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Gardens in Season

Francis Bacon held that "in the royal ordering of gardens there ought to be gardens for all months of the year, in which severally things of beauty may then be in season…" He then recommended these flowering plants and trees from those in season in each month.

"These particulars are for the climate of London."
The latter part of November, December, January,
Such things as are green all winter:
Holly, ivy, bays, juniper, cypress trees, yew, pineapple trees, fir trees, rosemary, lavender, periwinkle (white, purple and blue varieties), flags, orange trees, lemon trees, and myrtles (if they be stoved), and sweet marjoram, if warm set.
The latter part of January and February
The mezereon tree (daphne) which then blossoms, crocus (both yellow and grey), primroses, anemones, early tulips, hyacinth, charmaris, fritellaria.
March
Violets (especially the single blue), yellow daffodil, daisy, almond tree in blossom, peach tree in blossom, cornelian tree in blossom, sweetbriar.
April
Violet (the double white), wall-flower, stock gillyflower, cowslip, flower-de-luce (iris), lilies of all kinds, rosemary flowers, tulips, double peony, the pale daffodil, French honeysuckle, cherry tree in blossom, damascene and plum tree in blossom, white thorn in leaf, the lilac tree.
May and June
Pinks of all sorts, especially the blush pink; roses of all kinds, except the musk rose which comes later; honeysuckle, strawberries, bugloss, columbine, the French marigold (flos africanus, also called African marigold). Also, cherry tree in fruit, ribes (currants), figs in fruit, raspberries, vine flowers, lavender in flowers, sweet satyrion (white), herba muscaria, lilium convallium, apple tree in blossom.
July
All kinds of gillyflowers, musk roses, the lime tree in blossom, early pears and plums in fruit, gentians, quadlins.
August
Plums of all sorts, pears, apricots, barberries, filberts, muskmelons, monks-hoods of all colors.
September
Grapes, apples, poppies of all colors, wardens, quinces.
October and early November
Services, medlars, bullaces, roses that have been cut or removed (pruned) to come late, hollyoaks, and such like.
And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight, than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air.

  • Violets
  • Musk rose
  • Sweet briar
  • Wall-flowers, which are very delightful to be set under a parlor or lower chamber window.
  • Pinks (carnations) and gillyflowers, especially the matted pink and clove gillyflower.
  • The flowers of the lime-tree.
  • Then the honeysuckles, so they be somewhat afar off.
Source: from Francis Bacon, On Gardens, in Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral (1597)

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MaggiRos
5 July 2005 pkm