The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Pages Nursery

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Mr. Page's Nursery is on the outskirts of the town; and is remarkably well laid out in compartments, and sheltered by hedges. Here is a general collection of fruit trees planted along the walks, as stock plants for scions; and vine stools for the same purpose. Mr. Page is making preparations for a complete arboretum, in the manner of that of Mr. Donald, which, we are sure, will be of immense service to this part of the country, by showing to the resident gentlemen those sylvan treasures hitherto known only to botanists and landscape-gardeners. Mr. Page has been, during his extensive practice as a landscape-gardener and planter, introducing such trees wherever he could: but this exhibition will greatly increase his facilities of so doing. We know of nothing more commendable in a nurseryman, either for the good of his profession, or the benefit of his employers and the ornament of his country, than the practice of planting out single specimens, and forming arboretums. We found the whole of this nursery in most excellent order; and a number of things worth noticing if we had time and room. Among these, we cannot avoid mentioning a span-roofed pit, placed east and west, with boarded shutters on one side, and glazed sashes on the other; which sashes and shutters can be changed at pleasure, so as to admit the sun in winter, and afford shade in summer. The sashes are kept from being blown off by the violent winds common to Southampton, by iron buttons, which turn on iron screws, one of which is inserted about the centre of every rafter. Buttons fixed in the common way for the same purpose are apt, in time, to get loose; but, when this is the case with these, it is only necessary to give them an additional turn to render them as tight as can be required. Mr. Page possesses an extensive meadow, composed wholly of peat earth; so that his facilities for growing American plants are unbounded. In this nursery, and also in that of Mr. Rogers, the Asclepias tuberosa thrives and blooms with extraordinary vigour; and, when once established, is as difficult to root out of the soil as potatoes or horseradish; so that there appears to be something in the climate of Southampton peculiarly suitable to this plant.