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

Allnatt Garden

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Allnatt, Esq. - The garden of this gentleman surprised and delighted us. It contains nearly an acre of seedling heartsease, and upwards of that extent of seedling georginas. The beauty of some of the varieties of heartsease astonished us, notwithstanding we had seen the 270 varieties in the Epsom Nursery, and the select collection of Messrs. Brown at Slough. The colour and shading of the petals of some of the varieties were as superior to those of the common heartsease of the gardens, as those of the finest green-edged auriculas are to those of the native self-coloured flowers of that plant. As to the georginas, we will not speak of them; they are too numerous for our circumscribed learning in this flower, and we were lost in admiration among them. Mr. Allnatt, jun., cultivates a variety of articles besides these two flowers. We saw the same rare shrubs and annuals as at Mr. Tyso's, and a variety of excellent practices displayed in the culture of culinary vegetables. For example, there were melons of a new variety, grown to a great size, in a bed of tan, heated by a lining of dung introduced through a porthole in a wall, covered by a shutter, so as to show nothing but the luxuriant bed of melons; a tall-growing variety of Indian corn in pots, having, from the scitamineous character of its foliage, a most Oriental, or Tropical, appearance; the Altrincham carrot, grown in rows 18 in. apart, and the carrots at the same distance from each other in the rows, the roots attaining the thickness of a man's thigh, and the length of 3 ft., with a vigorously growing top, for feeding cows or other cattle; Spanish and Portuguese onions in rows at the same distances, the size enormous; and all other kitchen crops in proportion. Mr. Allnatt, sen., has grown on his farm a large quantity of Bishop's dwarf pea, for Mr. Ronalds of Brentford; and he has a moderate breadth of that new and valuable field turnip, Dale's hybrid, the bulb of which is said to be as solid and nourishing as a Swedish turnip, and as tender as an early Dutch. It is also said to be not in the least degree injured by the frost, and it is thought that it will prove to be invaluable for field produce in wet soils. The seed of this variety is also for Mr. Ronalds; and, if a fourth part of what we heard of this turnip be true, it must be a prize of immense value to the farmer. An apple called the creeping apple, a variety of the burr-knot kind, and, like the Carlisle codling, coming early into use both for sauce and eating, is a great favourite with Mr. Allnatt; and the trees are now, as they are every year, covered with abundance of fruit. (See Ency. of Gard., 4803. new edit.) We had almost forgotten to express our admiration of a long straight walk, bordered on each side with a row of China asters, and beyond these by three rows of georginas, the first row dwarfs, the second higher, and the third highest; also of dung hot-beds, the sides of which were thatched with drawn rye straw, kept close to the dung with rods and hooks, in order to prevent the escape of heat and moisture, to exclude the external rains, and to produce a neat appearance.