The Garden Guide

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

Florists gardens in France

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281. Florists' Gardens, There are numerous florists who devote themselves exclu-sively to the culture of flowers, and supply the market with roses, lilies, stocks, and the more common greenhouse plants and orange trees. The latter are very neatly grafted, and otherwise well managed. In the winter time forced flowers are exposed for sale, and also summer flowers, which have been dried in stoves, and preserve their colours perfectly. The same thing is done with aromatic herbs, and some pot-herbs, as parsley, chervil, &c. The gardens of the commercial florists of Paris are numerous, but not large. Their produce is chiefly disposed of at the flower-market of Paris; for the purchasers of flowers there have not leisure, as in England, to go in search of them among the suburban gardens. The garden of M. Fion is one of the first of a great number of this class in and about Paris. M. Fion joins to a knowledge of botany and gardening, invention, enthusiasm, and taste; and he has applied all his energies in rendering an acre of ground brim-full of botanical and picturesque interest. He first began to grow orange trees in 1813; and in 1828 his garden contained a number of houses and pits, in which were not only an extensive stock of popular plants, such as camellias, ericas, pelargoniums, oranges, &c, but also some of the most rare hothouse and greenhouse plants to be found in Paris. There were also some ornamental buildings; a small temple, containing a bust of Thouin (and it is paying M. Fion no mean compliment to say, that he duly appreciates the character of this most scientific of French gardeners); rockwork, fountains, painted landscapes, as terminations to walks in the open air, and also for completing the effect of certain compositions of rockwork, water, and succulent plants, which M. Fion had formed within the houses. There was a wall covered with orange trees, which bore abundantly and had a fine appearance. Every part of M. Fion's grounds was as neat and orderly as it was tasteful; and, in short, there is no commercial flower-garden in Paris that will so well repay the visiter. (Gard. Mag., vol. vii. p. 132.) This garden was well kept up in 1840, and enriched by a Jardin d'hiver, or conservatory, the glass and frame of which were removed in summer; but since that period M. Fion is dead, and the garden has been destroyed. The garden of M. Tripet le Blanc, Avenue de Breteuil, in 1840, was one of the first in Paris for hyacinths, tulips, auriculas, carnations, and, in short, every description of florists' flowers, as well as many kinds of culinary vegetables and fruits. The family of Tripet has been celebrated for tulips for three generations.