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Cultivating Canadian Gardens: A History of Gardening in Canada

Planting the Seeds

Cultivating the Garden

  • Second-Generation Gardening
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Railway Station Gardening
  • Gardening in the Schools

    The Cultivators
    Reaping the Harvest
    Photos by Beth Powning
    Other Gardening Sites

  • Cultivating the Garden

    Second-Generation Gardening

    A personal, meandering discussion of the author's garden: a little history, a little description, a little dreaming among the flower beds  -  and some useful advice:
    "Snowdrops dislike moving. They love their old home. Put them in a light soil, with good drainage, with plenty of leaves scattered over them in the winter for leaf mould and they will greet you year after year, when you least look for them."

    My Garden Dreams.
    Fewster, Ernest.
    My Garden Dreams.
    Ottawa: Graphic Publishers, 1926, p. 7.
    Image of flower
    Adele Austen preferred to write as "Dorothy Perkins", the name of a popular hybrid rose of the day. She grew up in the famous "Spadina" house in Toronto, amid well-developed gardens, and expressed her gardening views with cheerful enthusiasm.

      Perkins, Dorothy.
      The Canadian Garden Book.
      Toronto: Allen, 1913.
    Image of flower
    One of two volumes on growing flowers (the other is The Hardy Perennials) by the Superintendent of Victoria Park in Niagara Falls who had trained at the famous Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England. The illustrations, many in colour, come from attractive seed catalogues of the day.

    The Culture of Flowers.
    Moore, Henry J.
    The Culture of Flowers.
    Toronto: Ryerson, 1932.
    Image of flower
    A.B. Cutting, a horticultural instructor and gardening editor of almost every appropriate magazine of the day, gives credit to Beadle's book as the only previous Canadian title covering all aspects of gardening. In 1938, more than 50 years after the Beadle volume, Cutting produced his own book "a handbook of some ten thousand and one hints for the beginner."

    Canadian Home Gardening the Year 'round.
    Cutting, A.B.
    Canadian Home Gardening the Year 'round.
    Toronto: Musson Book Company, 1938, p. 16.
    Image of flower
    In Quebec at about this time, Institut Agricole d'Oka was publishing a series of texts on horticulture covering all aspects of growing vegetables, flowers and fruit. They included everything from identifying the parts of the plants to the storing and canning of the produce.

    La Culture des légumes: Manuel practique de culture potagère.
    Billault, G.
    La Culture des légumes: Manuel practique de culture potagère.
    La Trappe, Québec: Institut agricole d'Oka, 1935.
    Image of flower
    The Wardian case, invented by Nathaniel Ward in 1829, became an important furnishing in a Victorian household, but it was most important for the safe transportation of plants over long distances.

      Canadian Foundries and Forgings, James Smart Plant, Catalogue 51.
      Brockville, Ontario, 1910?