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GARDENING AND KITCHEN GARDENS

and the more tender, early-flowering apricots, almonds, peaches, and nectarines. They were experts in grafting and in training trees to grow as fans, espaliers, cordons, and free-standing dwarfs. With the arrival in Britain of the Dutch King William III, in 1688, this style of fruit growing became fashionable in British gardens where, until then, fruit growing had been concentrated mostly on hardy orchard fruits. As on the Continent, dwarf fruit trees, pruned to form decorative balls, goblets, spindles or pyramids, were used ornamentally in beds lining the kitchen garden paths, or were even given a jardin clos, an enclosed fruit garden of their own. Fruit trees with branches trained as horizontal bars (espaliers), as single, double, or treble stems, either upright, oblique, or hori- zontal (cordons), or as branches trained into a flat palm or fan shape (fans) needed the support of free-standing trellises or high walls. Walls were especially needed too, to accommodate the more tender wall-fruits.

An Industrial Quality

Thus the walls surrounding the kitchen gardens of north- ern Europe and Great Britain increased both in height and extent. Gardens of more than four acres were divided and subdivided by yet more walls, some of which were heated by horizontal, serpentine flues running from small fireplaces situated at the back.

High garden walls were beneficial to wall-fruits, cre- ated a benign, sheltering microclimate within the garden, provided support for taller, more extensive glasshouses and back sheds, and hid the whole process of growing kitchen produce from sight, giving the place a secretive air. It should be noted, though, that this complex was the headquarters of the gardens as a whole; it was where the entire workforce assembled and received orders, where the garden boys were educated by the head gardener, where equipment was kept, and all the choicest plants raised and nurtured.

It was also becoming increasingly industrial. For a visitor to an early-nineteenth-century kitchen garden, as described by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey: “The walls seemed countless in number, endless in length; a village of hot-houses seemed to arise among them, and a whole parish to be at work within the inclosure.” She does not mention the numerous smoking chimneys perched above hot walls and glass houses—or how, on a windy day, strawy dung from frames, pits, and hot beds would be blowing about and there would be a noticeable smell of rotting cabbage leaves, celery, onions, and leeks. These aspects, and even the very sight of “a whole parish” go- ing to and fro with their barrows and carts, were less pleas- ing to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century gentlefolk.

The Landscape Movement

Apart from the sensibilities of its owners, the landscape movement was to some extent responsible for the removal of the kitchen garden with its high walls to some distance from the house. If it could still be seen, it was screened

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE

by beds of tall, ornamental shrubs or, if the screen was to act as a shelter belt as well, by tall forest trees. “If from your best room windows any objects should intercept your sight,” wrote landscape designer J. Trusler in his El- ements of Modern Gardening (1784), “go to the top of the house and from thence select the best distance and back- ground, preserving in the piece such of the buildings and plantations as will suit the composition. . . .” Not every- one agreed; the political reformer William Cobbett, in his English Gardener thought it “the most miserable taste to seek to poke away the kitchen garden, in order to get it out of sight” (p. 8).

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, these arguments seem trivial, for the gardens are in ruins, with little but the walls to be seen. But there is some hope for their revival. Local communities see them as sources of fresh, organic produce; others will use them as living mu- seums in which to teach old horticultural skills, and dis- play long-forgotten fruits and vegetables.

See also British Isles: England; Fruit; Food Production, History of; Horticulture; Organic Farming and Gar- dening; Vegetables.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bradley, Richard. New Improvements of Planting and Gardening.

3d ed. London: Mears, 1719 and 1720.

Campbell, Susan. Charleston Kedding: A History of Kitchen Gar-

dening. London: Ebury, 1996.

Campbell, Susan. Cottesbrooke: An English Kitchen Garden. Lon-

don: Century, 1987.

Campbell, Susan. Walled Kitchen Gardens. Princes Risborough: Shire, 1998.

Carter, George, Patrick Goode, and Kedrun Laurie, eds. In the

Catalogue for the Exhibition: Humphry Repton Landscape Gar-

dener, 1752–1818. Norwich: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, 1982.

Cobbett, William. The English Gardener. Oxford: Oxford Uni- versity Press, 1980. Original edition published in 1833.

Davies, Jennifer. The Victorian Kitchen Garden. London: BBC

Books, 1987.

Evelyn, John. The Compleat Gard’ner. Translated from the

French Instructions pour les jardins frutiers et potagers by Jean-

Baptiste de la Quintinye, 1690. London: Gillyflower, 1693.

Howitt, William. Rural Life of England. 3rd ed. London: Long- mans, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844.

Loudon, John Claudius. Encyclopaedia of Gardening. 5th ed. Lon- don: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1835.

M’Intosh, Charles. The Book of the Garden. 2 vols. Edinburgh,

1853–1855.

Morgan, Joan, and Alison Richards. A Paradise Out of a Com-

mon Field. London: Century, 1990.

Mountain, Dydymus (alias Thomas Hill). The Gardener’s Laby- rinth. New York. London: Garland, 1982. Facsimile of 1577.

Svieking, Alber Forbes, ed. Sir William Temple upon the Gardens of Epicurus with Other Seventeenth-Century Essays. Gollancz,

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