The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Amateur botanists in Paris

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257. Among the celebrated botanical amateurs in the neighbourhood of Paris were M. Foulchiron, M. Hamelin, M. Boursault, M. Soulange Bodin, and Baron Pappenheim. M. Foulchiron devoted his attention to the palms, of which he had by far the best collection in France, and some specimens of a considerable height and great beauty. These palms, in 1830, were sold to the Berlin botanic garden. M. Hamelin had an excellent collection of exotic bulbs, and was particularly rich in Amaryllideï¾µ. M. Boursault had by far the richest collection of exotic plants of any private or public establishment, unless we except that of the Jardin des Plantes; but this collection has been completely broken up, and the finest specimens sold, the ground which was the garden being now built upon. The collection of M. Soulange Bodin, though chiefly made with a view to commerce, was yet very considerable; but since the death of the proprietor it has been comparatively neglected. The Baron Pappenheim devoted his attention chiefly to acclimatising half-hardy trees and shrubs; and he succeeded in forming, on his estate of Combe-la-Ville, a collection of more than 4000 species of hardy plants, of which he was going to print a very interesting catalogue, when he was lost to botany. As to M. Boursault, he was as well known at London as at Paris, by his enlightened taste and the magnificence of his collection. It was in his garden alone that the Telopea speciosissima has been seen in France. The Laurus Cinnamomum, cinnamon tree; the Garcinia Mangostana, and the Ardisia paniculata, produced with him both flowers and fruits; and he possessed, without doubt, the finest Araucaria excelsa in Europe (see p. 85.). The large plants of Magnolia grandiflora, which bordered his walks, brought their seeds to perfect maturity.