The Garden Guide

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

Flower gardening in Scotland

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645. In the early part of the eighteenth century, this taste was introduced to the higher classes by James Justice, F. R. S., who had travelled on the Continent, and spared no expense in procuring all the best sorts of florists' flowers from Holland, and many curious plants from London. Such was his passion for gardening, that he spent the greater part of his fortune at Crichton, near Edinburgh, where he had the finest garden, and the only pine-stove, in Scotland, and the largest collection of auriculï¾µ, as he informs us, in Europe. In 1755, he published The Scots Gardener's Director, esteemed an original work, and containing full directions, from his own experience, for the culture of choice flowers. This work, with variations, was published in 1764, under the title of The British Gardener's Director. About the end of this century, florists' societies, which had existed before, but declined with the decline of gardeners' lodges, were revived in Edinburgh; and there are now several in Glasgow, Paisley, and other parts of the country. Those at Paisley are considered remarkable for the skill and intelligence of their members, and the fine pinks and other flowers produced at their shows. (Gen. Rep. of Scot., App. to chap, ii.) The Edinburgh Florists' Society gave rise to the Caledonian Horticultural Society, which was established in 1809, and has greatly promoted this and other branches of gardening in Scotland.