This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
At last we have a work on the Mushroom that will come to be regarded as a standard book of reference in relation to its cultivation. Other pamphlets, all very useful in their way, have skimmed the surface of the subject, but in this interesting book the author, who is an intense believer in the value of the Mushroom, covers the whole of the ground, and presents its culture in many aspects, and under varying circumstances. The contents of the book are divided into twelve chapters; those of the greatest practical value are chapters 7, 8, and 9, treating on the culture of the Mushroom in the open ground. We once saw in the south of England very fine Mushrooms being grown in the open air between rows of Cabbages and Potatoes in some newly-broken sandy loam. The ground had been manured with dung from an old bed highly impregnated with spawn, and the warm early summer showers, combined with hot sunny days, brought forth great quantities of Mushrooms of fine quality. To this part of the subject Mr Robinson gives due prominence, and one certain tendency of the book will be to extend the culture of the Mushroom to localities suited to its outdoor growth.
It is written in that sprightly, readable style common to the author's writings; it is profusely and pleasantly illustrated and handsomely got up. The chapters on the modes of cooking the Mushroom, and on some of the edible fungi, are well timed, and not the least valuable. We can best express our opinion of the merits of this book by heartily recommending it to our readers.
Rustic Adornments for Homes of Taste. By Shirley Hibberd. A new edition, revised, corrected, and enlarged, with nine coloured plates and two hundred and thirty wood engravings. Groombridge & Sons, Paternoster Row, London. Some idea of the scope of this charmingly-got-up book may be gathered from its table of contents. In relation to the adornments of the house, it treats of the marine aquarium, fresh-water aquarium, fern case, balcony and window garden, floral ornaments, miniature hot - house, chamber birds, and the aviary. The adornments of the garden embrace the conservatory, fern-house, apiary, pleasure-garden, flower-garden, outdoor fernery, rockery and wilderness, water-scenes, summer-house, and a chapter on miscellaneous garden ornaments. It is, therefore, a record of the incidents of gardening; and the breadth of treatment of the different subjects, combined with its lively style and abundant illustrations, makes it an altogether unique book. As a gift-book it is, perhaps, unsurpassed by any other of a similar character; it is so handsomely bound that it makes an admirable ornament for the drawing-room table; but its great distinguishing charm lies in the fact that it is peculiarly a home book, breathing beneficent influences, and shedding abroad the light of numberless domestic enjoyments - most gentle and refreshing recreations, all or any one of which must greatly aid the dissemination of a healthy home influence.
What higher praise can be written concerning it?
The Student's Flora of the British Islands. By J. D. Hooker, M.D., Director of the Royal Gardens, Kew. Macmillan & Co., London.
The object of this book, as stated in the preface, is "to supply students and field-botanists with a fuller account of the plants of the British Islands than the manuals hitherto in use aim at giving." The work is purely technical, but still one of great value to botanical students, while the practical horticulturist will find in it much information of a valuable character. Dr Hooker's high position as a botanist and an accurate man of science is a sufficient guarantee for the character and completeness of such a work as this.
The closing paragraph of the preface contains the promise of another work from the pen of the gifted author, which will be to a great extent a fitting sequel to the volume under notice. "When I commenced this flora,"writes DrHooker, " it was my intention to have made it a record of those physiological and morphological observations on British plants which have of late given so great an impulse and zest to botanical pursuits, and toward which I was offered much assistance from my friends Mr Darwin, Professor Oliver, and Professor Dickson of Glasgow, and this intention was my chief inducement to undertake the work. I had, however, made but little progress before I discovered that the number of such observations was so great, and that the value, accuracy, and interpretation of many were so disputed, that to make even a small selection from them would be a very difficult task, and would have filled a volume far exceeding the dimensions required for students. I do not abandon the hope of being able at some future time to undertake such a task, in the form of a companion to the 'Student's Flora.' "
The Horticultural Directory for 1870. Journal of Horticulture Office, London. This useful trade guide is still as valuable as ever, and must be of great assistance to nurserymen and others. Additions and corrections are brought down to the latest moment, showing that the work is carefully edited.