Posted: 31/05/2014 at 03:34
As Victoria Sponge says - the Writers and Artists Yearbook usually has the most up to date copyright issues detailed. I think the British Library used to have a hand-out (free) to use as guidance. There used to be a good clause on an allowance of 50 words using a direct quote from specific publications with, as mentioned above, being dependent on naming the publication, year of publication and author. But things change a great deal nowadays with complex issues relating to whether your item would appear 'online' in various formats. There are a number of old gardening publications from 19th century onwards which, whilst they appear fairly rare or obscure publications with perhaps not a great deal of modern reference potential - which do have copyright restrictions due to rarity and uniqueness of text and plant knowledge.
However, many of the most popular books are those written by individuals about their own gardening experiences using unique anecdotes and language which is individual to the author. Your own words and methods of description would allow you to completely bypass any copyright issues, probably be much more fun and be a much more interesting and enjoyable popular read. Whilst some gardening books are very much 'reference' books on the shelf, many gardeners absolutely love just reading about someone elses experience or a diary of a year in an individual's garden or something like that.
I think you could come up with a really good read if you be yourself as you are and include your adventures and misadventures. It would be great!