McMAHON, Bernard (1775-1816). The American Gardener's Calendar; adapted to the Climates and Soil of the United States. Philadelphia: B. Graves for the author, 1806.

$ 725.00

McMAHON, Bernard (1775-1816). The American Gardener's Calendar; adapted to the Climates and Soil of the United States. Philadelphia: B. Graves for the author, 1806.

8vo., (8 2/8 x 5 inches).  Folding letterpress table (browned). Contemporary American tree calf (rebacked preserving most of the original spine, extremities worn).  "the most comprehensive gardening book published in the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century" (Fitch)  

First edition. McMahon has "often been described as Thomas Jefferson's gardening mentor; and his classic work, "The American Gardener's Calendar", 1806, as Jefferson's horticultural "Bible". McMahon forwarded the newest vegetable and flower varieties to Jefferson, who would often follow the directions in the Calendar step-by-step when planting tulips in his flower beds or sea kale in his vegetable garden. McMahon also served as curator for the plants collected by the Lewis and Clark expedition, published the first seed catalogue in the United States, and was honored by botanist Thomas Nuttall, who in 1818 bestowed the genus name Mahonia on a group of west-coast evergreen shrubs still popular in American gardens" (Peter J. Hatch, Director Monticello Gardens and Grounds).   M'Mahon describes himself as a nurseryman, seedsman and florist, and in the advertisement leaf at the beginning of the book informs his readers that his Seed Warehouse in Philadelphia is constantly supplied  "with a general assortment of Garden-Seeds, suitable for cultivation, in the United States, and in the West Indies; Grass sees of every important and valuable kind; an immense variety of Tree, Shrub and Flower seeds and roots, procured from the various parts of the world, with which the enterprise of American commerce has any connection, as well as from the different States and Territories of the Union". He received living specimens of many plants collected by the Lewis and Clark, expedition which were then examined, sketched, and described by the celebrated botanist Frederick Pursh. McMahon's book was published eleven times until 1857. Sabin 43560.