The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section III. On Wood.

Planting for gracefulness

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In the first case, suppose it is desired to form a group of trees, in which gracefulness must be the leading expression. The willow alone would have the effect; but in groups, willows alone produce sameness: in order, therefore, to give variety, we must choose other trees which, while they differ from the willow in some particulars, agree in others. The elm has much larger and darker foliage, while it has also a drooping spray; the weeping birch differs in its leaves, but agrees in the pensile flow of its branches; the common birch has few pendent boughs, but resembles in the airy lightness of its leaves; and the three-thorned acacia, though its branches are horizontal, has delicate foliage of nearly the same hue and floating lightness as the willow. Here we have a group of five trees, which is, in the whole, full of gracefulness and variety, while there is nothing in the composition inharmonious to the practised eye.