The Garden Guide

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

History of gardening in Portugal

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XI, Rise, Progress, and present State of Gardening in Portugal 520. Gardening in Portugal is very little attended to as an art of design and taste. The quintas, or country-seats, of the principal nobility are generally in ruins, and many even of the royal residences have an air of desolation. Some merchants, principally foreigners, have villas in the immediate neighbourhood of Lisbon and Oporto; but these are exceptions to the general rule. The style of all is nearly the same. Every quinta has numerous stone cisterns, or fountains, and most have a small patch of ground lying high among the surrounding crags of rock, where, carefully shaded from the sun by hedges of palm, and sedulously watered every day, the lettuce and other vegetables requiring a cooler climate are cultivated. Carnations are generally grown in antique- shaped earthen pots, or in deep layers of earth, upon the top of the stone walls of the gardens. Open galleries communicating with the sitting-rooms are often carried round the outsides of these villas, somewhat in the style of the Swiss farm-houses. (Baillie's Lisbon.)