The Garden Guide

Book: Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1803
Chapter: Chapter VI. Of Fences

Use of quick thorn to protect plantations

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To describe the various sorts of fences suitable to various purposes, would exceed the limits and intentions of this work: every county has its peculiar mode of fencing, both in the construction of hedges and ditches, which belong rather to the farmer than the landscape gardener; and in the different forms and materials of pales, rails, hurdles, gates, &c., my object is rather to describe such application of common expedients as may have some degree of use or novelty. Among these I shall first mention, that, instead of surrounding a young plantation with a hedge and ditch, with live quick or thorns, I generally recommend as many, or even more, thorns than trees, to be intermixed in the plantation, and the whole to be fenced with posts and rails, more or less neat, according to the situation; but, except near the house, I never suppose this rail to continue after the trees (with the aid of such intermixed thorns) are able to protect themselves against cattle; and thus, instead of a hard marked outline, the woods will acquire those irregularities which we observe in forest, scenery, where in some few instances the trees are choked by the thorns, though in many they are nursed and reared by their protection.