Sunday, September 27, 2020

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

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.


Currants, or Corinths, so called from a near resemblance to a Corinthian Grape, (Ribes by the botanists) have many species; but the two principal are the red and white, of which the Dutch sorts are chiefly propagated in England. They are to be propagated from cuttings, planted in the fall, (September) and are directed to remain two years, when they are to be removed into beds, and planted in rows ten feet asunder, and four feet from each other. But the cuttings will succeed as well if planted in a rich light bed, to stand without any removal at all. They will grow either against walls, pales, or in espaliers. If some are planted against a south wall, or in a warm place, and othcrs in a colder situation under a north wall, the fruit will last a long time, as there will be a succession. The fruit grows on the former year's wood, on small snags, which come out of the old wood, wherefore in pruning, these snags ought to be preserved, and the young shoots shortened in proportion to their strength. In pruning, cut off the old wood, and not in heads. I find no directions as to keeping them on single stalks, but I believe this method is best. They will grow in any soil or situation, even under trees, though the open air is best. Your plantation must be renewed in seven or eight years.