Gardening, whether indoors or out-of-doors, was as popular a pastime in the Victorian Era as it is today. Like modern publishers, Victorian printers produced a wide array of books and periodicals for the avid gardener, from deluxe botanical illustrations to how-to manuals and hobbyists’ magazines. Many such works were profusely illustrated. Typically, illustrations were created as wood or metal engravings, which could be left as black and white prints or hand-colored. Lithography was another process which allowed color illustrations to be produced on a printing press. Both lithography and hand-coloring could be highly labor-intensive, and the final products could be quite expensive.
The Victorian and Edwardian collections contain a number of illustrated works on botany and gardening, including the cultivation of flowers, vegetables, and that most popular houseplant of the Victorian era, the fern. These items can be found by performing a subject search of Special Collections holdings in the library catalog on one of the following terms: