The Garden Guide

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

Jean de Quintinye gardening author

Previous - Next

267. French horticulture received a great accession of theoretical and practical knowledge from the writings of Quintinye. Jean de Quintinye was born at Poictiers, in 1626, put to school among the Jesuits, took lessons in law, and afterwards travelled to Italy with Tambonneau. Here his taste for agriculture began, or greatly increased. He applied to its study as a science; and, on his return, Tambonneau committed his gardens to his care. He attracted the attention of the court soon afterwards, and was made director of several royal gardens during the reign of Louis XIV. He laid out a jardin potager of thirty acres at Versailles; the inhabitants of which, Neill observes, seem to have imbibed from him a taste for horticulture and botany; the 'confreres de St. Fiacre' (the tutelar saint of horticulturists), or gardeners' lodge, held here, being the oldest in France. (Hort. Tour, p. 414.) Among other works, Quintinye wrote The Complete Gardener, translated by Evelyn, and abridged by London and Wise. He died in 1701. After his death the king always spoke of him with regret, and, Switzer says, assured his widow that the king and she were equally sufferers. Quintinye, in his work on fruit trees, has developed a system of pruning which surpassed that of any previous author. Before his time, the culture of wall or espalier trees, though ably treated of by Le Gendre (Arnauld d' Andilly), often referred to by Quintinye, was little attended to; gardens had been generally surrounded by high hedges; but for these were now substituted walls of masonry or of earth en pise.