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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

Few descriptions or depictions of horticulture in New Netherland have come down to us, although 17th-century observers' accounts of gardens and orchards present lengthy lists of fruits, vegetables, 'and fiowers transplanted from Europe, as well as those discovered in North America. Perhaps the most evocative source is the mid-century Castello Plan, a view of the settlement af New Amsterdam, which shows elaborate · parterres on most of the unoccupied lots. Are the gardens of the Castello Plan fact, or simply cartographer's whimsy? Based on data from both the Netherlands and New Netherland-including artists~ depiction~, travelers' accounts, and gardening texts-that illustrate the cultural attitudes, cultural materials, and enviro'n~ ment the colonists would have known in Europe, the images of gardens depicted on this early view of Manhattan are evaluated.

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