"The Gardener's Labyrinth" was the first popular gardening book to appear in the English language in 1577. Hill broke away from the pattern of formal, purely descriptive studies and pioneered a genre that has remained firmly in the best-seller lists ever since - a practical gardening handbook.;Thomas Hill blends advice with superstition, representing the essence of the Elizabethan age, when new ideas were challenging the old world of magic and mystery. His detailed account of types of soils, the making of hedges, the cultivation, quantities, and uses of more than fifty herbs, vegetables and flowers is interspersed with complex zodiacal schemes for planting and harvesting, and extraordinary suggestions for deterring pests and controlling the weather.;The book includes instruction for many gardening activities - laying out paths and constructing arbours, drying herbs and flowers and storing roots, transplanting seedlings, weeding and watering.;Richard Mabey has written an introduction and compiles a glossary in which he catalogues all the plants mentioned by Hill and translates any unfamiliar, vernacular or obsolete terms. His many other books include "The Frampton Flora" and "Gilbert White - a Biography".