The Garden Guide

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

Chatsworth Kitchen Garden

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In the kitchen-garden there is much to be learned by the young gardener; and, indeed, we do not know a better school for young gardeners in the kingdom. The forcing and cropping are, as is usual, chiefly carried on with a view to those months in the latter end of the year when the duke resides at Chatsworth; but, notwithstanding this, we saw ripe grapes, peaches, and cherries in pots. The latter are kept by most gardeners in a low temperature while the blossom is setting, but Mr. Paxton has found a high temperature, even to 70ᆭ, greatly preferable. There is less early forcing this season than usual, on account of the Duke of Devonshire being on the Continent; but Mr. Paxton informed us that, in other seasons, there is a considerable quantity of early forcing, both of vegetables and fruits, grapes being required at table all the year round, and in winter and spring 3000 pots of strawberries are forced annually. Washing peach trees over with a mixture of lime and water in autumn has been recommended by Mr. Knight, for the purpose of destroying insects; and Mr. Paxton has found it not only useful for destroying insects, but that it helps to ripen the wood, or at least to fit it for standing the frost of winter, by extracting part of the moisture from it. After a wet season, this advantage is strikingly apparent. In arranging the vines in the vineries, and the fruit trees on the walls, Mr. Paxton has, as far as it is practicable, classed each kind of fruit by itself, and trained each tree or plant of the same kind into nearly the same size and shape. Thus we have one house entirely filled with the Canon Hall muscat, a favourite grape with Mr. Paxton, another with Hamburgh grapes, others with the common muscat, and with Frontignan, and so on.