The Garden Guide

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

Cottage gardening in America

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5. American Gardening, as empirically practised 881. Every cottage in America has land attached, partly cultivated as a garden, and partly as a farm. The first operation of a settler is to construct his log house; the second, to clear a space, by felling trees, for a garden ; and the third, to surround it by a worm fence (fig. 234.). The process has been described at length in the Gardener's Magazine, by Mr. Hall, of Wanborough, Edward's county, Illinois ; who thus describes his garden : -'The contents are three acres, sloping from the house to the east. The surrounding fence is formed without posts or rails, by laying rough timber, cut into regular lengths, one piece over another in a zigzag direction, such as we see sometimes done in timber-yards, with planks or deals.' (Gard. Mag., vol. i. p. 831.) Speaking of the gardens of farmers or small proprietors, Mr. Stuart says, they are universally of the most slovenly description, and full of weeds; nevertheless they are prolific in ordinary vegetables, cucumbers, melons, and orchard fruits. Near the barn, and sometimes in the orchards, is the burying-ground of the family, marked by a few gravestones. (Three Years' Res. &c., vol. i. p. 30.)