The Garden Guide

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

John Evelyn and horticulture in England

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666. Evelyn was a distinguished patron of horticulture. On returning from his travels, in 1658, he published his French Gardener, and from that time to his death in 1706, continued one of the greatest promoters of our art. In 1664, he published his Sylva, Pomona, and Kalendarium Hortense; the latter, the first work of the kind which had appeared in this country. In 1693, his translation of Quintinye's work on orange trees, and his Complete Gardener, appeared; and his Aceturia, in 1699, was his last work on this branch of gardening. Evelyn is universally allowed to have been one of the warmest friends to improvements in gardening and planting that has ever appeared. He is culogised by Wotton, in his Reflections on Ancient and Modern Learning, as having done more than all former ages, and by Switzer, in his historical preface to Ichnographia Rustica, as being the first that taught gardening to speak proper English. In his Memoirs by Bray are the following horticultural notices: -