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First Garden Manual in the Western World

Written in Latin between 1304 and 1309 by Petrus de Crescentiis, a wealthy lawyer from Bologna in Italy, Ruralia Commoda was the only publication of its kind during Henry VIII’s reign.

Royal Collection Trust
The Queen’s Gallery
Buckingham Palace


According to the manual, the size of the garden and the perfection of the trees and plants within it were an expression of a king’s status, wealth and mastery over his environment. A royal garden should occupy a plot of 20 acres or more, and the planting of fragrant herbs was recommended because they ‘not only delight by their odor, but … refresh the sight.’ The gardener should ‘between these plants … form turf in the fashion of a seat, flowering and pleasant.’ The royal garden should include walks and bowers, ‘where the king and queen can meet with the barons and lords when it is not the rainy season’ and should be surrounded by suitably high walls.

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September 27, 2015   Comments Off on First Garden Manual in the Western World

Manchester’s first inner city mushroom farm

manmushInside the Biospheric Studio’s mushroom farm.

It’s really interesting to think about how forest systems work and how urban societies can learn from them

By Lucy Lovell
Munchies Vice
September 21, 2015


After previewing at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival this month, the farm will take a permanent home in the city centre and supply local restaurants with organic shiitake mushrooms, going from farm to fork within 24 hours.

Waste from the farm is being used as a nutrient for a forest garden in the Blackfriars area of Salford, just north of Manchester. The garden is a managed forest ecosystem informed by Walsh’s years of studying forest systems in Africa.

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September 27, 2015   Comments Off on Manchester’s first inner city mushroom farm