The Garden Guide

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

The modern style of Landscape Gardening in the United States

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In the majority of instances in the United States, the modern style of Landscape Gardening, wherever it is appreciated, will, in practice, consist in arranging a demesne of from five to some hundred acres,-or rather that portion of it, say one half, one third, etc., devoted to lawn and pleasure-ground, pasture, etc.-so as to exhibit groups of forest and ornamental trees and shrubs, surrounding the dwelling of the proprietor, and extending for a greater or less distance, especially towards the place of entrance from the public highway. Near the house, good taste will dictate the assemblage of groups and masses of the rarer or more beautiful trees and shrubs; commoner native forest trees occupying the more distant portions of the grounds.* (* Although we love planting, and avow that there are few greater pleasures than to see a darling tree, of one's own placing, every year stretching wider its feathery head of foliage, and covering with a darker shadow the soft turf beneath it still, we will not let the ardent and inexperienced hunter after a location for a country residence, pass without a word of advice. This is, always to make considerable sacrifice to get a place with some existing wood, or a few ready grown trees upon it; especially near the site for the house. It is better to yield a little in the extent of prospect, or in the direct proximity to a certain locality, than to pitch your tent in a plain,-desert-like in its bareness-on which your leafy sensibilities must suffer for half a dozen years at least, before you can hope for any solace. It is doubtful whether there is not almost as much interest in studying from one's window the curious ramifications, the variety of form, and the entire harmony, to be found in a fine old tree, as in gazing from a site where we have no interruption to a panorama of the whole horizon; and we have generally found that no planters have so little courage and faith, as those who have commenced without the smallest group of large trees, as a nucleus for their plantations.)