The Garden Guide

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

Gardens in North Egypt

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814. The gardens of Alexandria, Miss Martineau, who visited Egypt in 1846, observes, 'looked rude to our European eyes ; but we saw few so good afterwards. In the damp plots grew herbs, and especially a kind of mallow, much in use for soups ; and cabbages, put in among African fruits. Among great flowering oleanders, marvel of Peru, figs, and oranges, were some familiar plants, cherished, I thought, with peculiar care, under the windows of the consular houses;-monthly roses, chrysanthemums, love-lies-bleeding, geraniums, rosemary, and, of course, the African marigold. Many of these plots are overshadowed by palms; and they form, in fact, the ground of the palm-orchards, as we used to call them. Large clusters of dates were hanging from under the fronds of the palms; and these were usually the most valuable product of the garden. The consular gardens are not, of course, the most oriental in aspect. We do not see in them, as in those belonging to the Arabs, the reservoir for Mohammedan ablution, nor the householder on the margin winding on his turban after his bath, or prostrating himself at his prayers.'