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 Knights planting

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The exterior end of one of the greenhouses is covered with masses of the Calampelis scabra and Maurandya Barclayana, splendidly in flower; the orange of the one forming a brilliant contrast to the purple of the other. In the conservatory are two magnolias, each 10 ft. high, gracilis and purpurea, by some alleged to be the same; but they are here decidedly distinct, even in wood and foliage, while the petals of the flowers of gracilis turn back, and those of purpurea are cup-shaped, or rather turn inwards. In the same conservatory there is also a Magnolia conspicua; these three species having been considered green-house plants at the time this house was planted. The M. conspicua has borne seeds, from which Mr. Ward has raised fifteen plants, which, as far as we know, are the first that have been raised from seeds ripened in England. Acacia elegans is large, and very handsome. The wall covered with Magnolia grandiflora is magnificent and unique. Mr. Ward has very judiciously layered a number of the shoots at the bottom, to prevent any risk of its becoming naked there; and we should recommend removing the projecting trellis at the top, the object of which is to protect the lower part of the wall (but which experience proves to be altogether unnecessary), heightening the wall instead of it, and training the trees eleven or twelve feet higher. To push the practice of training magnolias against a wall as far as it would go, the foundation of the wall ought either to be made zigzag or wavy, by which means a very thin wall may be carried to any height with perfect security; or a round tower might be built, 10 ft. or 12 ft. in diameter, the trees planted outside, and the tower heightened as they grew.