Item #5000778 The Exotic Gardener; in which the Management of the Hot-House, Green-House, and Conservatory, is fully and clearly delineated according to Modern Practice; with an Appendix containing Observations on the Soils suitable to Tender Exotics; together with a Table shewing the particular soil proper for each Genus and a Calendarium Florum for every Month in the Year. John CUSHING.

The Exotic Gardener…
The Exotic Gardener; in which the Management of the Hot-House, Green-House, and Conservatory, is fully and clearly delineated according to Modern Practice; with an Appendix containing Observations on the Soils suitable to Tender Exotics; together with a Table shewing the particular soil proper for each Genus and a Calendarium Florum for every Month in the Year.

London: Printed by A. Macpherson, 1812.

Octavo; a good copy in contemporary calf, neatly rebacked.

How to grow Botany Bay plants: the first guide

First London edition, and a work of great interest to Australian horticulture: this is the first book to include instructions on growing Australian plants, here usually referred to as 'Botany Bay plants'.

First London edition, and a work of great interest to Australian horticulture: this is the first book to include instructions on growing Australian plants, here usually referred to as 'Botany Bay plants'.

'It includes Australian plants among its exotics and is the first gardening guide for growing such plants. Many members of the First Fleet sent back seeds to their friends in England… and for many years settlers did likewise. Daniel Bunce in Hobart Town advertised seeds of native plants for sending to friends in Britain. The Exotic Gardener, therefore, represents the first recommended use of Australian native plants for the garden or more likely the greenhouse or conservatory' (Victor Crittenden, A History and Bibliography of Australian Gardening Books, pp. 11-12).

The work is full of practical advice on the generally hard-wooded plants of Australia, with particular notice of the varieties of Banksias. Cushing recommends a loamy, sandy soil for the Botany Bay plants, and notes that any seeds received from New South Wales, as with those of the South Sea Islands generally, will require the aid of a hot-bed when first sown.

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Cushing, as noted on the title-page here, was Foreman at the Lee and Kennedy Nursery in Hammersmith, London. The nursery, 'unquestionably the first nursery in Britain, or, the world', as Loudon noted in 1822, was the leading London supplier of exotics. Lee was a friend of Joseph Banks and the nursery was a mecca to European botanists, with for example Ventenat honouring Kennedy wih his naming of the genus Kennedia from a plant grown in Josephine's gardens at Malmaison. By 1795 Lee and Kennedy had introduced 24 new plants from Australia, the first received in 1789 from either Banks or Governor Phillip.[

This is the first London edition, preceded by a Dublin edition of the previous year. The work went through at least three editions, but all are now of some rarity. Crittenden only knew the second London edition of 1814.

Provenance: William Case (early signature at head of title).

Crittenden, 'A History and Bibliography of Australian Gardening Books', 2 (1814 edition).

Price (AUD): $3,800.00

US$2,710.09   Other currencies

Ref: #5000778