The Garden Guide

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

George Hibbert Botanical Garden

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636. During the latter part of the eighteenth century, George Hibbert, and Thornton of Clapham, opulent commercial men, may be mentioned as great encouragers of gardening and botany. The collection of heaths, Banksias, and other Cape and Botany Bay plants, in Hibbert's garden, was most extensive, and his flower-garden one of the best round the metropolis. The Duke of Marlborough, while Marquess of Blandford, formed a collection of exotics at White Knights, surpassed by none in the kingdom. (Historical Account of White Knights, &c., 1820, folio.) R. A. Salisbury, one of our first botanists, and a real lover of gardening, had a fine garden and rich collection at Chapel Allerton, in Yorkshire. Subsequently he possessed the garden formed by Collinson at Mill Hill. Choice collections of plants were formed at the Earl of Tankerville's at Walton, the Duke of Northumberland's at Syon House, at the Comte de Vandes's at Bayswater, Vere's at Kensington Gore, and many other places. Lee, Loddiges, Colvill, and several other nurserymen, might be named as greatly promoting a taste for plants and flowers by their well-stocked nurseries and publications. Of these Lee's Introduction to Botany, Andrews's Heathery, and Loddiges's Botanical Cabinet, are well known and esteemed works. A grand stimulus to the culture of ornamental plants was given by the publication of Curtis's Botanical Magazine, begun in 1787, and still continued in monthly numbers. Here the most beautiful hardy and tender plants were figured and described, and useful hints as to their culture added. The Botanical Register, Andrews's Botanist's depository, and other works of a similar nature, contributed to render very general a knowledge of and taste for plants, and a desire of gardens and greenhouses, to possess these plants in a living state. Muddock's Florist's Directory, which appeared in 1792, revived a taste for florists' flowers, which has since been on the increase.