Gardening: It’s Not All Unceasing Drudgery

| 3/22/2011 5:09:34 PM

Cheryl Long, the editor in chief here at MOTHER, handed me a few old books a couple months back that were given to her by a rare-book expert, Keith Crotz. I’ve been meaning to flip through the books, and this afternoon, while cleaning up my desk at the end of the day, I finally picked one up.  

It’s called How to Make the Garden Pay and it was written in 1890 by T. Greiner. I opened to the “Preliminary Remarks by the Author,” and this was the first sentence I read: 

“Gardening, in the minds of average people, is a dreadful combination in its requirements of skill and unceasing drudgery.” 

Garden work 

For whatever reason, the sentence left me sitting here, smiling widely. Probably because I adore old books and unique language, and because I’m happier in a garden than anywhere else on Earth. “Unceasing drudgery” — what a descriptor! Greiner goes on to say: 

“To disabuse the minds of the masses of this only too common error, to convince people in rural districts, and in the suburbs and the cities, that gardening in reality is a very strong combination of pleasure, health and profit, and to point out the ways and means how to relieve the task of all semblance of drudgery — that is one of the aims, and perhaps the chief one, of this volume.” 

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