The Garden Guide

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

Tudor horticulture in England

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658. During the reign of Henry VIII., rapid steps were made in horticulture. According to some authors, apricots, musk-melons, and Corinth grapes from Zante, were introduced by that monarch's gardener; and different kinds of salad, herbs, and esculent roots were about the same time first brought into the country from Flanders. Salads, however, according to Holingshed, are mentioned during Edward IV.'s reign. Henry had & fine garden at his favourite palace of Nonesuch, in the parish of Cheam, in Surrey. The garden wall was fourteen feet high, and there were 212 fruit trees. In Nicholas's Private Purse Expenses of King Henry VIII., from November 1529 to December 1532, published in 1832, salad, and especially lettuce, is repeatedly mentioned as being brought by the king's gardeners from Richmond and Greenwich. Artichokes occur frequently. Among the fruits are grapes, peaches, apricots, quinces, and medlars. Notice is made of reward being given to the gardener at Hampton Court for melons and cucumbers, dated October 8. Leland, who wrote during this reign, informs us (Itinerary, &c.), that at Morle, in Derbyshire, 'there is as much pleasure of orchards of great variety of fruit, as in any place of Lancashire. The castle of Thornbury, in Gloucestershire, had an orchard of four acres, and there were others at Wresehill on the Ouse.'