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

Rogers Nursery

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Rogers's Nursery. - August 24. This nursery is three miles from Southampton, on the London road, and contains nearly 100 acres of land, newly broken up from an unenclosed heathy waste. It is the commencement of a nursery which, if prosperity attend Mr. Rogers's endeavours, will one day be a place of note. The highest part of the grounds is 175 ft. above the level of the water at Southampton; and the ascent from the town to this point, along a line nearly straight, is so gradual as to be scarcely perceptible. Mr. Rogers has built a picturesque cottage, on a raised platform, commodious, convenient, substantially finished, and in good taste. Sheds, pits, frames, and other nursery buildings are in progress. The nursery extends one whole mile along the public road; and, parallel to this road, and of the same length, Mr. Rogers has formed a walk, along both sides of which he proposes to plant an arboretum like that of Mr. Donald; or, perhaps, rather like that in the university garden at Vienna, where there are but two rows of trees on each side of the road. Along the road side, Mr. Rogers is preparing to plant a mixed hedge of double furze, Cydonia japonica, China roses, and sweet briar. The space within this part of the grounds is divided into compartments, each a pole (5.5 yards) in width, and of a certain length; so that the quantity of surface, and of plants in rows at any given distance, which each compartment will contain, is readily ascertained. The compartments are numbered; and the numbers being entered in a ledger, with the stock, the number of rows, plants in a row, &c., on each, Mr. Rogers can give the clearest instructions as to taking up plants for executing orders, preparing or clearing the soil, or planting, without looking at the compartments above twice a year. At the same time, as the main walk goes up the middle of the space between these compartments, he, friends, the visiters of the nursery, or customers, have only to drive up it and return to pass in review the whole of the arboretum, and of the compartments of young stock, with all the men at work in them. In one of these compartments Mr. Rogers has formed what we have never before seen in any nursery; viz., separate plots, exhibiting specimens of the size, kind, and quality of the plants; the size of the pits; the different modes of planting by contract; and the scale of prices for planting extensive tracts. The scale is 3l., 5l., 7l., 10l., and 15l. per acre, at the rate of from 3000 to 5000 plants per acre; engaging to replace failures for a given term of years. All the plants are in rows, at regular distances between and in the row; and this is the only mode in which plantations can be planted and managed afterwards systematically. The lowest-priced plot consists of alternate rows of Scotch pines and larch firs; the plants from 6 in. to 1 ft. high, and the pits 1 ft. square and deep. The second plot, of alternate rows of deciduous trees and undergrowths, and resinous trees; viz., the first row, one oak and two hazels or birches; the second row of Scotch pines; the third row of oaks and hazels or birches, as before; and the fourth row of larches; the plants from 1 ft. to 1 ft. 3 in. high, and the pits 1 ft. 3 in. square and deep. Where the soil is good, the undergrowth plants in the deciduous rows are hazels; where bad, birches. The third plot is of a similar kind, but contains larger and better trees; and the pits are 1 ft. 6 in. square and deep. The fourth plot contains a mixture of ornamental trees and shrubs: the plants are from 1 ft. 6 in. to 3 ft. high; and the holes are 1 ft. 6 in. square and deep. The fifth also contains a mixture of ornamental trees, from 3 ft. to 6 ft. high; many of the undergrowth being laurels and rhododendrons; and the pits are 2 ft. square and deep. Plantations formed according to any of these plots may be thinned according to a determinate system, so as ultimately to leave only a certain number of timber or ornamental trees on any given space; or timber and ornamental undergrowth. This scientific mode of planting has been admirably illustrated by Mr. Lawrence (X. 27.). Mr. Rogers's mode of laying out a nursery is founded on the principle laid down in the second edition of our Encyc. of Gard., ᄎ 7350.; and new edit., ᄎ 6898. Mr. Rogers, like most other planters, prefers opening his pits in the summer season, and planting in November. In very wet clayey soils, where pits are formed, spring planting is generally considered preferable: but, with the perforator, or by slit planting, even on such soils, the autumn is equally good. Mr. Rogers is laying down stools of the single camellia; and intends to use these as ornamental undergrowths, in common with the different rhododendrons, azaleas, kalmias, &c. Notwithstanding the elevation of Mr. Rogers's nursery, all the plants which stand out at Southampton appear to stand out equally well there. (To be continued.)