Mountain, Didymus (DNB00)

MOUNTAIN, DIDYMUS, alleged writer on gardening, was the pseudonym under which was published in 1577 a valuable treatise on ornamental gardening by Thomas Hill (fl. 1590) [q. v.l The work assigned to the pseudonymous Mountain was entitled 'The Gardener's Labyrinth. Containing a Discourse of the Gardener's Life in the yearly Travels to be bestowed on his Plot of Earth, for the Use of a Garden; with Instructions for the choise of Seedes, apt Times for Sowing, Setting, Planting, and Watering, and Vessels and Instruments serving to that Use and Purpose: wherein are set forth divers Herbes, Knots, and Mazes, cunningly handled for the beautifying of Gardens; also the Physicke Benefit of each Herb, Plant, and Flowre, with the Vertues of the distilled Waters of every of them, as by the Sequel may further appeare, gathered out of the best approved Writers of Gardening, Husbandrie, and Pyisicke, by Didymus Mountain,' London, by Henry Bynneman, 1577, 4to (in 2 parts). A dedication addressed to Lord Burghley is signed by Henry Dethicke, who states there that t he author had recently died. Edmund Southerne, in his 'Treatise concerning the right use and ordering of Bees,' 1593 (B.,), describes the book as the work of Thomas Hill. Woodcut illustrations of much practical interest diversify the text. On p. 53 appears a curious plate, entitled 'Maner of watering with a pumpe in a tubbe.' Other editions are dated 1578, 1586 (by John Wolfe), 1594 (by Adam Islip), 1608 (by Henry Ballard), 1652, and 1656.

Hill had already published in 1567 ' The Profitable Art of Gardening;' 'The Gardener's Labyrinth,'although different in plan, deals in greater detail with some of the topics already discussed in the earlier treatise.

[Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 24490, p. 410; Samuel Felton's Gardeners' Portraits; Brydges's Restituta, i. 129; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xii. 85; Brit. Mus. Cat.; and see art. Hill, Thomas.]

S. L.