|• 1894: Manchester Ship Canal opened||• 1899: Boer War starts||• 1901: Queen Victoria dies||• 1903: 1st aeroplane flight by Wright Bros.||• 1905: Ragged Lands established||• 1909: Introduction of Old Age Pension||• 1912: Sinking of the Titanic||• 1914: Start of 1st World War||• 1916: Battle of the Somme||• 1918: End of 1st World War||• 1919: 1st trans-atlantic flight||• 1920: League of Nations founded||• 1922: Irish Free State founded||• 1924: Lenin dies||• 1926: General Strike||• 1928: Women get the vote||• 1934: Hitler assumes power in Germany||• 1936: Regular BBC TV broadcasts begin||• 1939: Start of 2nd World War||• 1940: Dunkirk evacuation|
We could well believe Miss K Belshaw, who is the head gardener, and in her third year at the College. The garden slopes away down from the top of a luxuriant lane, and in any of its paths the breath of the cooling breezes which make merry on the opposite Downs will temper this sunshot place, which has been cultivated out of all recognition of its former self. Fields have given place to useful market gardens, blooming garden patches and odoriferous orchards -and all the work of ladies. The garden runs to five and a half acres now, is monopolised by the growing of market stuffs, and is the only one of its kind in Sussex. It may fittingly be described as an orchard inter-cropped with vegetables - vegetables of a wide variety and on a big scale, and small flower gardens after Italian, French, Dutch, water, and rock wall designs.
Miss Eleanor Beazley (head student), who first received the interviewer and granted him the privilege of a view on the interesting garden at the College, said that the site was altogether rough, uncultivated ground, like Mount Caburn, when Viscountess Wolseley first came with five or six other ladies. The Viscountess had previously done good gardening work at the Farmhouse, Glynde, and from the first her enthusiasm for a subject of which she had great practical knowledge was such that, hard as was the task before her on the hillside, a gradual overcoming of difficulties and ultimate success were confidently hoped for by those who were in a position to appreciate the circumstances. Viscountess Wolseley herself worked unstintedly for a promise of success, and it was not until she had seen it developed and assured that she withdrew. Three years ago Miss Elsa More became the forewoman, and for the last thirteen months she has been principal and sole manager. Bringing a wide experience to bear upon her management. Miss More has had the satisfaction of seeing her labours crowned with success, and the garden has been self-supporting for at least a year now. This is a remarkable step in a comparatively short space of time, and considering that the college had to make its own way from the first.
There are now about twenty students, and no doubt as soon as they are trained, their services elsewhere, in consequence of the exigencies of the war, will be applied for, Miss More is daily receiving inquiries for more or less experience workers, but she has parted with all her trained pupils. Students enter the college for periods of six and twelve months and two years. At the end of the latter term a certificate may be obtained, Miss More's ideal for her students is that upon leaving the college they may be qualified to conduct their own gardens on market garden lines, and in this connection it my be pointed out that there is now plenty of inducement for ladies to try to realise Miss More's ideal, as there is a very great demand for fair gardeners.
Vegetables are by far the main yield, and these find a regular market at London, Brighton and Eastbourne, and a ready sale among private customers. There is a vine - it was never better than now, and fruit and melons are also cultivated. In addition, there are the usual greenhouse plants, and the students are also interested in herbaceous borders. They keep a diary of work done in the garden every day, which is very useful as a record of reference. Occasionally, they visit gardens in the neighbourhood with a view to picking up, and adopting, new ideas. Viscountess Wolseley, who has a residence in the garden, instructs the pupils in garden designing and planning, and in winter she and Miss More and other experts deliver lectures to the students.
Manual as the work sometimes is, the ladies do it all themselves - even the stoking and packing, and making of the framelights. A considerable part of the labour of levelling was also undertaken by them. Up to a year ago the work was rendered slower because water had to be obtained from the house, but water was discovered at the very foot of the garden at the time mentioned, and it can now be pumped on to any part of the work.
The college is now practically upon the lines of a market garden, to prove (states the prospectus) what an educated, thinking head can accomplish towards making land profitable, and to show how much money can be made with a properly cultivated and well-cropped garden.
The students, in boys boots and cricket shirts, leggings, riding breeches, and knee skirts, are still the wonder of many of the villagers.
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