International Styles

Garden Trees and Plants


The nature of the soil being ascertained, and due consideration bestowed on the character of the surrounding scenery, both having great claim on the attention of the landscape improver, the choice of forest trees will not be difficult; but as plenty of space must be allotted for the trees and shrubs more imme- diately ornamental, it will be correct to mark their respective sites on the general plan-to do which they may be considered in the following order, after having appropriated the spaces for the buildings, lawns, pastures, water, roads and walks:

Forest trees, for the leading features and characteristics of the place.

Low growth trees, to plant with them, for the purposes of thickening the bottom, to produce contrasts, and occasionally to soften the outline forms.

Copse or underwood, to thicken.

Plantation or ornamental trees, for the immediate vicinity of the home walks, and to intersperse in suitable situations.

Evergreens, to produce variety, and supply foliage ill the winter.

Shrubs, to ornament and soften.

Plants and flowers, for decorations.

In the choice of trees for original planting it is needful to consider if the general character of connecting objects are, iil outline, best suited to the pointed forms of the fir, or to the rounding and undulating lines developed by other trees; again, as to the character of the architecture adopted: firs do not harmonize with the gothic style, its pinnacles and pointed terminations offer no contrast to their upright steins and conic forms; whereas, the horizontal and massive heads of the oak and elm, by opposing the prevailing lines of the building, give additional grace to it. Firs are decorative to plantations, and useful as ever-greens; they are beautiful in masses, but do not mix well with other trees. When associated with them, and viewed at a distance, their form and colour disagree; and if placed in the rear of other plantations, should they overtop them, they present a meagre fringe-like border to the bold waving line, and in some seasons of the year, disturb the sober colouring of the greater mass, by the obtrusive briightness of their shoots. Where a property is already wooded, although inadequately, the later growths may be made to operate to great advantage ill contrasts with the established features of the place: in this instance, size, form and colour are in favour of it.

Low growths, and particularly thorns and hollies, are useful in hideing that defect in parks called "The browsing line," produced by the deer or other animals, who bite off the branches to an equal height from the ground, creating thereby a parallel and ugly vacancy around all the foliages that admit their devastations.

Ever-greens are many and by adopting every class of them with judgement, portions of the grounds may be chearfully decorateed with foliage during the winter season. It must, always, be remembered in good time, that it is in vain to plant, unless the ground is suited to it by trenching and all the preparations of the gardener, and this too in an plenty of and liberal manner; if this be left out, the growtli of a few years will demonstrate the error by the weak and possibly decay- ing evidences of the trees thenselves; on the other hand, the growth will correspond with the culture, and with interest reeward the labour bestowed upon it for its advantage, provided tlie ground be well drained at the same time, if it be of a nature to retain the rains, for then the portions trenched or dug become pond-like, and the roots are too constantly immersed in water. So, when a single tree is to be planted in the lawn or pasture, it generally happens that a mere hole is dug for it, possibly, indeed, of adequate depth and size, and the ground correctly enriched for the purpose, but as no immediate drain presents itself, it is so left, and necessarily becomes a reservoir for the water, which not having means of escape, the root rots, and in a short time the plant becomes stag-headed, (as its manifestation of decay is called,) it gradually withers and soon dies, or conutiues to show a deformity and the negligence of the gardener.




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