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The Garden History Society

Forgotten Gardeners, II: John Graefer Author(s): Alice M. Coats Source: The Garden History Society Newsletter, No. 16 (Feb., 1972), pp. 4-7 Published by: The Garden History Society Stable URL: . Accessed: 29/07/2013 13:43
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Ophiopo9on and and Eucomis re-introduced Orontium japonica. II: John Graefer. Kewensis the later ones to Graefer the most productive to "Gordon and Graeffer"." 4 This content downloaded from 200. who was subsequently with the Polish African and then in India. merchant of Thompson and Gordon at Mile End . and is In February of the same year the Sir Queen of Naples and Sicily had asked the William to find British Minister her an English Plenipotentiary. Coats In one sense. Hamilton.and with much of the material yet practically untouched. style. of Teheran men lock in the neighbourhood that women when the tree effect up their result of the introduction was observed in England. /sic7 Mr. is that when working ence on one subject of interest in another fragments clearly to be passed have often the exchange of ideas between subject by. Gordon. nothing acquainted.) is in bloom. entirely very country trading India The only channel would seem to have to the Dutch East concession Company. whose fragrance the Zinzeyd var. During the following decade Graefer seems to have been responsible for a are credited in Hortus Those of 1776-78 number of plant-introductions. this that gardening "is to the refreshment greatest are but handiwork". alone. my own experiavailable. the palace at Caserta. when he introduced Aucuba japonica. Anton Hove. spirits man. known of first Hove's on the antecedents.38. such items can be passed on rather than members. introduced. We should the remember the astounding Bacon.134. that surrounded Sir William the formal already gardens Sir Joseph and by August to his the request Banks had correspondent Banks. who went over two years to ago. having January both were known to Sir Joseph It was not only plants England Banks. with within such a group as ours. He is said to and to have been a pupil of Philip have been a German by birth. has so intoxicating an orientalis. and buildings refresh"greatest is as much worth our study as that of the "gross * . for a gardener to send abroad as a plant-collector. years being 1783-4. (No particular obtained to know how Graefer his Japanese It would be interesting as the plants. nor of how he and Graefer became again. ment by the Earl of Coventry silkGore. of the King of the two Sicilies "The Gardener later:two years is a Scotchman and had been partner. Gordon.the year the nursery-firm in when he joined over made the to the James his which business sons.80 on Mon. * * handiwork" * * * * * of buildings * and palaces? Forgotten gardeners. that Graefer Graefer September 1785 Aiton of Kew was looking Graefer put him in touch employed. Graefer or Graffer) Graeffer was forgotten (also almost spelt for nothing of his early he began. passed by. But coast. nor the dates employat Croome. passed for the post. Now. Elaeagnus or Zungeed. been through Thunberg. by Alice M. angustifolius punctata. since William visited 1779. japonica. founder. candidate The appointment Graefer as a suitable seems to selected to it in his journal White referred for Gilbert more than have made some stir. of when he wrote without of which. not knowwhen of his subsequent or why he came to England. or assistant. 1776 and got Perhaps In back to Sweden in met him. the history Surely made a world-famous contribution. We are first able to put a finger of Kensington on him about 1776. a plant-loving and by James Vere. palaces gross to which our country has ment". 29 Jul 2013 13:43:57 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a out to lay in the English She wished in addition to garden gardener. but we do Miller. a to for closed then limited was except Europeans. has been recorded before life. who left Japan in December on the way.

(Smith's rose-gardens description. Ferdinand then began to take an interest in it.E. Loudon many years later called a specimen "as perfect of the English as we have seen on the Continent. Naples Sir William reported that "a beautiful plant called Emma has been transplanted from . his way to the Greek islands. a vessel bound for Leghorn. tious and dull. on Naples. Here Graefer had to wait three weeks for a ship for he was on this of the John Dr. with his draughtsman Ferdinand Bauer. were and so were the palace who did all gardeners intensely jealous. lodgings. Graefer was at the Queen came forward with a donation end till to keep the gardens of difficulties Graefer managed to create a garden which the criti- In spite cal J. A site of 50 acres had been Meantime. Graefer was given long a walking and employed on advantageous terms a house pension by the Queen." Loudon.) the new garden was making progress.38. 5 This content downloaded from 200. Napoleon was Maria's the disliked at one time he threatened plaything. Robinson.80 on Mon. and employed the delayed in making time a thorough botanical of the island. vegetable garden. have it ploughed and sown with corn. Graefer took him botanising and showed him Daphne collina he had (which found on Ponza) beside Volturno" in such profusion previously as growing "shelvy to resemble "the celebrated of Paestum". The verdure pleasure-ground of the turf is maintained of irrigation. to the existing and to was a include purchased adjacent garden. could to blacken his he was overcharged for his they and character. servants. and before with was Graefer arm-in-arm.Emma Hart. who called at Naples in March 1787 in the course of a Continental Grand Tour. was by the King. of his employers. Half-a-dozen times he would have given it all to England. They were for a long time by bad weather at the island of Ponza. the protegee of his nephew Charles later to England" Greville. the King fond of these He had married at seventeen instruments.Arrangements were made in September for a passage to Naples for Graefer. (a Spanish Bourbon) vindictive and tyrannical. royal withdrawn and for two years no supplies were forthcoming. by the character King Ferdinand. and many of them form now nursery fine nor later (Neither William had a good very specimens. who had a nature even more domineering Austria. (later J. 29 Jul 2013 13:43:57 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . accompanied part journey by Sibthorp. he enjoyed riding on fairground roundabouts and consorting with the riff-raff of Naples. and a servant his three sons is mentioned but they may have followed (no female a wife later: and one daughter survived but these first fell him).134. The gardener survey reached on 18th April Less than three later months eventually 1786. garden besides the walls. But he was beset many masons The Italian building by difficulties. was again his wits' going.) Several of the locality noblemen Graefer to lay out employed their grounds. and parts of the walls by a partially-concealed system were originally laid with which could at the time Kensington gravel. Another visitor was Dr. Sir) English Smith. become Lady Hamilton. built for - him in the of grounds he and he was sent to all over But the in kingdom 1795 the to collect favour plants some which introduced England.) being Maria Carolina of sister of Marie Antoinette.C. King to it. Every exotic be purchased at the Hammersmith was planted. monies due to him were not paid. So long as the new garden own. than his called her "the only man in Naples". a botanic and a bowling-green. word to say for the earlier formal which seem to have been both pretengardens. was capricious. if it'had not been for Hamilton's up and returned and backing He was not helped assistance. (Haydn wrote for him a Divertimento in C Major incorporating two hurdy-gurdies. indeed. bookings and eventually with much difficulty accommodation was found for them on through. Graefer soon had 80 men at work. But after two the Queen was obliged up years to give it up on account of the expense.

in Sicily. with his title was pleased an eccentric his fame induced and thereafter clergyman called as Prunty or Brunty to change in the spelling condition. "one of the Graeffers" to record that It is pleasant John in 1802 is irrefutable. than. during over three before the on 7 August at Bronte died Graefer just years 1802. or "was. of his its name. the farmhouse of putting instead a "perfect of the into Maniace himself he busied Palace". kale. largely royal family with the Nelson to his throne. Graefer and his the family from Caserta Nelson. pieces crumbling was at Nelson Admiral on 1st August of the Nile After the Battle 1798. part. The with the fascinating his affaire and then pursuing from a head-wound then (Nelson had already French being occupied Rome.of In eleven a Descriptive (in England) 1789 Graefer Catalogue published and Perennial and varieties of Herbaceous hundred species of upwards Plants etc. of Naples brother-in-law. This refers "Invention of Prepared annals for his of the Admiralty" Vegetables". (One wonders whether solicitous Vegetables". at Trafalgar. instructions.38. and apparently account Loudon gives J. unimpeachable /was7 in fitting and two years' revenues the first him to employ authorised up a house for his to have exceeded seems Graefer the estate. It seems certain. fall from his when stunned gig. a manual which has been described as second in usefulness only to Miller's in the In the foreword he claims to have been "publicly celebrated Dictionary. would first more his duties as much. scalding but after a room heated other "a or completely being stove". worthy converting financial little received Nelson Duke of Bronte. always to on his new property. as a preventative or its virtue as an excellent natural its flavour food.) and "Nelson for the knew about "Invention of of Prepared signed Irish himself descent Nelson Bronte". took refuge through July. head-gardener 6 This content downloaded from 200. and brown to a patent and preparing which he took out in 1780 for "drying green a a or will for that it retain so or other Scotch year longer borecole. which was all in order. and under the shadow of Mount Etna. Naples Emma.134. by an accidental peasants of John Graefer. at sea) Republic.C. at Caserta the that he remained He says death. of Bronte dukedom and estate within serve a month the as steward Admiral health had brought of his crews. was another this murder the victim that perhaps partial however. of the original the death for as the evidence three one of the gardener's sons. which ancient he handed of on to his talented "Bronte" was then The estate daughters. a derelict fortress of Maniace called landlord. He had and the Nelson only habitable to building improve the of any size was a farmhouse agriculture was anxious standards and to demonstrate to the downtrodden peasantry the benefits of having an English for honesty in Graefer. was in ruins La Fragila. period were hung in in salted water the plants of scorbutic After disorders". Murat (1808-1815). or rather recuperating permit. any buzaglo by dried they were to allowed in to re-absorb sufficient humidity to prevent them from packing. in at Caserta was still 1835. of the glorious residence Meantime his heirs. improving that had been intended. death Admiral's of a different. Parthenopian they but in the following in Sicily. He rewarded was restored Ferdinand Nelson's help.80 on Mon. and at the end of the year The and set up the short-lived took Naples. benefitted and the estate his return only lifetime. by Napoleon's and hostile stabbed set been in murdered" mortally by upon having 1816. Graefer's occupation throughout in and died. whose "character confidence great and as an agriculturist abilities and his undeniable". circumstantial.. 29 Jul 2013 13:43:57 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .

Kewensis. W. ed. as "an outstanding of midimportant example Society I would to think the hand of Paxton like was landscape design".. I have been back through all the Hesketh 1865 before no reference and can find of the Council to Paxton. Hesketh completely before restoration Park. it was"the and authorities of do) but feel (as many authors ghost" responsible Edward Kemp of Birkenhead. The Conservatory. Harrison.. Loudon.C... by John A. But alas' it just of Mary. of Herbaceous A Descirptive J.B. J. Graefer.R.Principal references:2nd ed. Dawson. Queen of Scots wasn't the tradition In Hesketh Park... Some roof bearers Southport. . and its Conservatory. Oman. and corbels were Hesketh member victorian Park. C... in 1971.. Encyclopaedia N.38. of Gardening (1822). Catalogue Plants 1789). Dispatches Lord Nelson (1845).80 on Mon. (1810). of the Victorian 7 This content downloaded from 200. 29 Jul 2013 13:43:57 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Hortus The Letters Banks (1958). rusted through.H. Aiton.. Nelson (1947). whatsoever minutes old written a that local tradition he involved been was rather it has like always although at Hardwick Hall.. Sir of and Letters The Nicholas. F. we have what has been described by a leading Southport. W. for Paxton had died in former his Paxton pupil through Park was completed in 1868..I.134. * * * * * * * * * * * Perennial .D.