The Garden Guide

Book: An inquiry into the changes of taste in landscape gardening, 1806
Chapter: Part III. Literary And Miscellaneous Remarks.

Stokenchurch Hill, near Oxford

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I have often wished it were possible by any art to produce the outline of Stokenchurch Hill, as seen in the road from Oxford to London; but this is a forest partially cleared of wood by time and accident: in vain will any new place assume the same degree of respectability; it is as impossible to produce the same effect by new plantations, as to produce immediately the far-spreading beech or majestic oak, now become venerable by the lapse of centuries. Every man who possesses land and money may, in a few years, have young plantations and covers for game of many acres in extent; but no cost can produce immediate forest scenery, or purchase the effect of such hedge-row trees as are too frequently overlooked and buried among firs, and larches, and faggot wood, to accomplish the exact monotonous serpentine of a modern belt.