The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xi. Beaudesert.

Beaudesert planting design

Previous - Next

CONCERNING PLANTING. Some additional planting may be advisable at Beaudesert; although I will confess that I have never seen a place in which it is less absolutely necessary. In the vast range of chase and forest attached to the place, a wood of fifty acres would appear a clump, if the whole of its outline could be discerned from any elevated station: and to fringe the summit of the hill with that meagre deformity called a belt, would disgrace the character of this wild scenery, especially if such belt were composed of spiral spruce firs and larches, according to the modern fashion of making plantations. It has always appeared to me, that the miserable consideration of trade has introduced these quick-growing trees, to make a speedy return of profit; but, if the improvement of such places as Beaudesert is to be computed by the rule of pounds, shillings, and pence, it would certainly be better to cut down all the trees, kill the deer, and plough up the park. Very different is my notion of the principle of improvement; and, therefore, instead of the conic-shaped trees, which so ill accord with an English forest, and belong rather to Norway, or the Highlands of Scotland, let the staple of our plantations be oak and Spanish chestnut; let the copse be hornbeam and hazel; and let the trees used as nurses be birch: but, above all, let there be at least five or six thorns and hollies for every tree that is planted; these will grow up with the trees, perhaps choke and destroy some, but they will rear many, and in a few years will become an impenetrable thicket, as a cover for game, and a harbour for deer, when the temporary fences will be no longer necessary.