Friday, 11 April 2008

Gardens Past and Present

My interest in gardening and history extends to Garden History and the effect of
changes in climate over the years.

At the moment I am reading A little History of British Gardening by
Jenny Uglow. It begins with a mention of the Iron Age in the first
Chapter: 'Did the Romans Have Rakes" and is a mine of information.

Ms Uglow describes gardens large and small, the plants and the
gardeners. She writes:

"I wish there were medieval monastic gardens for us to visit, to
wander from the cloister to the orchard, the infirmary to the fish
ponds, the paradise where flowers were grown to the rows of kale and
leeks. But even if we cannot visit them we know that the monks and
nuns enjoyed their gardens. At Winchester the clerk of works had a
private garden called 'La Joye'. And in 1108, on the day that he
died, the ailing archbishop of York walked in his garden to breathe
the air and the scent of flowers.'

Yesterday I too breathed the air at a large garden centre where I
bought a Hertfordshire Russet apple tree on dwarf stock because I live
in Hertfordshire, England, and because the shops don't sell russet apples, which are
crisp and sweet.

Unfortunately there was a frost last night and there will be another one
tonight so I'm afraid that the plum blossom will be affected and
there'll be a poor crop.

Today I tied up and fed my broad beans which I planted in the autumn
and now I can't wait for warm weather so I can plant other vegetables
some flowers and more herbs,

All the best,

Rosemary Morris

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