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Cultivating Canadian Gardens: A History of Gardening in Canada


Planting the Seeds

  • Native Agriculture and Plant Use
  • Canadian Flora
  • Pioneer Gardening
  • 19th Century Seed Catalogues

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

  • Planting the Seeds

    19th-Century Seed Catalogues

    Before the use of colour photography in seed catalogues, artists had free rein to paint the flowers and vegetables of their dreams. These catalogues span two decades and make it clear that the spring hopes of Canadian gardeners have not changed much over the past century. All catalogues are from the collection of the Centre for Canadian Historical Horticultural Studies, located at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, Ontario.

    Rowancroft Gardens, Meadowvale, Ontario, 18xx.
    Rowancroft Gardens, Meadowvale, Ontario, 18--.

    Image of flower

    John A. Bruce & Cos., Hamilton, Ontario, 1891.
    John A. Bruce & Cos., Hamilton, Ontario, 1891. (The company had been in existence since 1850.)
    Image of flower

    William Evans, Montreal, 1878.
    William Evans, Montreal, 1878.
    Image of flower

    William Rennie, Toronto, Ontario, 1890.
    William Rennie, Toronto, Ontario, 1890.
    The cover illustration is a painting of the Rennie home and grounds.