J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon.

The different modes of cultivating the pine-apple, from its first introduction into Europe to the late improvements of T. A. Knight, esq online

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enter and fill a vault of the whole width and length
of the pit (b.) ; it may afterwards enter a flue
(c. c.) and pass round the pit, and then out by a
chimney in the back wall.




The sashes of the pits at Drieoeck are six feet
wide, and three and a-half feet broad, and each has
a cover of boards which are raised up and let down
by means of cords and pullies, the better to retain

c



18



FOREIGN MODES OP CULTIVATING



the heat in the winter months (fig. 2.) Their
slope forms an angle, with the horizon of about
twenty degrees.




In these pits a boarded stage is formed, on
which the plants are set, so as to be almost touch-
ing the glass during winter ; during summer a bed
of tan is substituted for the boarded stage, and no
fire-heat is applied, but the plants plunged in the
tan.

The following is the general course of temper-
ature aimed at :

Temperature during the first fourteen days in
October, when the plants are removed from the
hot-beds of bark to the stages in the flued pits,
87 Fah.



THE PIXE APPLE. 19

Temperature from this time till the 20th of the
January following, from 5.5 to 64.

Temperature from January to March not under
55. Lowest degree admissible during winter 42.
Highest summer heat 10,5.

Temperature of the bark hot-beds, in which the
plants are placed to fruit when air is given, 103.

Ordinary summer heat for the fruiting plants 96.

In Holland and Flanders, at the present day, the
Pine Apple is never grown in any other manner
than in pits and hot-beds. The crowns and suckers
are struck and forwarded, from three to six, or nine
months, in hot-beds, and afterwards removed to pits.
These pits differ from ours in being rather steeper in
the roof, and generally the fruiting pits have a pas-
sage at the back, with a flue against the back wall,
and an entrance door to the passage at one end.
In some the passage and flue are in front, and in
others a passage and flue are conducted round the
house, leaving the pit in the middle ; but this is
rather an uncommon form, and chiefly to be met
with in pits or stoves for ornamental plants. The
fuel in general use is peat, and the glass is well
covered with boards and matting or canvas or
thatch every night after sun-set, excepting in the
wannest part of the season.

The soil used by the Dutch is good garden earth,
mixed with a third part of well-rotten hot-bed
dung, or cow dung, and a sufficient quantity of
sand to render it free and pervious to moisture.

-c 2



20 FOREIGN MODES OF CULTIVATING

The gardeners there are by no means so particular
in the article of soil, as many are in this country ;
their object seems to be to make it rich and free ;
without being very anxious as to employing virgin
soil only, or any particular kind of dung. They
generally, however, keep the mixture some time in
heaps, and turn it over once or twice before using it.
At the same time we have seen them shifting Pines,
and using a black rich earth newly dug out of an
adjoining plat of turnips ; only mixing it with a
little rotten dung and white sand.

They shift their plants in spring, and refresh the
surfaces of the pots in autumn, and they seem on the
whole to fruit them in larger pots than we do ; but
they leave off shifting them nine or ten months be-
fore the fruit is expected to appear, wishing to have
the pots filled with roots at this crisis. They sel-
dom fruit a crown plant under two years, and more
generally three, from the time it is taken from the
fruit ; large suckers they fruit earlier, according
to their size when taken off the mother plant ; some
which come out from near the bottom of the stem
they earth up, and do not take off at all. These
come early into fruit, but it is not large.



SECT. II.

Culture of the Pine Apple in Germany.

THE Germans took their horticulture from the
Dutch, as they did their landscape gardening from



THE PINE APPLE. 21

the French. They seem to have tried the culture
of the Pine Apple almost immediately after its in-
troduction to Holland; for, according to Beckmann,
it was ripened by Dr. Kaltschmidt at Breslaw in
1702, who sent some fruit to the Imperial Court;
but he states also that its culture was first attempt-
ed by Baron Munchausen, a great encourager of
gardening, and a botanist who had a fine demesne
and garden at Schwobber, near Hamelin, in West-
phalia. From the account of these gardens in the
Neuremberg Hesperides, they appear to have been
grown both in pits, and on stages in larger houses.

The king of Prussia grew the Pine Apple exten-
sively at Potsdam; he followed the Dutch man-
ner in every thing, and had a gardener from that
country who attended exclusively to the forcing
department at Sans Souci. The quantity of glass
there was greater than any where else in Germany :
the whole was kept in high order and good culture
for many years ; but after the king's death, in 1786,
it soon fell into neglect ; the glass of most of the
peach-houses and vineries was removed or destroy-
ed ; the Pine plants were neglected and diminished
in numbers, from time to time. In 1813 the royal
gardens at Sans Souci contained only about two
dozen of Pine plants, which were kept in a lofty
opaque roofed conservatory, and these, as may be
easily imagined, were by no means in a thriving
condition.

Before the French Revolution, the Pine Apple
was cultivated at most of the court gardens in Ger-

c 3



22 FOREIGN MODES OF CULTIVATING

many; but in the year 1814, there were very few
in th empire.



SECT. III.

Culture of the Pine Apple in Russia.

THE Pine Apple is extensively cultivated in the
imperial gardens in the neighbourhood of Peters-
burg and Moscow, and also in those of a few of the
greatest nobility and mercantile men adjoining
those cities. Nothing can be more wonderful
than to contemplate the resources by which this
plant, requiring not less than from 50 to 70 degrees
of heat at all times of the year, is preserved in ex-
istence through a winter of seven months, during the
whole of which the ground is covered with snow,
and Fahrenheit's thermometer, often for weeks to-
gether, at 20 below Zero.

The head gardeners of the emperor, and the
great nobles of Russia, are, for the greater part,
Britons ; and the sort of houses they erect, and the
mode of culture they follow, is as nearly as circum-
stances will admit, those of Speechly or Nicol.

The culture of the grape is, to a certain extent,
combined with that of the Pine Apple ; the former
is trained on the rafters, and the latter grown in
a pit, surrounded by flues and a path. In ad-
dition to the flues, many of the fruiting-houses
have stoves built in them, on the German con-



THE PINE APPLE. 23

struction, which are used in the most severe wea-
ther. Sometimes there is a double roof of glass ;
but more generally the roof, ends, and fronts, are
covered with boards ; which not only prevents the
weight of sudden falls of snow from breaking the
glass, but by admitting of a coating of snow over
them, prevents, in a considerable degree, the in-
ternal heat from escaping. This covering, or a
covering of matts or canvass, as practised near
Moscow, and from which the snow is raked off as
fast as it falls, is sometimes kept on night and day
for three months together. The plants being all the
while in a dormant state, it is remarkable how
little they suffer.

The best ranges of hot-houses in the neighbour-
hood of Petersburg, have been imported there from
Leith, or London. At Moscow, where the same
facility of importation is not afforded, they are
constructed on the spot, in a very rude manner ;
in the best of them, the interstices between the
sashes and rafters are so large, that they have to
be stuffed with moss. Still it is astonishing how
well the Pine Apple is preserved in them through
a long winter, and what excellent peaches and
grapes they produce during summer. The cause
seems to be owing to the great care and skill of the
gardeners, in keeping the plants in a dormant
state, when there is but little light ; and in apply-
ing powerfully all the agents of growth and culture,
during the short, but warm Russian summer.

There are some German gardeners in Russia,
c 4



24 FOREIGN MODES OF CULTIVATING

who cultivate the Pine Apple in pits as in Holland ;
and crowns and suckers are forwarded in this way
by them, and also by the British gardeners settled
in that country.



SECT. IV.

Culture of the Pine Apple in France*

THE culture of the Pine Apple does not appear
to have been commenced in France till after the
middle of the eighteenth century, and then only in
the royal gardens at Versailles, in those of the
Duke of Orleans at Mousseaux, and one or two
others. It has never been cultivated by above a
dozen persons in that country ; nor is it grown by
so great a number at the present time. The best
are in the garden of M. Boursault, within the
boundary of Paris ; and the next those of the king
at Trianon and Versailles, and of the banker La-
fitte, at his country-seat, a few leagues from the
capital.

M. Boursault grows them in low houses, which
may be termed pits, being without glass in the
front or ends ; the plants are plunged in tan, and
kept as near the glass as possible ; and the soil
used is good garden earth, or free soil (terre-
framhe), with about half its bulk of poudrette, or
desiccated nightsoil. M. Boursault tried them
formerly in the poudrette alone, but found they
did not succeed so well as when a smaller quantity



THE PINE APPLE.




was used. He produces fruit from half a pound
to two pounds in weight, and it is said of a good
flavour.

Rosier states, that M. Mal-
let, a curious horticulturist,
grew ananas in a peculiarly
constructed frame of his own
invention (fig. 3.) ; but we
could see none of these frames
in use in any way, and were

informed by different persons, that they were too
expensive in their first cost to succeed.

The Pine plants in the royal gardens, did not
appear to us so well cultivated as those of M.
Boursault; they were very much drawn, and
seemed too sparingly watered. All the Pine
plants which we have seen in France, and also in
Italy, had this yellow sickly appearance ; and the
fruit produced was universally of small size ; one
of three pips is thought worth presenting to table.
It is certainly a very singular fact, and not hither-
to explained, that the Pine plant in a climate where
it gets more light than in Germany, Britain, or
Russia, should yet be less green than in those
countries. Had the reverse been the case, the
circumstance would not have been surprising;
but that more greenth should be produced in the
northern hemisphere, and under the torrid zone,
than under what might be considered as a happy
medium between two extremes, is astonishing, and
leads to a suspicion of deficiency of management.



2 FOREIGN MODES OF CULTIVATING

The cause seems referable to deficiency of water,
and too great heat during night ; for during day
they have the precaution to shade them from the
sun's direct influence.



SECT. V.

Culture of the Pine Apple in Italy.

THE" Pine Apple was grown in Italy before the
revolution, by the Pope, at Naples, and by the king of
Sardinia, at Turin. The late king of Sardinia sent
his gardener to England, to study the culture of
this fruit ; and he returned and published in 1777>
a pamphlet on the subject. He recommends it to
be grown in pits, much the same as those of the
Dutch, but without flues, which is still the general
practice in Italy. After the possession of Piedmont
by the French, the royal palaces and gardens were
neglected, and in 1819, when we saw them, they
were not restored.

At the royal gardens, and those of Prince
Leopold, at Portici, near Naples, a few Pines are
grown in pits, by two German gardeners, that of
Prince Leopold, an intelligent man and a good
botanist ; but the plants, notwithstanding the fine
climate, are etiolated, slender, and pale, with very
small fruit. The pits were entirely sunk in the
ground, narrow, and without flues, and they were
shaded in the day-time with a net. It appeared to
us, that they were much too tenderly treated ; if



THE PINE APPLE. ^7

uncovered in the night-time, or planted in the
open garden, and left exposed all the summer,
and covered with double glass frames during win-
ter, without any fire heat ; but, if occasion requir-
ed, surrounded by linings of dung, we have no
doubt they would succeed much better.

At Caserta, a royal palace about eighteen
miles from Naples, the Pine Apple is grown in a
style much superior. The gardens and grounds
there, were laid out by M. Graeffer, a German
gardener, who was formerly a partner in the firm
of Gordon, Thomson, & Co. London nurserymen.
The hot-houses are built exactly in the English
style ; the Pines raised and forwarded in pits, and
fruited in broad low houses, with vines trained
under the rafters, in Speechly's manner. M.
Grseffer died in 1816, and his son has still the care
of the royal gardens, and in 1819 had the Pines, in
what would be considered in this country, middling
good order. They were certainly of a much less
vivid green than those of England or Holland, and
the fruit was smaller ; M. Grgeffer, jun. never having
been out of Italy, was not aware of the difference ;
but on enquiring into his mode of treatment, we were
led to suspect a deficiency of water and of mois-
ture, by watering the flues and paths of the house,
and too great a heat kept up during the night. The
air of Italy is, at most periods of the year, much
drier than that of the north of Europe ; that of
France and Germany is also drier than the air of
Holland, Britain, and Russia; and perhaps this



28 FOREIGN MODES OF CULTIVATING

difference in atmospheric moisture, and the over-
heating at night, may, in some measure, account
for the difference in the colour of the foliage of the
Pine and other plants kept under glass in France
and Italy.

There are some Pines grown at Rome, Florence,
and Genoa ; but they are not much better than
those of Portici. The greatest number, and the
finest plants and fruit which we saw in Italy, was
in the Vice-regal gardens at Monza, near Milan,
under the management of a most intelligent Italian
gardener, a pupil of Professor Thouin of Paris,
Signior Luigi Vilaresi. The treatment is in all re-
spects that of the Dutch ; the plants are forwarded
in frames, and sometimes in the open air for a
month or two during summer ; they are fruited in
large pits, with a walk behind, and when more
plants come into fruit than are wanted, they are
retarded, or preserved, by being placed in a divi-
sion of the pit without bark, and where they re-
ceive abundance of air in the day-time, but no
water. The plants here were large and long-leaved,
but still not so green and stocky as those of Eng-
land, and the fruit did not appear to be above one
and a half, or two pounds in weight. On enquiry,
we found no air was ever left to the pits in the
night-time.



THE PINE APPLE.



SECT. VI.

Culture of the Pine Apple in other parts of Europe.

THE Pine Apple has been fruited at Stockholm,
and in one or two places besides in Sweden ; and
also in the Court gardens at Copenhagen, and by
De Conninck, and some of the rich merchants of
Denmark ; but we could hear of none being grown
in either of these countries, when we visited them
in 1813 and 1814.

It is said to be cultivated in Spain, near the sea
coast ; and also at Lisbon. We know it was grown
by the late M. De Vismes, near the latter city;
and we believe it is now grown by some English
merchants at Seville ; but this is all we know. It
does not appear to be grown in European Turkey.




30 BRITISH MODES OF CULTIVATING



CHAR IV.

OF THE DIFFERENT MODES OF CULTIVATING THE PINE
APPLE WHICH HAVE BEEN, AND ARE PRACTISED IN
BRITAIN BY PRACTICAL GARDENERS.

1 HE Pine Apple plant, as already observed,
seems to have been first introduced by Mr. Ben-
tick, afterwards re-introduced from Holland in
1719, and then first cultivated for its fruit in Sir
Matthew Decker's garden at Richmond. Here,
according to Professor Bradley, the gardener, " Mr.
Henry Telende, imitated so successfully M. Le
Cour's newly discovered method of cultivating this
delicious fruit, that he is likely to ripen forty of
them in the present (1724) autumn." (Husb. and
Gard. for June 1724, p. 161.) He elsewhere tells
us that " the late instance of bringing the Ananas
or Pine Apple to perfection in England, by the in-
genuity of Mr. Telende at Sir Matthew Decker's,
has so far gained upon the curious, that already
many of our nobility have undertaken the same im-
provement ; and 'tis not to be doubted but a year
or two more will make this undertaking much more
general." He mentions " their being brought to ex-
traordinary perfection at the garden of the right
honourable Spencer Compton, Speaker of the
House of Commons, at Chiswick ; and at that
curious gentleman's, Mr. John Warner, Rother-



THE PINE APPLE. 31

hithe." He informs us that an excellent stove on a
new plan, with a bark pit, was built by William
Parker, Esq. near Croydon, in Surry, to make
" experiments in ripening fruits that has not been
tried j" and that Mr. Fairchild, in 1722, built one
at Hoxton for Pine Apples and other tender plants,
in which the fire flues were raised above the surface
of the floor, by which means all danger from damps
was avoided. Mr. Cowel, as before observed,
(p. 4.) states that in 1730 Pine Apple stoves were
to be found in almost every curious garden. Mr.
Telende's mode of cultivating the Pine Apple is
detailed by Professor Bradley in 1724, and the
most generally approved mode of culture from that
time to the middle of the eighteenth century may
be considered as given by Miller in his Dictionary.
The improvements which have since been made by
practical gardeners, may be ranged under the heads
of Justice, Speedily, Abercrombie, M'Phail, Nicol,
Griffin, Baldwin, Andrews, Oldacre, Gunter,
Grange, and Aiton. To each of these names we
shall devote a section ; and under each, consider in
succession, the form of house, soil, general treat-
ment, insects, and fruit produced.

SECT. I.



Mode of cultivating the Pine Apple practised by Mr. Henry
Telende, in the Garden of Sir M. Decker, at Richmond, 171 9,
to 1730, or later.

Form of House. For the education and ripening
of this fruit, Mr. Telende employed a frame made of






32 BRITISH MODES OF CULTIVATING

deal, closely jointed : the length eleven feet, divid-
ed equally into four lights ; the width seven feet and
a half; three feet high at the back, and about ten
inches in front. The pit was somewhat more than
five feet deep in the ground ; the sides were lined
with brick, and the bottom covered with pebbles.

The stove or fruiting-house used was that with
iron plates over the flues ; which, for greater warmth,
was covered thick with thatch, and the glasses Were
well guarded with shutters ; and that the fire might
be constant, he burnt only such turf as is com-
monly used in Holland, agreeable to M. Le Cour's
method.

General Management. About the middle of
February, he " puts in as much hot dung or horse-
litter as will raise the bed about a foot high, and
then lays on the tanner's bark as equally as possible,
till the case of brick- work is filled, beating down the
tan gently with a prong, or pressing it down easily
with a board. A bed of this kind will take up three
hundred bushels of tan, and if it be well made, will
heat in about fifteen days, provided the frame and
glasses are set over it. When the bed breathes a
right heat, which we are to judge of by a thermo-
meter, the plants are brought from the stove to it,
either to have their pots quite plunged into the
bark ; or, if upon opening the holes for them, the
bark be found too hot, then to be set in only half
way, laying a few pebbles under the bottom of each
pot, that the water may pass freely through them.
Care must be taken not to remove the pots in frost



THE PINE APPLE. 33

or snow ; and to examine the bed from time to time*
whether the bark grows mouldy, musty, or dry,
which it will often do in the summer : in such case,
it must be watered to recover its heat. A bed thus pre-
pared and managed will maintain a constant degree
of heat, sufficient to give these plants the utmost
vigour they require, from the end of February to the
end of October ; and then the plants must be again
removed into the stove or conservatory. In exces-
sive heats the glasses are tilted up at the back of
the frame ; and when the evenings are cool, the
bed must be carefully covered with substantial mat-
tresses of straw. A bed of this kind sinks about a
foot, which is convenient ; for otherwise the plants
would be too tall for the frame, before the time of
housing them.

" The thermometer used by Mr. Telende had a
tube twenty-four inches long, and one-eighth of an
inch in diameter. When the spirit rose only to
fifteen inches, he accounted the aircoldforhis plants;
at sixteen and a half temperate ; at eighteen warm,
which was his standard for Pine Apple heat; at
twenty inches, hot air ; and at twenty-one inches,
sultry/'

Insects. Nothing is said on this subject.

Fruit produced. Mr. Cowel says (Curious and
Profitable Gardener, p. 27.) that all gentlemen who
had eaten Pines abroad allowed those raised by Mr.
Telende to be as good and as large as they found
in the West Indies. Bradley says, forty Pines were
likely to ripen in the autumn of 1724.



34 BRITISH MODES OF CULTIVATING



SECT. II.

Of the Culture of the Pine, as given by Phillip Miller
in his Gardener's Dictionary*

Form of House. It was formerly the practice,
Miller observes, to build dry stoves, in which the
plants were kept in winter, placed on scaffolds,
after the manner in which orange-trees are placed
in a green-house ; and in summer, in hot-beds ot
tanners' bark, under frames. But it is now the
practice, he adds, to erect low stoves, called the
succession-house, with pits therein for the hot-bed.
It is also necessary to have a bark-pit under a deep
frame, for bringing forward the suckers and crowns
to supply the succession-house.

Mr. Miller's fruiting-house has upright glasses in
front, high enough to admit a person to walk up-
right on the walk in front of the house. Over the
upright glasses there must be a range of sloping-
glasses, " which must run to join the roof, which
should come so far from the back wall as to cover
the flues and the walk behind the tan-pit ; for if the
sloping glasses are of length sufficient to reach
nearly over the bed, the plants will require no more
light : therefore these glasses should not be longer
than is absolutely necessary, that they may be the
more manageable."

The difference between this stove and that of
Speedily is, that in the latter the sloping sashes
reach to the back wall, by which means, instead of



THE PINE APPLE. 35

a useless opaque roof over the path, an excellent
place is formed for training a vine ; and this being
at all times the hottest part of the house, such vines
as are there trained will produce very early and
high-flavoured fruit.

The succession-house of Miller has no upright
glass, and only a walk at the back of the house :
the bark-pit may be partly sunk in the ground, if
the situation be dry ; or if wet, kept above it.
The flue makes three returns against the back wall,
beginning from the level of the walk. Many per-
sons, he says, have made tan-beds, with two flues
running through the back wall, and covered with
glasses, like common hot-beds ; but, besides the in-
convenience of taking off the glasses when the
plants want water, the damps rise in winter when
the glasses are closely shut, and there is danger of
the tan taking fire.

The improvement on this plan consists in de-
taching the flue from the back wall, and separating
it from the tan by a vacuity of two or three inches ;
or, what is still better, placing the flue in front
similarly detached, and surrounded by air on all
sides.




D 2



36 BRITISH MODES OF CULTIVATING

Soil. " As to the earth in which Pines should be
planted, if you have a rich good kitchen-garden mould,
not too heavy, so as to detain the moisture too long,
nor over light and sandy, it will be very proper for
them without any mixture : but where this is want-
ing, you should procure some fresh earth from a
good pasture, which should be mixed with about
a third part of rotten neats' dung, or the dung of an
old melon or cucumber bed, which is well con-


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Online LibraryJ. C. (John Claudius) LoudonThe different modes of cultivating the pine-apple, from its first introduction into Europe to the late improvements of T. A. Knight, esq → online text (page 3 of 12)