Tag Archive: gardener


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‘If well managed, nothing is more beautiful than the kitchen garden: the earliest blossoms come there: we shall in vain seek for flowering shrubs in March, and early April, to equal the peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums; late in April, we shall find nothing to equal the pear and the cherry; and, in May, the dwarf, or espalier, apple trees, are just so many immense garlands of carnations. The walks are unshaded: they are not greasy or covered with moss, in the spring of the year, like those in the shrubberies: to watch the progress of crops is by no means unentertaining to any rational creature; and the kitchen- garden gives you all this long before the ornamental part of the garden affords you anything worth looking at.’

William Cobbett: The English Gardener 1829

Old School Gardener

Young Gardener, by Orest Kiprensky, 1817
Young Gardener, by Orest Kiprensky, 1817

‘Honour the gardener! that patient man

Who from his school days follows up his calling,

Starting so modestly, a little boy

Red-nosed, red-fingered, doing what he’s told,

Not knowing what he does or why he does it,

Having no concept of the larger plan,

But gradually, (if the love be there,

Irrational as any passion, strong,)

Enlarging vision slowly turns the key

And swings the door wide open on the long

Vistas of true significance.’

Vita Sackville-West, The Garden, 1946

Old School Gardener

Picture by Len Gun

Picture by Len Gun

‘The fair-weather gardener, who will do nothing except when wind and weather and everything else are favourable, is never a master of his craft.’

Canon Ellacombe from A Gloucestershire Garden, 1895

Old School Gardener

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‘Every Monday Morning, he must walk about the whole place to observe what needs doing, what is amisse, before he does any other work….Make regular checks on beehives, seed and root boxes; clean, sharpen and repair tools in wett weather and put away every night.

Stir heaps of dung and mould; clip hedges, mow lawns, prune fruit and murral trees and vines when stated.

Ask every night what rootes, salading, garnishing wil be needed next day, and bring it to Cook in the morning and informe her from time to time what garden provision and fruite is ripe and in season to be spent….

Gather and bring in all fruit… He may not dispose of any fruit or sell any vegetables, flowers or plants without first asking leave of master or mistress. He must show broken and worn out tools to the master before buying new ones.’

John Evelyn- Directions to his gardener at Saye’s Court, 1687

Further Information:

Saye’s Court and John Evelyn

Old School Gardener

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