The Garden Guide

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

Practical gardening in France

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5. French Gardening, as empirically practised 277. The use of gardens is very general in France, Few cottagers are without them, and in the northern districts they commonly display a considerable degree of neatness, and some fruit trees and flowers. The southern parts of the country are the least civilised: there the gardens of the labouring class are less attended to; and gourds, or melons, and Indian corn, as in Italy, are the chief articles grown. The gardens of the ordinary citizens and private gentlemen, in France, are greatly inferior to those of the same class in Holland or Britain; they are seldom walled round, and rarely contain any arrangements for foreign or tender exotics. A greenhouse, indeed, is a rare sight, and there does not seem to exist the slightest desire for enjoying any vegetable production either earlier or later than their natural seasons.