Fifteen years have passed since the author published his "Book of Flowers." In 1856 a new edition was issued, to which 60 pages were added in an appendix.
The work had a large and generous patronage, and many thousands of copies were circulated during the ten following years.
Time makes great changes in all the pursuits of life, and in none more than it has in Floriculture during the last 15 years; consequently, the book in question had become antiquated like the author, and needed revision, which I hope he does not, extensively.
But when the work was taken in hand, it was deemed advisable to make a new book, rather than to attempt the revision of the old one, as it would be like putting new cloth to an old garment, to try to patch it up. That the laborous task of writing a new book was considered a necessity which, at the advanced age of more than three score years and ten, was not so pleasant to contemplate. But, having been familiar with the culture of flowers from childhood, with a general knowledge of most plants known in this climate, the task was made easy, notwithstanding the weariness of the flesh. And now, after a year's writing, revising and correcting, "Breck's New Book of Flowers" is presented to the flower-loving public, who, if they love flowers as well as the author, will, no doubt, appreciate his labors. He hope3 the innocent, improving, and healthy pleasures to be derived from the art and practice of Floriculture, may be greatly increased by the instruction and encouragement he has endeavored to give.
While much of the book is entirely new, and the arrangement greatly improved, some parts of the old work have been embodied in its pages, where it was thought no improvement could be made.
To the publishers the author is greatly indebted for many corrections in the botanical portion of the work, in making it conform to the present state of botanical science.
While this work has been made as simple as possible, and not encumbered with technical terms, it was thought to be important to give the true scientific name to every plant as well as the common one.
To all lovers of flowers we would recommend the study of Botany, especially to all who have time, and almost every one can find time if there is a will to do it.
A description of hardy and evergreen trees, as in the old book, has been omitted, as we consider the work as a Book of Flowers complete without it.
The number of pages exceeds nearly one hundred more than in the old book.
There may be many interesting ornamental plants known to some of our readers, that have been omitted.
It has been the object of the writer to confine himself to such plants as can be cultivated without much difficulty, in the open ground in this climate.
The author hopes, that his "New Book of Flowers" will meet with as much favor as the old one has done, and be instrumental in increasing the pleasure of those, who take delight in contemplating the exquisite beauty which, a God of Love, has been pleased to bestow upon flowers.
"Who can paint Like nature? Can imagination boast, Amid its gay creation, hues like these? Or can it mix them with that matchless skill, And lose them in each other, as appears In every bud that blows!" "In the sweet-scented picture heavenly artis t! "With which, thou paintest nature's wide-spread hall, What a delightful lesson thou impartest Of love to all?"
Boston, March 38, 1866.