Overview It's nearly impossible for gardeners to resist the allure of heirloom plants. Their names alone sound inviting—Flanders Purple kale, Golden Marconi sweet peppers, Moon & Stars watermelons, Turk's Turban squash, Scarlet Emperor running beans, and Jefferson plums—and many growers claim that their taste is unsurpassed. Beyond the classic appeal, however, lies the far more important issue of biodiversity. Unless these unique seeds are grown and saved, they will not only be forgotten, but lost forever. Based on the extensive seed catalogs of Thomas Etty, the popular heirloom seedsman, Heirloom Plants includes information on almost 500 exciting cultivars to be grown and harvested, along with detailed profiles and cultivation tips for each plant. In addition to edibles, the book also has chapters on antique herbs and flowers, from Cup and Saucer vines to Sweet William carnations to Empress of India nasturtiums. Trowel and book in hand, let your motto be, "Growing the past, saving the future."
Reviews"This encyclopedic delineation of 'directories' of vegetable, fruit, herbs, and flowers offers practical help to the gardener who's interested in preserving heirloom cultivars and turning a green-thumb hobby into an all-out mission." —Publishers Weekly
"Their book offers nice surprises, among them an heirloom caper (with seed-storing and -planting suggestions), seasonal growing and cultivation tips, an illustrated selection of garden cutting tools, and lists of organizations (with contact info) that promote the use of heirloom plants. A charmer." —Booklist
"Holding and looking through this charming book from Chicago Review Press is a real treat. The illustrations and information will be a great addition to your garden library." —Garden Design Magazine
Author BiographyThomas Etty dealt in seeds in the nineteenth century and is the namesake behind the heirloom seed company Thomas Etty Esq., created and run by dedicated seedsman and Etty's great-great-grandson, Ray Warner. Today the company dispenses seeds and expertise to home growers keen to keep heirloom varieties alive. Lorraine Harrison has a master's degree in garden history and a sizeable garden to cultivate her collection. She writes for the gardening quarterly Hortus and has authored a number of books on horticulture, including Latin for Gardeners.