As you look at the assortment of tools in your tool shed you probably take pride in the thought that you have the latest things. Brother, it is not true!
Most of our garden tools follow the old models. Your new tools may have been forged by the thousands in modern plants, while former gardener time made his own or the local blacksmith, but basically they have not changed for centuries. Probably you have only three gadgets that your great-grandfather would not recognize.
He would not have had a pipe. This would not have bothered, because he did not have running water in his own home. He did very well with a watering can or, if he wanted to cover a larger area, he used hand pumps in fixed tanks of water. Hyll Thomas, who wrote the first book in the English Garden, showed pictures of them in 1577. Larger gardens were irrigation ditches – an idea that goes back to the Garden of Eden, with its four rivers of living water . Egyptian wall painting which is one of the oldest THE- garden pictures shows that the irrigation was well developed thousands of years ago.
Your old time gardener did not spray insect, but it was not totally defenseless against vermin, he trapped rats, mice and moles, and scares away birds with scarecrows and noisemakers, but insects often baffled him. He ringed his fruit trees with strips of leather with sticky preparations. Knowing that some plants were poisonous or distasteful to insects, he used bugbane and other herbs, but mostly it depended imprecations and incantations. I doubt they have done much good. Without a microscope, he could not understand rusts and smuts that beset his plants. He acknowledged that the wheat suffered in areas where the barberry bushes abounded and cedar trees spoiled the quality of its apples, but he did not know why this was so. It was just an old wives’ tale, and like many of folklore, there was a basis in experience.
Finally, it has not lawnmower or electric lawn mower. He did not need one, though, because he did not have a lawn. He hung a few “green fields” with chamomile and other low-growing herbs, but lawns as we know them had to await the invention of the lawn mower in the nineteenth century. One of the first references to a lawn, in a 1777 book garden, solemnly declare that the grass must have a minimum area of ??fifty acres! Lawns were kept in the false lining and grazing sheep. paths Old time garden were paved with bricks or tiles or they are made of gravel, chalk and brick ground up.
With these three exceptions, most of our garden tools are hundreds of years and nearly every garden book author describes and illustrates those he believed to be most useful. Some men have favorite tools. John Evelyn, the English diarist in 1693 recommended improved pruning sold “Ms. wallflowers a Toy Shop, next to the Kings bench in Westminster Hall, the corner shop.” Maybe that is the first announcement ‘garden tools. It was not long ago, I found an old pruning knife in a Rhode Island farmhouse that was done exactly as Mrs. Wallflower
Mr. Fitzherbert, who wrote the first book in English livestock. – first printed in 1523 – tells us that the tools must be made and repaired during the winter
“When the husband sytteth the fyre,” bytwene Mighelmasse and Martylmasse. ” and bath nothynge to do, “he writes in English bit removed from Chaucer” and it make redy, and rakes with dry wethy wode, and bore the holes with his bothe wymble above and below and Dryve the tethe fast upwarde herd and then wedge the above with drye wode of oke, which is to herd & amp; amp; wyll drive & amp; amp; never go out “
Until a few years rakes were made by hand just this way .. I bought a new artisan who shaped New Hampshire. It would have pleased John Fitzherbert, as it was done exactly as he described it more than four hundred years before, and as he promised, my rake, stuck with the oak, has never lost a tooth.
Although many previous authors chapters tools, the first book on the subject does not appear until 1632, when Peter Lauremberg released his Plantarius device. This was written in Latin, as most scholarly books were at that time, but his illustrations, some of which are reproduced here, shows many of our common tools. most are so like ours they need no explanation, but it is surprising to find “plugs hot “straw and slatted sowing frames. other devices that seem surprisingly up to date are its size clippers on a pole and use raffia to tie the tall plants to stakes. I guess his scarecrow with fluttering feathers and bells was just as effective as most of ours. Lauremberg says that the tool is left in an orderly row of holes to plant peas and beans.
Lauremberg did not know all of the tools, of course. In 1633, Italian, Giovanni Battista Ferrari, for example, illustrated an ingenious metal cylinder for transplanting difficult plants without disturbing their roots, and a box specially designed for the transport of cut flowers safely. Ferrari gave instructions to elaborate floral arrangements and illustrated a number of special containers for the purpose – but that’s another story. We have said enough to show that gardening is a secular profession and for the gardener there is little new under the sun.