header gardeners

1878 McCardle Catalogue

1878 McCardle Catalogue

The 1878 McCardle catalogue has been used as a guide by the Heritage Gardeners for planting fruit trees, flowers and other shrubs. The catalogue informs us what plants would have been available to farming families and people living in the villages and towns of the Wellington Province in mid-Victorian period of New Zealand settlement. 

William Wilson McCardle (1844-1922)

William Wilson McCardle was born in the Parish of Parton, Scotland to Violet Brown and Robert Cardle. He migrated to New Zealand from London with a friend in 1862, arriving in Lyttleton on the Chariot of Fame on January 29, 1863. His occupation on the ships passenger list is shepherd. He spent two years shepherding in Ashburton before returning to Christchurch. He acquired his gardening and orcharding skills when he was employed for two years by John Greenaway, a Christchurch nurseryman who focussed on the home garden and landscaping, rather than pastoralisation and shelter.

He married Janet Martin on 20 August, 1866 in Christchurch. In about 1869, they moved to Dunedin where he founded his own nursery, Glen Gardens, Caversham.  From 1872-1874 he won prizes at Royal Horticutural Society of Otago exhibitions for his fruit and vegetables, and he was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society committee. In 1874, William McCardle wrote to the editor of the Otago Daily Times, stating that he had the largest collection of fruit-bearing trees in Otago.

Six years after arriving in Dunedin, he sold out - there is a record of the 1874 sub-division of his land on Glen Road in Dunedin, and in 1875, the sale of an orchard with 150 trees. He then established a nursery in Masterton, advertising fruit trees, forest trees, shrubs, plants and seeds for sale, from 19th June 1875.

He won the Stuart Cup for his display of 172 varieties of apples at the Wellington Horticultural Society competitions in 1882. The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (1897) says 'McCardle's apple orchard, stocked with its hundred fruit-bearing varieties, was soon the talk of the Wairarapa.' Nursery Road, in Masterton, is where the orchard was located. 

The Masterton City Council website informs us that in 1877, Mr McCardle was one of the first Trustees elected to establish a public park in Masterton, which is now known as the Queen Elizabeth Park. In his book 'A Very Publick Reserve' Gareth Winter (2008) writes that Mr McCardle started laying out the grounds in the winter of 1878. The McCardle descendants advise that he laid out the planting plan for the grounds and his family helped plant the many beautiful ornamental trees that grace the park today.

Mr McCardle founded the township of Pahiatua and in 1884 he moved from Masterton to farm at nearby Mangahao. Gareth Winter writes that his nursery clearing out sale advertised over 5,000 apple trees, 1,500 plums and over 2,000 rhododendrons for sale.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand (1897) states 'Though he discontinued the nursery business, he had at his pretty homestead on the banks of the Mangahao, a very fine orchard of 12 acres and a flower garden containing the best collection of rhododendrons in the Colony at that time.'

The McCardles named their Mangahao farm Riverview. The homestead, with its 'splendid library' was destroyed in the 1898 bushfires. In 1900, Mr McCardle sold his Lincoln stud, dairy herd, land and remaining rhododendrons and relocated to Te Awamutu, Kawhia.

He was a Member of the Legislative Council from 1907 - 1914. In October 1908, at a meeting of the Legislative Council, Mr McCardle was reported in newspapers that he "regretted the absence of landscape gardens in Wellington,and urged that something in this direction should be taken in hand in connection with the Governor’s residence." (He was referring to the proposed site of the current Government House at Wellington, which was built in 1908). He died in Walton in 1922 and is buried at the Mangatainoka Cemetery, north of Pahiatua.

Seeds of Annuals and Bienniels

This plant list of seeds has been copied from the W.W. McCardle 1878 catalogue. The common name used in New Zealand has been added beneath. 

Agrostemma Coeli Rosa
Agrostemma Hybrida White

Amaranthus Caudatus
Love Lies Bleeding

Argemone Mexicana, yellow
Mexican Prickly Poppy

Antirrhinum, of sorts

Aquilegia Columbine
Granny Bonnets

Aubretia Compacta, charming

Briza Maxima, ornamental grass
Quaking Grass

Convolvulus Minor, pale blue
Convolvulus Minor, tricolour, superb
Dwarf Morning Glory

Clarkia Compacta, scarlet
Clarkia Compacta, light purple
Clarkia Compacta, blush red

Cana Indica
Canna Lilly

Chrysanthemum, bicolour

Cheiranthus, sulphur yellow
Cheiranthus, orange

Campanula Alba, white
Campanula blue

Dianthus Barbatus, mixed colours
Sweet William

Dianthus Heddewigi

Digitalis, of sorts

Delphinium, white
Delphinium, blue
Delphinium, pink

Elichrysum, yellow
Elichrysum, ruby red
Elichrysum, white
Elichrysum, creasted chesnut
Elichrysum, crimson
Elichrysum, rosea
Elichrysum, creasted white
Elichrysum, chesnut
Elichrysum, scarlett
Helichrysum, Everlasting flowers, Paper flowers

Escholtzia Californica, yellow
Escholtzia Californica, creamy white
Californian Poppy

Gypsophila, white flowering
Gypsophila, Baby’s breath

Godetia, the bride, white with crimson
Godetia rosea and crimson blusht
Godetia, lilac

Gilia, dark blue – fine for bouquets

Geum Coccineum, scarlet
Geum Coccineum, white
Geum, Avens

Helianthus Amues, double
Helianthus Globosus, single

Hibiscus rosea
Hibiscus alba
Hibiscus purple and green centre

Iberis Amara, alba
Iberis Amara, crimson
Iberis Amara, lilac colour
Iberis Amara, beautiful for bouquets

Lupinus, large blue
Lupinus, white
Lupinus, dark blue

Linum Grandiflorum, ruby red
Scarlet flax

Lavatere Leavenworthia, blue and white
Lavatere Trimestris, pink and white centre
Lavatera, Mallow

Lathyrus, black with violet centre
Lathyrus, pink
Lathyrus, scarlet
Lathyrus, pale purple and red
Lathyrus, black purple
Lathyrus, crimson
Lathyrus, scarlet and white
Lathyrus, violet
Lathyrus, white and blue, red blusht
Lathyrus, tricolour
Lathyrus, alba
Sweet Peas

Matricaria alba

Myosotis Azorica
Azorean Forget me not

Mirabilis Jalappa
The Four’Clock Flower, Marvel of Peru

Nemophila Insignis, splendid
Nemophila Maculata
Baby Blue Eyes

Nigella Damascena, double light blue
Love in a Mist

Oenethera, yellow sweet scented
Evening primrose

Papaver Orientale, bright crimson
Papaver Orientale, scarlet
Papaver Orientale, grey
Papaver Orientale, white
Oriental Poppies

Polomonicum Reptance, white
Jacobs Ladder

Pyrethrum Parthenifolium, splendid
Pyrethrum Carneum, white flowering
Feverfew, Batchelors Button. Carneum = dwarf rose chrysanthemum

Reseda Giganta Pyramidalis, novelty
Reseda Grandiflora, large flowering

Rhodanthe Manglesi, pink
Pink Sunray

Scabia, alba
Scabia, pink
Scabiosa Atropurpurea
Scabiosa, mixed colours
Scabiosa, Pincushion flower

Silena Armeria, pink fine
Dwarf Catchfly

Sonaria Pipartida, beautiful

Stocks, summer double blood red
Stocks, double purple
Stocks, double rose
Stocks, double violet
Stocks, double white

Trachymene Coerulea
Australian Lace Flower

Tropaeolum, orange and brown spotted
Tropaeolum, orange and purple mixed
Tropaeolum, orange and brown mixed
Tropaeolum, orange and crimson brown striped
Tropaeleum Compacta, cream colour
Tropaeleum Compacta, velvet crimson
Tropaeleum Compacta, crimson and brown
Tropaeleum Compacta, cream colour, purplish eye
Tropaeleum Compacta, chesnut and yellow
Tropaeleum Compacta, Tom Thumb crimson
Tropaeleum Compacta, dark crimson

Viscaria Oculata

Verbena Tryphylla, sweet scented
Lemon Verbena

Zinnia Elegens, fire red
Zinnia, scarlet
Zinnia, white
Zinnia, orange
Zinnia, orange with brown
Zinnia, ruby red
Zinnia, blush rosea