Familiar Trees

My post https://derrickjknight.com/2013/02/13/back-in-england/ from my very early days of blogging tells of how the thirteen year old me began his book collection in 1955 with

The only illustration in that post, before my current scanning facilities, was of the decorated cover. I scanned the images today. Above we have the frontispiece and the title page.

The eminent arboriculturist offers detailed informative botanical, geographical and historical text which I guess I must have read more than once in the last 65 years.

Here are the colour plates, some of which bear the signature of A. Fairfax Muckley. I can only assume that the others are the contribution of W. H. J. Boot, R.B.A. I chose not to reproduce the black and white photographs.

My illustrations of apples in https://derrickjknight.com/2014/02/21/beckys-book/ were inspired by the watercolour in this book.

Although social distancing was maintained by the crowds occupying areas of the forest, such as these figures at Barton on Sea, we made our later outing a short one.

This evening we dined on spicy pork chops on a bed of peppers and leeks; creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots; and tender cabbage, with which we finished our New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, paying our respects to our late friend, Pauline King.


  1. Those illustrations are stunning! Thank you for sharing. I wonder what the younger you would have thought about sharing scanned book illustrations on a blog. I think my book purchases at that age were limited to paperbacks.

  2. Derrick – when you share pages like this – I just love these posts!
    and the leeks in the food have me craving leeks –
    also – condolences again for your friend

  3. I love illustrations like this in older books. You can imagine the plant in its place and the detail for the leaves and fruits is amazing. I felt that way when I first saw the original edition of Birds of America (its format was huge, but I would have to look it up to get the actual dimensions). The detail and the life of it were stunning. Not everything can be captured in a photograph–I think because the artist had to see these things and reproduce their image, they gain clarity. But I may have been isolated too long from COVID.

  4. No wonder you can name plants and flowers so freely. My mother had many books like this for years but I have no idea where they went when we empty their house to sell. I don’t remember seeing any books on garden. I forget the name of something I plant after a week or so or when the sun fades the label or blows the label away.

    Short trips and drives are just as nice.

    We had pork chops too but not with peppers and leeks. Very interesting.

  5. I went and clicked on every scanned photo Derrick, they are truly a great collection of plates….and of course the grand old Oak tree is my favourite photo…

  6. The more time I spend with our native plants, the more botanical drawings appeal to me. I think part of it is that I really do like accurate renderings that also are artistic, and the best botanical artists managed both.

    1. Indeed. I wonder if you know the English gardener, Rosemary Verey? Her daughter, Davina, a friend of my late wife, Jessica. made, on her antique printing press, wonderful greetings cards from illustrations to her mother’s much older books.
      Thanks very much, Linda.

  7. I love those old books! I still have most of mine from way back when. I enjoyed reading your earlier posts. That book you made for Becky is outstanding, and I love the story in the other post about the horse who ate his companion’s medicine and was cured of his cough.

  8. Hi Derrick, I enjoyed clicking through the posts. Becky’s book was amazing. She must be thrilled to have it.
    But the Pauline comment? Pauline – the Contented Crafter? I didn’t realise she had passed. It must have been quite sudden as I often see her comments. I hope it was peaceful.

    1. Yes, Pauline the contented crafter. at the beginning of the month. She had had a stroke and seemed to have been recovering well, so it was a real shock when she suddenly died from complications. She was always first to read my post and got worried if I was late, so when she didn’t I made contact to find out why. She soon picked up again and then suddenly stopped.
      I’m pleased you liked the posts. Thanks very much, Gwen.

  9. Ik kom op deze blog nog vaak terug. Me broodje haring voor Jackie was nog niet rond. Mijn fotobestand is vol en ik heb 1% opgeruimd voor me ‘Dutch Food Blog’ … Nee, de Engelsen zijn daarvoor tรจ chauvinistisch ,,, Maar, ik kan er beter door poepen …
    Ik ben helemaal gezond, maar als ik lekker van een Italiaanse pizza geniet, krijg is buikpijn van het drukken. Okรฉ, gaat wel over en ik moet me aan me schema houden: Niet ontbijten om 17.00 uur in de namiddag en `s-nachts om 3,00 Mexicaanse tortilla`s bunkeren … Elfriede * http://www.friedabblog.wordpress.com * Amsterdam, 21 september 2020, 11.40 uur … Hollandse Zomertijd …

  10. That is encyclopaedic. I remember how in my childhood pictures such as those seemed to pull me into the scene with a whiff of wind on my face. I can still feel that way occasionally, except that I need to think hard. Thanks for the scans!

  11. Oh, thank you for sharing this post and the linked posts!
    These illustrations are brilliant! Frame-worthy! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love hearing about people’s “addiction/ love of books, especially from a young age forward. And so wonderful to see how a book can impact a person the first time they read it…and then continue to impact them positively through their whole life!
    I have always been captivated by illustrations…especially in well-seasoned books. ๐Ÿ™‚
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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