The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 4: British Gardens (1100-1830)

Best garden in Scotland

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677. About the beginning of the eighteenth century, the best garden in Scotland was that of J. Justice, at Crichton, near Edinburgh. From the year 1760 to 1785, that of Moredun claimed the priority. Moredun garden was managed by William Kyle, author of a work on forcing peaches and vines; and Dr. Duncan informs us, that the late Baron Moncrieff, its proprietor, 'used to boast, that from his own garden, within a few miles of Edinburgh, he could, by the aid of glass, coals, and a good gardener, match any country in Europe, in peaches, grapes, pines, and every other fine fruit, excepting apples and pears;' these, he acknowledged, were grown better in the open air in England, and the north of France. (Discourse to Caled. Hort. Soc., 1814.) It is observed, in another of Dr. Duncan's discourses to this society, that in 1817, on the 10th of June, a bunch of Hamburgh grapes was presented, weighing four pounds, the berries beautiful and large. 'In June,' it is added, 'such grapes could not be obtained at any price, either in France, Spain, or Italy.' These facts are decisive proofs of the perfection to which horticulture has attained in Scotland, in spite of many disadvantages of soil, climate, and pecuniary circumstances.