The Garden Guide

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

Madeira gardens

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838. In Madeira, the garden products are those of both hemispheres. Dr. Walsh remarks that, in general, grapes and potatoes rarely thrive together; the heat and dryness necessary to mature the one, being very inimical to the other; but in Madeira, where every stratum of elevation gives a different soil and climate, all plants and fruits grow up and prosper. He saw in the market-place at Funchal, figs (black and green), bananas in bunches, citrons, apples, pears, large red onions, peaches (hard and unripe, being preferred in that state), grapes of several qualities, including a small dark grape called tinto, the clusters of which sometimes weigh twenty pounds, the roots of Caladium esculentum, the acridity of which, being volatile, is dissipated by boiling or baking; and the leaves, which, though forbidding in aspect, like those of the English cuckoo-pint, are yet boiled and eaten, and called Indian kale. The soil producing the best crapes is the poorest and most stony, resembling that of some of the best vineyards of the Rhine. (Notices of Brazil, vol. i. p. 34.)