The Garden Guide

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

Autumn colour in American trees

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878. The autumnal colouring of trees in America has been depicted in glowing language by Bartram, Michaux, Dwight, Flint, and by almost every writer on America of note. We shall quote Mrs. Trollope ; not that her description is the best, but because, as she shows in her work an evident dislike to both the people and the country, she cannot be suspected of exaggeration. An autumn scene in Western America, says this lady, is resplendent in beauty. Bound Cincinnati, in the autumn of 1828, 'the maple or sugar tree first sprinkled the forest with rich crimson ; the beech followed with all its harmony of golden tints, from pale yellow up to the brightest orange. The dogwood gave almost the purple colour of the mulberry; the chestnut softened all with its frequent masses of delicate brown; and the sturdy oak earned its deep green into the very lap of winter.' These brilliant tints are increased by the peculiar clearness and brightness of the atmosphere. 'By day and by night, the exquisite purity of the air gives tenfold beauty to every object.' (Dom. Man. of the Amer., vol. i. p. 145.)