The Garden Guide

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

Humbolt gardens Mexico

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907. The above description of these gardens by Humboldt falls greatly short in singularity to that previously given by the Abbe Clavigero; and that of Mr. Bullock falls equally short of the former ; so that what was considered one of the wonders of the world thirty years ago, when it has undergone the test of close examination, comes at last to be little more than an ordinary appearance; and a chinampa in the Mexican lake differs only from a small osier holt in the Thames, in being planted with cabbages and potatoes, instead of willows. 'The chinampas are artificial islands, about fifty or sixty yards long, and not more than four or five wide, separated by ditches of three or four yards in width; and are made by taking the soil from the intervening ditch, and throwing it on the chinampa; by which means the ground is raised generally about a yard, and thus forms a small fertile garden, covered with culinary vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Mexico receives an ample supply from these sources.' (Bullock's Mexico, p. 174.)