The Garden Guide

Book: Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1803
Chapter: Chapter IV. Of Planting for immediate and for future Effect

Clumps on Maiden Early Common, Reading

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It may appear unaccountable that these examples, which have not the least beauty either of nature or art to recommend them, should be so generally followed; but alteration is frequently mistaken for improvement, and two or three clumps of trees, however bad in themselves, will change the plain surface of a flat common. This I suppose has been the cause of planting some spruce firs on MAIDEN EARLY Common, which fortunately do not grow; for if they succeeded, the contrast is so violent between the wild surface of a heath, and the spruce appearance of firs, that they would be misplaced: besides, the spiral firs are seldom beautiful, except when their lower branches sweep upon the ground, and this could never be the case with those exposed to cattle on a common. [Maiden Early, Berkshire, England, is now in the suburbs of Reading]