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By the time this list of garden plants was written by Dr. William Stoddard Williams in 1823, he was 61 years old and his horticultural interests were well-known in Deerfield. He was a talented amateur scientist as well as a respected physician who used his plant knowledge professionally. By the 1820s the seed business was well developed and many varieties were available for purchase in nearby Greenfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Williams' garden was not typical in either scale or variety in that it was both larger and more varied than most other examples. It was, however, designed for family needs and was carefully planned and laid out in beds.