The historical information on this website was compiled using both primary and
secondary sources -- nineteenth- and twentieth-century gardening books, seed
catalogs, and government documents. The images are all from old books and seed
The name of this website follows an old tradition in garden writing. American
Thomas Bridgeman wrote
The Young Gardener's Assistant
in 1829, and by 1871 it had evolved into
The American Gardener's Assistant.
Across the Atlantic, British authority Robert Thompson wrote
The Gardener's Assistant
in 1859. These books featured "Practical and Scientific" information about
growing vegetables, fruits, berries, and ornamentals.
Kathy Mendelson prepared this Website. A botanist by training, she has worked
in public gardens, taught plant science at the community college level, and
served as a consultant and speaker on garden history. She is particularly
interested in garden history, especially the story of gardening in the Pacific
Northwest. She grows a wide variety of heirloom plants.