Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Plants & Catalogs - Philadelphia Seed Dealer & Nurseryman - Robert Buist 1805-1880

Buist was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, November 14, 1805. He was trained at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens & sailed to America in August 1828.
When he arrived in America, he was employed by David Landreth, & then took employment with Henry Pratt who owned Lemon Hill which was probably one of the finest gardens in the U.S. at the time.

He formed a partnership with Thomas Hibbert in 1830 in a florist business in Philadelphia. They imported rare plants & flowers, especially the rose.

After Hibbert’s death he began a seed business, along with the nursery & greenhouse business. The business in Philadelphia started out as Robert Buist's Seed Store, selling gardening supplies, potted plants, shrubs, small fruits, & rose bushes. By 1837, the growing business relocated to 12th Street below Lombard; & in1857, the company moved to a location on Market Street.  And in 1870, it expanded to 67th Street near Darby Road. The Buist farm, Bonaffon, was located in the section of Philadelphia through which Buist Avenue now runs.
Alfred M. Hoffy, lithographer. View of Robert Buist’s City Nursery & Greenhouses. Philadelphia Wagner & McGuigan, 1846.

Buist if often credited with introducing the Poinsettia into Europe, after he saw it at Bartram's Gardens in Philadelphia.  During Buist’s early training at the Edinburg Botanic Garden, he met James McNab, a scientist & artist who eventually became the garden’s director.  In the early 1830s, McNab traveled to America with retired nurseryman Robert Brown to study plants native to the United States. While in America, McNab visited his friend Buist in Philadelphia. When McNab met with Buist in 1834, he gave the Poinsettia plant to him to take back to Scotland. The garden’s director, Dr. Robert Graham introduced the plant into British gardens.

Buist was reknown for his roses & verbena.  He was also the author of several books & many catalogues of his plant offerings.  Among his books are The American Flower-Garden Directory (1832); The Rose Manual (1844, 6 editions); & The Family Kitchen-Gardener (c1847).

Buist was obsessed by roses.  Gardener & plant historian Alex Sutton tells us that Buist sailed to Europe every year or two to buy new rose hybrids being developed in Europe.  He purchased much of his stock from M. Eugene Hardy of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. In 1832, Buist saw 'Madame Hardy' for the first time & he wrote: "Globe Hip, White Globe, or Boule de Neige of the French, is an English Rose raised from seeds of the common white, a very pure white, fully double & of globular form. A few years ago it was considered 'not to be surpassed,' but that prediction, like many others, has fallen to the ground, & now 'Madame Hardy' is triumphant, being larger, fully as pure, more double, & an abundant bloomer; the foliage & wood are also stronger. The French describe it as 'large, very double pure white, & of cup or bowl form."  Buist introduced 'Madame Hardy' in Philadephia to his customers, many of whom must have been Philadelphia matrons, as he called them his Patronesses.

In 1839, Buist visited another of his suppliers, Jean-Pierre Vibert, of Lonjeameaux, near Paris, where he found 'Aimee Vibert'. He brought this rose back with him to Philadephia & wrote: "Aimee Vibert, or Nevia, is a beautiful pure white, perfect in form, a profuse bloomer, but though quite hardy doe snot grow freely for us; however, when budded on a strong stock it makes a magnificent standard, & blooms with a profusion not surpassed by any."
Seed storage warehouse of Philadelphia seedsman Robert Buist. From an 1891 wholesale seed catalog

In his catalog of 1872 Buist wrote “Three of the celebrated ‘Gordon’s Printing Presses’ are kept constantly at work on seed bags, labels, & other printing matter required in our business, & the stock of type & other printing material we use is equal in extent to that required by some of our daily papers...“When we established ourselves in 1828, the Seed business in this country was in its infancy, the trade was really insignificant in comparison to what it is in the present day.”

He was active with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, treasurer from 1858-1862 & vice-president for twenty-two years. He died in Philadelphia, July 13, 1880.  The family business was carried on by his son, Robert, Jr.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Nasturtium

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

Nasturtium, also known as Indian Cress, was often grown as an edible plant in the 18th century, as seen by its inclusion in Jefferson's vegetable garden. The young leaves and flowers can be enjoyed in salads, and the seeds can be pickled like capers, just as they were in Jefferson’s day. These attractive plants will bloom in an array of colors--reds, oranges, yellows--and with the trailing habit typical of the species before mid-19th century breeding.

For more information & the possible availability
Contact The Tho Jefferson Center for Historic Plants or The Shop at Monticello 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Using lobsters for catching garden insects...

1793 James Sowerby (English artist, 1757-1822) Lobster

"Procure the hollow claws of Lobsters, Crabs, &c. and hanging them in different parts of the garden, the insects creep into them, and are easily taken; but the claws must be often searched." 
The Complete Vermin-Killer: A Valuable and Useful Companion for Families, in Town and Country, (London, 1777).

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Striped French Marigold

 Striped French Marigold (Tagetes patula)
The species French Marigold was introduced to European gardens from South America in the late 16th century. A handsome striped form of this annual flower was first illustrated in the London-based periodical Curtis' Botanical Magazine, 1791, and was being grown in America by that time. Striped French Marigold is perfect for cutting, with flowers that vary from yellow streaked with maroon to solid yellow and occasionally all red; prune and deadhead to prolong flowering.

For more information & the possible availability
Contact The Tho Jefferson Center for Historic Plants or The Shop at Monticello 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Early Philadelphia Seed & Plant Merchant Hannah Dubre

The Gardener After Fran├žois Boucher (French, Paris 1703–1770 Paris) by John Ingram (British, London, ca. 1721–1759)

From the 1750s through the 1770s the most successful Philadelphia seed merchant & nursery-owner was a Quaker woman, Hannah Bissell Dubre (c 1720-1775) of the Northern Liberties area 2 miles from the Philadelphia city limit, on the Wissahickon Road.  Hannah' parents were William Bissell (1690-1747) and his wife Hannah.  Hannah married Joseph Dubre in 14 Mar 1740/41; and they owned 33 acres, which they later increased to 50 acres, with a bearing orchard of grafted fruit trees, some meadow land, a large brick house and detached brick kitchen with a pump just outside the door, a barn and several other outbuildings, and a large kitchen garden that included many asparagus beds. From 1754 through 1775, she offered locally grown seed and fruit trees on both a retail and a wholesale basis. To accommodate customers who didn’t want to trudge out to her remote plantation, she introduced the idea of relying on agents in town to sell and supply to retail and wholesale customers, including international traders.  By 1766, she was advertising that she could fill large orders for “Captains of Vessels” for exportation to the West Indies “on the shortest Notice.” Even after her husband’s death in 1768, “the widow Dubre” kept her garden and business going.   She warranted her seeds as “fresh and good: and sold large quantities to local shopkeepers for resale to their clients and to exporters for trade out of the country.  Before 1770, she kept agents in town, including her brothers on Third Street John Bissell (1730-1799) and Samuel Bissell (b 1730- ), and also with John Lownes, and Ann Powell near the Work House on Third Street, to supply both retail and wholesale customers who did not want to travel the two miles out of town to visit her plantation.  After 1770, she used James Truman, a butcher and meat curer in Elbow Lane near the Harp and Crown Tavern, as her local Philadelphia city agent.    Over a twenty-year period, Hannah Dubre expanded her operation from a small local seed concern to a large-quantity supply business catering to merchants and international traders.

Note: Some identify that Hannah Dubre as the wife of Jacob Dubre & an early relative of Jefferson Davis of Civil War note.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - African Marigold

African Marigold (Tagetes erecta)

Thomas Jefferson planted seeds of the African Marigold along the winding walk flower border on April 8, 1812. Although native to South America, the first garden plants introduced into Europe came from Northern Africa: hence, the common name. While double garden forms were common around 1800, this is the species, or wild form, of African Marigold with unusual (and rare) single, yellow flowers.

For more information & the possible availability
Contact The Tho Jefferson Center for Historic Plants or The Shop at Monticello 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

From Garden to Table at Mount Vernon - Dressing a Dish of Mushrooms with Onion

 

Martha Washington (1731-1802) - From the Garden to the Table 

While George Washington oversaw most aspects of managing Mount Vernon's  pleasure gardens & grounds, Martha Washington oversaw the Kitchen Garden (The Lower Garden), allowing her to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Vernon

“…impress it on the gardener to have every thing in his garden that will be nece]ssary in the House keeping way — as vegetable is the best part of our living in the country.” – Martha Washington, 1792

Inside the Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Outside The Kitchen at Mount Vernon

In the matter of eating & drinking George Washington was temperate. For breakfast he ordinarily had tea & Indian cakes with butter & perhaps honey, of which he was very fond. His supper was equally light, consisting of perhaps tea & toast, with wine, & he usually retired at nine o'clock. Dinner was the main meal of the day at Mount Vernon, & usually was served at two o'clock. One such meal is thus described by a guest:  "He thanked us, desired us to be seated, & to excuse him a few moments.... The President came & desired us to walk in to dinner & directed  us where to sit, (no grace was said).... The dinner was very good, a small roasted pigg, boiled leg of lamb, roasted fowls, beef, peas, lettice, cucumbers, artichokes, etc., puddings, tarts, etc. etc."   The General ordinarily confined himself to a few courses & if offered anything very rich, he would protest, "That is too good for me." He often drank beer with the meal, with one or two glasses of wine & perhaps as many more afterward, often eating nuts, another delicacy with him, as he sipped the wine.

Dressing a Dish of Mushrooms

Mushrooms were available in Philadelphia when the Washington family lived there, during the 1790s. Washington ordered pickled mushrooms from Robert Cary, his London agent, in 1763.

This recipe is adapted from one in the Custis-family manuscript cookbook, probably dating to the seventeenth century, which came into Martha Washington's possession through her first marriage, to Daniel Park Custis. She gave it to her granddaughter Nelly Custis on the occasion of the young woman's wedding in February 1799.

This recipe is a modern adaptation by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

3 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as white button, cremini, or morel, cleaned, stemmed, and cut into 1/4 inch slices

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy cream

Directions

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook for about 2 minutes. Cover the pan, and cook the mushrooms in the juices they release for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost tender.

Stir in the onion, and continue cooking until it has softened, stirring occasionally.

Add the thyme, parsley, nutmeg, pepper, and salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring to blend the flavors.

Drain the mushrooms, reserving about 1/2 cup of the liquid. Return the mushroom mixture to the pan with the reserved juice. Stir in the cream, cover, and continue simmering until the mushrooms are tender, stirring often. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring until melted.

Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve piping hot.

Research & images & much more are available from the Mount Vernon website, MountVernon.org.

From Garden to Table at Mount Vernon - Onion Sauce

 

Martha Washington (1731-1802) - From the Garden to the Table 

While George Washington oversaw most aspects of managing Mount Vernon's  pleasure gardens & grounds, Martha Washington oversaw the Kitchen Garden (The Lower Garden), allowing her to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Vernon

“…impress it on the gardener to have every thing in his garden that will be nece]ssary in the House keeping way — as vegetable is the best part of our living in the country.” – Martha Washington, 1792

Inside the Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Outside The Kitchen at Mount Vernon

In the matter of eating & drinking George Washington was temperate. For breakfast he ordinarily had tea & Indian cakes with butter & perhaps honey, of which he was very fond. His supper was equally light, consisting of perhaps tea & toast, with wine, & he usually retired at nine o'clock. Dinner was the main meal of the day at Mount Vernon, & usually was served at two o'clock. One such meal is thus described by a guest:  "He thanked us, desired us to be seated, & to excuse him a few moments.... The President came & desired us to walk in to dinner & directed  us where to sit, (no grace was said).... The dinner was very good, a small roasted pigg, boiled leg of lamb, roasted fowls, beef, peas, lettice, cucumbers, artichokes, etc., puddings, tarts, etc. etc."   The General ordinarily confined himself to a few courses & if offered anything very rich, he would protest, "That is too good for me." He often drank beer with the meal, with one or two glasses of wine & perhaps as many more afterward, often eating nuts, another delicacy with him, as he sipped the wine.

Onion Sauce

In the 1769 Experienced English House-keeper, Elizabeth Raffald (1733-1781) recommended serving this sauce as an accompaniment to Roast Duck. It can also be used for other poultry or for mild-flavored fish, such as flounder. Similar onion sauces can be found in many old cookbooks. In fact, Mary Randolph (1762–1828)  copied Raffald’s recipe verbatim in her own 1824 book, The Virginia House-Wife.

This recipe is a modern adaptation of the 18th-century original. It was created by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.

Ingredients

4 large onions, peeled and quartered

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions

Cover the onions with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, repeat the process twice more, and then drain the onions thoroughly. Set aside to cool until they can be handled easily, and chop them finely. (You should have about 4 cups.)

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the onions, and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the cream, blending together thoroughly. Bring the sauce back to a simmer, and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cream is slightly reduced.

Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary, and pour the sauce into a sauceboat.

Research plus images & much more are available from the Mount Vernon website, MountVernon.org. 

Plant Lists - Tho Jefferson's (1743-1824) Ornamental Shrubs and Vines


Thomas Jefferson by Tadeusz Andrzej Bonawentura Kosciuszko (1746 - 1817) 

Thomas Jefferson’s Plant List From His Garden Book, 1767-1821 Dates refer to first mention of a plant in Jefferson’s documents, which include Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, edited by Edwin Betts, 1944, unpublished memoranda at the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Library of Congress and Princeton University Library. Quotation marks designate varieties undescribed in the literature and are generally Jefferson’s personal names.  List compiled by Peter Hatch.

Ornamental Shrubs and Vines

Acacia farnesiana Sweet Acacia ("Acacia Nilotica”) 1792
Alnus rugosa Alder 1771
Amorpha fruticosa Bastard Indigo 1771
Berberis vulgaris European Barberry 1771
Callicarpa americana Beauty Berry 1771
Calycanthus floridus Sweet Shrub ("Bubby flower shrub") 1778
Campsis radicans Trumpet Vine 1771
Castanea pumila Chinquapin 1771
Ceanothus americanus New Jersey Tea 1771
Clematis virginiana Virgin's Bower 1807
Clethra alnifolia Sweet Pepperbush 1771
Colutea arborescens Bladder Senna 1812
Cornus sanguinea Swamp Dogwood ("Dogberry") 1783
Coronilla emerus Scorpion Senna 1771
Cotinus coggygria Smoke Tree ("Venetian Sumach”) 1791
Cytisus scoparius Scotch Broom 1806
Daphne cneorum Rose Daphne 1790
Daphne mezereum "Mezereon" 1804
Euonymus americanus Strawberry Bush ("Evergreen Spindle Tree") 1790
Gardenia jasminoides Gardenia ("Cape jasmine") 1808
Gelsemium sempervirens Carolina Yellow Jessamine 1771
Hibiscus syriacus Rose of Sharon ("Althea”) 1767
 "double" 1809
 “pink" 1809
 "striped" 1809
 "white" 1809
Ilex verticillata Winterberry 1808
Jasminum officinale Poet’s Jessamine ("Star Jasmine,”"White Jasmine") 1794
Kalmia latifolia Mountain Laurel ("Ivy," "Dwarf Laurel") 1771
Ligustrum vulgare Privet 1807
Lonicera alpigena Red-berried Honeysuckle 1810
Lonicera sempervirens Coral Honeysuckle ("Honey-suckle") 1771
Nerium oleander Oleander 1804
Philadelphus coronarius Mock Orange 1807
Prunus triloba Flowering Almond ("Amygdalus flore pleno") 1790
Pyracantha coccinea Pyracantha ("Prickly medlar,” "Mespilus” 1810
Pyrularia pubera Buffalo Nut ("Oil shrub") 1797
Rhododendron maximum Rosebay Rhododendron 1790
Rhododendron periclymenoides Pinxter Azalea ("Wild honeysuckle") 1767
Rhus toxicodendron Poison Ivy ("Poison oak") 1771
Robinia hispida Moss Locust ("Prickly locust” 1807
Sambucus canadensis Elderberry 1771
Spartium junceum Spanish Broom 1767
Symphoricarpus albus Snowberry 1812
Syringa persica Persian Lilac ("Persian jasmine”) 1808
Syringa vulgaris Common Lilac 1767
Taxus canadensis American Yew ("Dwarf yew") 1798
Ulex europaeus Gorse ("Furze") 1794
Viburnum opulus var. sterile Snowball("Guelder Rose") 1794
Viburnum trilobum Cranberry Bush 1798
Vinca minor Periwinkle 1771
Vitex agnus-castus Chaste Tree 1807
Wisteria frutescens Wisteria ("Carolina kidney bean Tree with
purple flowers") 1791
Yucca filamentosa Yucca, Adam’s Needle 1794

Research & images & much more are directly available from the Monticello.org website. 

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Onion


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Onion

Onion, Cepa. There are three sorts for winter use; the Strasburg...the red Spanish Onion...the white Spanish Onion... There are other sorts which suit the spring and summer season best. There are Cepa ascalonica,from Ascalon, a city in India, or the Scallion or Escallion. The Cives, or Copula, the young Onion. The Welch Onion, and lastly the Ciboule. The three first sorts should be sown in February, the first open weather, or beginning of March at farthest, and in about six weeks your Onions will be up, and ought to be weeded. The rows should be about twelve or eighteen inches asunder, if sowed in drills, which is the best method, arid the plants should be drawn to be about five or six inches apart. This may be no loss, because they will serve with young salad in the spring; about the middle or latter end of July your plants will be ripe, which may be discovered by the dropping down or shrinking of the blades; then they should be drawn up, and the extreme part of the blades should be cropped off, and the plants laid on the ground to dry. They should be turned at least every other day, otherwise they will strike fresh root, especially in moist weather. In about a fortnight they will be sufficiently dried; you are then to rub off all the earth and take care to remove all that are any ways decayed, and the sound ones laid as thin as possible in some room or garret, as close from the air as possible, and at least once a month look over them, to see if any of them are decayed, for if any are so, they will affect the. rest; or if too near one another, or in heaps, they will heat, and probably ruin the whole crop. The white Onion is the sweetest, though all the three sorts will degenerate into one another in the course of time. In March'you should dig a trench, and put some of your most flourishing plants about six inches deep, and as far asunder,v into it, which should be covered over with a rake, and in about a month's time the leaves will appear above ground, and when your plants begin to head, they should be supported by stakes and packthread or yarn, otherwise they will be very liable to be injured by the winds. These will produce you seed about August, which may be known by the seeds changing brown, and the bells where the seed is contained opening. The heads should be critically cut, otherwise the seed will be dropped, and when cut, the heads should be exposed to the sun, and sheltered in the night and wet weather, and when suificiently dry, they should be rubbed out, and after being exposed one day more to the sun, may be put into bags and preserved for the following year. The Scallion is a small Onion, and is sown early in the spring, and never forms any bulb, and is used green in the spring with young salads. The Ciboule and Welch Onion, are thought to be the same by Miller.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Sweet William Catchfly

Sweet William Catchfly (Silene armeria)

Sweet William Catchfly is a showy, self-seeding annual flower native to Europe with blue-green leaves and a long succession of purplish-pink flowers from late spring into summer. Sometimes called Lobel's Catchfly or None-So-Pretty, it was established in American gardens by the 1820s. The 1804 broadside of Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon offered seed for both red and white forms.

For more information & the possible availability
Contact The Tho Jefferson Center for Historic Plants or The Shop at Monticello 

Monday, April 22, 2019

From Garden to Table - Home-Made Spirits - Clary & Raisin Wine

 

John Greenwood (American artist, 1727-1792) Sea Captains Carousing, 1758.  Detail

Old-Time Recipes for Home Made Wines Cordials & Liqueurs 1909 by Helen S. Wright

CLARY  - RAISIN WINE
Take twelve pounds of Malaga raisins, pick them and chop them very small, put them in a tub, and to each pound one-half pint of water. Let them steep ten or eleven days, stirring it twice every day; you must keep it covered close all the while. Then strain it off, and put it into a vessel, and about one-quarter peck of the tops of clary, when it is in blossom; stop it close for six weeks, and then bottle it off. In two or three months it is fit to drink. It is apt to have a great sediment at bottom; therefore it is best to draw it off by plugs, or tap it pretty high.

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Clary


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Clary

Clary, Sclarea...These are propagated either from the seed, in a light soil, or parting the roots and planting them out at Michaelmas, about eighteen inches asunder; these will last many years.



Sunday, April 21, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Pincushion Flower

Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea)

When Thomas Jefferson requested roots and bulbs of the "Mourning bride" from his neighbor, Isaac Coles, in 1811, he may have been referring to the Pincushion Flower. Also known as Mourning Bride because of its association with grieving widows in 18th-century England, this long-blooming annual boasts velvet-like flowers all summer in mixed shades of purple, blue, white, and red, and makes a good cut flower.

For more information & the possible availability
Contact The Tho Jefferson Center for Historic Plants or The Shop at Monticello 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

From Garden to Table - Home-Made Spirits - Apricot Wine

 

John Greenwood (American artist, 1727-1792) Sea Captains Carousing, 1758.  Detail

Old-Time Recipes for Home Made Wines Cordials & Liqueurs 1909 by Helen S. Wright

APRICOCK WINE
Take three pounds of sugar, and three quarts of water; let them boil together and skim it well. Then put in six pounds of apricocks, pared and stoned, and let them boil until they are tender; then take them up and when the liquor is cold bottle it up. You may if you please, after you have taken out the apricocks, let the liquor have one boil with a sprig of flowered clary in it; the apricocks make marmalade, and are very good for preserves.

Plant Lists - Tho Jefferson's (1743-1824) Fruits

Thomas Jefferson by Tadeusz Andrzej Bonawentura Kosciuszko (1746 - 1817)

Thomas Jefferson’s Plant List From His Garden Book, 1767-1821 Dates refer to first mention of a plant in Jefferson’s documents, which include Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, edited by Edwin Betts, 1944, unpublished memoranda at the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Library of Congress and Princeton University Library. Quotation marks designate varieties not described in the literature and are generally Jefferson’s personal names.

List compiled by Peter Hatch.

FRUITS

Almond
 Prunus dulcis var. dulcis
 "Almonds from the Streights" 1774
 "bitter almonds" 1774
 “hardshelled sweet almonds from Cadiz. from Harriet Hackley" 1810
 "hard shelled bitter almond" 1774
 "sweet almonds with smooth rinds" 1774
 "sweet almonds with hairy rinds" 1774
 "sweet almonds with hard shells" 1774
 "a Virginian Almond," probably a native nut like the bitternut (Juglans cinerea) or indigenous hazelnut (Corylus americana) 1774

Apple 1774
 Malus pumila
 Calville Blanc d'Hiver ("Calvite”) 1804
 Clarkes’s Pearmain (possibly syn. Golden Pearmain) 1796
 "Detroit large white" (probably syn. with White Bellflower) 1804
 Detroit Red ("Detroit large red") 1804
 Early Harvest 1791
 English Codlin 1778
 Esopus Spitzenberg 1791
 Golden Wilding 1778
 Hewes’s Crab (Hughes, Crab, Virginia Crab) 1796
 "iron wilding" 1810
 "mammoth" (possibly syn. with Gloria Mundi) 1809
 Medlar Russetin 1778
 Newtown Pippin (Albemarle Pippin)"ox-eye striped" 1769
 (?Vandevere or Newtown Spitzenberg) 1804
 Pomme Gris ("pumgray") 1804
 "russetin" (likely Golden Russet or Roxbury Russet) 1778
 Taliaferro 1778
 White, Virginia White, or Bray's White ("white") 1778

Apricot
 Prunus armeniaca 1769
 Angelica 1804
 "Bordeaux" 1810
 Brussels 1791
 Early Red 1804
 Large Early 1791
 Moor Park ("German") 1791
 "Melon" 1787
 Peach ("peach-apricot") 1804

Cherry
 Prunus avium, P. cerasus 1769
 August 1783
 Black Heart ("forward" and "latter") 1778
 Bleeding Heart 1783
 "Broadnax" 1773
 Carnation 1773
 Cornus Mas ("Ciriege corniole") 1774
 Early May ("May," Prunus fruticosa) 1767
 English Morello ("Myrilla,” "large Morella") 1778
 "Kentish"
 (Early Richmond and/or Late Kentish) 1778
 May Duke ("Duke") 1778
 "Tuckahoe grey heart" 1811
 White Heart 1778

Currant
 Ribes sp. 1770
 European Red (Ribes sativum) 1778
 Sweet-scented or Buffalo (Ribes odoratum) 1807
 Yellow (Ribes aureum) 1807

Fig
 Ficus carica 1769
 "ancient"
 Angelique ("white Angelic") 1789
 “large” 1789
 Marseilles ("white") 1789
 “purple" 1817

Gooseberry
 Ribes uva-crispa 1767
 "Red” 1812

Grape
 Vitis vinifera', V. rotundifolia", V. vulpina
 "Abrostine red" (Colorino?) 1807
 "Abrostine white" (Picolit?) 1807
 Aleatico 1807
 Alexander ("Cape,” "Cape of Good Hope grape") 1802
 "Black cluster" (Pinot Noir?) 1807
 Black Hamburg 1807
 Bland 1822
 Chasselas Dore ("Chasselas") 1807
 Chasselas Rose ("Brick coloured") 1796
 Furmint ("Tokay") 1807
 "Lachrima Christi" (Tinto di Spagna?) 1807
 Luglienga ("Great July") 1807
 "Malaga" (Muscat of Alexandria?) 1807
 Mammolo Toscano ("Mammole") 1807
 Morgiano ("Margiano") 1807
 "Muscadine" (Chasselas Blanc?) 1807
 Muscat Blanc ("white Frontignac") 1807
 Norton’s Seedling 1824
 "Piedmont malmsey" (Malvasia Bianca?) 1807
 Olivette Blanche ("Gallettas") 1807
 "Purple Syrian" 1807
 Red Hamburg 1807
 Regina ("Queen's grape") 1807
 Sangiovese ("San Giovetto”) 1807
 Seralamanna (Muscat of Alexandria?) 1807
 Scuppernong 1817
 "Smyra grape without seeds" 1807
 "Spanish raisins" 1774
 "Toccai” or "Tokay" (Tocai Rosso?) 1807
 Trebbiano 1807
 "White Sweet Water" 1796

 Nectarine
 Prunus persica var. nucipersica 1769
 "Kaskaskia soft" 1810
 Red Roman 1791
 Yellow Roman 1791

Peach
 Prunus persica 1771
 Alberges 1804
 Algiers Yellow 1791
 Apple (Pesca mela, "Melon") 1804
 "Balyal’s white, red, & yellow plumb peaches" 1786
 “General Jackson’s” 1807
 Green Nutmeg 1791
 Heath Cling 1813
 Indian Blood Cling ("black Georgia plumb peach") 1810
 Indian Blood Free ("black soft peaches from Georgia") 1804
 "Lady's favorite" 1807
 Lemon Cling ("Lemon," "Canada Carolina") 1807
 Maddelena 1804
 "Magdalene" (either Red Magdalen or White Magdalene) 1806
 Malta 1813
 "mammoth" 1807
 Morris’s Red Rareripe ("Italian red-freestone") 1807
 Morris’s White Rareripe ("Italian-White-freestone”) 1807
 "October," "yellow clingstone of October" 1807
 Oldmixon Cling 1807
 Oldmixon Free 1807
 “plumb" 1772
 Poppa di Venere (“Teat,” Breast of Venus) 1804
 Portugal 1780
 San Jacopo (St. James?) 1804
 "soft" ("October soft," "November soft," "Timothy Lomax's soft,” “large white soft,”
“fine white soft,” “large yellow soft," "early soft," etc.) 1810
 Vaga Loggia Cling 1804
 Vaga Loggia Free 1804
 White blossomed (?) 1810

Pear
 Prunus communis 1769
 Beurre Gris 1791
 Crassane 1789
 "English" (“3 kinds") 1778
 "fine late large" 1778
 "forward" 1778
 Meriwether 1778
 Royal 1789
 Seckel 1807
 "Sugar" 1778
 St. Germaine, or Richmond 1807
 Virgouleuse 1789

Plum
 Prunus domestics, P. insititia, etc.
 Apricot 1780
 Boccon de Re 1804
 Brignole 1791
 Chickasaw, Prunus angustifolia ("Cherokee") 1812
 Cooper’s Large 1807
 Drap d'Or 1780
 Damson ("Damascene") 1778
 "Florida" (probably Prunus umbellata) 1814
 Green Gage, Reine Claude ("Reginia Claudia") 1783
 "Horse" (Prunus americana or Damson, P. insititia) 1778
 Imperatrice, Blue Imperatrice 1780
 "Large Blue" 1810
 "Large white sweet" 1780
 Magnum Bonum, Mogul, Yellow Egg, White Imperial 1778
 Mirabelle 1804
 Muscle 1767
 Orleans 1780
 Red Imperial 1780
 "Regina" (possible Queen Mother, or Damas Violet) 1804
 "Purple Prune" 1807
 Royal 1780
 "Small green plum" 1778
 White Imperial 1780

Pomegranate
 Punica granatum 1769
 Quince
 Cydonia oblonga 1769

Strawberry
 Fragaria sp. 1766
 Alpine (Fragaria vesca) 1774
 Chili (F. chiloensis) 1798
 Hudson (F. x ananassa?) 1812
 "large garden" ("Fragoloni di giardino") 1774
 "May" ("Fragoloni Mazzese") 1774
 Scarlet (F. virginiana) 1766
 "White" ( F. vesca or F. moschata) 1782

Raspberry
 Rubus idaeus 1770
 "Common" 1811
 "Monthly" 1809
 "Mountain" (Rubus strigosus) 1821
 Red Antwerp 1790
 White Antwerp 1807

Research & images & much more are directly available from the Monticello.org website. 

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Chamomile


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Chamomile

Chamomile, Chamomelum, (from Melon, gr. an Apple, because it has the scent of one, J or Anthemis, as it is called by Dr. Linnans. There are different species, but the chamomelum odoratishmum repens, fore simplici, is the sort chiefly propagated. It is used medicinally, and in making green walks or edgings; the method of planting is, to separate the roots, as they grow very close, and prick each root into poor land, about ten inches asunder, in the month of March; they will quickly stretch themselves into contact with each other, and as the flowers ripen they should be gathered and dried. When thick, it is apt to rot in the winter, so that it ought now and then to be thinned.
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Friday, April 19, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Horminum Sage

Horminum Sage (Salvia viridis)

Horminum Sage is a hardy annual native to the Mediterranean region. Grown in Britain as an ornamental in the 16th century, Horminum Sage was cultivated in American gardens as early as 1761, when it appeared on a plant list for a Moravian farm in North Carolina. Compact plants form spikes of colorful bracts in hues of pink, blue, and purple, which make long-lasting cut-flowers.

For more information & the possible availability
Contact The Tho Jefferson Center for Historic Plants or The Shop at Monticello 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Artichokes


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Artichokes

ARTICHOKES, known to botanical writers by the name of Cynara, are to be propagated either from the seed, which are to be gathered from the choke or flower at the head of the Artichoke, or from slips, which are to be separated from the main stalk by the edge of the hand, and transplanted. If these offsets are good, they will be of a whitish colour about the heel, and will have some little root to them. If you have plenty of ground, put three slips in a hill, and let the hills be four feet asunder, and the rows the same; but if you are scanty with regard to your land, you must cut your coat according to your cloth. About March, or the beginning of April, you are annually to slip off all the lateral branches with your hand, and leave only the three principal stalks in your hill. Every spring they ought to be dunged: sheep dung and ashes are not only the best for that purpose, but also for preparing the ground for them. If you have depth of mould enough, i. e. two feet, and you don't crop your ground with any thing else, your Artichokes will remain good a number of years; but if they are any ways neglected, or the ground is tended, they will not only be injured in their growth, but will very much degenerate in five years. When planted out, they should be well watered, if not in a wet season, and be kept clean from weeds. There are various methods of preserving them from the severity of winter. Some cut them down within a foot of the earth, and cover them with a hill or ridge, leaving a small hole at the top, which is covered with dung. I have found from many years' experience, that long dung is an enemy to them, and that the best way to preserve them is, by laying straw on the surface of the ground, over their roots. This preserves the leaves from rotting which fall down from the frost, and, united, afford such a protection to the plant, that not one in fifty will perish. They never flourish in a dripping situation, but like a low place, not too wet, but very rich. When you cut them, cut the stalks quite down to the ground, which strengthens the plants, and makes them forwarder in the spring. There will be many on a stalk, but all must be pulled off except that which is on the centre of the main stalk, if you propose having them fine. If you prick out the slips in the spring, you may have a succession till the fall. The leaves of Artichokes, I have been informed, clean pewter the best of any thing. There are different sorts, but two only that are much propagated. First, Foliis aculeatis, i. e. with prickly leaves. Second, Foliis non aculeatis capite subrubente, i. e. without prickly leaves, and with a smooth and reddish head. The latter is most preferred. There is the Cynara spinosa, which is to be cultivated and eaten like celery, and which produces a head with the seed not unlike the Artichoke, fro in whence it took its name. The common name is chardooh, or cardoon. The Jerusalem Artichoke...is only a species of the Sun-flower, with a tuberous root, not unlike a Potatoe. Some admire them, but they are of a flatulent nature, and are apt to cause commotions in the belly.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Texas Sage

Texas Sage (Salvia coccinea)

Texas, or Scarlet Sage is grown as a tender annual for full sun. Native from tropical America into the southern United States, this species has been grown as an ornamental in North American gardens since the middle of the nineteenth century. The spreading plants reach two to three feet and produce slender spikes of scarlet flowers from mid-summer until the first frost in autumn. Sow seeds after the last frost in spring. Texas Sage reseeds itself easily.

For more information & the possible availability
Contact The Tho Jefferson Center for Historic Plants or The Shop at Monticello 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

From Garden to Table at Mount Vernon - Raspberry Ice Cream

 

Martha Washington (1731-1802) - From the Garden to the Table 

While George Washington oversaw most aspects of managing Mount Vernon's  pleasure gardens & grounds, Martha Washington oversaw the Kitchen Garden (The Lower Garden), allowing her to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Vernon

“…impress it on the gardener to have every thing in his garden that will be nece]ssary in the House keeping way — as vegetable is the best part of our living in the country.” – Martha Washington, 1792

Inside the Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Outside The Kitchen at Mount Vernon

In the matter of eating & drinking George Washington was temperate. For breakfast he ordinarily had tea & Indian cakes with butter & perhaps honey, of which he was very fond. His supper was equally light, consisting of perhaps tea & toast, with wine, & he usually retired at nine o'clock. Dinner was the main meal of the day at Mount Vernon, & usually was served at two o'clock. One such meal is thus described by a guest:  "He thanked us, desired us to be seated, & to excuse him a few moments.... The President came & desired us to walk in to dinner & directed  us where to sit, (no grace was said).... The dinner was very good, a small roasted pigg, boiled leg of lamb, roasted fowls, beef, peas, lettice, cucumbers, artichokes, etc., puddings, tarts, etc. etc."   The General ordinarily confined himself to a few courses & if offered anything very rich, he would protest, "That is too good for me." He often drank beer with the meal, with one or two glasses of wine & perhaps as many more afterward, often eating nuts, another delicacy with him, as he sipped the wine.

Raspberry Ice Cream

Raspberries were a favorite among 18C Virginians, particularly in desserts. As the witty and socially prominent Virginian Anne Blair happily noted in a 1769 letter, “I am going to Dinner, after which we have a dessert of fine Raspberry’s & cream.”

The first reference to ice cream at Mount Vernon dates to May of 1784, when a "Cream Machine for Ice" was acquired for 1 pound, 13 shillings, and 3 pence.1 Additional utensils for preparing and serving ice cream were purchased by George Washington on several occasions during the presidency, including: 2 "dble tin Ice Cream moulds" acquired for $2.50 in May of 1792 and another was added in June of 1795, at a cost of $7.00. One year later, in June of 1796, the Washingtons spent 5 shillings for an ice cream spoon.

Both the mould and spoon were acquired during the presidency, when Martha Washington served ice creams at her weekly levees. Abigail Adams described one of these events, held each Friday evening at 8 o'clock, where the "company" were "entertained with Ice creems & Lemonade." A dinner guest at the presidential mansion, Senator William Maclay, recalled that "The dessert was, first Apple pies puddings &ca.; then iced creams Jellies &ca. then Water Melons Musk Melons apples peaches nuts."

This flavorful dish is based on Mary Randolph's (1762–1828) 1824 cookbook The Virginia Housewife recipe. She observed that ice cream should be made “very sweet, for much of the sugar [taste] is lost in the operation of freezing.”

This recipe is a modern adaptation of the 18th-century original. It was created by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.

Ingredients

3 to 4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

1 1/4 cups sugar, plus more as needed

1 recipe Boiled Custard, chilled

Directions

Press the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds. (If using frozen berries, thaw them first, and then press them.) Add the sugar, and stir to dissolve. Stir in the custard. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

When ready to freeze, stir the raspberry custard and add additional sugar, if desired. 

Research plus images & much more are available from the Mount Vernon website, MountVernon.org. 

1764 John Randolph's (1727-1784) Kitchen Garden Calendar

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One of the earliest treatises on gardening in America was written by John Randolph around 1765 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

A General Calendar for Work in the Kitchen Garden

JANUARY.
Prepare hot-beds for Cucumbers; as little can be done this month in a garden, I would advise the preparing of your dung, and carrying it to your beds, that it may be ready to spread on in February.

FEBRUARY.
Sow Asparagus, make your beds and fork up the old ones, sow Loaf Cabbages; latter end transplant Cauliflowers, sow Carrots, and transplant for seed; prick out endive for seed, sow Lettuce, Melons in hot-beds, sow Parsneps take up the old roots and prick out for seed, sow Peas and prick them into your hot-beds, sow Radishes twice, plant Strawberries, plant out Turneps for seed, spade deep and make it fine, plant Beans.

MARCH.
Slip your Artichokes, if fit, plant Kidney Beans, Cabbages, Celery, Parsley, Cucumbers, Currants, Chamomile, Celandine; Nasturtium, Featherfew, Fennel, Ivy, Horse Radish, Hyssop, Lavender, Lettuce, Radishes twice, Marjoram, Marsh Mallow, Mint, Melons, Millet, Mugwort, Onions, and for seed, Peas twice, Potatoes, Raspberry, Rosemary, Rue, Spinach, Tansy, Thyme, Turneps. You may begin to mow your grass walks, and continue so to do every morning, and roll them; turf this month; plant Box.

APRIL.
If Artichokes were not slipped last month, do it this, plantTiushel and garden Beans, sow Cabbages the twelfth, sow Cauliflowers, Celery, Cresses, Nasturtium, Lettuce, Peas, Radishes twice; Sage will grow in this or any other month; Turneps, sow Salsify early, Pepper; turf this month.

MAY.
Latter end sow Brocoli, Celery, Cucumbers for pickles, Endive, Featherfew, Hyssop, Cuttings of Marsh Mallow, Melons, Peas, sow Radishes twice, Kidney Beans; turf this month.

JUNE.
Cabbages should be sown, sow Radishes twice, transplant Cabbages, prick out Cauliflowers, prick out Brocoli, draw up by the roots all your weeds.

JULY.
Transplant Brocoli, sow Cabbages, Coleworts, transplant Cauliflowers to stand, Endive, gather Millet seed, take up Onions, sow Radishes twice, sow Turneps, plant Kidney Beans to preserve.

AUGUST.
Sow Cabbages, latter end Carrots, get your Cucumber seed, sow Cresses, prick out Endive, early sow Lettuce, Mullein, gather Onion seed, plant Garlick, get Parsnep seed; twelfth, sow Peas for the fall, sow Radishes; middle, sow Spinach, though some say not until after the twentieth, sow Turneps.

SEPTEMBER.
Sow Cabbages tenth, sow Cauliflowers, plant cuttings of Currants, Clary, Comfrey, plant cuttings of Gooseberries, sow Radishes, plant layers of suckers of Raspberries, Rosemary, plant out Strawberries, string your Strawberries, and dress your beds, plant Tansy.

OCTOBER.
Latter end cut down your Asparagus, and cover your beds with dung, plant Beans for spring, sow Cabbages twentieth; transplant Cauliflowers, plant Horse Radish, prick Lettuce into boxes, sow Peas for the hot-bed, Radishes; turf this month.

NOVEMBER.
Take up your Cabbages, sow Cabbages, take up your Cauliflowers, such as are flowered, and house them, take up your Carrots, trench all your vacant land, prune your trees and vines, plant out every thing of the tree or shrub kind, that has a root to it: if any thing is done to your Artichokes, this is a good month; plant Box; turf early.

DECEMBER.
Cover your Endive with brush, cover Celery, and every thing else that needs shelter; if the weather will admit, turn over the ground that is trenched, in order to mellow and pulverize it. Whatever will prevent delay, and enable you to begin spading in February, should be done this month.

John Randolph was born about 1728, probably at the Peyton Randolph House on Market Square in Williamsburg. After he attended the College of William & Mary for his basic education, he traveled to London in 1745, to study law at the Middle Temple at the Inns of Court in London, returning to Williamsburg to practice law in 1749. During his years in Williamsburg, he became a member of the city's common council, & a burgess for the College of William & Mary. When his older brother Peyton Randolph was elected speaker of the House of Burgesses, John succeeded him as the royal colony's attorney general.

As the sentiment for separating from mother England grew, Randolph’s brother Peyton Randolph became chair of the Continental Congress, & loyalist John Randolph made plans to sail for England. He wrote a farewell letter to his cousin Thomas Jefferson. "We both of us seem to be steering opposite courses," he said, "the success of either lies in the womb of Time." John Randolph arranged passage across the Atlantic for himself, his wife, Ariana, and their 2 daughters, Susannah and Ariana. His son Edumund, who did not share his father's loyalist sentiments, joined the American army serving as aide-de-camp to General George Washington.

John Randolph died at Brampton, England, in 1784. His death brought his return to America.  He is interred beside his father and brother in the family vault in the chapel at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.

1764 Plants in 18C Colonial American Gardens - Virginian John Randolph (727-1784) - Chives


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Chives

Chives never grow into bulbs, but in bunches, and Miller takes it to be Shallot. They do not grow above six inches high in the blade. They are to be propagated by parting the roots or planting the cloves. They do not affect the breath so much as the other sorts. The Welch Onion at some seasons of the year, viz: in the fall, dies away, but revives in January, and becomes very early in the spring fit for the table.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Mignonette

Mignonette (Reseda odorata grandiflora)

Mignonette was introduced to ornamental gardens in Europe about 1725, and because of its sweet fragrance both as a garden plant and as a cut flower, its popularity grew steadily on both sides of the Atlantic through the 19th century. Thomas Jefferson recorded sowing seeds for this annual at Monticello in 1811. The tiny, pale green and white flowers emit a fresh, fruity scent in summer and are attractive to bees and butterflies.

For more information & the possible availability
Contact The Tho Jefferson Center for Historic Plants or The Shop at Monticello 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Martha Washington (1731-1802) - From Fields to Distillery - Tavern Rum Punch 1748

Martha Washington (1731-1802) - From the Garden to the Table 

While George Washington oversaw most aspects of managing Mount Vernon's  pleasure gardens & grounds, Martha Washington oversaw the Kitchen Garden (The Lower Garden), allowing her to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Vernon

“…impress it on the gardener to have every thing in his garden that will be nece]ssary in the House keeping way — as vegetable is the best part of our living in the country.” – Martha Washington, 1792

Inside the Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Outside The Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Tavern Rum Punch 1748

This recipe is a modern adaptation of an 18th-century original. The recipe calls for George Washington's Rum and George Washington's Apple Brandy made at Mount Vernon at the Distillery.

Ingredients

24 oz boiling water

1 bottle George Washington’s Rum

1 bottle George Washington’s Apple Brandy

8 black tea bags

4 limes +2 limes

2 lemons + 2 lemons

3/4 cup of cane sugar

6 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp whole allspice

Directions

In a large pitcher (something you can store in the fridge) combine the sugar and boiling water

and the teabags. Steep the tea for 10 minutes and make sure the sugar has dissolved.

Remove the tea bags and discard them. Add the spices straight in followed by the rum and the

brandy. Stir this mixture gently.

Next, add the juice of 4 limes and 2 lemons. (It's okay to get seeds in it, we will strain them out

later.) Stir the juices in and refrigerate overnight or 8 hours.

After the time has passed, remove the mixture from the fridge and strain the mixture into a secondary pitcher or punch bowl. Garnish with the remaining citrus fruit cut into slices. 

Research & images & much more are available from the Mount Vernon website, MountVernon.org.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Prince's Feather

Prince's Feather (Persicaria orientalis)

Also known as Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate and Oriental Persicary, this towering, fast-growing, self-seeding annual was first grown in Virginia by Williamsburg's John Custis in 1737. Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon included it on his 1804 seed list as "Persicaria." An Asian species, Prince's Feather produces pendulous clusters of bead-like, bright-pink flowers in summer above robust and lush foliage. The flowers are attractive to pollinators.

For more information & the possible availability
Contact The Tho Jefferson Center for Historic Plants or The Shop at Monticello 

Friday, April 12, 2019

From Garden to Table at Mount Vernon - Stewed Pears

 

Martha Washington (1731-1802) - From the Garden to the Table 

While George Washington oversaw most aspects of managing Mount Vernon's  pleasure gardens & grounds, Martha Washington oversaw the Kitchen Garden (The Lower Garden), allowing her to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Vernon

“…impress it on the gardener to have every thing in his garden that will be nece]ssary in the House keeping way — as vegetable is the best part of our living in the country.” – Martha Washington, 1792

Inside the Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Outside The Kitchen at Mount Vernon

In the matter of eating & drinking George Washington was temperate. For breakfast he ordinarily had tea & Indian cakes with butter & perhaps honey, of which he was very fond. His supper was equally light, consisting of perhaps tea & toast, with wine, & he usually retired at nine o'clock. Dinner was the main meal of the day at Mount Vernon, & usually was served at two o'clock. One such meal is thus described by a guest:  "He thanked us, desired us to be seated, & to excuse him a few moments.... The President came & desired us to walk in to dinner & directed  us where to sit, (no grace was said).... The dinner was very good, a small roasted pigg, boiled leg of lamb, roasted fowls, beef, peas, lettice, cucumbers, artichokes, etc., puddings, tarts, etc. etc."   The General ordinarily confined himself to a few courses & if offered anything very rich, he would protest, "That is too good for me." He often drank beer with the meal, with one or two glasses of wine & perhaps as many more afterward, often eating nuts, another delicacy with him, as he sipped the wine.

Stewed Pears

One of the most valuable tools in the Mount Vernon kitchen was Martha Washington's copy of The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy...By a Lady.  Martha's copy is in the Library at Mount Vernon. Hannah Glasse's (1708–1770) The Art of Cookery...was first published in 1747. It was a bestseller for a century after its first publication, dominating the English-speaking market. It was published in America from 1805.

Mrs. Washington may have owned a number of cookbooks, but her 1765 edition of Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery and a manuscript cookbook (now at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania) are the only ones known to survive. The manuscript book  (under the title Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery) is a very early compilation of 16th and 17th century receipts and came into Martha's possession at the time of her marriage to Daniel Parke Custis who died in 1757.

The title of this Hannah Glasse recipe may confuse modern readers. Her directions specify baked, not stewed, pears, although they are to be baked in red wine or port if the recipe below is followed. Glasse noted, however, that the fruit “will [also] be very good with water in the place of wine.” As an alternative to baking, she suggested stewing the pears in a saucepan set over a low fire, using the same ingredients.

When the pears are thinly sliced and prepared in this manner, they can be used as a filling for Glasse’s Quire of Paper Pancakes. Whether we call them “stewed” or “baked,” the pears in the following recipe are lovely paired with Glasse’s Blancmange.

This recipe is a modern adaptation by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.

Ingredients

6 to 8 large ripe pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cored

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest

1/2 cup sugar

3 whole cloves

1 cup red wine or port

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Arrange the pears in a single layer in a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the lemon zest and sugar over the pear halves, and place the whole cloves in the dish. Pour the wine (or port) over the pears.

3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the fruit can be easily pierced with a skewer or paring knife, basting occasionally with the liquid. The pears should be tender but not soft enough to break into pieces.

4. Remove the pears from the oven, and set aside to cool completely in the baking dish before serving.

Research plus images & much more are available from the Mount Vernon website, MountVernon.org.