I've been searching around on Google's book search a lot lately. It's a fantastic thing for people, like me, who can't afford books or who don't have easy weekly (or even monthly) access to their local libraries.
I've been perusing this today: Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations that Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right From The Start
I read through some of this one -- A WOMAN' SHARDY GARDEN
BY, HELENA RUTHERFURD ELY, 1903 -- and, my, how some things have changed and some stayed so much the same!
(before reading this excerpt, keep in mind that these prices are per hundred)
It will be seen, from the following list, that such borders can easily be made and planted at a cost of less than thirty dollars.
Three days' work, at $1.50 per day
"Many people have the mistaken idea that a flower garden, however small, is an expensive luxury."
And yes, in 2008, for many, it still is. Obviously, this woman had never had to worry about putting food on her table. Well, socialites didn't in that day and age, did they? Heh, I suppose they still don't, but just how many of them are into gardening in this day and age?
Now, if Google would only put up some fun things like The After-Dinner Gardening Book.