The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Australian scenery

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934. New Holland scenery. ' The extreme uniformity of the vegetation is the most remarkable feature in the landscape of the greater part of New South Wales. Every where we have an open woodland, the ground being partially covered with a very thin pasture with little appearance of verdure. The trees nearly all belong to one family, and mostly have their leaves placed in a vertical, instead of, as in Europe, in a nearly horizontal position ; the foliage is scanty, and of a peculiar pale bluish green tint, without any gloss. Hence the wood appears light and shadowless ; this, although a loss of comfort to the traveller under the scorching rays of the summer, is of importance to the farmer, as it allows grass to grow where it otherwise would not. The leaves are not shed periodically: this character appears common to the entire southern hemisphere, viz. South America, Australia, and the Cape of Good Hope. The inhabitants of this hemisphere, and of the intertropical regions, thus lose perhaps one of the most glorious, though to our eyes common, spectacles in the world-the first bursting into full foliage of the leafless tree.' (Darwin's Journal of a Voyage round the World, as quoted in the Gardeners' Chronicle for 1845, p. 675.)