To become a really successful grower of plants the gardener must always ask himself not only how he should carry out a particular task – but why. To know that a shrub will flourish in one place and die in another is not enough. Unless the gardener knows why, he is likely to keep on making mistakes as long as he lives.
When we understand why plants live and die; how they feed; why they become diseased or why they respond to one kind of fertiliser and not another, we are beginning to get somewhere in the management of a garden.
The author has always made it a rule never to write about a plant or a garden material unless he has tried it out. This rule has resulted in the gradual development of an extensive trial garden in which most of the newer plant introductions are grown year by year to study their habits and requirements. In addition, many of the newer fungicides, insecticides, fertilisers and other horticultural chemicals, are always under trial.
The information obtained from this experimental work forms the basis of many articles written by the author for many of the principal newspapers throughout New Zealand, and for the journal he edits – The New Zealand Gardener.
The resent book contains an extensive selection of the writings which are considered of particular interest or value to the home gardener. For the most part, they explain the reasons why certain recommendations are made and provide a source of background information not readily available from anywhere else.
By combining the theoretical and practical aspects of gardening, it is hoped that Matthews on Gardening will prove not only a very practical book, but an entertaining one as well. It is not a complete guide to gardening, but it does highlight many of the common problems associated with the craft, and provides information on the successful cultivation of many plants that are usually considered “difficult” because their particular requirements are not generally known.
The articles in the following pages have appeared at one time or another in various newspapers throughout New Zealand, but many of them have been modified or brought up to date to justify their inclusion in the present book.
Softcover, 220 pages. In good pre-loved condition with the exception of yellowing to pages.