The Garden Guide

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

Horticultural education in France

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272. Mutual improvement. There are many points of practice in the horticulture of France which might be improved from the horticulture of other countries; and many in which other countries might derive improvement from France. In the forcing department, and in the culture of the pine-apple, the French have made great progress, and much may be learnt from them. In the culture of salads during the winter, and in the growth of mushrooms throughout the year, the gardeners of Britain may also learn a good deal from those of Paris. Fifty years ago, the pruning and training of fruit trees were better understood in France than in Great Britain; and we have nothing, even now, in the way of the culture of the vine in England, so simple and ingenious as the practice at Thomery; or, in the pruning of standard fruit trees, better than the practice and lectures of M. Hardi at the Luxembourg. Perhaps, also, considering the difficulties of climate to be overcome in France, the heat and drought in summer, and the great cold in winter, the French gardeners have more merit in producing or preserving the culinary vegetables at such seasons, in the open air, than those of Britain.