The Garden Guide

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

Thomas Tusser English horticulturalist

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660. Thomas Tusser (Sir J. Banks, in Hort. Trans. i. 150.), who had received a liberal education at Eton School, and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, lived many years as a farmer in Suffolk and Norfolk; he afterwards removed to London, where he published the first edition of his work, and died in 1580. In his fourth edition, in 1572, he first introduced the subject of gardening, and has given us not only a list of the fruits, but also of all the plants then cultivated in our gardens, either for pleasure or profit, under the following heads: - Se des and herbes for the kychen, herbes and rootes for sallets and sawce, herbes and roots to boyle or to butter, strewing herbs of all sorts, herbes, branches, and flowers for windowes and pots, herbs to still in summer, necessarie herbs to grow in the gardens for physick, not reherst before.-This list consists of more than 180 species. Of fruits he enumerates, apple trees of all sorts, apricoches, bar-berries, bollese black and white, cherries red and black, chestnuts, cornet plums (probably the Cornelian cherry); damisens white and black, filberts red and white, gooseberries, grapes white and red; grene or grass plums, hurtil-berries (Vaccinium Vitis Idï¾µ'a), medlers or merles, mulberries; peaches white, red, and yellow fleshed (called also the orange-peach); peres of all sorts, peer plums black and yellow, quince-trees; raspes, reisons (probably currants), small nuts; strawberries red and white; service-trees, wardens white and red, wallnuts, wheat-plums. Other fruits, perhaps, might have been added, as the fig; that fruit having been introduced previous to 1548; the orange and pomegranate, which Evelyn, in 1700, says, had stood at Beddington 120 years; and the melon, which, according to L'Obel, was introduced before 1570; so that we had all the fundamental varieties of our present fruits in the middle of the sixteenth century. The pine-apple is the only exception, which was not introduced till 1660; though the fruit was imported from the West Indies as early at 1657.