Object of the week: ‘The Flower Garden Display’d’, Furber, 1734.
This fascinating and uplifting engraving was produced by a London seed merchant, Mr. Furber, in 1734. It depicts the types of flowers which were popularly sold as seeds in June. This is one of twelve, one for each month of the year.
As well as being pictured and named in the engraving, each flower has a short description and care instructions which give us insight into the broadening botanical knowledge of the time. In his account of the Perennial Dwarf Sunflower, Mr. Furber mentions that it “came to us from Carolina”, and was subsequently popularised in British gardens.
These images and descriptions also create a sense of the changing fashions of the eighteenth century garden; which plants, colours and scents were desirable. The Blue Nigilla, for example, by the time of writing, were “now hardly to be had, tho’ formerly they were found in almost every garden”.
The book was given to the College by Lord Arundell as part of the Arundell Library, curated with the interests of Stonyhurst Pupils in mind.