Archie Brown’s Diary 1875 Part 9


We’re halfway through our remarkable look at working life in a market garden in 1874 and the amazingly detailed diary of Archie Brown from 1874 and 1875. I hope you’re enjoying the wonderful photos and extracts in these articles.

Pictured in 1908 is Boathouse Greenhouses and Orchard at the market garden business.

1908 Boathouse Orchard wm

Continuing our look at Blantyre market gardener and florist, Archibald Brown’s amazing diary.  It’s transcribed exactly as it was written at Boathouse, Blantyre and shared here courtesy of his great granddaughter, Jenny Day.


Tues 1. Frosty morning, pruning in the forenoon, finished the pruning in the Cullough in the forenoon. Digging in the afternoon, hard frost at night, wind north.


Wed 2. Very hard frost this morning, digging all day in the Cullough, very hard frost all day. Dick went in for stinkie, the last from Dovehill. W N.West.

Thurs 3. Good fresh morning, was digging all day in the Cullough. Good day, went to Orchard at night. Wind west.

Fri 4. Dull morning. Went over to Holmhead in the morning and saw the Garden. Went to Carluke and saw Grandmother buried. Very stormy day, high wind at night from the west.

Sat 5. Wet morning, came down with the first train. Digging part of the day in the Cullough, severe showers with strong west winds.

Sund 6. Good morning, was at church forenoon and afternoon, got very dark in church and then we had a shower of snow, high wind at night from the west.
Mon 7. Snowy morning, very stormy day, doing odds and ends, strong wind from the west.

Tues 8. Wet morning, scraping the vines in the Vinery, sleet the part of the day. Stormy night, wind east.

Wed 9.Good morning, cleaned up the barn, then digging in the Cullough the rest of the day. Fine day, hard frost. W.West.

Thur 10. Very hard frost this morning. No digging. Got the door on the shed today, doing odds and ends all day. Watering on the greenhouse all night, stormy night, wind east.

Fri 11. Frosty morning, a good deal of snow fell today. Was painting the vines in the vinery. Went in to Glasgow at night, went out to Mr Wilson’s, good night, wind west.

Sat 12. Good morning, hunting for the leak in the pipes but did not find it. Frosty night, wind northeast.
Sun 13. Good morning, but hard frost. Went to church, it was the anniversary service, hard frost at night, wind north.

Mon 14. Hard frost this morning, put up flowers in the morning, thinning out the Chrysanthemums in the forenoon, taking hay in the afternoon, frost at night. Wind Nor’west.

Tues 15. Very hard frost this morning. Pruned the vines on the east side of the greenhouse and giving the Roses breathing room. In the greenhouse all day. Hard freeze all day, a great deal of snow fell at night, four inch or thereby. Wind southeast.

Wed 16. Hard freeze, hunting for a hare but did not get one. Doing odds and ends in the forenoon, started to prune the big orchard in the afternoon, hard freeze, wind north.

Thur 17. Hard freeze, leaved 2 dozen Camellias in the morning. Pruning in the big orchard all day, viscous cold. Wind north.

Fri 18. Thaw this morning, pruning in the big orchard all day, clear night. Was at the annual general meeting of the church at night. Wind northwest.


Sat 19. Slight frost this morning, pruning all day in the big orchard, clear night, wind north.

Sun 20. Slight frost this morning, was at church both fore and afternoon and went and heard Mackintosh at night. Very cold day, wind north.

Mon 21. Slight frost this morning. Leaved 2 1/2 dozen of Camellias in the morning, pruning in the forenoon, put on the expansion box on the boiler, then pruned the rest of the day, cold night, wind north.

Tues 22. Very keen morning, put up a few flowers in the morning. Pruning in the big orchard the rest of the day. Freezing all day, at the church soiree at night. Hard frost, wind north.
Wed 23. Very hard freeze, was pruning in the big orchard all day. Went to Orchard at night, took a run to H.H. snow at night, wind S. West.

Thur 24. Snow this morning, came down with the first train, took in two Huts of corn, then cleaning and painting the vines in the greenhouse, at the station at night, W. North.

Fri 25. Hard frost this morning, scraping and painting vines on the west side of the house, foggy day.

Sat 26. Sharp morning, very foggy day. Was scraping the Muscat in the greenhouse and did not get it finished, painted the big half of it, very foggy night, wind..
Sun 27. The hardest morning we have had, 27deg. The feed pipe frozen and bursted, had to put it right in the forenoon. Went to church in the afternoon, at the druggists at night. Very cold, wind pretty near north.

Mon 28. Severe but not so hard as yesterday. Sent away flowers in the forenoon. Finished the Muscat plant. Swept the kitchen vent and did a few odds and ends, very cold, wind N.E.

Thur 29. Very hard morning, in the greenhouse scraping and painting vines. Watering greenhouse. Curlers on Clyde today, very cold, wind east.

Wed 30. Scraping and painting vines in the forenoon. Went up to Blantyre House, then down to Mount Vernon in the afternoon. Went to Orchard at night, had a very pleasant party, finished about two in the morning. Hard frost, visited H.H. in the morning, wind east.

Thur 31. Came down with the first train. Scraping vines and painting all day in the greenhouse. Very hard frost. Wind east.


Fri 1. Frosty morning, got fresh through the day. Went up to Orchard in the forenoon, running about all day, went over to H.H. at night. Rather wet, wind south.

Sat 2. Wet morning, went from Orchard to Trowes, was there till night, came home about ten. Inclining frost, wind S.E.


Sun 3. Wet morning, went to Carluke, came home at night, very slippy roads. Took a walk round the Swinstie at night. Wind Sou’west.

Mon 4. Came down with the third train, took flowers over to the station, then cleaning vines the rest of the day. Wind south.

Tues 5. Very mild morning, commenced to prune the Glenton plot, the back of the Pigs House, laying the foundation of the stinkie heap. Dick went in for stinkie today. Very fine day, wind east.
Wed 6. Fine fresh morning. Pruning in the Glenton plot all day, and finished it at night. Dick went in for stinkie in the forenoon, dull night, wind s, east.

Thur 7. Fresh morning, went to the station with flowers and collected potting stuff in the forenoon. Cleared out the Potting House and put up a new bench in the afternoon. Dull day, inclining rain, wind east.

Fri 8. Frost this morning. Repairing the potting shed and assorting the pots in the forenoon, laying in turf and other material for pottery and pruned a little. Went to the village at night, at the meeting of the farm, wind S, east.

Sat 9. Wet morning, pruning in the Sulphur plot behind the Bee House in the forenoon, cleaning vines in the afternoon. Wet afternoon, at the station at night. Wet night, wind east. Sund 10. Good morning, went to the new church in the forenoon, to the U.P. in the afternoon, to the new at night. Mild day, slight drizzle at night. Wind from the east.

Mon 11. Good mild morning, took off and went to the station with the flowers in the morning, pruning the rest of the day amongst the Sulphurs the back of the Bee house. Rather foggy but very warm wind.

Tues 12. Good morning, went to Blantyre Farm and got the remains of a slipe, rigged it out, then commenced to put on dung on to the Fairhaugh Orchard, was at it the rest of the day. Very mild day, wind… Went to the social meeting connected with the Kitchen prayer meetings and heard a splendid address by Dr Wallace which I will have cause to remember.

Wed 13. Good morning. Cut a bit of the hedge between Coats and the gooseberry plot. Digging the rest of the day, a little wet in the afterpart, wind south.

Thur 14. Good morning, flowers in the morning, doing odds and ends in the forenoon, taking in a stack in the afternoon. Very warm day, W. south.

Fri 15. Wet morning, watered the greenhouse in the morning, pruning the rest of the day. Went in to 243 at night. Very warm night, clear, wind southwest.

Sat 16. Good morning, went in search of the boat, and found it on the dam at Carmyle. Pruning the rest of the day, showery afternoon, wind S.West.

Sun 17. Good morning, went to church both forenoon and afternoon. Got an excellent sermon in the forenoon from a young man. Very fine day, wind west.


Mon 18. Wet morning, Flowers in the morning, went to Carmyle in the forenoon then went back in the afternoon with the van for the boat. Wet forenoon, fine afternoon, wet night. Wind SW

Tues 19. Wet morning. Potted the Deutzias and the Rhododendrons and a few Camellias. Dug a few of the strawberry’s out from the blackcurrants. Clyde was up above the Plum tree, wet forenoon, high wind from the west.

Wed 20. Damp morning, started digging in the Cullough gooses along with George and Tam, there all day. Showery afternoon. Emptied the greenhouse stoke hole of water at night. Went to the station with Jim. Wet at night, wind WSW

Thur 21. Snow this morning. Took flowers to the station in the morning. Commenced to dig after in the Cullough Brae gooses, was there the rest of the day. Freezing all day, hard at night. Wind east.

Fri 22. Very hard frost this morning. Went in to Glasgow and got a tooth drawn in the forenoon, cleaning Camellias in the afternoon, at the meeting at the farm at night, hazy, wind N.West.

Sat 23. Fresh morning, pruning all day amongst the Warrington’s at the back of the house. Showery all day, a little snow in the morning, went into Glasgow at night. Wind east.

Sund 24. Fresh wet morning, the snow had all disappeared, went to church both fore and afterpart of the day. Mr McLuckie on the finish up of Joseph and his brethren in the forenoon. Wet night, wind west by sou’west.

Mon 25. Fresh morning. Flowers in the morning, rooted a few of the strawberry’s out by the railway, then pruning amongst the Warringtons the back of the house the rest of the day, fine day, wind east.

Tues 26. Frost the morning, pruning at the back of the house all day, snowing very hard this afternoon, cold night turning into rain. Wind east.

Wed 27. Fine morning, snow all disappeared, pruning all day amongst the Whitesmiths. Went to Old Monklin at night and then to Coatbridge, had to walk from Motherwell. Very wet night, W.west.

Thur 28. Fine morning, finished the Whitesmiths today, planted the Vaccinium beside the potting shed with Whitesmiths. Very blowey all day, wet at night, wind west.

Fri 29. Good morning, pruning and cutting a bit of a hedge at the back of the greenhouse. Very cold day. Smoked the greenhouse at night. Wind east.

Sat 30. Good morning, was pruning all day the back of the greenhouse and further up the water. Went up to Orchard at night, fine night, wind…

Sun 31. Fine morning, went to Carluke church, then was up at Chaple Street, fine day, but rather cold.

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