The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: From London to Sheffield in the Spring of 1839

Birmingham Peat Garden

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There is also above an acre of natural peat in the Birmingham garden, in which the Ericaceï¾µ, and all the American and peat-earth shrubs, and peat-earth herbaceous plants, thrive to admiration. Such masses of the more rare dwarf rhododendrons and azaleas, vacciniums, kalmias, Andromeda squarrosa, and hypnoides, Cornus canadensis, Gaultheria Shallon, Linnï¾µ'a borealis, and similar plants, we have never seen elsewhere. We also observed Amygdalus pumila, and other species of Amygdalus, Prunus, and Cerasus, which, compared with the same species in the smoky atmosphere of the London gardens, are like different species. The collection of alpine plants in pots includes many rare species, a number of which are not to be found in any other garden. The pots are quite small, and plunged in sand; under the shade of hedges. The collection of hardy herbaceous plants, as we have mentioned in p. 416., is believed to be the most complete in Britain; and every gardener will allow that no man cultivates herbaceous plants better than Mr. Cameron. On the whole, we were highly gratified with this garden, and especially with the growth of the trees and shrubs, as a consequence chiefly of the manner in which they have been managed, though partly also of the excellence of the situation. Mr. Cameron has promised us the dimensions of some of the most rapid-growing kinds; and also drawings by his daughter, Miss Cameron, of some of the rare shrubs which we had never before seen in flower.