The Garden Guide

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

Gardening in Mauritius

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5. Gardening in the African Islands 834. The Mauritius, or the Isle of France, contains one of the oldest botanic gardens existing in the tropics; and which, while in possession of the French, was the source whence the nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and other useful trees were sent to the West India Islands. This garden contains a very extensive collection, embracing most of the large-leaved plants of New Holland, many of the Cape plants, and the greater number of those from the East Indies and China. Mr. Newman, who was the curator in 1830, informs us that he maintains a correspondence with the gardens in most parts of the globe; and that he has almost exclusive communication with that great field of science, Madagascar. 'The garden,' he says, 'although laid out in the oldest French style, has the advantage of being irrigated, thereby saving a number of hands, and effectually watering the plants in the driest seasons.' (Gard. Mag., vol. vi. p. 484.)