This section is from the book "A History Of Gardening In England", by Alicia Amherst. Also available from Amazon: A History Of Gardening In England.
Take red herrings and cutting them in pieces burn the pieces on the molehills, or you may put garlicke or leeks in the mouths of their Hill, and the moles will leave the ground. I have not tryed these ways, and therefore refer the reader to his own tryal, belief or doubt".
For the destruction of other garden pests many equally fanciful remedies were in vogue. Lawson recommends to pick off all caterpillars with the hand, "and tread them under foot." "I like nothing of smoake among my trees," he says; "unnaturall heates are nothing good for naturall trees." He enumerates the things necessary for keeping the garden free from " beasts," "besides your out strong fence, you must have a fayre and swift greyhound, a stone-bowe, gunne, and if neede require, an apple with an hooke for a Deere, and a Hare-pipe for a hare," and against blackbirds, bullfinches, and other small birds, " the best remedy here is a stone-bow, a peece." No survey of the garden would be complete, without mention of the bees, whose hives were to be found in them all, and the management of which was considered a necessary part of a gardener's duties, and writers on gardening subjects generally devoted a chapter to bees.*
One memorable event in the time of Charles I. was the formation of the first Botanical Garden in England, at Oxford, in 1632. This was just a hundred years after the establishment of the earliest in Europe, that at Padua. Henry, Earl of Danby, founded and endowed it ; he gave five acres of land, also built greenhouses, and a house for the gardener. The fine gateways, bearing a date and inscription in praise of the Founder, were designed by Inigo Jones. Jacob Bobart, a German, from Brunswick, first had charge of it, and he was succeeded by his son, also Jacob.
The marshes for bog plants, to be seen at Kew and elsewhere at the present day, which are the admiration of lovers of a " wild garden," are no new thing. Bobart had one at Oxford, which is thus described by Robert Sharrock. † " The Artificial Bog is made by digging a hole in any stiff clay, and filling it with earth taken from a bog . . of this sort, in our garden here in Oxford, we have one artificially made by Bobart, for the preservation of Boggy plants, where being sometimes watered, they thrive for a year or two as well as in their natural places." A catalogue of the garden, which contained some 1600 species and varieties, was published by Bobart in 1648. Of these nearly six hundred were native plants. The catalogue is a tiny book, and no space is given to describe the flowers. It is merely a list of names, the first part Latin-English, the second English-Latin. The list contains among trees " Abies mas," " male Firretree," " Arbutus," " Strawberry tree," " Arbor Judae," "Judas tree," "Ash tree," etc. Among the flowers are about twenty sorts of Roses, including " York and Lancaster, Provence, Austrian and Cinnamon, 11 violas, 9 clematis, 7 Colchicum and 9 crocus, double and single peony, 4 foxgloves, 10 Lychnis, Campian, Bee orchis, orchis serapius," etc. The list also contains " Nicotiana, English Tabacca," " Yucca, Indian Bread," " Stinging nettle," and 4 sorts of moss, " cup, club, hard sea, and tree mosse."* The plant names follow each other in alphabetical order, quite regardless of any classification. The first attempt to separate indigenous from foreign plants was made by William How, in his work entitled Phytologia Britannica (1650).
* Thomas Hill, The right ordering of Bees.
† An Improvement to the Art of Gardening. 3rd Edition, 1694.