Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A Clump of Trees or Shrubs

Edward Savage, The East Front of Mount Vernon, c. 1787–92. Savage's paintings are the earliest known eyewitness views of the house &  grounds at Mount Vernon. (They date between 1787, when the Dove of Peace weathervane was added to the Mansion's cupola, &  1792, the year the outbuildings' roofs were repainted a Spanish brown color & the deer paddock near the East Lawn was removed.) The East Front portrays the bucolic setting of the Mansion.  Savage possibly stopped at Mount Vernon while traveling north from South Carolina in 1791 or 1792. 

A clump of trees or shrubs became a recognized garden component in the 2nd half of the 18C in both England & America. In British colonial America a clump usually was a group of 7 or 8 trees intentionally planted to form a single unit. England's The Complete Farmer (1769) suggested that these trees should be “without shape or order,” but Geographer Jedidiah Morse’s 1789 description of the “circular clumps” at Mount Vernon describes rounded, symmetrical groupings of trees as clumps. The Complete Farmer: Or, a General Dictionary of Husbandry is an 18C dictionary, dealing with most branches of agriculture. It contained various contemporary methods of cultivating and improving land plus information on breeding, managing, & fattening livestock. It was written by anonymous writers, which used the pseudonym a "Society of Gentlemen," only revealing that they were members of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, the later Royal Society of Arts. The content was based on the insights of authorities in each field, which were listed as "Carl Linnaeus, Michel Lullin de Chateauvieux, Marquis de Turbilly, Hugh Plat, John Evelyn, John Worlidge, John Mortimer, Jethro Tull, Ellis, Philip Miller, Thomas Hale, Edward Lisle, Roque, John Mills, Arthur Young."

1800 Francis Jukes Jukes (American artist, 1745–1812)  Mount Vernon

George Washington noted March 2, 1785, at Mount Vernon, “Planted the remainder of the Ash Trees—in the Serpentine walks—the remainder of the fringe trees in the Shrubberies—all the black haws—all the large berried thorns with a small berried one in the middle of each clump—6 small berried thorns with a large one in the middle of each clump—all the swamp red berry bushes & one clump of locust trees.” Jedidiah Morse, noted of Mount Vernon in 1789, “...the lands in that side are laid out somewhat in the form of English gardens, in meadows & grass grounds, ornamented with little copses, circular clumps & single trees.”

The composition of clumps varied according to American observers. Bernard M’Mahon in 1806 stated that clumps could be composed solely of trees or shrubs, or a mixture of trees, shrubs, & herbaceous plants.  Clumps from a mixture of larger & smaller deciduous trees, such as the horse chestnut & red bud, were created at Monticello by Thomas Jefferson.

University of Virginia Architectural History Professor Richard Guy Wilson explains in his 2019 “Thomas Jefferson’s Architectural & Landscape Aesthetics: Sources &  Meaning” that "Jefferson certainly knew about the transformation that was taking place in the gardens of English country houses prior to his visit in 1786. On his own & then with Adams he visited many of the leading English picturesque gardens & observed firsthand the revolution. On the tour he took Thomas Whately’s Observations on Modern Gardening (1770) & saw the new composition that was in direct contrast to the highly organized, symmetrical gardens that dominated Versailles. Whatley describes this new English picturesque garden as an “exertion of fancy; a subject for taste” & “released now from the restraints of regularity, an enlarged beyond the purposes of domestic convenience, the most beautiful, the most simple, the most noble scenes of nature are all within its province.”  Influenced greatly by landscape painting of supposedly natural scenery, the new English mode attempted to create gardens that disavowed the hand of man. Instead of straight lines the paths were curved & sometimes followed the natural contours.  Ornate flower gardens disappeared except very close to the house & the landscape would be planted with clumps of trees & bushes that appeared random & not organized & ponds &  streams wandered through rather than encased in geometrical order. Of course, all of this “new style“...garden was created by man but with the intention of imitating nature."

West Front of Monticello and Garden, depicting Tho Jefferson's grandchildren at Monticello by Jane Braddick Peticolas, 1825.

Thomas Jefferson, wrote in his 1804 of Monticello's landscape plan, “The ground between the upper & lower roundabouts to be laid out in lawns & clumps of trees, the lawns opening so as to give advantageous catches of prospect to the upper roundabout...“The canvas at large must be Grove, of the largest trees, (poplar, oak, elm, maple, ash, hickory, chestnut, Linden, Weymouth pine, sycamore) trimmed very high, so as to give it the appearance of open ground, yet not so far apart but that they may cover the ground with close shade. This must be broken by clumps of thicket, as the open grounds of the English are broken by clumps of trees. plants for thickets are broom, calycanthus, altheas, gelder rose, magnolia glauca, azalea, fringe tree, dogwood, red bud, wild crab, kalmia, mezereon, euonymous, halesia, quamoclid, rhododendron, oleander, service tree, lilac, honeysuckle, brambles.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote of Bedford County VA retreat Poplar Forest, November 1812, that he had planted a “clump of Anthenian & Balsam poplars at each corner of house. intermix locusts, common & Kentucky, red-bud, dogwoods, calycanthus, liriodendron.”

In his 1770, Observations on Modern Gardening England's clump guru Thomas Whatley explains, “It has been already observed, that clumps differ only in extent from a wood, if they are close; or from a grove, if they are open...But besides the properties they may have in common with woods or with groves, they have others peculiar to themselves, which require examination.

“They are either independent or relative; when independent, their beauty, as single objects, is solely to be attended to; when relative, the beauty of the individuals must be sacrificed to the effect of the whole, which is the greater consideration.

“The least clump that can be, is of two trees; & the best effect they can have is, that their heads united should appear one large tree; two therefore of different species, or seven or eight of such shapes as do not easily join, can hardly be a beautiful group, especially if it have a tendency to a circular form. Such clumps of firs, though very common, are seldom pleasing; they do not compose one mass, but are only a confused number of pinnacles. The confusion is however avoided, by placing them in succession, not in clusters; & a clump of such trees is therefore more agreeable when it is extended rather in length than in breadth...

“If humbler growths at the extremity can discompose the strictest regularity, the use of it is thereby recommended upon other occasions. It is indeed the variety peculiarly proper for clumps: every apparent artifice affecting the objects of nature, disgusts; & clumps are such distinguished objects, so liable to the suspicion of having been left or placed on purpose to be so distinguished, that to divert the attention from these symptoms of art, irregularity in the composition is more important to them than to a wood or to a grove; being also less extensive, they do not admit so much variety of outline: but variety of growths is most observable in a small compass; & the several gradations may often be cast into beautiful figures.

“The extent & the outline of a wood or a grove engage the attention more than the extremities; but in clumps these last are of the most consequence: they determine the form of the whole; & both of them are generally in sight: great care should therefore be taken to make them agreeable & different. The ease with which they may be compared, forbids all similarity between them: for every appearance of equality suggests an idea of art; & therefore a clump as broad as it is long, seems less the work of nature than one which stretches into length.

“Another peculiarity of clumps, is the facility with which they admit a mixture of trees & of shrubs, of wood & of grove; in short, of every species of plantation. None are more beautiful than those which are so composed. Such compositions are, however, more proper in compact than in straggling clumps: they are most agreeable when they form one mass: if the transitions from very lofty to very humble growths, from thicket to open plantations, be frequent & sudden, the disorder ismore suited to rude than to elegant scenes.

“The occasions on which independent clumps may be applied, are many. They are often desirable as beautiful objects in themselves; they are sometimes necessary to break an extent of lawn, or a continued line, whether of ground or of plantation; but on all occasions a jealousy of art constantly attends them, which irregularity in their figure will not always alone remove. Though elevations shew them to advantage, yet a hillock evidently thrown up on purpose to be crowned with a clump, is artificial to a degree of disgust: some of the trees should therefore be planted on the sides,to take off that appearance. The same expedient may be applied to clumps placed on the brow of a hill, to interrupt its sameness: they will have less ostentation of design, if they are in part carried down either declivity. The objection already made to planting many along such a brow, is on the same principle: a single clump is less suspected of art; if it be an open one, there can be no finer situation for it, than just at the point of an abrupt hill, or on a promontory into a lake or a river. It is in either a beautiful termination, distinct by its position, & enlivened by an expanse of sky or of water, about & beyond it. Such advantages may ballance little defects in its form; but they are lost if other clumps are planted near it: art then intrudes, & the whole is displeasing...

“But though a multiplicity of clumps, when each is an independant object, seldom seems natural; yet a number of them may, without any appearance of art, be admitted into the same scene, if they bear a relation to each other: if by their succession they diversify a continued outline of wood; if between them they form beautiful glades; if all together they cast an extensive lawn into an agreeable shape, the effect prevents any scrutiny into the means of producing it. But when the reliance on that effect is so great, every other consideration must give way to the beauty of the whole. The figure of the glade, of the lawn, or of the wood, are principally to be attended to: the finest clumps, if they do not fall easily into the great lines, are blemishes: their connections, their contrasts, are more important than their forms.

“A line of clumps, if the intervals be closed by others beyond them, has the appearance of a wood, or of a grove; & in one respect the semblance has an advantage over the reality. In different points of view, the relations between the clumps are changed; & a variety of forms is produced, which no continued wood or grove, however broken, can furnish. These forms cannot all be equally agreeable; & too anxious a solicitude to make them every where pleasing, may, perhaps, prevent their being ever beautiful. The effect must often be left to chance; but it should be studiously consulted from a few principal points of view; & it is easy to make any recess, any prominence, any figure in the outline, by clumps thus advancing before, or retiring behind one another.

“But amidst all the advantages attendant on this species of plantation, it is often exceptionable when commanded from a neighboring eminence; clumps below the eye lose some of their principal beauties; & a number of them betray the art of which they are always liable to be suspected; they compose no surface of wood; & all effects arising from the relations between them are entirely lost. A prospect spotted with many clumps can hardly be great: unless they are so distinct as to be objects, or so distant as to unite into one mass, they are seldom an improvement of a view.”

A 1788 description of William Hamilton's The Woodlands near Philadelphia, PA noted clumps, “[The walks were] planted on each side with the most beautiful & curious flowers & shrubs. They are in some parts enclosed with the Lombardy poplar except here & there openings are left to give you a view of some fine trees or beautiful prospect beyond, & in others, shaded by arbours of the wild grape, or clumps of large trees under which are placed seats where you may rest yourself & enjoy the cool air.” And in 1806, Charles Drayton wrote of  The Woodlands, “The Approach, its road, woods, lawn & clumps, are laid out with much taste & ingenuity.”

James Peller Malcom (1767-1815), Woodlands, the Seat of W. Hamilton Esq., from the Bridge at Grey's Ferry, ca. 1792 Detail

England's Charles Marshall, in his 1st American edition of 1799 An Introduction to the Knowledge & Practice of Gardening explained, “As to small plantations, of thickets, coppices, clumps, & rows of trees, they are to be set close according to their nature, & the particular view the planter has, who will take care to consider the usual size they attain, & their mode of growth. An advantage at home for shade or shelter, & a more distant object of sight, will make a difference: for some immediate advantage, very close planting may take place, but good trees cannot be thus expected; yet if thinned in time, a strait tall stem is often thus procured, which afterwards is of great advantage.

“For little clumps, or groupes of forest trees, there may be planted three or four in a sport, within five or six feet of one another, & thus be easily fenced: having the air freely all round, & a good soil, such clumps produce fine timber. . .

“Rural & extensive gardening is naturally connected with a taste for planting forest trees; & an idea of the picturesque should ever accompany the work of planting. Merely for the sake of objects to gratify the eye, planting is very often pursued, & wherever trees can be introduced to improve a view from the house, or accustomed walks, there a man, having it in his power, a proprieter of the land, ought to plant.

“If to planting in clumps, coppices, groves, avenues, & woods, be added levelling of ground, improving of water courses, & pastures, making lawns, &c. the expense incurred would be honorable, & answered by pleasures of the sincerest kind! . . .

“If there is good room, single trees of the fir kind, at due distances, are admirable ornaments about a house, & clumps of shrubs all of the same kind have a good effect. . .

“Too much plain is to be guarded against, & when it abounds, the eye should be relieved, by clumps or some other agreeable object.”

William Russell Birch (1755-1834). Woodlands, the Seat of Mr. Wm. Hamilton, Pennsylvania, from Country Seats of the United States, 1808.

François Alexandre-Frédéric, duc de, La Rochefoucauld Liancourt, 1796, described Drayton Hall, plantation of John Drayton, Charleston, SC in 1796,“We stopped to dine with Dr. Drayton at Drayton-hall. The house is an ancient building, but convenient & good; & the garden is better laid out, better cultivated & stocked with good trees, than any I have hitherto seen. In order to have a fine garden, you have nothing to do but to let the trees remain standing here & there, or in clumps, to plant bushes in front of them, & arrange the trees according to their h eight. Dr. Drayton’s father, who was also a physician, began to lay out the garden on this principle; & his son, who is passionately fond of a country life, has pursued the same plan.”

P. E. Du Simitiére (1737-1784) Drayton Hall S.C

Washigton DC gardeners John Gardiner & David Hepburn, in the 1804 American Gardener, recommended the use of a graduated slope for such plantings. Their text was generally taken from England's Phillip Miller,  1733, Gardeners Dictionary“In small Gardens, where there is not room for these magnificent Wildernesses, there may be some rising Clumps of Ever-greens, so designed as to make the Ground appear much larger than it is in Reality; & if in these there are some Serpentine-walks well contriv’d, it will greatly improve the Places, & deceive those who are unacquainted with the Ground, as to its Size. These Clumps or little Quarters of Ever-greens should be placed just beyond the plain Opening of Grass before the House, where the Eye will be carried from the plain Surface of Grass, to the regular Slope of Ever-greens, to the greatest Pleasure of the Beholder; but if there is a distant Prospect of the adjacent Country from the House, then this should not be obstructed, but rather a larger Opening allowed for the View, bounded on each Side with these rising Clumps, which may be extended to half the Compass of the Ground: & on the back Part from the Sight, may be planted the several kinds of flowering Shrubs, according to their different Growths, which will still add to the Variety. These small Quarters should not be surrounded with Hedges, for the Reasons before given for the larger Plantations; nor should they be cut into Angles, or any other studied Figures, but be designed rather in a rural manner; which is always preferable to the other, for these Kinds of Plantations...Plant roses, honeysuckles, jasmins, lilacs, double hawthorn, cherry blossom, & other hardy shrubs, when the weather is mild.—In forming a shrubbery, plant the lowest shrubs in front of clumps, & the tallest most backward, three to six feet apart, according to the bulk the shrubs grow. They will thus appear to most advantage.”

America's newest garden authority Bernard M'Mahon wrote in his 1806 The American Gardener’s Calendar, “In designs for a Pleasure-ground, according to modern gardening; consulting rural disposition, in imitation of nature; all too formal works being almost abolished...instead of which, are now adopted, rural open spaces of grass-ground, of varied forms & dimensions, & winding walks, all bounded with plantations of trees, shrubs, & flowers, in various clumps...

“For instance, a grand & spacious open lawn, of grass-ground, is generally first presented immediately to the front of the mansion, or main habitation; sometimes widely extended on both sides, to admit of a greater prospect, &c. & sometimes more contracted towards the habitation; widening gradually outwards, & having each side embellished with plantations of shrubbery, clumps, thickets, &c. in sweeps, curves, & projections, towards the lawn...

“First an open lawn of grass-ground is extended on one of the principal fronts of the mansion or main house, widening gradually from the house outward, having each side bounded by various plantations of trees, shrubs, & flowers, in clumps, thickets, &c. exhibited in a variety of rural forms, in moderate concave & convex curves, & projections, to prevent all appearance of a stiff uniformity... “Each boundary must be planted with a choice variety of ornamental trees & shrubs, deciduous, & ever-greens, arranged principally in several clumps; some consisting of lofty trees, others being entirely of the shrub kinds, & some consisting of trees, shrubs, & herbaceous plants together: in all of which, arrange the taller growing kinds backward, & the lower forward, according to their gradation of height; embellishing the front with the more curious low flowering shrubs, & ever-greens, interspersed with various herbaceous flowering perennials, all open to the lawn & walks...

“Another part shall appear more gay & sprightly, displaying an elegant flower-ground, or flower-garden, designed somewhat in the parterre way, in various beds, borders, & other divisions, furnished with the most curious flowers; & the boundary decorated with an arrangement of various clumps, of the most beautiful flowering shrubs, & lively ever-greens, each clump also bordered with a variety of the herbaceous flowery tribe.”

The President's House. Benjamin Henry Latrobe's 1807 plan for the White House made use of planting features that corresponded to relative clumps, positioned to create a transition from the wood & garden. Latrobe,  explained that, “In removing the ground, it would certainly be necessary to go down in front of the colonnade to the level of about one foot below the bases of the Columns but, it will certainly not deprive this colonnade of any part of its beauty to pass behind a few gentle Knolls & groves or Clumps in its front, & much expense of removing earth would be thereby saved.” 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Mary Randolph's (1762-1828) Recipes for Garden Vegetables

 The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook

By Mary Randolph 1762-1828
Baltimore: Plaskitt, Fite, 1838


To have this delicate dish in perfection, the lettuce,pepper grass,chervil,cress, &c. should be gathered early in the morning, nicely picked, washed, and laid in cold water, which will be improved by adding ice; just before dinner is ready to be served, drain the water from your salad, cut it into a bowl, giving the proper proportions of each plant; prepare the following mixture to pour over it: boil two fresh eggs ten minutes, put them in water to cool, then take the yelks in a soup plate, pour on them a table spoonful of cold water, rub them with a wooden spoon until they are perfectly dissolved; then add two spoonsful of oil: when well mixed, put in a teaspoonful of salt, one of powdered sugar, and one of made mustard; when all these are united and quite smooth, stir in two table spoonsful of common, and two of tarragon vinegar; put it over the salad, and garnish the top with the whites of the eggs cut into rings, and lay around the edge of the bowl young scallions, they being the most delicate of the onion tribe.

WASH them, but do not pare or cut them, unless they are very large; fill a sauce-pan half full of potatos of equal size, (or make them so by dividing the large ones,) put to them as much cold water as will cover them about an inch; they are sooner boiled, and more savoury, than when drowned in water; most boiled things are spoiled by having too little water, but potatos are often spoiled by having too much; they must merely be covered, and a little allowed for waste in boiling, so that they must be just covered when done. Set them on a moderate fire till they boil, then take them off, and set them by the fire to simmer slowly, till they are soft enough to admit a fork; (place no dependence on the usual test of their skin's cracking, which, if they are boiled fast, will happen to some potatos when they are not half done, and the inside is quite hard,) then pour off the water, (if you let the potatos remain in the water a moment after they are done enough, they will become waxy and watery,) uncover the sauce-pan, and set it at such a distance from the fire as will secure it from burning; their superfluous moisture will evaporate, and the potatos will be perfectly dry and mealy. You may afterwards place a napkin, folded up to the size of the sauce-pan's diameter, over the potatos, to keep them dry and mealy till wanted, this method of managing potatos, is, in every respect, equal to steaming them, and they are dressed in half the time.

PEEL large potatos,slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peel a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping. Take care that your fat and frying-pan are quite clean; put it on a quick fire, watch it, and as soon as the lard boils and is still, put in the slices of potatos, and keep moving them till they are crisp; take them up, and lay them to drain on a sieve; send them up with very little salt sprinkled on them.

WHEN the potatos are thoroughly boiled, drain and dry them perfectly, pick out every speck, and rub them through a colander into a clean stew-pan; to a pound of potatos put half an ounce of butter, and a tablespoonful of milk; do not make them too moist; mix them well together. When the potatos are getting old and specked, and in frosty weather, this is the best way of dressing them--you may put them into shapes, touch them over with yelk of egg, and brown them very slightly before a slow fire.

PREPARE some onions by putting them through a sieve,and mix them with potatos; in proportioning the onions to the potatos, you will be guided by your wish to have more or less of their flavour.

WASH and dry your potatos, (all of a size,) and put them in a tin Dutch oven, or cheese toaster; take care not to put them too near the fire, or they will get burned on the outside before they are warmed through. Large potatos will require two hours to roast them. To save time and trouble, some cooks half boil them first.

HALF boil large potatos, drain the water from them, and put them into an earthen dish or small tin pan, under meat that is roasting, and baste them with some of the dripping; when they are browned on one side, turn them and brown the other; send them up around the meat, or in a small dish.

MIX mashed potatos with the yelk of an egg, roll them into balls, flour them, or cover them with egg and bread crumbs, fry them in clean dripping, or brown them in a Dutch oven. They are an agreeable vegetable relish, and a supper dish.

ARE boiled and dressed in the various ways we have just before directed for potatos. They should be covered with thick melted butter, or a nice white or brown sauce.

PICK cabbages very clean, and wash them thoroughly; then look them carefully over again; quarter them if they are very large; put them into a sauce pan with plenty of boiling water; if any skum rises, take it off, put a large spoonful of salt into the sauce pan, and boil them till the stalks feel tender. A young cabbage will take about twenty minutes, or half an hour; when full grown, nearly an hour; see that they are well covered with water all the time, and that no dirt or smoke arises from stirring the fire. With careful management, they will look as beautiful when dressed as they did when growing. It will much ameliorate the flavour of strong old cabbages, to boil them in two waters, i.e. when they are half done, to take them out, and put them into another sauce pan of boiling water.

ARE boiled in the same manner; quarter them when you send them to table.

THE receipt written for cabbages will answer as well for sprouts, only they will be boiled enough in fifteen minutes.

SET a stew-pan with plenty of water on the fire, sprinkle a handful of salt in it, let it boil, and skim it; then put in the asparagus prepared thus: scrape all the stalks till they are perfectly clean; throw them into a pan of cold water as you scrape them; when they are all done, tie them in little bundles, of a quarter of a hundred each, with bass, if you can get it, or tape; cut off the stalks at the bottom, that they may be all of a length; when they are tender at the stalk, which will be in from twenty to thirty minutes, they are done enough. Great care must be taken to watch the exact time of their becoming tender; take them just at that instant, and they will have their true flavour and colour; a minute or two more boiling destroys both. While the asparagus is boiling, toast a slice of a loaf of bread, about a half an inch thick; brown it delicately on both sides; dip it lightly in the liquor the asparagus was boiled in, and lay it in the middle of a dish; pour some melted butter on the toast, and lay the asparagus upon it; let it project beyond the asparagus, that the company may see there is a toast. Do not pour butter over them, but send some in a boat.

Is tied up in bundles, and dressed in the same way as asparagus.

PEEL off the skin from large, full, ripe tomatos--put a layer in the bottom of a deep dish, cover it well with bread grated fine; sprinkle on pepper and salt, and lay some bits of butter over them--put another layer of each, till the dish is full--let the top be covered with crumbs and butter--bake it a nice brown.

TAKE off the skin, and put them in a pan with salt,pepper, and a large piece of butter--stew them till sufficiently dry.

CHOOSE those that are close and white, and of a middle size--trim off the outside leaves, cut off the stalk flat at the bottom, let them lie in salt and water an hour before you boil them. Put them in boiling water, with a handful of salt in it--skim it well, and let it boil slowly till done, which a small one will be in fifteen minutes, a large one in twenty--and take it up the moment it is enough: a few minutes longer boiling will spoil it.

ARE not so much used as they deserve to be; they are dressed in the same way as parsnips, only neither scraped nor cut till after they are boiled; they will take from an hour and a half to three hours in boiling, according to their size; to be sent to the table with salt fish, boiled beef, &c. When young, small and juicy, it is a very good variety, an excellent garnish, and easily converted into a very cheap and pleasant pickle.

ARE to be cooked just in the same manner as carrots; they require more or less time, according to their size; therefore match them in size, and you must try them by thrusting a fork into them as they are in the water; when this goes easily through, they are done enough: boil them from an hour to two hours, according to their size and freshness. Parsnips are sometimes sent up mashed in the same way as turnips.

LET them be weil washed and scraped--an hour is enough for young spring carrots; grown carrots will take from an hour and a half to two hours and a half. The best way to try if they are done enough, is to pierce them with a fork.

THERE are many varieties of these peas; the smaller kind are the most delicate. Have them young and newly gathered, shell and boil them tender; pour them in a colander to drain; put some lard in a frying pan; when it boils, mash the peas, and fry them in a cake of a light brown; put it in the dish with the crust uppermost--garnish with thin bits of fried bacon. They are very nice when fried whole, so that each pea is distinct from the other; but they must be boiled less, and fried with great care. Plain boiling is a very common way of dressing them.

PEEL off half an inch of the stringy outside--full grown turnips will take about an hour and a half gentle boiling; try them with a fork, and when tender, take them up, and lay them on a sieve till the water is thoroughly drained from them; send them up whole; to very young turnips, leave about two inches of green top; the old ones are better when the water is changed as directed for cabbage.

WHEN they are boiled quite tender, squeeze them as dry as possible--put them into a sauce pan, mash them with a wooden spoon, and rub them through a colander; add a little bit of butter, keep stirring them till the butter is melted and well mixed with them, and they are ready for table.

ARE the shoots which grow out, (in the spring,) from the old turnip roots. Put them in cold water an hour before they are dressed; the more water they are boiled in, the better they will look; if boiled in a small quantity of water, they will taste bitter; when the water boils, put in a small handful of salt, and then your vegetables; they are still better boiled with bacon in the Virginia style: if fresh and young, they will be done in about twenty minutes--drain them on the back of a sieve, and put them under the bacon.

CUT off the stalk end first, and then turn to the point and strip off the strings; if not quite fresh, have a bowl of spring water, with a little salt dissolved in it, standing before you; as the beans are cleansed and trimmed, throw them in; when all are done, put them on the fire in boiling water, with some salt in it; when they have boiled fifteen or twenty minutes, take one out and taste it; as soon as they are tender, take them up, and throw them into a colander to drain. To send up the beans whole, when they are young, is much the best method, and their delicate flavour and colour is much better preserved. When a little more grown, they must be cut lengthwise in thin slices after stringing; and for common tables, they are split, and divided across; but those who are nice, do not use them at such a growth as to require splitting.

SOAK them in cold water, wash them well, then put them into plenty of boiling water, with a handful of salt, and let them boil gently till they are tender, which will take an hour and a half, or two hours; the surest way to know when they are done enough, is to draw out a leaf; trim them, and drain them on a sieve, and send up melted butter with them, with some put into small cups, so that each guest may have one.

THE kind which bears flowers around the joints of the stalks, must be cut into convenient lengths for the dish; scrape the skin from the stalk, and pick out any leaves or flowers that require to be removed; tie it up in bunches, and boil it as asparagus; serve it up hot, with melted butter poured over it. The brocoli that heads at the top like cauliflowers, must be dressed in the same manner as the cauliflower.

To have them in perfection, they must be quite young, gathered early in the morning, kept in a cool place, and not shelled until they are to be dressed; put salt in the water, and when it boils, put in the peas; boil them quick twenty or thirty minutes, according to their age; just before they are taken up, add a little mint chopped very fine; drain all the water from the peas, put in a bit of butter, and serve them up quite hot.

PARE a dozen large turnips,slice them, and put them into a stew-pan, with four ounces of butter and a little salt; set the pan over a moderate fire, turn them often with a wooden spoon; when they look white, add a ladle full of veal gravy, stew them till it becomes thick; skim it, and pass it through a sieve; put the turnips in a dish, and pour the gravy over them.

PEEL as many small turnips as will fill a dish; put them into a stew pan with some butter and a little sugar, set them over a hot stove, shake them about, and turn them till they are a good brown; pour in half a pint of rich high seasoned gravy; stew the turnips till tender, and serve them with the gravy poured over them.

LET them be young and fresh gathered, string them, and cut them in long thin slices; throw them in boiling water for fifteen minutes; have ready some well seasoned brown gravy, drain the water from the beans, put them in the gravy, stew them a few minutes, and serve them garnished with forcemeat balls; there must not be gravy enough to float the beans.

THIS is the smallest and most delicate species of the Windsor bean. Gather them in the morning, when they are full grown, but quite young, and do not shell them till you are going to dress them. Put them into boiling water, have a small bit of middling, (flitch,) of bacon, well boiled--take the skin off, cover it with bread crumbs, and toast it; lay this in the middle of the dish, drain all the water from the beans--put a little butter with them, and pour them round the bacon. When the large Windsor beans are used, it is best to put them into boiling water until the skins will slip off, and then make them into a puree as directed for turnips--they are very coarse when plainly dressed.

LIKE all other spring and summer vegetables, they must be young and freshly gathered: boil them till tender, drain them, add a little butter, and serve them up. These beans are easily preserved for winter use, and will be nearly as good as fresh ones. Gather them on a dry day, when full grown, but quite young: have a clean and dry keg, sprinkle some salt in the bottom, put in a layer of pods, containing the beans, then a little salt--do this till the keg is full; lay a board on with a weight, to press them down; cover the keg very close, and keep it in a dry, cool place--they should be put up as late in the season, as they can be with convenience. When used, the pods must be washed, and laid in fresh water all night; shell them next day, and keep them in water till you are going to boil them; when tender, serve them up with melted butter in a boat. French beans (snaps) may be preserved in the same manner.

THE cabbage growing at the top is not good; cut the root in slices an inch thick, peel off the rind, and boil the slices in a large quantity of water, till tender, serve it up hot, with melted butter poured over it.

THE purple ones are best; get them young and fresh; pull out the stem, and parboil them to take off the bitter taste; cut them in slices an inch thick, but do not peel them; dip them in the yelk of an egg, and cover them with grated bread, a little salt and pepper--when this has dried, cover the other side the same way--fry them a nice brown. They are very delicious, tasting much like soft crabs. The egg plant may be dressed in another manner: scrape the rind and parboil them; cut a slit from one end to the other, take out the seeds, fill the space with a rich forcemeat, and stew them in well seasoned gravy, or bake them, and serve up with gravy in the dish.

GET one of a good colour, and seven or eight inches in diameter; cut a piece off the top, take out all the seeds, wash and wipe the cavity, pare the rind off, and fill the hollow with good forcemeat--put the top on, and set it in a deep pan, to protect the sides; bake it in a moderate oven, put it carefully in the dish without breaking, and it will look like a handsome mould. Another way of cooking potato pumpkin is to cut it in slices, pare off the rind, and make a puree as directed for turnips.

TAKE those that are nearly of the same size, that they may be done equally--wash them clean, but do boil them till tender, drain the water off, and put them on tin sheets in a stove for a few minutes to dry.

WASH and wipe them, and if they be large, cut them in two lengths; put them at the bottom of a stew pan, lay over some slices of boiled ham; and on that, one or two chickens cut up with pepper,salt, and a bundle of herbs; pour in some water, and stew them till done, then take out the herbs, serve the stew in a deep dish--thicken the gravy, and pour over it.

CUT them across without peeling, in slices half an inch thick, broil them on a griddle, and serve them with butter in a boat.

GREAT care must be used in washing and picking it clean; drain it, and throw it into boiling water--a few minutes will boil it sufficiently: press out all the water, put it in a stew pan with a piece of butter, some pepper and salt--chop it continually with a spoon till it is quite dry: serve it with poached eggs or without, as you please.

Is dressed as the spinach; and if they be mixed in equal proportions, improve each other.

GET a fine head of cabbage, not too large; pour boiling water on, and cover it till you can turn the leaves back, which you must do carefully; take some of those in the middle of the head off, chop them fine, and mix them with rich forcemeat; put this in, and replace the leaves to confine the stuffing--tie it in a cloth, and boil it--serve it up whole, with a little melted butter in the dish.

GATHER young squashes, peel, and cut them in two; take out the seeds, and boil them till tender; put them into a colander, drain off the water, and rub them with a wooden spoon through the colander; then put them into a stew pan, with a cup full of cream, a small piece of butter, some pepper and salt--stew them, stirring very frequently until dry. This is the most delicate way of preparing squashes.

THE crooked neck of this squash is the best part. Cut it in slices an inch thick, take off the rind, and boil them with salt in the water; drain them well before they are dished, and pour melted butter over--serve them up very hot. The large part, containing the seeds, must be sliced and pared--cut it in small pieces, and stew it till soft, with just water enough to cover it; pass it through a sieve, and stew it again, adding some butter,pepper, and salt; it must be dry, but not burnt. It is excellent when stewed with pork chops.

BOIL them separately, and mix them in the proportions you like; add butter,pepper, and salt, and either stew them, or fry them in a cake.

SCRAPE and wash the roots, put them into boiling water with salt; when done, drain them, and place them in the dish without cutting them up. They are a very excellent vegetable, but require nicety in cooking; exposure to the air, either in scraping, or after boiling, will make them black.

HALF boil it, cut it up, and put it in a stew pan, with a very little water, and a spoonful of butter; stew them dry, and serve them up. For change, you may, after stewing, cut them in scollop shells with grated bread, and bake them; or make them into cakes, and fry them. They are delicious in whatever way they can be dressed.

GATHER grown mushrooms, but such as are young enough to have red gills; cut off that part of the stem which grew in the earth--wash them carefully, and take the skin from the top; put them into a stew pan with some salt, but no water--stew them till tender, and thicken them with a spoonful of butter, mixed with one of brown flour;red wine may be added, but the flavour of the mushroom is too delicious to require aid from any thing.

PREPARE them as above directed--broil them on a griddle, and when done, sprinkle pepper and salt on the gills, and put a little butter on them.

PUT two cups full of rice in a bowl of water, rub it well with the hand, and pour off the water; do this until the water ceases to be discoloured; then put the rice into two and a half cups of cold water; add a tea-spoonful of salt, cover the pot close, and set it on a brisk fire; let it boil ten minutes, pour off the greater part of the water, and remove the pot to a bed of coals, where it must remain a quarter of an hour to soak and dry.

BOIL a pint of rice quite soft, with a tea-spoonful of salt; mix with it while hot a large spoonful of butter, and spread it on a dish to cool; when perfectly cold, add a pint of rice flour and half a pint of milk--beat them all together till well mingled. Take the middle part of the head of a barrel, make it quite clean, wet it, and put on the mixture about an inch thick, smooth with a spoon, and baste it with a little milk; set the board aslant before clear coals; when sufficiently baked, slip a thread under the cake and turn it: baste and bake that side in a similar manner, split it, and butter while hot. Small homony boiled and mixed with rice flour, is better than all rice; and if baked very thin, and afterwards toasted and buttered, it is nearly as good as cassada bread.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Virginian William Byrd II (1674-1744) writes of Walking in his Gardens

Virginian William Byrd II (1674-1744) painted by Hans Hysing 1724

Colonel William Byrd II (1674–1744), a Virginia planter & slave owner, kept a journal of his life, when he returned to take possession of the family estate Westover, after his father's death in 1704. The early years of that journal were later transcribed in the 1940s & became "The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover, 1709-1712." William Byrd II had been sent to study in England, when he was 7.

Upon Byrd's return to Virginia in 1705, he began his search for a wife; as many male gentry of the period, his goal was not only to find companionship, but to increase his wealth. Lucy Parke was an obvious candidate. Not only was she beautiful, but her father, Colonel Daniel Parke II, was wealthy & politically connected. Lucy had already reached the age of 18, & her mother was concerned, that she would not find a husband. When Byrd wrote a letter to the Parkes asking to court Lucy, they immediately accepted. The couple soon wed.

Soon after their wedding, Lucy found her husband to be incapable of the emotional & intellectual relationship she desired... 

Lucy & William did quarrel over other matters, particularly about the running of the household. William wanted a patriarchal household, while Lucy wanted to have some say over household matters. The two disagreed on whose power reigned over the various parts of the estate. Lucy refused to conform to the traditional 18C role of the submissive wife & wished to assert her authority over slaves & servants. William often rebuked her in front of others, when she acted upon this inclination, visibly undermining her authority.

William also required absolute sovereignty over the library he inherited from his father & continued to expand. To him, the library was a very intimate & personal place, one in which Lucy did not belong. He disliked her entering the library at all, & he loathed her tendency to borrow books, when he was away.

Despite the couple's differences, they seemed to be in love. When she died of smallpox in 1715, Byrd suffered greatly.  He blamed himself for her death, telling friends & family that he felt God was punishing him for his pride in his wife's beauty & likeability.

Passages in his early journal recount his fascination with his library, his garden, & women other than his wife. Byrd gathered the most valuable library in the Virginia Colony, numbering some 4,000 books. His attention to refining his garden also was noted. Early in 18C Pennsylvania, botanist John Bartram (1699-1777) wrote to English botanist Peter Collinson (1674-1768), on July 18, 1740, about Colonel William Byrd's (1674-1744) grounds at Westover in Virginia. "Colonel Byrd is very prodigalle...new Gates, gravel Walks, hedges, & cedars finely twined & a little green house with two or three orange trees...he hath the finest seat in Virginia."

These selections from William Byrd II's early journal reflect his daily activities in his garden & record only a few of the other events of each daily entry. Byrd often walked in his garden with visitors to Westover & with his wife.  The garden was a spaced away from others, where they could discuss governmental, economic, & personal issues with the assurance of some privacy.

Wednesday, May 4, 1709
A ship arrived in the York River about 9 o'clock. Captain Berkeley came to see us, who is a very good-humored man. We walked in the garden about an hour; then we went to dinner.

Friday, May 13, 1709
In the evening I took a walk about the plantation and in the garden where I ate abundance of cherries. 

Friday, May 20, 1709
John Pleasants and Isham Randolph came to see me and dined with us.  In the afternoon we played at billiards and I won half a crown of Isham Randolph. Then we walked in the garden and ate some cherries. 

Saturday, May 21, 1709
I ate mutton and sallet for dinner. In the evening they went away and I took a walk about the plantation. I was out of humor at my wife's climbing over the pales of the garden, now she is with child. 

Sunday, May 22, 1709
In the evening I walked in the garden. I read some news. I said my prayers. 

Thursday, May 26, 1709
He went away in the evening and I walked about the plantation. I said my prayers and had good health, good thoughts, but was out of humor with Tom for the disorder of the garden.

Thursday, June 2, 1709
I ate nothing but beans and bacon for dinner. In the evening we rode out to take the air. When we returned I took a walk in the garden till it was dark. 

Monday, June 6, 1709
I said my prayers and ate milk for breakfast, and raspberries. I ate pork and turnips for dinner.  Mumford went away about 5 o'clock and I walked in the garden. 

Thursday, July 7, 1709
In the evening we took a walk in the garden.

Monday, July 25, 1709
In the evening it left off raining and I walked in the garden. 

Sunday, July 31, 1709
In the evening Mr C-s came to see me and we drank a syllabub. We walked in the garden till late. 

Friday, September 23, 1709
In the afternoon I was angry with Grills for being sick and not telling me of it and with Tom for not doing well in the garden. 

Friday, October 14, 1709
I ate fresh pork and sallet for dinner.  In the evening I took a walk in the garden. 

Tuesday, November 15, 1709
The rain did not hold up till towards evening when I took a walk in the garden. 

Sunday, December 4, 1709
I danced my dance, and then took a walk in the garden because the weather was very tempting for so late in the year. God continue it for the service of those that have but little corn.  In the afternoon I ate an apple and then took a long walk about the great pasture with my wife and I found they finished stacking.

Friday, March 10, 1710
About 12 Mr Isham Randolph came. They walked in the garden till dinner.  In the evening we took a walk about the plantation.

Friday, March 24, 1710
We took a walk in the morning, then we had some sack and toast, after which we took leave and returned home where we found all well, thank God. I ate pigeon and asparagus for dinner. In the afternoon I took a little nap. Then Mr Randolph and I took a walk to Mr Harrison's who had been very sick but was something better, and young Drury Stith was sick there likewise. We stayed there about an hour and then walked home and walked with my wife in the garden. 

Tuesday, May 16, 1710
After dinner we ate cherries and talked till about 6 o'clock and then I took leave and rode home, where I found all my family well except my son, who still had a fever. It rained very much till about 2 o'clock. I took a walk about the garden. 

Saturday, June 3, 1710
I rose at 6 o'clock and as soon as I came out news was brought that the child was very ill. We went out and found him just ready to die and he died about 8 o'clock in the morning. God gives and God takes away; blessed be the name of God.  In the afternoon it rained and was fair again in the evening. My poor wife and I walked in the garden. 

Monday, June 5, 1710
My wife continued very melancholy, notwithstanding I comforted her as well as I could.  Then we walked in the garden. 

Sunday, June 11, 1710
It continued to rain so that we could not go to church. My wife was still disconsolate.  In the afternoon we took a little walk but the rain soon sent us home. In the evening we took a walk in the garden because the grass was wet. 

Thursday, June 15, 1710
It rained this afternoon very hard with a little wind and thunder. This hindered my walking anywhere but in the garden. 

Monday, July 10, 1710
hen we talked till 6 when the company went away and we walked in the garden. 

Thursday, August 10, 1710
Mr [Gee] with a present of grapes.  In the afternoon we walked about the garden and Major Burwell was very well pleased with everything. He and the rest of the company stayed till the evening when we walked in the garden.

Saturday, August 12, 1710
It rained and hindered our walk; however we walked a little in the garden. 

Sunday, August 20, 1710
About 11 o'clock we went to church and had a good sermon from Mr Anderson. We had some watermelon in the churchyard and some cider to refresh the people.  In the evening we took a walk but only in the garden for fear of the rain. 

Monday, September 11, 1710
My wife and I played at billiards. My wife and I walked in the garden. 

Wednesday, September 20, 1710 I received at the landing with Mr C-s and gave him three guns. Mr Clayton and Mr Robinson came with him. After he had drunk some wine he walked in the garden and into the library till it was dark. Then we went to supper and ate some blue wing. After supper we sat and talked till 9 o'clock. 

Sunday, December 17, 1710
I took a walk in the garden. 

Sunday, December 31, 1710
In the afternoon I looked over my sick people and then took a walk about the plantation. The weather was very warm still. My wife walked with me and when she came back she was very much indisposed and went to bed. 

Friday, January 19, 1711
Then I went to plant trees in the garden, and in the pasture.  Then I went and planted more trees and afterwards took a walk about the plantation. 

Thursday, February 15, 1711
I read some English and took a walk in the garden. I ate roast mutton for dinner. In the afternoon I walked about the plantation till the evening and then my cousin Harrison came and when she had stayed here about an hour my wife and I walked home with her and did not return home till 8 o'clock.

Monday, April 30, 1711
I met with nothing extraordinary in my journey and got home about 11 o'clock and found all well, only my wife was melancholy. We took a walk in the garden and pasture. We discovered that by the contrivance of Nurse and Anaka Prue got in at the cellar window and stole some strong beer and cider and wine. In the evening I took a walk about the plantation and found things in good order. At night I ate some bread and butter.  I gave my wife a powerful flourish and gave her great ecstasy and refreshment.

Monday, May 7, 1711
My wife and I walked in the garden. 

Wednesday, May 9, 1711
I took a walk into the garden and ate some cherries. My wife and daughter were both indisposed, the first with breeding, and the last with a fever.  I ate some pork and peas. In the afternoon I took another walk and then returned and settled my accounts. Then I read in the Tatler till the evening and then my wife, being better, took a walk with me in the garden. 

Thursday, May 10, 1711
It continued to rain till about 8 and then cleared up for a little while. I took a walk to look over my people.  My daughter was a little better, thank God, but my wife was indisposed by fits as women are in her condition. I went onto the garden and ate some cherries.  In the afternoon it rained again and hindered my taking a walk so that I took a nap. In the evening I took a walk and ate some cherries at M-n-s. The season has happened so late this year that cherries are three weeks more backward than they used to be.  I wrote a letter to the Governor to send by Tom with some cherries.

Sunday, May 13, 1711
In the evening we walked in the garden and at night we drank a bottle of wine. 

Wednesday, May 16, 1711
Then I went into the garden to eat some cherries.  In the afternoon came Frank Eppes to bring me his father's bills for the quitrents. He stayed here till about 6 o'clock and then went with me to see the gates and my wife came and walked with me. Just as I was going to bed the Captain of the salt ship came and stayed about half an hour with me and I gave him a bottle of cider... 

Wednesday, May 23, 1711
In the evening the master of the salt ship came and he agreed next week to send up 100 barrels of salt to my store at Appomattox. I walked with him in the garden and said my prayers. 

Tuesday, May 29, 1711
The company went to breakfast but I could eat nothing with them and therefore walked in the garden. 

Saturday, June 2, 1711
I ate beans and bacon for dinner. In the evening we walked in the garden, because it was too wet to walk about the plantation. 

Wednesday, June 6, 1711
I walked in the garden because I could not walk in the pasture. 

Wednesday, June 27, 1711
In the evening it rained a little, enough to hinder me from walking about the plantation. However, I walked in the garden. I was a little out of order today and had a small looseness.

Wednesday, July 18, 1711
I ventured to eat a pear. I ate some broth and lamb for dinner and ate a great deal. In the afternoon I ate some Virginia cherries and some watermelon. I took a little walk in the garden. 

Thursday, July 19, 1711
I ate some Virginia cherries.  I settled some accounts and took a walk in the garden. 

Friday, July 20, 1711
I sent Tom to Drury Stith's for watermelons.  In the afternoon Tom returned and brought four watermelons, one of which we ate and then wrote more letters till 5 o'clock, when I ate more eggs and in the evening I took a walk to the store and in the garden.

Saturday, July 21, 1711
I wrote more of my accounts till 6 o'clock and then ate some more of my chicken. Then I took a walk in the garden. 

Saturday, July 28, 1711
In the evening I drank some warm milk and walked in the garden till it was almost dark. 

Tuesday, July 31, 1711
In the afternoon I settled more accounts and read some French till the evening and then I walked in the garden because it threatened rain and as soon as it was dark it began to rain and thundered very much and did so good part of the night. 

Wednesday, August 1, 1711
In the evening it threatened more rain. However I took a walk in the garden. The rain blew over. 

Monday, August 13, 1711
In the evening I walked a little in the garden. 

Tuesday, August 14, 1711
I read some French and walked about till dinner, and then I ate some crab and four poached eggs.  I ate some watermelon and peaches and drank some canary. . In the evening I ate a poached egg and then took a walk in the garden. 

Wednesday, August 15, 1711
In the evening I wrote a letter to the Governor, to make my excuses for not going to council tomorrow. Then I ate more snipe and took a walk in the garden.

Monday, August 20, 1711
I sent further orders to Colonel Frank Eppes about the militia and gave them to Colonel Littlebury by word of mouth and walked about in the garden pretty much without being tired. 

Tuesday, August 21, 1711
I ventured to dress myself today and was very easy and well. I ate some mutton for dinner. In the afternoon I prepared some infusions of the bark to take at the end of the week. I read some French and in the evening I wrote to Colonel Frank Eppes to send with a copy of the Governor's letter to me. I took a walk in the garden.

Wednesday, August 22, 1711
I slept well last night and could hardly wake this morning. I took a walk in the garden. I ate some squirrel and onions for dinner. Then I took a walk in the garden a little while but the air was a little too damp for me. 

Friday, August 24, 1711
In the evening I took a walk to the point and in the garden. 

Sunday, August 26, 1711
In the evening it rained a good shower after which I took a walk in the garden. 

Wednesday, August 29, 1711
In the evening I took a walk in the garden. Mr Chamberlayne brought me a letter from Robin Mumford that told me he was better. After it was dark came Dr Cocke but he brought no news. I ate some bread and butter with him and we drank a bottle of wine. 

Friday, August 31, 1711
Then came Captain H-n-t the master of the ship from Mr Offley and brought me 77 empty bottles from the vessel that had been taken and lost my cider. In an hour he went away and then I put my library in order till the evening and then I took a walk in the garden. 

Saturday, September 1, 1711
A man brought some peaches for which I likewise ordered him a pair of wool cards. Then I took a walk into the garden because it rained a good shower and made it wet without. 

Tuesday, September 4, 1711
In the afternoon the company went away about 4 o'clock and then I read a little Latin and afterwards took a walk about the plantation and finished my walk in the garden. I was a little displeased with my wife for talking impertinently. 

Monday, November 12, 1711
I rose about 7 o'clock and said my prayers. Then we ate our breakfast of milk and took our leave and proceeded to Westover, where we found all well, thank God Almighty. Mr Graeme was pleased with the place exceedingly. I showed him the library and then we walked in the garden till dinner and I ate some wild duck. In the afternoon I paid money to several men on accounts of Captain H-n-t and then we took a walk about the plantation and I was displease with John about the boat which he was building. In the evening we played at piquet and I won a little. Then Mr Graeme and I drank a bottle of pressed wine which he liked very well, as he had done the white madeira. About 10 o'clock I went to bed...

Friday, January 4, 1712
I took a walk in the garden till dinner. I ate no meat this day but only fruit. In the afternoon I weighed some money and then went into the new orchard to trim some trees and stayed there till it was dark almost and then took a little walk about the plantation. 

Saturday, January 19, 1712
I rose about 7 o'clock and read a chapter in Hebrew and some Greek in Lucian. I said my prayers and ate boiled milk for breakfast. I danced my dance. The weather [was] cloudy and rained a little. In the afternoon it held up and I took a walk to see my people plant peach trees. In the evening I took a walk about the plantation.  I dreamed a mourning coach drove into my garden and stopped at the house door.

Thursday, March 6, 1712
I rose about 7 o'clock and read nothing because of the company. However I said a short prayer and drank chocolate for breakfast. Then we walked about the garden because it was good weather and then we played at billiards and I won 3 shillings. In the afternoon we played again at billiards and then Colonel Hill went away and we took a walk about the plantation till the evening and then Mr Lightfoot and Mr Jimmy Roscow took their leave and went to Mrs Harrison's, one to make love to the mother and the other the daughter.

Monday, March 17, 1712
About 10 o'clock I took a walk in the garden and then settled several accounts and read some English in Milton till dinner and I ate some roast shoat but I dined by myself with nobody but the child, for Mrs Dunn was sick likewise. In the afternoon I went into the garden and trimmed the vines and was angry with Tom for being so lazy there. Then I returned and read some English in Milton till the evening and then I took a walk about the plantation and found things in pretty good order. 

Saturday, March 22, 1712
It rained a little almost all day so that I could not walk out.  In the evening I walked about the garden because the grass was wet everywhere else. 

Thursday, April 10, 1712
The weather was very clear and warm but it had rained in the night and thundered. My wife and I took a walk about the garden. In the afternoon I took a walk to see my young trees. Then I wrote a letter to England and afterwards took a walk about the plantation and saw the people at work in the churchyard which Captain D-k was pale in.  At night I ate some bread and butter and drank some cider and my wife and I romped for half an hour till we went to bed. 

Friday, May 2, 1712
In the afternoon we opened more goods till the evening and then I took a walk with my wife in the garden and found things in good order there. Then I took a walk about the plantation. I...wrote a letter to England and settled several accounts.

Tuesday, May 6, 1712
Then I took a walk in the garden because it was too late to walk about the plantation. I neglected to say my prayers but had good health, good thoughts, and good humor, thank God Almighty.

Thursday, May 8, 1712
My people washed the sheep in order to clean them for shearing tomorrow. In the afternoon I set my closet in order and afterwards read some Greek till the evening and then I took a walk about the plantation. At night I ate some strawberries and milk and after eating took a walk in the garden. 

Thursday, May 22, 1712
In the afternoon I wrote two more accounts till the evening and then took a walk in the garden. I said my prayers and was reconciled to my wife and gave her a flourish in token of it.

Monday, May 26, 1712
In the afternoon I wrote more letters till the evening and then took a walk about the plantation with the ladies and afterwards Mr Catesby and I walked in the garden. 

Tuesday, June 3, 1712
The company went away about 4 o'clock after being very merry and I took a little walk in the garden and the library. 

Thursday, June 5, 1712
After dinner I found myself better and walked about the garden all the evening, and Mr Catesby directed how I should mend my garden and put it into a better fashion than it is at present. 

Friday, June 13, 1712
 In the afternoon I put things again in order in the library and then walked in the garden. I had a small quarrel with my wife concerning the [nastiness] of the nursery but I would not be provoked. In the evening Mr Catesby and I took a walk about the plantation and I drank some warm milk at the cow pen an there discovered that one of the wenches had stolen some apples. 

Monday, August 4, 1712
In the afternoon I took a walk in the garden, it being very cool and then I read more law till the evening and then I took a walk to see the house, noe the roof was put up this day, notwithstanding the rain which fell often today. 

Saturday, August 23, 1712
In the afternoon I put several things in order in the library and then settled some accounts and afterwards read some Latin till the evening and then I took a walk about my plantation, and then walked with my wife in the garden, where she quarreled with me about Mrs Dunn. 

Sunday, September 14, 1712
The company went away about 5 o'clock between which and dinner there was abundance of rain. In the evening I took a walk in the garden.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Memories of Old Garden Gates & Walls

Trull House, Tetbury, Gloucestershire

When we moved to this home, we built a garden gate near the new little garden area, we created at the front of the house. Nothing like these, of course, but a gate nonetheless. Our gates are smaller than their English & European predecessors, but they are still intended to limit access to the most personal areas of our property & to give limits to the smallest of grandchildren & family pets. Gates can also mark changes in personal roles, as people cross from one side to another, from one role to another, perhaps even from one life to another. A gate can either invite the visitor in or clearly intend to keep him out.

And it is true. Some folks I want to come in through my gates, some I do not.

Wimpole, Cambridgeshire
St Margaret's Place, Bradford on Avon.
Sissinghurst, Kent
Royal Horticultural Society Wisley Gardens, Surrey
Meadowbrook Oakland Unversity, Michigan
Mateo, California
Marks Hall Arboretum & Gardens, Coggeshall, Essex
Llanerchaeron, Wales

Helmsley, Yorkshire
Great Dixter (1910 Edwin Lutyens)

Garnish Island, Ireland

Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
Christ Church, Oxford
Chicago Botanic Garden
Charleston Farmhouse Garden, East Sussex
Brownsover Hotel, Rugby, Rugby
Ballindoolin House, Ireland
Sudley Castle Gardens
Ardgillan Castle near The Skerries, North of Dublin.

Holding on to The Sweet Divine - The Lord God took man & put him in the Garden of Eden to work it & to keep it. Genesis 2:15