Cultural Writing. Gardening. Widely regarded as the first gardening book in European history, and currently the only translation available in English, this book was written in the ninth century by Walafrid Strabo, Abbot of the Carolingian monastery at Reichenau Island. It tells us what our medieval gardener is growing in his garden, explains the benefits and medicinal properties of the plants, and gives an idea of how they are to be looked after. James Mitchell introduces and translates this classic from the original Latin hexameters, and S.F. Bay Area gardening columnist Richard Schwarzenberger provides a foreword.