The Production of Hortus Veitchii

Producing this reprint was a labour of love! When I decided to undertake this effort, I was keen to try and replicate the same style and materials used in the original book.

Hortus Veitchii
Hortus Veitchii, 2006 hardback reprint (without final dust jacket).

Scanning Hortus Veitchii
25th January 2006, James Veitch's birthday and the start of producing the reprint. Scanning one of the 648 pages, each of which needed magnifying and enhancing to eliminate marks and blemishes that are only to be expected on a 100-year-old book.

The printing machine
The printing machine; a Heidelberg Speedmaster 102, for those who are interested!

Preparing the plates
Finished plates need perforations and then folds to the edges in order for the drums to hold them accurately on the printing machine.

Checking ink levels
Test prints are checked for correct and even ink application. In order to achieve perfect ink distribution, the ink is passed over about a dozen different rollers before being applied to the paper.

The machine running
Once satisfied with the setup, the machine starts to print a complete book section. This consists of printing 32 pages on one sheet.

Adding paper
Topping up the printer with a little more paper!

Changing plates
Having completed one section, the plates are changed and the process is repeated for producing the next section.

Printing in progress
The next of 23 sections to Hortus Veitchii in production.

Finished sections printed
Completed printed sections to about half of the book. That looks like a whole tree, reassuringly, all waste is recycled.

Copies taped and glued
Once folded and stitched, each copy is taped and glued down the spine to hold the book together when finished. When dry, they will be guillotined and the hardback cover will be attached.

Checking and uncut sample
Checking an uncut sample before trimming and binding.

Complete with hardback cover
The book is almost complete. Quality control procedures at every stage ensure only the perfect copies make it this far.

Some dust jackets
Some replica dust jackets waiting to be trimmed and scored.

Dust jackets being applied
The dust jackets being carefully applied by hand.

Finished copies of Hortus Veitchii
A stack of finished copies of Hortus Veitchii, 2006 hardback reprint, numbered limited edition.

Packed copies of Hortus Veitchii
Packed finished copies of Hortus Veitchii.

Close-up of the spine quality of Hortus Veitchii
Close-up of the spine quality of the reprinted Hortus Veitchii, (without final dust jacket).

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Last updated 8th February 2021

Caradoc Doy

Caradoc Doy

Caradoc Doy has a passion for plants and plant conservation, a keen interest in plants, gardens and the designed landscape.

He is a professional horticulturist and an authority on the history of the Veitch Nurseries of Exeter & Chelsea.

Veitch Historian

Caradoc has been researching the history of the Veitch Nurseries of Exeter & Chelsea for many years and is available for bookings to give illustrated talks about this remarkable family business and their plant hunters.

Gardening Talks

Caradoc travels widely to give garden talks and is also sometimes available at short notice to cover for illnesses or cancellations.

Growing Olives in the British Isles

Olive Tree

European Olive - Olea europaea 'Peace'.

Caradoc has been growing olive trees since about 1990 and introduced a tough variety into cultivation Olea europaea 'Peace,' also known as the Peace Olive.

Online Shop

Click here to see a range of items for sale from Caradoc Doy including the re-print of Hortus Veitchii.

Please visit the online shop for that special gift.

Useful Links

Some useful links to some of the world's leading botanic gardens, plant societies, garden history societies and horticultural associations.

Caradoc Doy ~ Devon-based Horticulturist, Gardening Speaker and Veitch Historian