The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xxiv. Longleate, Wiltshire, A Seat Of The Marquis Of Bath.

Longleat planting

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It is a mistaken idea, that the planter may not live to see his future woods, unless they consist of firs and larches, or planes, and other fast growing trees; but every day's experience evinces that man outlives his trees, where plantations do not consist of oak; and that often tall, mutilated planes, or woods of naked stemmed Scotch firs, remind him, that groups of oaks, and groves of chestnut, might have been planted with greater advantage. It is not, therefore, in compliance with the modern fashion of gardening that I advise the removal of a few tall trees, but in conformity to taste, founded on reason, and which dictates that the character of greatness, in a work of art, should not be obliterated by the more powerful agency of nature: and without wishing to go back to that taste which prevailed when this vast pile was surrounded by cut shrubs, and avenues of young trees newly planted, I think some of its grandeur might be restored by judiciously removing some of the encroachments of vegetation.