The Garden Guide

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

Russian flower gardening

Previous - Next

472. The climate of Russia is adverse to floriculture. Dr. Howison remarks (Caled. Mem., iii.), 'that there is scarcely any plant, or flowering shrub, which can resist the intense frost and cold of the winter in Britain, to be found out of doors in Russia; and, at times, even the hardy whin (U'lex) is destroyed.' He says, the gardener in the Taurida palace, Call, showed him 'Persian lilacs, laburnums, different varieties of thorn, whin-bushes, &c., growing in large wooden tubs filled with earth, and which were pre served there all winter, with the intention of being sunk in the borders of the garden, as soon as the weather should grow warm enough to admit of it. In the gardens of the villas and country-houses of the higher classes of Russians and foreigners settled in the country, in the short period of a week from the disappearance of the winter, a beautiful and rich display of shrubs and flowers in full blow, consisting of hydrangeas, various species of pelargoniums and myrtles, wallflowers, carnations, &c. become visible. All these are, in like manner, reared in hothouses. As their bloom fades, fresh plants are brought from the conservatory to replace them, thus keeping up an artificial garden, as it may be called, during the whole warm season; and when the cold weather begins again, the whole are removed, and replaced in the greenhouse.'