The Garden Guide

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

Norfolk flower growing

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626. Flowers were much cultivated in Norwich, from the time of the Flemish weavers settling there. Sir J. E. Smith (Linn. Trans., vol. ii. p. 296.) mentions a play called Rhodon and Iris, which was acted at the florists' feast at Norwich, in 1637; a proof that the culture of flowers was in great estimation there at that time; and in 1671 Evelyn mentions Sir Thomas Brown's garden there, as containing a paradise of rarities, and the gardens of all the inhabitants as full of excellent flowers. From Norwich the love of flowers seems to have spread to other manufacturing establishments; and the taste still continues popular, not only there, but among the weavers in Spitalfields, Manchester, Bolton, and most of the commercial towns in Lancashire, and many in Cheshire, Derbyshire, and other adjoining counties. A florists' society is established in almost every town and village in the northern districts. These societies have annual shows, as in London and Norwich; and a book, called The Flower Book, is published annually in Manchester, containing an account of their transactions, the prizes which have been given, and the new flowers which have been originated.