is probably the best known and widely quoted gardening
writer of the 17th Century. In fact he has become
known to many who had no interest in gardening because
of his famous diary. The diarist Pepys called him a
"very fine gentleman." There is no doubt but that he
was well acquainted with and greatly respected by many
members of the English aristocracy including nobles
and others closely related to the ruling class in
Evelyn traveled extensively in France, Italy, and
Flanders. He translated from the French De La
Quintinyers magnificent work, which was the most
beautiful book about English Gardening in any
language. This translation became the standard English
authority on the subject and was called The
Compleat Gardner (1693).
Evelyn's book Acetaria, A Discourse of
Sallets (1699) was a famous gardening book. He
also wrote Sylva, or a Discourse of Forest
Trees, which was a practical work. He had planned
to write a book entitled The Plan of a Royal
Garden but it was never completed. Acetaria (1699)
was to be one of the chapters therein.
Remnants of his garden design recommendations are
still extant in England.
Switzer states that he wrote "like another Virgil"
and "was appointed for the retrieving the calamities
of England and re-animating the Spirit of his
countrymen for their planting and sowing of woods - to
him it is owing that gardening can speak proper