The Garden Guide

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

Sixteenth century fruit gardening

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264. Early in the sixteenth century, it would appear the French had at that time all the fruits now in use, excepting the pine-apple (Oliv. de Serres, and Steph. and Lieb.). Some remarks on the state of horticulture at the end of this century are given by Benard (Mem. de la Soc. Agr. du Seine et Oise, 1801) and L. Deslongchamps (Bon Jard., 1817-18). Blaikie informs us that about 1779 only three sorts of melons were grown in France; viz. the netted or Maraiche, and two large sorts of poor flavour. Blaikie introduced the cantaloupes, which are now the prevailing sorts. The pineapple has never been successfully cultivated in France; it becomes sickly from exhalation, and produces small fruit, as in Italy. But France excels all other countries in pears and plums, and produces excellent peaches.