Monday, 14 January 2008

A Sahib's Manual for the Mali

Everyday Gardening in India.
By Sydney Percy-Lancaster.
Edited by Laeeq Futehally.
Published by Permanent Black, Delhi 2005.
ISBN: 81-7824-100-5

This book is a compilation of Percy Lancaster’s monthly bulletin ‘Garden Chat’, which was produced in Delhi from 1949 to 1952. The last British Superintendent of Horticultural Operations; Lancaster was a dedicated gardener, who had published several other works on gardening in India.

Introduced by Sydney Percy-Lancaster and named for his father

Although intended primarily for people gardening in the Delhi area; it has much that is applicable to many other parts of India, and selected articles from this scarce magazine are here republished for the first time, offering a fascinating and still useful glimpse of Indian gardening in a more leisurely age.

Also, to be remembered, is that the Alipore Canna Collection was founded in 1894 by Mr Lancaster's father and was expanded and popularised by Mr Lancaster in his many published works.

For gardening enthusiasts with an interest in exotic gardening, this makes an interesting winter read, combining both good gardening advice and a little social science.

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