A Gardener's Year by H. Rider Haggard
H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925) is best known as the successful writer of adventure stories with exotic backgrounds such as King Solomon's Mines. However, he also served on a number of royal commissions, and in managing his wife's Norfolk estate became a recognised expert on agricultural matters. His A Farmer's Year (1898, also reissued in this series), recounts the work of the farm, together with observations on rural life and the state of agriculture in general. In 1905 he published this work, a diary of his garden in 1903. After an introductory chapter (with a plan) describing the the garden, orchard and glasshouses, and the staff he employed, the diary begins, relating the tasks and experiences of the year, from spraying against red spider mite in January to decorating the house with greenery on Christmas Eve. This beautifully written book reveals the horticultural taste and practice of the Edwardian era.