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It is with a feeling in which there is something of fear that I close these pages--fear that many of those little things which become second nature to the grower of plants and seem unimportant, but which sometimes are just the things that the beginner wants to know about, may have been inadvertently left out. In every operation described, however, I have tried to mention all necessary details. I would urge the reader, nevertheless, to study as thoroughly as possible all the garden problems with which he will find himself confronted and to this end recommend that he read several of the many garden books which are now to be had. It must be to his advantage to see even the same subjects presented again from other points of view. The more familiar he can make himself, both in theory and in practice, with all the mult.i.tude of operations which modern gardening involves, the greater success will he attain.
Personally, the further I have gone into the growing of things--and that has now become my business as well as my pleasure--the more absorbingly interesting I find it. Each season, each crop, offers its own problems and a reward for the correct solution of them. It is a work which, even to the beginner, presents the opportunity of deducting new conclusions, trying new experiments, making new discoveries. It is a work which offers pleasant and healthy recreation to the many whose days must be, for the most part, spent in office or shop; and it gives very substantial help in the world-old problem of making both ends meet.
Let the garden beginner be not disappointed if he does not succeed, for the first season or two, or possibly three, with everything he plants.
There is usually a preventable reason for the failure, and studious observation will reveal it. With the modern success in the application of insecticides and fungicides, and the extension of the practice of irrigation, the subject of gardening begins to be reduced to a scientific and (what is more to the point) a sure basis. We are getting control of the uncertain factors. All this affects first, perhaps, the person who grows for profit, but with our present wide circulation of every new idea and discovery in such matters, it must reach soon to every remote home garden patch which is cared for by a wide-awake gardener.
Such a person, from the fact that he or she is reading a new garden book, I take the reader to be. I hope this volume, condensed though it is, has added to your fund of practical garden information; that it will help to grow that proverbial second blade of gra.s.s. I have only to add, as I turn again to the problems waiting for me in field and under gla.s.s, that I wish you all success in your work--the making of better gardens in America.