Vintage 1960s Gardening Book - The Complete Book of Lilies by F.F. Rockwell, Esther C. Grayson and Jan deGraff circa 1961
Here was that rare combination of writer, gardener, and flower arranger, photographer and keen student of nature, with all these qualifications tempered by years of experience... (Jan de Graaff on Frederick and Esther Rockwell)
What does a Dutch bulb expert, an American husband and wife gardening team, and a WWII combat photographer all have in common? This book!
The Complete Book of Lilies, published in 1961 by Jan de Graaff, F.F. Rockwell, Esther C. Grayson and Herman Wall was a true collaborative effort to capture all the information you would ever need to know when it came to growing and showing lilies.
It seems impossible that any 20th-century gardening enthusiast would not, could not, recognize the names, F. F, Esther, and Jan, especially when it came to lilies.
F.F. (also known as Frederick Frye) was everywhere during the early to mid-1900s. Working for decades as a garden editor at The New York Times, McCall's magazine and Farm Journal, he also founded his own magazine, The Home Garden, and published 25 garden books over the course of his life. His wife, Esther Grayson, joined him as co-author and expert on over 10 of those book projects.
Jan, whose family had been in the bulb business since the 1700s, was the first horticulturist to introduce lilies to mainstream gardening. Ten years before this book debuted, he published his first book on lilies The New Book of Lilies, which opened up everyone's eyes to the possibilities of growing such beauties in hobby gardens across the country. Before he made it easy to grow an assortment of varieties, lilies were considered wild creatures that were temperamental, difficult, and only for a select type of grower. But Jan changed all that. He made it easy, and accessible for all gardeners to grow lilies no matter the region, space, or soil.
Put all that gardening expertise to work and combine it with photographs by Herman Wall, military combat photographer turned flower photoer and you have a true garden manual in your hands that will guide you to greatness.
Packed full of interesting information, this beautifully written book tells the complete story of lilies from the biological basics to the ephemeral joy that is experienced when seeing them bloom in the garden year after year. With Jan and Frederick, Esther and Herman on your side your lily garden will be abloom in no time.
This book is particularly wonderful because it comes stuffed with notes from a previous owner, a previous gardener, on the lilies and other flowers that appeared in her garden. Where she planted them, the quantities, the varieties, how much she paid for them, all recorded on slips of paper tucked in between the pages. There's even a handwritten recipe on how to make potpourri.
- 1961 Book Club Edition
- 352 pages including detailed index
- Contains a plethora of illustrations, black and white photographs, color photos, diagrams, and charts throughout
- Additional handwritten notes included
In beautiful vintage condition. The dust jacket bears one chippy spot along the top edge but otherwise is in great shape and completely intact. The interior pages are clean and bright and free of markings.
Measures 8.5" inches (length) x 5.75" inches (width) x 1.25" inches (thickness) and weighs 1.4lbs