The Garden Guide

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

Elvaston Kitchen Garden

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The kitchen-garden is large, and it contains some new forcing-houses, admirably planned and executed, and furnished with excellent crops of pines, grapes, and peaches. The front borders for the vines are covered during winter with tiles cemented with clay, so as completely to carry off the rain and melting snow to a drain in front. These tiles are annually taken off in May, and put on again in December. The peach borders are about 6 ft. in width, and 18 in. in depth; with the bottom paved with tiles, to prevent the roots from entering the subsoil; and the surface covered with tiles, to prevent evaporation, to conduct heat to the soil, and to reflect it to the foliage against the walls. In general, all the fruit trees, both standards and dwarfs in the open garden, and trees against the walls, have a flooring of tiles under the roots, from 1 ft. to 18 in. beneath the surface. These tiles are made 1 ft. square, and 1.25 in. thick. The crops on these trees, and the moderate state of the wood, neither too luxuriant nor too weak, prove the great advantages of the plan. Indeed, we attach so much importance to it, that we should wish much to lay Mr. Barron's practice and opinions on this point of culture before our readers. The system of covering with tiles also deserves the particular attention of the gardener. We have seldom seen such an elegant range of glass, covering plants so beautifully grown, and bearing so abundantly, as this garden contains.