The Garden Guide

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

Gardening under the Commonwealth of Cromwell

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559. During the Commonwealth (1649 to 1660), a Janua Trilinguis was published at Oxford, in which we are informed, that 'gardening is practised for food's sake in a kitchen-garden and orchard, or for pleasure's sake in a green grass-plot and an arbour.' As to the formation of the latter, the author adds, 'the pleacher (topiarius) prepares a green plat of the more choice flowers and rarer plants, and adorns the gardens with pleach-work; that is, with pleasant walks and bowers, &c. to conclude with purling fountains and waterworks.' (chap. 32.) We learn also from this comprehensive author (Commenius) the ancient use of parks. We are told, 'the huntsman hunteth wild beasts, whilst he either allureth them into pitfalls, and killeth them, or forceth them into toils; and what he gets alive he puts into a park.' (chap. 37.)