Originally published in 1838, Nouveau Jardinier de la Louisiane, by Jacques-Felix Lelièvre, was the first of only two books on Louisiana gardening to be written in the nineteenth century. The book drew upon the confident spirit of eighteenth-century Enlightenment France, forming a bridge from the writings of French horticulturalists to an American audience. Optimistic, ambitious, and progressive, the guide urged gardeners to manage nature by acclimating new species and constantly improving native ones through the application of innovative scientific techniques. Now available in English for the first time as New Louisiana Gardener, this charming period piece and path breaking work can be enjoyed once again by gardening enthusiasts and historians alike.
An introduction by Sally Kittredge Reeves gives historical context to the translation that follows, detailing the author’s reasons for coming to America and his struggles to make a new life, his employment at and eventual ownership of a bookstore in New Orleans, and his reasons for compiling Nouveau Jardinier and publishing it in Francophile New Orleans.
Written over 150 years ago, New Louisiana Gardener offers today’s gardener a refreshing connection with other gardening enthusiasts across time. Here, in this delightful historical gem, modern cultivators can escape their fertilizers and tillers and rediscover for a moment the joy of facing Mother Nature with little more than a well-educated pruning knife and a hoe.
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