Heirloom (or heritage) plants often have a special charm that is lacking in commercially produced varieties. Unless these seeds are grown and saved, they will be not only forgotten, but lost, too. Based on the seed catalogs of 19th century seed merchant, Thomas Etty, and the modern-day experience of garden writer, Lorraine Harrison, Heirloom Plants lists exciting cultivars to be grown, along with profiles and cultivation tips. It includes an abundance of classic botanical drawings, quaint historical tidbits, general how-to horticultural guidance and a comprehensive exploration of the value of preserving heirloom plant varieties and keeping good ‘seed lines’ robust.
About the Authors
Thomas 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.