The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Chinese fruit growing

Previous - Next

801. Fruits in China are 'so plentiful,' says Dobell, who visited the country in 1830, 'that there is less attention paid to them than in colder climates. Almost every month of the year has its peculiar fruits; but those most esteemed are the oranges, mangoes, and litchis. They have pears of various sorts, peaches, plums, pine-apples, watermelons, bananas, plantains, longans, wampees, guavas, jacks, shaddocks, grapes, figs, &c. In the height of the season an orange costs only a cash or two, but it is always peeled, the rind being more valuable, for medicinal purposes, &c., than the orange itself. The sellers are remarkably expert at peeling them. Fruits are sold on stalls in every street; the prices are ofttimes marked on a piece of bamboo, so that the buyer can go and eat of what he likes, throw down his money on the stall, and walk off without uttering a single word. Vegetables are sold in the same manner, or cried through the streets; but they are generally weighed. The buyer weighs for himself with his own tychin or steelyard, which he carries with him, and the seller weighs after him, to see that he is correct. In the art of cultivating vegetables the Chinese are not to be equalled ; and at Macao there are as fine potatoes and cabbages as in any part of the world. Potatoes do not succeed so well at Canton; but, as the Chinese are not fond of them, this is doubtless owing more to the want of cure than the difference of climate, in a distance of only ninety miles. (Travels, &c., vol. ii. p. 317.)