson’s book, The Country Housewife’s Companion, lacks the philosophical discourses of its companion volume. This is perhaps because it was written specifically for women (‘my country housewife, not skillful artists’), and its simple tone is therefore pitched at a less learned readership. Nonetheless, it frequently refers to the text of The New Orchard and it seems that the two books were intended to be read and used together.
The book is split into a series of short chapters that offer advice on a number of topics, including the soil and layout of the ideal garden, the properties of various herbs and plants, general rules for gardening, and the husbandry of bees.
Lawson suggests that each household should have two gardens: a kitchen garden and a flower garden. He explains that the distinction between the two does not have to be perfect but that ‘your garden flowers shall suffer some disgrace if among them you intermingle onions, parsnips,etc.’ The division is for both practical and aesthetic reasons: that ‘for your kitchen’s use must yield daily roots or other herbs and suffer deformity’ while ‘the herbs of both will not be both alike ready at one time either for gathering or removing’.
The flower (or ‘summer’) garden could be set out in  in squares and knots. Lawson recommends using a mix of flowers and herbs, mentioning roses, rosemary, lavendar, hyssop, sage, thyme, cowslips, peonies, daisies, clove-gilliflowers, pinks, and lilies. Several illustrations of patterns for knot gardens are provided, but Lawson concedes that for these ‘speciall formes in squares’  there are as many devices as ‘gardeners braines’ and prefers to ‘leave every house-wife to herself.’
plans for knots (pages 80-82 [ie 81])
aha2_beehives
This work also provides detailed information about bee-keeping, covering everything from constructing a hive to extracting honey. This again was based on personal experience, Lawson telling us that he was a ‘Bee-master’ for many years. He goes against conventional wisdom in preferring a straw hive for his bees over a wooden one, but says that he recommends them for ‘nimblenesse, closenesse, warmnesse and drynesse.’ He emphasises the tenderness of bees on several occasions, saying, for example, that the ‘nesh Bee can neither abide cold or wet’.
Two short pamphlets are appended to the end of Lawson’s work: A most profitable new treatise, from approved experience of the art of propagating plants by Simon Harward (pages 109-123) and The husbandmans fruitfull orchard (pages 125-134). Harward’s work is an in-depth explanation of the methodology for layering and grafting trees. The last work is a common sense guide to picking, packing, transporting and preserving fruit.
We do not know who originally owned this copy of the book, but the volume does bear intriguing glimpses of its past life. An annotation in an Italic hand at the foot of the main title-page indicates that the book was in Durham and purchased for six shillings at some unspecified point in its history. This inscription is followed by a more obscure annotation – possibly the initials ‘J.G.’, the initials ‘I.G. also being blind stamped on the front board of the binding.
aha2_orchard
Glasgow University Library acquired the book as part of the collection of John Ferguson, purchased in 1920. Ferguson (1838-1916) was a Professor of Chemistry at Glasgow University from 1874 to 1915. Although his library is justly renowned for its strengths in Alchemy and Chemistry, it also contains many interesting books and manuals on practical topics such as gardening, husbandry and cookery. According to a note in the front pastedown, Ferguson bought this book on 16 February, 1906.
This book will be on display in the Special Collections foyer (on level 12 of Glasgow University Library), along with a small selection of other gardening books, until the end of September 2006.

‘To conclude, what joy may you have, that you living to such an age, shall see the blessings of God on your labours while you live, and leave behind you to heirs or successors (for God will make heires) such a work, that many ages after your death, shall record your love to their Country? And the rather, when you consider to what length of time your worke is like to last’.

 

The Florist’s vade-mecum 1692

One copy Worldwide: UCLA Only!

DSC_0002

242J Samuel Gilbert d.1692?

The Florist’s vade-mecum : Being a choice compendium of what-ever worthy notice, hath been extant for the propagating, raising, planting, encreasing, and preserving the rarest flowers and plants that our climate and skill (in mixing, making and meliorating apted soils to each species) will perswade to live with us. With several new experiments, for raising new varieties, for their most advantageous management. In more particular method than ever yet publish’d. Together with directions what to do each month throughout the year, in both orchard and flower-garden. The second edition, corrected. By Samuel Gilbert, phileremus.

London printed for J. Taylor at the Ship, and J. Wyat at the Rose in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1693                  $3,800

Octavo  5 1/4 x 3 inches.  A- G12,H6 complete with 2 woodcut diagrams of parterres. Bound in a very nice contemporary blind stamped calf with slight wear to joints and edgesDSC_0003 2

This one of my favorite genres the “How to book”. Like many of the late seventeenth century How to Books, It Gets right down to business, after the dedication! To the Lady Margaret Packington in verse , And A preface to the Reader.   which has a great line in it:

“If Jackanapes on Giants Shoulders be,                                  

He hath no Eyes,or else can farther see. “

The preface is quite nice indeed, Now …the books precedes to “The necessary Tools and instruments for Gardening”, then soil types  Then a list of operations by the month.

The work is arranged according to the months. The Florists Vade-Mecum begins with “A Garden Situation…” with two engraved parterres and guide for planting. The monthly calendar starting with January that deals with different plants and choice varieties that flower in each month. Gilbert adds comments on handling a number of different plants in these monthly guides. Gilbert seems to favor Auriculas with large section in April section and in the Appendix on Auriculas. DSC_0007 2 A Table follows December with list of all plants mentioned in the text.  Gilbert’s writings contain verses, and it has been suggested that he also composed those in Rea’s Flora, Ceres, and Pomona, 1676.  In 1676 Gilbert published a pamphlet entitled Fons Sanitatis, or the Healing Spring at Willowbridge in Staffordshire, found out by … Lady Jane Gerard, London, pp. 40. Some of the cures recorded in this work are attested by himself; it was suggested that he practised as a physician (Journal of Horticulture, 1876, p. 172)

DSC_0006 3

Second edition of this manual . Henrey 159;

Not in Wing see below.

DSC_0004
ESTC System No. 006473920
ESTC Citation No. R474498
Author – personal LinkGilbert, Samuel, -1692?.
Title LinkThe florists vade-mecum. Being a choice compendium of whatever worthy notice hath been extant for the propagating, raising, planting, encreasing, and preserving the rarest flowers and plants that our climate and skill (in mixing, making and meliorating apted soils to each species) will perswade to live with us. With several new experiments, for raising new varieties, for their most advantageous management. In a more particular method than ever yet publish’d. Together with directions what to do each month throughout the year, in both orchard and flower-garden. The second edition, corrected. By Samuel Gilbert, phileremus.
Variant title LinkFlorist’s vade-mecum
Publisher/year LinkLondon : printed for J. Taylor at the Ship, and J. Wyat at the Rose in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1693.
Physical descr. [12], 137, [31] p. : ill. ; 12⁰.
General note Not in Wing.
Subject LinkFloriculture — England — Early works to 1800.
LinkGardening — England — Early works to 1800.
LinkHorticulture — England — Early works to 1800.
Genre/form LinkManuals (Handbooks).
Copies – N.America Link University of California, Los Angeles, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

DSC_0001 7

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: