The Garden Guide

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

Derna Gardens

Previous - Next

824. The houses of Derna are surrounded by gardens producing abundance of grapes, melons, figs, bananas, oranges, greengages, and other fruits : they have also the advantage of being well sheltered by thick groves of date trees, which give a very pleasing appearance to the town, and add much to the comfort of the inhabitants by forming a perpetual shade. A delightful stream of water gushes out of the rock above the town, passing through several streets in its course, and irrigating the gardens, and even the cornfields in its neighbourhood. The ravine, at the mouth of which the town is situated, is of considerable depth and extent, winding up far into the mountains: some of the gardens are formed on its sides, and about them a few trees occasionally appear, where the soil has been able to lodge. In the rainy season a considerable body of water rushes down from the mountains to the sea, and is sometimes so deep and so rapid as to become wholly impassable. At such times it separates one half of the town from the other, and occasions considerable inconvenience. In the summer, however, it is dry, and the market is held upon its shining bed. (Beechey's Trav. in Africa, p. 472.)