THE LOST GARDENER

ADVICE FOR PENICUIK’S LOST WALLED GARDEN

From Blackwood & Sons contemporary Edinburgh periodical The Gardener

edited by William Thomson gardener to the Duke of Buccleuch, Dalkeith Palace, Midlothian

Blackwoods published The Gardener in the 1860s & 70s. It was imbued with the Scots

practicality of John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843) and graced with his initials (see right) 

 

 

 A FEW REMARKS ABOUT HOTHOUSES

NEXT in importance to a site for a garden is that of the position of hothouses.

The position in which hothouses are placed in relation to the surface of a garden, and to other offices in connection with a garden establishment, is of very great importance, from both a cultural point of view and the ease and efficiency with which all the operations connected with the culture of plants and fruit can be carried on.

Although the ordinary architecture of fruit and plant houses is not by any means ornamental - and the less so and more simple they are in their construction the better as a rule they are adapted for plant and fruit culture- yet the appearance of a range of glass-houses, even in relation to a vegetable and fruit garden, is a point which should not be ignored so utterly as it has been in even the most pretentious gardens. Indeed, next to the seeming perversity in choosing a site for the garden itself, is the higgledy-piggledy manner in which glass-houses have been scattered about, as if they had been abstracted in an " inconsiderate rage " from a Pandora's box, and scattered about to create the best, or rather worst confusion, and to be as inconveniently heated and difficult and laborious in their management as possible. We could refer to numerous illustrations of defective arrangement not only in choosing the locality of hothouses, but in the relation in which they have been placed the one to the other.

And some of these illustrations, strange to say, might be got from establishments of a purely commercial character, where glass-houses are erected to grow fruit and plants for sale, and where it might be expected arrangements that are calculated to reduce the expenditure of fuel and manual labour to a minimum ought to be a matter of the first importance, but where, instead, inconvenient arrangements and expensive working must reduce the profits very greatly indeed.

One of the most striking instances of blundering in connection with the recent erection of a quantity of new glass came under our notice a few days ago. Evidently the proprietor was in the humour for a very liberal expenditure in the way of graperies, etc. To the site chosen no very particular objection can be urged. It was a level piece of ground lying on a very deep subsoil of strong clay. A range of 300 feet of vineries was one of the items decided on. And, wonderful to tell, an immense excavation, sufficient in length and width for the whole houses, and their borders, was excavated to the depth of 6 feet, and in this level are the vineries and borders placed. Literally buried out of sight to a great extent; and the result is damp ! damp! and mildewed Vines. To increase the grotesqueness of this arrangement, a series of span-roofed houses is perched on the natural ground - level, right in front of these semi-subterranean vineries. And in heating the sunken range the boiler is placed at one end of the range instead of in the middle, to work right and left and simplify the arrangement of pipes.

We know of plenty of old hothouses which have been foolishly sunk in damp subsoils, but could scarcely believe our eyes when we saw the modern range in question.

This sinking of hothouses so much below the ground-level is always an error attended with many evils. To say nothing of the dampness for a great portion of the year, sunken houses are most inconvenient to work, from the fact that several steps have to be ascended and descended every time they are entered for any purpose whatever. If there are to be steps at all they should be upwards; but even then, in ordinary cases, there should not be more than one. Another great evil attendant on sinking hothouses is, that they necessitate deep stoke-holes that are difficult to drain, and inconvenient in many other respects.

When there are many glass-houses, they should as a rule be placed compactly together and in parallel lines, and varying very little in their base-levels. They are thus much more easily heated and conveniently attended to in every respect. Another matter which saves much labour and time in working hothouses is the manner in which efficient ventilation is provided for. The way in which this very important matter is arranged in some cases is very simple and effective; in others it is the very reverse. We recently inspected a new range of glass, 300 feet long, composed of lights 4 feet wide, in which the ventilation was effected by letting down and pulling up every light separately with a rope ! and where the whole front had to be opened in the same clumsy inconvenient way. It is almost incredible that such a mode of ventilating should be adopted at this era of hothouse building.

Any system of ventilation that necessitates the moving of half or the whole of a roof to give a few inches of ventilation, is wrong in principle and most laborious in practice, and should not be tolerated for a moment. It is not our intention here to enter into the desirable minutiae of hothouse arrangements. "We desire to point out a few errors to be avoided, and would recommend all who contemplate hothouse building, and who do not employ practical gardeners who are up to the times in these matters, to secure the services of some competent practical gardener as their adviser. Builders do not understand the requirements of plants and fruits, and commit great blunders in such matters; and it would not only save gentlemen much annoyance and disappointment, but it would ultimately save them much money to do as we advise.

work in progress

 

from an 1848 Schenck engraving presented to Alexander Cowan of Penicuik

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

 

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

 

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

THE LOST GARDEN OF PENICUIK

 

PENICUIK’S COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECT

Penicuik Community Development Trust is responsible for the Lost Garden of Penicuik, Penicuik Food Project, Penicuik Open House, Penicuik Cinema and the Bankmill Project. The Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland with company number 380626 and OSCR charity number SC O37990 and Trustee Directors Roger Kelly (chair), Roger Hipkin (secretary 20A John St. Penicuik EH26 8A ), Jane MacKintosh (treasurer), Dave Stokes, Mose Hutchinson and Penny Wooding, forming part of a Managing committee with Anne-Ruth Strauss, Bill Fearnley, Caroline Maciver, Chantal Geoghegan, Chris Langdale, Daniel Baigrie, Doreen Gillon, Jane Kelly, Katie Sydes, Lynn Niven, Marianne Cortes, Marjory Bisset, Mitch Lewis, Peter Coutts, Simon Duffy, Simon Fraser, Ulla Hipkin, elected annually at the Trust's AGM.   Paid-up Membership of over 200;  Patrons: Ian Macdougall, Gerda Stevenson, Colonel Edward Cowan.  Trust official Website www.penicuikcdt.org.uk Bank Mill website: www.bankmill.co.uk The Trust is a Member of Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) takes part in Doors Open Day, and works with Penicuik Community Council, Midlothian Council, Midlothian Voluntary Action, the Midlothian Growing Ideas Partnership (including Midlothian Garden Services, Mayfield & Easthouses Development Trust, and other garden and food projects in Midlothian associated with the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens), and the Mapa Scotland restoration of the Great Polish Map of Scotland at Eddleston, and supported the papemaking tercentenary led by Penicuik Historical Society.  There are personal and mutually supportive links with Penicuik Community, Sport & Leisure Foundation, Penicuik Community Arts Association, the Penicuik House Project, the Scottish Civic Trust and the Saltire Society, with community groups and trusts in Aberfeldy, Broughty Ferry, Gorebridge and Moffat, with Penicuik’s twin town at L’Isle-sur-la Sorgue , Vaucluse, Provence, with Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec and with the Papeterie St-Armand in Montreal.  

 

WEBSITE LINKS:

PICTURES OF THE LOST GARDEN

 

STORY OF THE LOST GARDEN

–how the Lost Garden of Penicuik came to happen

LOST GARDEN LATEST

–recent progress and pictures at the Lost Garden of Penicuik

www.makers.org.uk/penicuik/food

–how the Penicuik Food Project in the Lost Garden came about

 

PENICUIK SATURDAY ORGANIC & FAIRTRADE MARKET

–entirely non-profit and run by local volunteers since 1990

TAKING ON THE PRESS

 –ideas for Pen-Y-Coe Press & Old Post Office, Bridge Street Penicuik 

BANK MILL PROJECT LATEST

-exciting plans to show Penicuik’s papermaking heritage go on hold

. 

Campaign to restore General Maczek’s GREAT POLISH MAP OF SCOTLAND

-our forgotten international attraction at Eddleston, the biggest outdoor relief map in the world 

 

PENICUIK HOUSE PRESERVATION TRUST

 

PICTURES OF BIELD COMMUNITY WALLED GARDEN, PERTHSHIRE

 

PILLAR AND MOON : THE GRAND ENTRANCE TO NOWHERE

 

Penicuik Community Development Trust

 Saturday Open House in the Town Hall:

Some of the 100 or so Penicuik Open House weekly displays

KITTY FYFFE’S POSTCARDS

PENICUIK CO-OP

HEAT & LIGHT

OLD TOOLS

TOM ADAMS TOWN PLANNER FROM CARLOPS TO NEW YORK

ROBERT NASMYTH AND PENICUIK’S CORNBANK DESIGN

THE COWAN PAPER ADVERTISEMENTS OF 1944

JOHN DENNIS AND THE ESKBRIDGE BRICKWORKS

THE COWAN ARTISTS OF 1944

DEMOLITION OF VALLEYFIELD MILL IN 1980