Plants & Trees in pots

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Technical Terms dealing with Medieval period gardens
by Lauren Stier · All Zones · Terminology · 0 Comments · April 21, 2012 · 19,541 views

There is ample evidence in the pictural representations of pots either outdoors or in the house (in addition to the works cited below, see The Italian Renaissance Interior: 1400-1600, by Peter Thorton, Abrams 1991) Gillyflowers in pots appear to have been especially popular in that period, both indoors and out. Potted plants and trees are deicted placed on top of grassy beds in gardens and entryways-- these may have been tender perennials or fruit trees.
Pots made of ceramic seem to have been the norm, usually in the 'Italian' flowerpot style, or in a shape of urns, with either wide tops or narrow. Potted plants were used to extend the season, as well. Thomas Hill points out that you can start your cucumbers early if you plant them out in pots, leaving them out all day in warm weather and moving them into a warm shed at night.

The Gardiner which would possesse Cucumbers timely and very soone, yea and all the yeare through, ought (after the minde of the Neopolitane [Rutilius?]) in the beginning of the spring, to fill up old worne baskets and earthen pans without bottomes, with fine sifted earth tempered afore with fat dung, and to moisten somewhat the earth with water, after the seeds bestowed in these, which done when warme and sunnie daise succede, or a gentle raine falling, the baskets or pans with the plants, are then to be set abroad, to be strengthened and cherished by the sun and small showres; but the evening approching, these in all cold season ought to be set under some warm cover or house in the ground, to be defended from the frosts and cold aire, which thus standing under a cover, or in the warme house, moisten gently with water sundry times, and these on such wise handle, untill all the Frosts, Tempests, and cold aire be past, as commonly the same ceaseth not with us, till abut the middest of May,
After these, when opportunity or an apt day serveth the Gardener shall bestow the Baskets or Panners unto the brimme, or deeper in the earth, well laboured or trimmed before, with the rest of the diligence to be exercised, as before uttered; which done, the Gardener shall enjoy very forward and limelier Cowcumbers than any others.
This matter may be compassed, both easier, in shorter time, and with lesser travell, if the owner, after the cutting of the waste branches, doth set them in well laboured beds, for these in far shorter time and speedier, doe yeeld faire Cucumbers.
The one thing I think necessary to be learned, for the avoiding of the daily labour and paines, in the setting abroad and carrying into the house, either halfe tubs, baskets, or earthern bannes, which on this wise by greater facility may be done, if so be the Gardener bestwo the vessells with the plants in Wheel-barrowes, or such like with Wheeles; for these, to mens reason, causeth marvellous easiness, doth in the bestowing abroad, and carrying againe into the warme house, as often as need shall require.
The young plants may be defended from the cold and boisterous winds, yea, frosts, the cold aire, and hot Sunne, if Glasses made for the onely purpose, be set over them, which on such wise bestowed on the beds, yeelded in a manner to Tiberius Caesar, Cucumbers all the year, in which he took great delight, as after the worthy Columella, the learned Plinie hath committed the same to memory, which every day obtained the like, as he writeth.

Tender perennials and Mediterranean trees such as the orange, bay and promegranate were sometimes managed this way in Northern Europe during the Renaissance, raised in tubs and brought into a shed, sometimes a heated shed, in the winter. Le Menagier says to bring violets inside pots for the winter.

Lauren Stier

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Lauren Stier - I have a medieval garden which has been an ongoing project

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