The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Garscube gardemers

Previous - Next

We could wish that some dozen or two of Scotch gardeners, who manage gardens that have been made and planted within seven or ten years, would send us the statistics of their wall-fruit, and the surface of walling which is or ought to be covered with trees. We care little for the produce of one wall or of one tree. What we want is, the number of square feet of walling with a south aspect, and the kinds of trees that have been planted against it; the number of square feet covered by these trees, and the number of fruit which has been produced by them for the last three or four years. The same of all the other aspects. What a difference would be found between the produce of such gardens as Erskine House, Kilkeran, Airthrie House, and a dozen others that we could name, and walled gardens in general ! not so much from ignorance or want of industry on the part of the gardener, but merely from a want of courage to depart from the customary system. In the days of London and Wise, and from that time to the middle of the last century, it was customary for gentlemen who had first-rate kitchen-gardens, to have them visited and reported on once a year, by the royal gardener of the time, or by some other eminent practical horticulturist. We have often thought, and more than once expressed our opinion in this Magazine, that the revival of such a practice might do good. At all events, it would justify gardeners in deviating from the usual routine. At the same time, we would by no means have gardeners so far interfered with as to render them mere machines, and lessen too much their responsibility. We departed by another and most delightful approach through an irregular grove of oaks, elms, pines, firs, cedars, Portugal laurels, and hollies. This approach, as far as we con recollect, was on a comparatively level surface, constituting the top of a bank, which formed one of the boundaries of what doubtless was at one time a broad lake, with a river running through it, but which is now low irregular ground with eminences which at one time had been islands. The place was moderately well kept, particularly the kitchen-garden, and though it rained the whole time that we were viewing it, we left it very much delighted.