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A Year in a Lancashire Garden by Bright

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).







London: Macmillan And Co. 1879.

The Right of Translation is Reserved.

London: R. Clay, Sons, and Taylor, Bread Street Hill.


This volume is but a collection of Notes, which, at the request of the editor, I wrote, month by month, in 1874, for the columns of the _Gardeners' Chronicle_.

They pretend to little technical knowledge, and are, I fear, of but little horticultural value. They contain only some slight record of a year's work in a garden, and of those associations which a garden is so certain to call up.

As, however, I found that this monthly record gave pleasure to readers, to whom both the garden and its owner were quite unknown, I printed off some fifty copies to give to those, whom I have the happiness to number among my friends, and for whom a garden has the same interest that it has for me.

Four years have passed since then, and I am still asked for copies which I cannot give.

I have at last, rather reluctantly, for there seems to me something private and personal about the whole affair, resolved to reprint these notes, and see if this little book can win for itself new friends on its own account.

One difficulty, I feel, is that I am describing what happened five years ago. But this I cannot help. To touch or alter would be to spoil the truthfulness of all. The notes must stand absolutely as they were written. But after all, I believe, the difficulty is only an apparent one. The seasons, indeed, may vary--a spring may be later, a summer may be warmer, an autumn may be more fruitful,--but the seasons themselves remain. The same flowers come up each year, the same associations link themselves on to the returning flowers, and the verses of the great poets are unchanged. The details of a garden will alter, but its general effect and aspect are the same.

Nevertheless, something has been learnt, and something remembered, since these notes were written, and this, also communicated from time to time to the _Gardeners' Chronicle_, I have condensed into a supplementary chapter.

If, as I have heard from a friendly critic, there is too much _couleur de rose_ in my descriptions, I am tempted to retort that this is a colour not perhaps altogether inappropriate to my subject; but, be this as it may, I have described nothing but as it really appeared to me, and I have only wished that others should receive the same impressions as myself.

For my very open egotism I make no apology; it was a necessity of the plan on which I wrote.

I have added notes on the Roman Viola, and on the Sunflower of the Classics, and have given some extracts respecting the Solanum and the fly-catching Azalea. I have also reprinted, by the editor's kind permission, part of an article of mine that appeared in the _Athenaeum_ on "Flowers and the Poets."

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