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
Duke of Marlborough as gardener
It has been said by some that the Duke of Marlborough would have made an excellent gardener: we cannot allow this, taking the word gardener in a general sense. We have seen no evidence, either at White Knights or Blenheim, of taste or skill in gardening as an art of design: we have seen a great love of rare plants, without well knowing what to do with them, and that is all. If the duke had been brought up a gardener, therefore, we do not think he would ever have risen higher than a mere cultivator; he would certainly never have been either a Kent or a Brown. A thousand reflections arise out of the circumstances connected with the present ruinous state of this princely demesne, but we repress them; only observing that the character which we heard of the Duke of Marlborough, in Woodstock and Oxford, is very different indeed from that which the Duke of Wellington bears in the neighbourhood of Strathfieldsaye.