Saturday, July 27, 2019

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

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.


Gooseberry, Grossularia, by some Uva, and by others Crispa, because villose and hairy. There are many species and seminal variations amongst the species themselves to be met with, but the two sorts principally cultivated are the hairy Gooseberry, and the large white Dutch. They are propagated from the suckers or cuttings, but the latter are preferable, as they produce much better roots than the former, which are apt to be woody. Autumn, before the leaves begin to fall, is the proper time for planting the cuttings out, taking the same from the bearing branches, about eight inches in length, and planting three inches deep, observing to nip off all under branches, so as to raise it to a head on a single stalk; in October you are directed to remove them into beds about three feet asunder, and having been one year in the nursery, they are to be removed to the places where they are to remain, six and eight feet asunder, row from row, observing to prune their roots, and all the lateral branches about Michaelmas; the London gardeners prune their bushes and cut them with shears into hedges, but this method is not approved of by Miller, who advises pruning with a knife, thinning the bearing branches, and shortening them to about ten inches, cutting away all the irregular ones; by this culture, I doubt not the Gooseberries would be as good as any in Europe; there is a small Gooseberry, very leafy, and which bears its leaves and fruit a long time, that is not worth cultivation; wherefore I would advise the banishing them from the garden.