The political writer William Cobbett (1763-1835) was also a farmer 'bred at the plough's tail', who took a keen and observant interest in agriculture and gardening throughout his life. (His Cottage Economy and Rural Rides, among other works, are also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection.) In 1792 he left England, where his views made him very unpopular, for France and then America, where he lived until 1800; in 1817 he fled to America again, leasing a farm on Long Island for two years. This 1821 book is written in Cobbett's characteristically robust style: his purpose is 'to cause the art of gardening to be better understood and practised than it now is in America'. Cobbett starts by explaining how to establish a garden, discusses soil improvement and the building of hot-beds and greenhouses, and gives instruction on the propagation and cultivation of vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamental plants.
The American Gardener: A Treatise on the Laying-Out of Gardens, on the Making and Managing of Hot-Beds and Green-Houses, and on the Propagation and Cultivation of the Several Sorts of Vegetables, Herb
Dedication; Preface; 1. On the situation, soil, fencing, and laying-out of gardens; 2. On the making and managing of hot beds and green-houses; 3. On propagation and cultivation in general; 4. Vegetables and herbs; 5. Fruits; 6. Flowers; Index to vegetables and herbs, fruits and flowers; Index to the general matter.