On this day 8th April 1783 John Loudon, the Scottish architect, landscape gardener and journalist was born.
Loudon had a profound influence on the aspiring middle classes through his books on architecture and gardening.
Co-author with his wife, Jane Webb, of ‘The Suburban Gardener and Villa Companion’, and author of ‘An Encylopaedia of Gardening’, ‘British Trees and Shrubs’, ‘Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture’, he also founded ‘Gardener’s Magazine’. His designs can be seen at Scone Palace and Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer. ScotClans
A Scottish Garden of Eden or a Taj Mahal to Love
By Christie Grahame
In nineteen fifty four the scene
Was diff’rent from today;
A place where builders’ men had been
And newly gone away.
Where covering of earth lay dead
On sawdust and on brick,
With cement mix quite widely spread
About six inches thick.
A trench was dug full five feet deep
That moved from front to back,
A labour schedule hard to keep
When spine was like to crack.
With builder’s rubble now the base
And dark soil ev’rywhere;
The site was quite the perfect place
To plan an Eden there.
In fifty five the deluge drench
Settled all foundation,
While baling out each rain-filled trench
Brought new revelation.
For round each side, both left and right,
A wall of clay exists,
That holed would drain the garden site
When heavy rain persists.
From such foundation deeply dug
It came as no surprise;
Colourful as a Persian rug
A garden feast for eyes.
Surrounded where Peace roses grew
By lawns of greenest grass,
Wallflowers pierced by tulips through
To scent all those who pass.
Bright floribunda graced the bank
On slope from gable end,
Where hardy annuals rank by rank
Their scented colours lend,
To where forsythia’s golden bloom,
In gorgeous yellow spate,
Combined with those of hybrid broom
Led back to garden gate.
Which garden needs no virgin maid
With outstretched apple red,
Picked from a tree whose ample shade
Conceals enticing bed.
For down that path by garden edge
Raspberries red as sin
March side by side with privet hedge
To lure one further in.
Where, past the cherry and the shed,
Gooseberries can be seen
Amongst the currants black and red;
Their thorns both long and keen,
Across the foot to other side
Are veg’tables instead
Where loganberries trellis hide
The champagne rhubarb bed.
There, in their drills and row by row,
Stand brussel sprouts and beans;
Between whose lines Scots syboes grow
With onion in-betweens.
The garden peas entwine on strings
That shade the cabbage patch,
While blackbird on the compost sings
Awaiting grubs to hatch.
Each budding branch of apple tree,
Provides a nest for bumble bee
Resting after dining
On nectar in the crocus heads
Or drooping snowdrops white
To contrast with the garden shed
As darkness does with light.
Taj Mahals to love are grown
Where growth is there to see;
And one who’s sadly left alone
Shall never lonely be,
Where seeds of love are fam’ly sown
And loving children bred.
For Taj Mahals of love have shown
Such love is never dead.