On the golden age of gardening

William Aley aley_wd@mac.com
Wed, 23 Jan 2008 00:45:32 PST
After visit to Cornwall and seeing both the lost gardens of Heligan  
and the Eden Project I was convinced that there has been a golden age  
of Horticulture that started in the 1900s. To realize that a Head  
Gardener at the Heligan Estate in 1890 would be expected to know what  
types of manurer, through  decomposition would provide sufficient heat  
to warm the pineapple house to bring African Pineapples to fruit.
Too much nitrogen and one would have a fire, not enough and the plants  
would freeze.
There was so much international plant material in transport when  
compared to what had been available in the mid 1800's. There have been  
problems from all of the plant material moving about unchecked...
I think now with the overwhelming amount of plant material available  
and electricity and jet transport providing the energy to recreate  
environments that many of us take this for granted. It is too easy to  
replace a plant that has died effortlessly.
I rather like the idea of Jim's "less in artificial environments" and  
more of zone tolerant plants in the garden.
Don't get me wrong I am a plant geek I just have a hard time with  
plants not surviving well in the garden.
for those that don't know Heligan:

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