Medieval English Gardens

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Viking Press, 1981 - Technology & Engineering - 298 pages
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English gardens in the Middle Ages are one of the most neglected aspects of our heritage. Yet gardening was already old in England when the Normans came, and almost every dwelling in town and country, from castle to cottage, abbey to humble hermitage, had an enclosed plot which few herbs for flavour, healing and strewing, flowers for garnishing, vegetables for the pot. These gardens are among the most varied, colourful, fragrant and neglected delights of English history. They are overdue for redemption from the obscurity into which the better-documented, still-surviving gardens of later centuries have plunged them. That happy task has now been undertaken by Teresa McLean, a young historian whose immense research is gracefully presented in this book, the first on the subject for over fifty years. She has devotedly tracked down the fragmentary records tucked away in account rolls, charters and surveys, and her book contains a vast amount of hiterhto inaccessible information on gardens and what grew in them in the period between the Norman Conquest and the Renaissance. It is a book for the horticulturist and the historian, but it is no dry, specialist work. Rather it is a book for those who like gardening and are homesick for the pre-industrial world of harvesting, gardening Christendom. It is about a world which has long since vanished, but is still there for anyone with a willing imagination to recreate. -- Book Jacket.

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