The Q&A Archives: Reference Books for Antique Gardening

Question: I an interested in learing which varities of plants, mostly ornamental, would have been grown in the 1860-1890's. Names of reference books would probably be most helpful to me.

Answer: Here are a few books to get you started:
Heirloom Flowers : Vintage Flowers for Modern Gardens by Tovah Martin, David Cavagnaro

Fifty Easy Old-Fashioned Flowers, by Anne M. Zeman

Fifty Easy Old-Fashioned Roses, Climbers, and Vines, by Anne M. Zeman

The following are out of print, but may be available through libraries:
The Heirloom Garden : Selecting and Growing over 300 Old-Fashioned Ornamentals, by Jo Ann Gardner

Perennials : Enduring Classics for the Contemporary Garden (Antique Flowers) by Rob Proctor, Rob Gray (Photographer)

Gardening encyclopedias, such as the New York Botanical Garden Encyclopedia of Horticulture, are also useful for historical information. Enjoy!

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