The Garden Guide

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

Prussian Fruit Culture

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388. In Prussia the best fruits were introduced by Frederick II., who was passion-ately fond of them. In one of his letters to Voltaire, while he was crown prince, he speaks of his 'dear garden at Rupin. ' 'I burn with impatience,' he says, 'to see again my vineyards, my cherries, my melons. ' (Dover's Life of Fred. II, p. 204.) After he became king, he cultivated, at Potsdam, all the best Dutch varieties, on walls, espaliers, under glass, and in the open garden. He was particularly fond of pine-apples, of which he grew a great number in pits; and is censured by an English traveller (Burnett), because, on his death-bed, he made inquiries after the ripening of one of them, of which he expected to make a last bonne bouche. Potsdam and Schwobber were the only parts of Germany where forcing was at that time practised to any extent. There are now in the royal gardens of Prussia excellent pine-apples reared under the care of gardeners of very superior merit, who have visited England. At Potsdam, since the peace of 1814, the department for forcing fruits (obst treiberey) has been greatly en-larged, and various kinds of fruits brought forward at a very early period of the season, more particularly cherries. (Gard. Mag., vol. iii. p. 94.)