The Garden of Eden, or an Accompt of the Culture of Flowers and Fruitsnow growing in England; with particular rules, how to advance their Nature and Growth, as well in Seeds and Herbs, as in ordering of trees and Shrubs: In 2 parts, in 80, written by Sir Hugh Platt Kt; newly reprinted.



[Page 302]

This, I think, is the first time, I take notice of a small parcel of a late Writer, only reprinted, and without additions. And this I do with great respects for the pains he took, to promote, follicite and communicat Experiments and Inventions; to accomodate all occasions of Human Life, for all conditions of men, for Necessaries, and in all extremities; and for Delicacies, Treats and Entertainments, and generally with more than ordinary success. This will appear by a few Touches, which i shall here give upon three of his Books formerly publish't : 1. This his Garden. 2. HisJewelhouse. 3. His Closet.

The second part of his Garden came forth posthume A. 1660, in the preface of which 'tis said, That the First part had four Impressions in less than six years. This Collection (as himself computes them) is of 200 Experiments in that first part, and of 118 in the second part. Not, that he assumes them all for his own Experiments, nor gives his warrant for them all: But whatever he could obtain from all the famous Gardiners of his time about London or elsewhere, by exchanges of his own discoveries, or by purchase, or by frequent visits, or by addresses, he briefly published, constantly naming or indicating the right Author, These he calls his long, costly andlaborious Collections, not written at adventure, or by an imaginary conceit in a Scholars private study, but wrung out of the Earth by the painful hand of Experience, faith [...]. And this small manual may do Gardiners more good, than many large and methodical Volumes, which are fitter to furnish the Libraries of Theorists, than to grace our Gardens with the best demonstrations of this practical and operative part of Nature

We want more such worthy persons, to report the progress of all Tryals and Improvements in these affairs, ever since his Majesties resturation.And now more especially,since the Inoculating of herbs,flowers and shrubs,and the grassing in Roots, and the mixing and uniting of Vegetables,which may direct the most curious operations,is so accurately handled(as will shortly farther appear) and withall since we begin to discourse so warmly of propagating Mulberries and Vines in England:for the later of which our Author hath given us good assurance and encouragement in his Second part of Gardens,Sect.40.

Mean while we must acknowledge, that some of our English have lately done excellently well forGardens and Orchards. And the first and best Master in France, for the manner of Walling fruit: The Sicurle Gendre, and the French Gardiner were elegantly Englisn't about the year 1660. But yet this was peculiar in our Author, that he excited the adventures of all the [Page 303] expert Gardiners he could hear of, and communicated the best of their results: which was more than any one man could, in so short a time, perform: This can only be done at London, where there are Clubs of expert Gardi ners, apt to assay Novelties and Rarities, and where they may have the fullest intelligence from other parts, and can most effectually disperse all over England what is most for common good.

2.His Jewel-House came abroad A. 1653. containing 149 chapters, perhaps more Experiments and observations, than Chapters. To which the Printer has added anothers Discourse of Gems, Gums & c. which some think not worthy to be annexed. Here also he assumeth not all for his own, but often vouches his Author, or Instance. And sometimes he may mistake, or be misinformed. Neither must it be expected, that i should give a Judgment on thosefew instances, which i shall contract here out of many, which may perhaps be no less considerable.

For Seamen he directs, how to preserve fresh water a long time from putrefaction, c.5. He provides a wholesom, lasting and fresh Victual for the Navy, c. 147. A portable easie Pump, to drain Fens, standing Pools and Ponds, to cast water on banks out of a River, and to do good service upon any suddain, or a great leak in a ship, c. 146. To keep Oisters good some time, and fresh,c. 88. The like for Lobsters, [...], Prawns [...]I omit the ways he first taught to preserve [...] leaves, and other flowers, the juice of Orenges, Lemons, and other juices in all particulars, all the year, Artichocks, (the dainties of Princes of old, and lately so in England, faith Musset), all the Winter, and all the Lent, and divers other kind of fruit, c.I here in his Jewel -house. He shows c.4. how to preserve and keep sweet any fowl or other flesh, for three weeks or a month, in excessive hot weather.

For Travellers, he offers a light garment, yet sufficient against any rainy weather, if later cheats have not disgraced the invention: A drink for travellers ex tempore, when they cannot bear the change of beer on the road, c.25. Other helps to ease Horse or Man in their travels, c. 24 83. 87

For Buildings, a cheap mortar, c.92. To make smooth or glistering floors or walls, c.90, &c. He shew'd great respects for honest Chynistry, and was careful in directing Distillations, for Salts, Spirits, Oyls, and shewing various uses of them: But he gives cautions against the cheating Alchymist, c. 99; against some Vintners and Marchands od Wine, c. 73; against frauds in some Brewers, c.9. For the Curiosity, he shews, How a Dutch Jeweller did cement two of the Queens Crystal-cups that were broken, and teaches other cements, c.50. But we expect better Cements from a more learned and honorable Philosopher. He hath many devices to ease the charge of Artificers; for cheap and long lasting candles, and double lights, cheap fuel, drinks in extream wants, and for delicacy. But above all, he advanced the Agriculture of England by Marle, Saline materials, as far as the Seas extend, which encompass these Islands; and by other Soyles, c. 104; chiefly by Lime, and the way of Denshiring; whereby the most barren lands, hills and wasts may [Page 304] be converted to bear the richest burthens of corn, hay, and grass.

His Closet was publisht in two parts, bound together, A. 1651. Thefirst part contains preserves, Candying, Pastes, Banqueting conceits, Cordial waters, Conserves, Medicins and Salves. The second part has more of the same, or the like, as Preserves, Conserves, Candying, Secrets in distillation, Cookery and Huswisry, Sweet powders, Ointments. Further, our Author, having enlarged noble tables, furnisht necessaries for multitudes of the most indigent, enriched husbandmen, found good employments for younger and sincking families, assisted and encouraged ingenous Arts and honest Trades, invented many new, and revived unregarded or too much neglected accommodations, and having taught, how the Sea-waters and Seasand may be made a fertilising compost, and the very Earth a relieving fuel, he thought it best to ingratiate with Ladies, to do many of the good offices of charity, to heal the sick, lame, maimed and wounded, who by poverty were unable to discharge Apothecaries bills, Physitians and Chirurgions; and to impart the elegant huswifry for delicacies, treats, and collations. He taught them, how to convert the wholesom plants and blossoms of their gardens and common fields, hills and pastures, and the fruit of bushes, shrubs and hedges, and many of our taller trees, to be found food and rich wines; even to challenge the blood of the grape; and under the favour and with the assistance of the Sugar-cane; and Sometimes with the help of the Alembick, to carry the general applause, and to triumph in victory. And what had now become of our Sugar plantations, if he had not so happily begun when he did, to shew us the excellencies and infinit uses of Sugar. And as to his Cookery, COLUMELLA, who spake the most he could against it, yet himself instructs, How to order Wine, and other liquors, pickles, gamons, and other food, for the best; and marmalades, quidenies, and conserves, most agreeable for the Empresses of those days, when the Bee supplied the want of Sugar-canes. And good Cookery is as ancient, as the reputation of the most famous physitians, a noble part of their profession. Emperours and Popes had always learned Physitians for Master-cooks. And our Author was follow'd with the Cabinets and Closets of both Illustrious and Learned Persons: The Countess of Arundel's Closet, the Countess of Kent's, Sr.Theod.Mayern's,Sr.Ken. Digby's, the Queen-like Cabinet, the accomplish't the Cook, the French Cook, and Rabisha's body of Cookery: These two last revised and perfected for the year 1673 . And for sure and moderat Cookery, Muffets Improvement of Health, reprinted 1665, and, as Dr. Bennet thinks, worth all that wrote before him, not exceptinig Patina, Apicius and Alexandrinus. At this day, Barbados and Jamaica are the better for Ligons skill in Cookery. And,if the Sturgeon of New Eingland be the right Sturgeon,and so chosen and order'd, as Muffet directs it may be a service ( as of old) for an Imperial Table. And all Commanders and Pursers at Sea are concern'd for good marinal pickles, &c.

London, Printed for John Martyn, Printer to the Royal Society. 1675

This is a selection from the original text


adventure, cookery, employment, invention, medicine, necessaries, travel

Source text

Title: The Garden of Eden, or an Accompt of the Culture of Flowers and Fruits now growing in England; with particular rules, how to advance their Na- ture and Growth, as well in Seeds and Herbs, as in ordering of trees and Shrubs: In 2 parts, in 80, written by Sir Hugh Platt Kt; newly reprinted.

Author: Hugh Platt

Publisher: The Royal Society

Publication date: 1675

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: Source:Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 9: 302-4. Published by : The Royal Society Stable URL: Accessed on 25-02-2015

Digital edition

Original author(s): Hugh Platt

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) page 302
  • 2 ) page 303
  • 3 ) page 304


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

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Genre: Britain > nonfiction prose > science

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