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The Evolution of Horticulture in New England


Title Page


        6 SECTIONS   [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


                 NEW ENGLAND

                 MASSACHUSETTS BAY

through page 105 of 180

I have posted what I have finished typing on this book but I am going to delay indefinitely the rest of the book because most of the rest of the book is unopened (the pages have not been split apart) and I would prefer not to open the pages as this is a good example of how books used to be made. If I get enough requests to finish the book, I will try to find an opened copy. So, if you want to know the ending, e-mail me.



          As Sir William Temple says: “The use of gardens seems to have been the most ancient and most general of any sorts of possession among mankind and so have preceded, those of corn or cattle as yielding the easier, the pleasanter, and most natural food. If we believe the Scriptures we must allow that God Almighty esteemed the life of a man in a garden the happiest He could give him, or else He would not have placed Adam in that of Eden; and that the life of husbandry and cities came after the Fall, with guilt and with labor.”

          The Egyptians, Medes, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, and Romans were essentially part and parcel of the Oriental stock. Of some of these, as regards their practices in the cultivation of the soil, we have but meager information. It is reasonable to suppose that most, if not all, pursued the same course, modified by changes dependent upon their habits and surroundings. The evolution of horticulture, however, undoubtedly made gradual and steady improvement, as is evident from the reliable writings of the poets, historians, and statesmen among the Greeks and Romans.

          Two centuries after Solomon, Homer describes the gardens of the Grecians, in which they cultivated fruits, herbs, vegetables, and flowers. In their mythology, of which there is much that is poetical and interesting, not only flowers but trees and ornamental shrubs were sacred to their deities. “Most of the flowers cultivated, moreover, suggested poetical or mythological associations: for the religion of Greece combined itself with nearly every object in nature, more particularly with the beautiful, so that the greek, as he strolled through his garden, had perpetually before his fancy a succession of fables connected with nymphs and goddesses and the old hereditary traditions of his country. Thus the laurel recalled the tale and transformation of Daphne, the object of Apollo’s love – the cypresses or graces of the vegetable kingdom were the everlasting representatives of Eteocles’ daughters, visited by death because they dared to rival the goddesses in dancing – the myrtle was a most beautiful maiden of Attica, fairer than all her countrywomen, swifter and more patient of toil than the youth, who therefore slew her through envy – the pine was the tall and graceful mistress of Pan and Boreas – the mint that of Pluto – while the rose-campion sprung from the bath of Aphrodite, and the humble cabbage from the tears of Lycurgus, the enemy of Dionysos.”1

1 J.A. St. John, Manners and Customs of Ancient Greece.



SECTION 2 of 6   [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6