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

Slough Nursery

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Slough Nursery, Messrs. Brown.- This has been a nursery of high repute for many years; but we never before had an opportunity of examining it. It contains upwards of thirty acres, with a number of very neat green-houses and propagating pits. The main objects of culture seemed to be ornamental plants of the more choice kinds. Mr. Brown is also a florist, and has one of the best tulip beds in England; second only, we believe, to that of Mr. Groom. The soil is admirably adapted for nursery culture; and we do not believe it possible to grow things so well in the immediate neighbourhood of London as they are grown here. On the walls of the dwelling-house is one of the finest plants of Bignonia radicans major we ever saw, now covered with bloom; and a very fine Magnolia grandiflora. There is one of the most select collections of heartsease here in the neighbourhood of London; and the demand for this little plant is so great that it cannot be supplied. We saw a great many seedling phloxes, some of which are very fine. Immense quantities of Petunia nyctaginiflora var. grandiflora and P. ph£nicea are grown for their seeds. Magnolia Soulangeana grows vigorously, and flowers freely; and the tree is considered as decidedly more hardy than M. conspicua. There are hedges of Cydonia japonica which are covered with flowers the greater part of the winter and the whole of the spring; and Mr. Brown, jun., is of opinion that this plant will be found, in some respects, better adapted for hedges than the common hawthorn. The hedges of it in this nursery were quite impenetrable. Mr. Brown is celebrated for having raised two roses of the Bengal kind, viz., Brown's celestial and Brown's superb. They are both roses which grow with great vigour, and they are peculiarly susceptible of training as pyramids. There is here a large stock of that scarce rose, the yellow Noisette, obtained by grafting portions of shoots, containing only a single bud, on stocks of Brown's superb. This is an invention of one of the Messrs. Brown. The scion is not above an inch in length, and it is put on the stock, in the whip-grafting manner, close by the surface of the ground. The stock is of the wood of the former year, and the scion of the current year. Excellent and saleable plants are thus produced the very first season. There are two very complete collections of hollyhocks now in flower, one tall and the other dwarf. Among numerous things which we noted, but have not time to dilate on, were, that seeds of Fuchsia globosa produced plants quite different from the parent; that seeds of the Datura odorata, after being a year in a hot-bed without germinating, came up the following year in the open garden, when the mould of the hot-bed had been spread about as manure; an excellent collection of the dark-coloured nasturtium, said to have been introduced into England by Booth of Hamburgh; fine plants of Calandrinia grandiflora, beautifully in flower; and a number of seedling hybrid caprifoliums. On the whole, we were highly gratified with this nursery; and we intend, in future, to visit it frequently.