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

Oxford to Wantage

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The road to Wantage is through a hilly country, badly cultivated; and it is everywhere in want of having the surface soil deepened by such an instrument as Finlayson's harrow or as Wilkie's grubber; but it will require another and a reading generation of farmers to introduce these implements. We passed only one or two gentlemen's seats, but we observed a number of well-kept cottage gardens, richly ornamented with China roses, hollyhocks, and many of them with georginas. The splendour of the roses on one cottage, in a remote situation, exceeded anything of the kind between it and London: the trees were at least 20 ft. high, and were covered with a mass of bloom. We lately saw a lady to whom the present Mr. Lee's grandfather, about forty years ago, showed the first China rose which he had to propagate from, as a great curiosity. In some of these gardens were Kerria japonica and Aucuba japonica, both green-house plants thirty years ago.