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

Tottenham Park Kitchen Garden

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The kitchen-garden contains many points of excellence. Here is one of the best peach-walls which is to be seen any where, at this time finely covered with fruit and wood; so much so, indeed, that hardly a brick of the wall is to be seen. We have heard several gardeners declare this to be the best peach-wall in England. Behind part of this wall, Mr. Burns keeps his stock of tree leaves for his pine-pits; and, by the fermentation and heat, they bring forward the trees so as to ripen their fruit three weeks earlier than those on the common wall. The pines are remarkably well grown; and Mr. Burns has cut one as heavy as 13 lbs. The Tottenham Park Muscat grape is well known and highly esteemed; the original plant fills a whole house, and bears well every year. Cherries are here grown in peat, and found to thrive well in that soil; in the common soil of the garden they were found to gum. The substratum everywhere at Tottenham Park is chalk; and, when it is desired to drain any place, or get rid of superfluous water, all that is necessary is to dig a pit into the chalk. We must not omit to mention that Mr. Burns has a garden library for his young men. The house-porter here, Joseph Shindle, is a remarkable instance of the force of native genius. In spite of his morning duties of wheeling in coals and wood, and wheeling out ashes and dirt, he has contrived to make a number of curious sundials and barometers; and to paint several pictures of fruits and flowers, and make frames for them. He is an excellent cabinetmaker and joiner, and a theoretical as well as practical astronomer. He has contrived, out of his savings, to collect a tolerable library, including Hutton's Mathematical Dictionary in quarto. There is one fine circumstance connected with Tottenham Park, which deserves to be mentioned for the credit of its liberal and benevolent lord. It is open at all times to the inhabitants of the surrounding towns; who drive, ride, or make gipsy-parties in it at pleasure. (To be continued.)