Quantity of Trees in a Garden
As it relates to the sizes and magnitudes of trees, grouping, and masses, in planting, the due arrangement of quantities is of important consideration: - indeed, in the whole art of design, the management of quantities, as they are called by painters, is a study of the first order; that which is great and valuable in the scene, ought to be augmented by the contrasts of well proportioned masses supporting, and therefore not competing with its importance.
When the quantities are nearly equal in any design, the composition is bad. In planting, they ought to be so arranged that contention shall not exist between them, but that the low growths shall improve the appearance of their more exalted neighbours, and the groups readily yield to the larger masses; these should all occasionally give way to the expanse of the plain, or the water, which, in other points of view, will as readily be made to submit to them.
Trees planted in order to appear detached from the groups or masses, and being yet in their neighbourhood, have a very pleasing effect, produce variety, and give solidity and breadth to the greater masses: these ought to be placed at unequal distances, or they betray the interference of art. Insulated trees are rarely pleasing when so disposed as to leave spaces decidedly differing in quantity between them ; it is otherwise if they occupy the lawn or park in spaces of mathematical sameness; and it has been observed of small groups, that the effect is most agreeable, when their trees are planted in odd numbers, at least, so far as seven, beyond which the eye does not convey to the mind impressions so accurate as to enable it to determine on the instant, if the numbers be odd or otherwise.