The Garden Guide

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

Gardening under Charles I

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663. Charles I. seems to have patronised gardening. His gardener was Tradescant, a Dutchman, and he appointed the celebrated Parkinson his herbalist. In 1629, appeared the first edition of this man's great work, in folio, entitled 'Paradisi in sole Para-disus terrestris; or, a Garden of all sortes of pleasant Flowers, with a Kitchen Garden of all manner of Herbs and Roots, and an Orchard of all sorts of Fruit-bearing Trees, &c.' This (Martyn's Miller's Dict., and Ed. Encyc. art. Hort.) may be considered as the first general book of English gardening possessing the character of originality. For the culture of melons, he recommends an open hotbed on a sloping bank, covering the melons occasionally with straw,-the method practised in the north of France at this day. Cauliflowers, celery, and finochio were then great rarities. Virginia potatoes (our common sort) were then rare; but Canada potatoes (our Jerusalem artichoke) were in common use. The variety of fruits described, or at least mentioned, appears very great. Of apples there are 58 sorts; of pears, 64; plums, 61; peaches, 21; nectarines, 5; apricots, 6; cherries, no fewer than 36; grape-vines, 23; figs, 3; with quinces, medlars, almonds, walnuts, filberts, and the common small fruits.