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

White Hill Garden

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The principal approach is on the north front, near to the margin of a very deep valley, with Chester le Street brook rolling along its pebbly bed. After the eye has glanced from this valley, a rich agricultural country opens to view, with the township of Pelton in the distance. The kitchen-garden is a parallelogram, enclosing two acres, and having one on the outside. There is a very neat green-house, with a good collection of pelargoniums; having 60 ft. of vinery at one end, and 120 ft. of vinery and peach-house at the other. A movable peach-house, 30 ft. in length and 6 ft. in breadth, is placed against one of the best peach and nectarine walls in the north of England. This wall has a metal coping, projecting several inches, which answers very well as a protection to the trees. In an east slip there is a flued pit for melons, surrounded by a yew hedge 4 ft. high and 2 ft. thick in front; the ends sloping to the back, which is 7 ft. high: this hedge is universally admired, owing to the neat manner in which it is kept. Mr. Crossling has been upwards of twenty years head gardener; and, in all the departments of his profession, can seldom be equalled. He is a very successful grape and peach grower, having had them ripe in March. The garden, pleasure-ground, and, indeed, every part of these grounds, be it ever so obscure, are always in the highest order and keeping. The cause of this is, Mr. Crossling's systematic method of apportioning tho work, and doing every thing when it ought to be done. Well do I recollect the expression he used to make use of: that "a garden well kept was easily kept." It was his practice to hoe quarters planted with vegetables soon after they were put in the ground, which not only destroyed all seed-weeds in their germinating state, but loosened the soil, and admitted heat and air to penetrate to the roots of the plants; thus accelerating their growth. Many gardeners never think of applying the hoe and rake to a piece of ground until it is completely covered with weeds; and, often, not before these have shed their seed: if they would think of the old proverb, that "a stitch in time saven nine," they would not be so dilatory. The length of time it takes to clean a quarter overrun with weeds, and one with the weeds scarcely making their appearance, must be obvious to every one; not taking into account the crop that will soon make its appearance if the weeds have seeded.