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

Captain Rainiers Villa

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AUG. 24. - Captain Rainier's Villa and Garden, about a mile from Southampton, are well worth visiting, as a specimen of how much may be got into little compass. In front of the house there is a small lawn, tastefully varied by groups of flowers and shrubs, with a fountain and some other architectural ornaments. Among the finer plants are camellias and myrtles as standards, the New Zealand hemp, and a species of bamboo, and also the common Arundo Donax, growing luxuriantly. The two latter plants are particularly interesting, from their Oriental appearance; and, being placed on the margin of ponds, in this mild climate, they produce an astonishing effect. There is a green-house, containing the celebrated banyan tree; on the rooting of which Captain Rainier sent a paper to the Horticultural Society. (See I. 67.) An adjoining hot-house contains a magnificent banana plant; a large Cattley's guava, covered with fruit; and an Anona Cherimolia, of large size, which has not yet fruited. The kitchen-garden is well stocked with the very best sorts of fruit; among which the nectarine plum, the pigeon's-heart plum, and a new French plum which we tasted, were excellent. There are two hot-houses for pines, grapes, and stove plants. On the whole, there is an immense number of excellent things crowded together in little space; which are as well managed as, under these circumstances, they can be, by the gardener, Mr. Dawson. A detached building contains a museum of Egyptian antiquities, highly spoken of; which, owing to Captain Rainier's absence, we did not see.