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Archive for the 'Planting' Category

Trees ahoy!

Twee berichten over drijvende rechtopstaande bomen in een maand tijd, herinnerden mij aan een verhaal over met bomen begroeide drijvende eilanden uit een van de vroegste geschreven bronnen over Nederland. Een project in Rotterdam brengt op deze manier niet alleen de gevolgen van de huidige klimaatverandering onder de aandacht, maar vormt in dat licht bezien mogelijk een herinnering aan de gevolgen van klimaatverandering voor het eens zo machtige Romeinse rijk -en dat van Nederland.

Published: my piece about the 18th century nurseryman Jacobus Gans, whose bold move from Haarlem to Hillegom (and his purchase of an estate there in 1771), is now explained. His formerly unknown partnership with Rotterdam merchant Bastiaan Molewater (1734-1780) played a deciding role in the rise and fall of his nursery.
The move itself makes it possible to put a date on Gans’ undated catalogues, especially because an unknown version has come to light, on which his sole address is still in Haarlem only.

Gans had ‘English’ and ‘American’ plants for sale, and mentioned that he had gone to England himself to collect them there. His use of ‘English’ terms when advertising the sales catalogue of these plants (see the advert and the title of this post), shows that no proper Dutch vocabulary was available (yet) for this type of planting material.

A question about the popularity of the Wisteria in The Netherlands, led me towards a search for the first occurence of that plant in the country. That search sent me back in time further than I expected: to 1737, George Clifford’s garden at De Hartekamp in Heemstede. Linnaeus’ publications about this garden mention the plant, under its original name Glycine.

In de Benedentuin van Paleis Het Loo wordt op dit moment de laatste hand gelegd aan de recreatie van de parterres. De figuren zijn gelegd in corten-staal, en op basis van nieuwe kennis over de oorspronkelijke situatie worden de haagjes lager en smaller dan voorheen het geval was.
De corten-stalen randen zijn wat mij betreft veel te goed zichtbaar, en helaas heeft dat ook praktische redenen: ze dienen als rails voor het vrijwel geheel gemechaniseerde knipproces. Wat mij betreft had die stalen rand minder zichtbaar gekund, maar de praktische voordelen zijn onmiskenbaar.
Toch jammer.

A bill concerning the delivery of two trees in 1771 for Huys ten Donck reveals a specific method for the planting of magnolias. They had to be planted in the pot they were delivered in. After one or two years this pot should then be broken, while in the ground.

Philip Miller originally suggested to keep the plant in pots for the first two years (after sowing), so the tender young plants could be brought in when necessary during those first years. After that, they went into the ground, pot-less.

Apparently the succes rate of newly planted magnolias had been below expectation. Magnolias ranked under the most expensive garden plants of the time, so losing one of those was a costly and frustrating affair. Twenty-five years after the Dutch translation of Miller’s work was published, their planting method in the Netherlands had changed -probably as a result of that.

Two months ago I stood in front of this:   It was framed, of course, and hung fairly low against the red (if memory serves) backdrop of a wall at the Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum in Hannover. The painting is one of  a series that artist Max Liebermann made of views in his own garden. This one […]

I asked a question in my last post. This one: “Or could the circular area -with or without building- surrounded by a thick planting of evergreens have been the norm at the time?“. ‘At the time’, being the 1720s, as that was when two drawings of such a circular open space -can’t really call them […]

Dry conditions ake it easier for garden archaeologists and historians to see what history is lurking underneath the otherwise opaque green surfce of garden lawns.

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