The Garden Guide

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

Kitchen gardeners and gardening in Ireland

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3. Gardening in Ireland, in respect to its horticultural Productions 680. As far as respects hardy fruits and culinary vegetables, the gardens of the principal proprietors in Ireland may be considered as approaching to those of Scotland or England, as they are generally managed by gardeners of these countries; but in respect to hothouse productions, Irish gardens are far behind those of the sister kingdoms. Pine-apples were first brought to Dublin by Buller, a nurseryman there, in the reign of George II. In the neighbourhood of Kilkenny, the pine-apple seems to have been more extensively cultivated during the latter half of the past century than it has been there, or any where else, either before or since. Robertson, an eminent nurseryman at Kilkenny, states (Gard. Mag., vol. vi. p. 27.), that within ten or twelve miles of the city, he could reckon, in 1785, 'a dozen gardens or more, each of which contained pine-stoves from fifty to one hundred feet in length; and other forcing-houses corresponding, well stocked, and managed by able gardeners from Kew, Hampton Court, and other places round London.' About that time, the Countess of Ormond had her table regularly served through the winter with cucumbers raised in her pine-stoves, on trellises against the back wall; a practice which has been only recently introduced in the neighbourhood of London.