Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Historical or Wild Garden Plant Image search

I'm currently getting towards the end of writing a book provisionally called A Garden Flora, the Origins, Ecology and History of Garden Plants, to be published by Timber Press, 2016. The book is an introduction to garden plants - not how to grow them, but the ecology of their wild ancestors, traditional uses and their history in cultivation. The idea is to fill in on the context and background of familiar genera, so gardeners have a better sense of where a plant is from, geographically and historically. It's intended as reference, for dipping in, and hopefully as a way in for those who want to go and on and do further research into particular plants.

BUT – I need help with pictures. We have a limited budget and that we need to spend on getting some very good quality historical images from libraries. So, I'm asking for help. What I'd like is:
  • pictures of garden plants or ancestors of garden plants in the wild,
  • images from out-of-copyright books, which have a period feel,
  • images from old (pre 1950) nursery catalogues, preferably from businesses no longer in existence (to avoid permission issues),
  • vintage images which clearly show garden plants in some sort of interesting historical context,
  • vintage publicity material for plants, seed companies, nurseries, where particular plants are a clear part of the image.
Unless really exceptional, images need to be in colour.

So, if you think you might be able to help, then do send me an email (, and I will send you a list of the genera I am looking for, and the specifications. We can't pay for images but will of course credit you. 

Thank you.

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