The Garden Guide

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

Niagra garden design

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895. Country-house in the neighbourhood of the Falls of Niagara. Captain Hall, in his Travels in Upper Canada, relates a curious anecdote of landscape-gardening in America. - A gentleman, wishing to form a country residence as expeditiously as possible, selected a certain spot in the midst of the wilderness, which, he conceived, from the nature of the ground, the description of trees which grew upon it, and the extent of view which it commanded, might be converted, with little trouble, from its wild state into a beautiful park, such as must have cost, in the ordinary process of old countries, at least one century, if not two, to bring to perfection. Some of the oaks and other trees were particularly beautiful and of immense size; and he determined on removing only those trees which encumbered the ground, leaving the others in all their native beauty. The trees were marked accordingly; but the proprietor was unfortunately obliged to be absent when the thinning took place, and the workmen, who from their infancy had known nothing about trees, except that they ought to be cut down as fast as possible, could not conceive it possible that their employer wished so large a number of trees to be saved, and accordingly decided among themselves that he had made a mistake, and that the small number of trees marked to be cut down, were, in fact, those intended to be saved. The first thing, accordingly, that struck the master's eye, on his return, was the whole of his noble grove lying flat upon the ground, while only a dozen or two craggy oaks, pines, and hemlocks, destined for the fire, were left standing to tell the tale. (Travels in North America, vol. i. p. 267.)