The Garden Guide

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

Pine barren in the southern states of America

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877. A pine barren in the southern states of North America has been drawn (fig. 232.) and described by Captain Hall. 'A considerable portion of the southern states of North America, and even as far as North Carolina, is covered with boundless forests of pine trees. These districts are called pine barrens; and, the soil being generally sandy, with a scanty supply of water, they are probably destined to remain for ever in the state of an useless wilderness. Upwards of 500 miles of our journey lay through these desolate forests; and I have, therefore, thought it worth while to give a sketch, which is sufficiently characteristic, of these singular regions. Occasional villages (fig. 233.) gave some relief to the tedium of this part of the journey; and whenever a stream occurred, the fertility of the adjacent lands was more grateful to the eye than I can find words to describe. Once or twice, in travelling through the states of Georgia, we came to high knolls, from which we could look over the vast ocean of trees, stretching without a break in every direction as far as the eye could reach ; and I remember, upon one of these occasions, thinking that I never before, had a just conception of what the word forest meant.' (Hall's Sketches, &c., No. xxiii.) In another place Captain Hall observes, that sometimes the monotony of the pine barren is interrupted by the heat and smoke arising from the forest being on fire ; and when this is the case, it sometimes happens that the fire seizes on a hollow tree, in the trunk of which the flames are raging furiously, 'roaring like a blast furnace and rapidly consuming the tree at the bottom, while the branches at top are waving about in full verdure as if nothing unusual were going on below.' (Hall's Sketches, &c., No. xxiv.)