The author has been constantly associated in every conceivable way with the hardy fruits and ornamentals for over thirty years. He has thought, talked and written about them daily during that period; moreover, he has lived in their midst all this time, has handled and cared for them from the bud and scion to the fruit and flower. For some time past he has longed for an opportunity to tell the story that follows. Simple as it is, it is the result of practical experience. In the beginning of this work the author had in mind two principal motives -- one to satisfy and gratify a long cherished wish to sit down and write in plain every-day language, a simple, readily understood story, to endeavor to exclude all foreign and unnecessary matter, to be brief and concise, yet to cover all essential matters relating to cultural methods. Still, personal reminiscences have occasionally crept in; they have been irresistible. Hard as I have fought and opposed them, they have at times dominated me, for the time being -- luring me away from a well decided plan and purpose. If an apology is needed it is for this infringement on the reader's rights. The other motive was to be able to answer more intelligently and practicably the many letters I receive from friends and correspondents on horticultural matters. For some time past it has been a hard and laborious task to answer these letters individually. In the following pages I have tried to anticipate and supply, in a general way, what the average letter for information inquires about. For the possible mistakes and omissions the author asks your kindly consideration. My hope and earnest wish is that the reading of this book will directly or indirectly influence all to grow their own fruit and beautify their home grounds.

Thomas J. Dwyer Cornwall, N Y., January 25th, 1903.