The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Appendix. II. Description of an English Suburban residence, CHESHUNT COTTAGE.

Cheshunt Cottage in London 21

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The trees and shrubs on the lawn are almost all disposed in the gardenesque manner; that is, so that each individual plant may assume its natural shape and habit of growth. The masses are also chiefly planted in the same style; and, as the trees and shrubs advance in growth, they are cut in, or thinned out, so that each individual, if separated from the mass to which it belongs, and considered by itself alone, shall be a handsome plant. At the same time, in order to produce as much variety as possible, the picturesque style of planting, in which trees and shrubs are so closely grouped together as partially to injure each other's growth, occasionally occurs, for the sake of producing variety. With the exception of the pines and firs, the other trees have been selected more for their picturesque effect and variety of foliage, than for their botanical interest. Among these are the Scotch pine for its darkness; the P pulus angulata for its large leaves, and for its property of preserving these till destroyed by severe frost, long before which all the other poplars have become naked; the A'cer macrophyllum, for its large leaves; the Montpelier maple, for its small ones; the Negundo fraxinifolium, for its green-barked shoots; the American oaks, for the singular variety in form and color of their foliage; the catalpa, for its broad rich yellowish leaves, and its showy blossoms, which appear late in the season; the deciduous cypress; the bonduc, or Kentucky coffee tree; the cut-leaved alder, the tulip tree, the purple beech, the purple hazel, the Oriental plane, of which there are several fine specimens, the variegated sycamore, and other variegated trees and shrubs, which are always so beautiful in spring; those thorns and crabs which are beautiful or remarkable for their blossoms in the spring, and for their fruit in autumn; the Nepal sorbus, so interesting for its large woolly leaves, which die off of a fine straw color; the magnolias; the rhododendrons, the heaths, the brooms, and the double-blossomed furze, besides various striking or popular plants, such as the variegated hollies, the scarlet arbutus, etc. Among the detached trees and small groups, there is scarcely to be met with a single bush or tree that a general observer will not find noticeable for something in its foliage, general form, flowers, or fruit. The Magnolia grandiflora var. exoniensis flowers freely as a standard without any protection, and was not even injured by the winter of 1837-8; nor was A'rbutus procera, also unprotected. A number of the more rare trees and shrubs, such as Araucaria brasiliensis, which had stood out eight years, A Cunninghamii, Pinus insignis, P. palustris, P. Girardiana, P. canariensis, etc., were killed during the winter of 1837-8, and a number of others, which were severely injured, are now recovering. Mr. Pratt, the head gardener, did not begin to prune the trees which were injured till the rising of the sap showed the extent of the injury that they had received. After waiting till the middle of summer, it was found that the laurustinus, sweet bay, Chinese privet, and various other shrubs, were alive to the height of from 3 ft. to 5 ft., and after the dead wood was cut out, the plants soon became covered with young shoots and foliage.