Peter Henderson was born in Scotland and worked as a gardener apprentice at Melville Castle. He came to this country in 1843 when he was 21. He worked for market gardeners near New York City and soon went into the business for himself. Always a hustler and a remarkably canny man, Henderson was successful in the very chancy truck farming enterprise. He went on to start the famous seedhouse that carried his name, Peter Henderson and Company. His triumphs as a seedsman included introducing the double zinnia in 1865, the Early Snowball cauliflower in 1878, and Henderson's Bush Limas in 1889.
In 1866 he wrote Gardening for Profit. When the Civil War ended, the soldiers coming home were looking for new opportunities. Some were influenced by Gardening For Profit to go into market gardening. After the war, there was a wide interest in farming and horticultural pursuits all over the country. Agricultural societies were flourishing and gentlemen farmers were experimenting. Henderson issued a new edition in 1874 and the book was reprinted a number of times.
Henderson became widely known for his books. His Handbook of Plants became a standard reference. Henderson was an amazingly sensible man and his writing is full of practical advice. He always said that the small pamphlet, The Use of the Feet in Sowing and Planting, was his favorite among his writings.
Index to Articles by Peter Henderson
From January to November 1989, the Crooked Lake Review reprinted eleven selections from Gardening for Profit:
From April to December 1990, the Crooked Lake Review reprinted Peter Henderson's Gardening Calendar from Gardening for Profit:
In April 1990, the Crooked Lake Review reprinted The Use of the Feet in Sowing and Planting.