Hill, Thomas

b. ca. 1528.

The Gardeners Labyrinth: Containing a Discourse of the Gardeners Life, in the Yearly Travels to be Bestowed on His Plot of Earth, for the Use of a Garden: With Instructions for the Choice of Seeds, Apt Times for Sowing, Setting, Planting, and Watering, and the Vessels and Instruments Serving to that Use and Purpose: Wherein are Set Forth Divers Herbers, Knots, and Mazes Cunningly Handled for the Beautifying of Gardens: Also the Physick Benefit of Each Herb, Plant, and Flowre, with the Vertues of the Distilled Waters of Every of Them, as by the Sequele may Further Appeare.

Gathered out of the best approved writers of gardening husbandrie, and physicke by Dydimus Mountain. London: Printed by Henry Ballard, 1608. Part 2 has title: The Second Part of the Gardeners Labyrinth: Uttering Such Skilfull Experience, and Worthie Secrets, About the Particular Sowing and Removing of the Most Kitchin Hearbes. . .as the Like Hath Not Heretofore Been Uttered of any. . .. "Reprint of the 1594 edition. . .with only minor changes in spelling and setting of type; one new cut. . ."--Cf. Hunt 186. Pts. 1 and 2 paged separately. References: Hunt 186; STC 13489. ASU copy differs from Hunt description in that the unsigned gathering of illustrations immediately precedes A1; Dd misbound.

This later edition of a 1577 work provides a glimpse of gardening and gardens in the days of Queen Elizabeth I. The work is divided into two parts.  The first part contains the "manifold trauels, great cares, and diligence, to be yearly bestowed in euery earth, for the use of a Garden: with the later inuentions, and rare secrets therunto added, (as the like) not heretofore published."  Hill begins with a discussion of the invention of garden plots by Pliny in ancient Rome.  This is followed by detailed instructions for the making and maintaining of a garden.  The second part of the work is devoted to the "worthie secrets" about kitchen herbs, dainty herbs, delectable flowers, pleasant fruits, and fine roots, and also gives the benefits of each herb for healing.  The work includes a detailed table of contents for both parts, as well as an index to the second part "breefly shewing the Physicall operations fo euery hearbe and plant therin contained, with the vertues of their distilled waters."

Subjects: Vegetable gardening; England; Botany; Medicine; Maze gardens; Knot gardens.


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