The Garden Guide

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

Baden horticulture

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393. In Baden horticulture is also far advanced. In the kitchen-garden of the palace at Carlsruhe pines are grown in pits in the summer-time, and removed to shelves, in houses with opaque roofs, and nearly perpendicular front glass, in the winter-time. About 300 ripe pines are used every year for the purpose of making wine, which is found to be of an extraordinarily good quality; and 400 are annually cut for eating. There are pines on the grand duke's table every week in the year. The plants are grown in soil composed of two parts of mould formed from rotten dung and leaves, one part and a half of turf from a meadow, broken into small pieces but not sifted, and half a part of sand. Fruiting is not effected in a shorter period than three years. Figs are grown here under glass, for the purpose of forcing; but they, and also peaches, bear in the open air as standards. There is a large winter-house, in which we found large knoll celery, kohl-rabi, cauliflower, Italian broccoli; red, green, chard, and white beet; large black radishes, scorzonera, parsley, leeks, endive, lettuce, lamb's lettuce, and other articles, in large quantities, planted in beds of earth. Young carrots and young turnips are grown all the winter, in pits covered with glass, and protected from the frost every night by straw mats. These articles, with young onions and leeks, are gathered almost every day during the winter for soups. The varieties of kohl-rabi, borecole, and runkel ruben (green beet) grown in this garden are among the most beautiful that we have seen in Germany. Mushrooms are grown in frames with boards instead of sashes, with dung linings, and under the stages of the pine-stoves. The kitchen-garden of the old castle of Ettlingen is worthy of notice. It contains eight or ten acres, surrounded and subdivided by walls of stone about twelve feet high, with rafters laid under the coping six feet apart, and projecting on each side about two feet. These projections are for the purpose of retaining rolls of strong matting, which were formerly let down at night, and during severe weather, to protect the blossoms in spring. The walls, like almost all garden-walls in Germany, are covered with wooden trellis-work. The trees trained are partly peaches and apricots, but chiefly the reinette de Canada apple. Trees of this as well as of other varieties of apples, grow perfectly well in the open air as standards; but the fruit is found to be much larger when the tree is trained against a wall. In the borders and quarters of the garden are pears en pyramide, and apples en tonnoir. The most common apple cultivated in this garden is the Rambourg, a large variety of Calville, known, when shaken, by the rattling of its seeds in their cells. This garden belongs to a ruined chateau, said to have been built by the Romans 100 years before Christ. There are about thirty such chateaus, with their gardens in ruins, all belonging to the grand duke, in different parts of the grand duchy of Baden.