The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Bear Wood pinetum

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We had almost forgotten to mention that a pinetum is now commencing, which, we hope, will be in the end extended to an arboretum, with the, trees planted at a sufficient distance from each other to allow each to assume its proper size and shape. There is, indeed, a want of foreign trees and shrubs in the dressed grounds of Bear Wood. "The world's applause" is one grand object with all those who build or plant, and to attain this end, in forming the plantations of a country residence, it is necessary to produce in them a distinctive character from that of the natural woods, or artificial plantations, by which they are surrounded. Now this can only be effected by disposing the trees in a manner different from that which is common in the country where the residence is situated; or by the same kind of disposition, but with different characters of trees. Hence, in the infancy of art, when there are no trees in a country but what are indigenous to it; and when these are disposed in a natural manner, being, in fact, the remains of open forest scenery; the disposition of the trees of a residence in lines and geometrical forms produces, at once, the distinctive character desired. On the other hand, when a whole country is enclosed and planted in geometrical lines and forms, the natural mode is resorted to for the same end. These two styles of landscape-gardening may almost be said to have become exhausted in England. A man of wealth and taste now hardly acquires any distinction by planting a park with indigenous trees, either in the ancient geometrical, or in the modern natural manner. This distinction can now seldom be produced, but by having recourse to exotic trees, disposed either in the natural or in the geometrical manner, or in a mixed style, according to local circumstances and the end in view. This is the commencement of a third era in the progress of landscape-gardening.