The Garden Guide

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

Wurtemberg Botanic Garden

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380. In Wirtemberg the only botanic garden of any importance is that at Stuttgard, which forms an episode to the garden of the new palace. It has been much altered and improved by the present director, M. Bosch. The herbaceous plants are arranged after Linnï¾µus; and the trees and shrubs, in ornamental groups and masses, after the manner of Jussieu. There are very few evergreens which stand the open air in this part of Germany, notwithstanding the numerous vineyards that cover the hills, and the endless lines of fruit trees which enrich and adorn the public roads. Juniperus virginiana and Sabina, Thuja occidentalis and orientalis, various species of pines and firs, the yew tree, the spurge laurel, the privet, the pyracantha, and the horsetail, comprise almost the whole of the evergreens of a Wirtemberg shrubbery. In the hothouse in this garden we saw, in 1828, Carica monoica with a good many scarlet fruit, about the size of quetch plums; plants of Testudinaria elephantipes, raised from seeds, ripened on the spot; Passiflora racemosa, with ripe fruit, and some other fine specimens. Orchi-deous epiphytes seem to grow remarkably well in these hothouses. In the greenhouses we found a few heaths, a good many pelargoniums, and Primula prï¾µ'nitens, which was introduced in 1824. In a large orangery connected with the garden, we found 175 large orange trees, with trunks twelve feet high, and large round heads, covered with fruit and flowers. The boxes in which they grew were four and a half feet every way, and most of the trees, we were told, were between 400 and 500 years old. Their trunks were generally about a foot in diameter; but we measured one of them, and found it about 18 inches. The common laurel is here grown in tubs, like the orange tree, and forms an object of great beauty. We found some of them with large round heads, and stems twelve feet high; and, if they had been stuck over with artificial oranges, we should probably never have thought of doubting that they were trees of the genus Citrus. A botanical travelling union, for the purpose of collecting specimens of plants in different parts of Europe, and of distributing them equally among the different members of the society, has been established at Stuttgard. The members pay a small annual subscription (15 florins), and with this sum the union sends out travelling collectors to every part of Europe, or purchases specimens from travellers. (Gard. Mag. vol. iii. p. 44.)