Title: Garden and forest. / Volume 7, Issue 355 [an electronic version]
Collection: Garden and Forest
moned him to lay out Greenwich and St. James Parks. Charles also added the semicircle to Wolsey's Hampton Court, so stately to this day with its broad terraces and fountains and gay parterres of flowers; and in his reign the gentle Evelyn gave a tremendous impulse to picturesque gardening by his own work, and by his appreciation of what was being done by kindred spirits about him. "Two mummies and a grot," which he found at Bushnell's Wells, at Enstone, scarcely correspond to modern ideas of garden decoration, but here the proprietor "lay in a hammock like an Indian," and doubtless allowed his imagination free rein. Then, with the arrival of the Dutch King, came the gates and rails of wrought iron and the clipped Yews and vegetable sculpture of the period. Sir William Temple's idea of a perfect garden was a flat or gentle declivity of an oblong shape lying in front of the house, with a descent of steps from a terrace extending the whole length of the house, this inclosure cultivated as a kitchen-garden and orchard; but this idea was viewed with contempt by such an enlightened observer as Lord Walpole, and soon the vegetables gave place to lawn and trees. Queen Caroline gave a still further impulse to the natural style, and winding waters were introduced into the scheme of Kensington Gardens. Pope and Addison ridiculed the formalities and clippings of their day, and little by little the emancipation of taste in England grew general. Pictures were studied by some to gain an idea of suitable composition; shrubberies were introduced, with winding walks along their borders; points of view were developed; some even went so far as to make their scenes emblematical of pastoral poetry, and even sentimental farms were attempted. Shenstone is said to have ruined himself in gardening at Leasowes, and broke his heart over his disappointments, and the echo of his taste is caught in his verse. Then came Kent, the landscape artist, who planned "Elysian scenes," shading in his more finished pieces with evergreens, and his successor, Wright, whose ideas were afterward developed by Beckford at Fonthill Abbey. Such was the craving for the improvement ofgrounds in England in theeighteenth century that there were not artists enough to direct the movement. It was by the exercise of imagination that English landscape-gardening progressed, now advancing and now retrograding, until it has come to stand as a synonym for what is picturesque and individual. In our own country, young as it still is, there are splendid flashes of inspiration in this direction, which give promise of a time when our gardens will be in some adequate way an expression of the genius of the republic. Great object-lessons, like Central Park, the Boston Metropolitan Park system, the Columbian Exposition, and other realizations of a poet's dream, cannot fail to leave their effect upon a community. All great work in any art prompts individuals to original thought, and we need to give more rein to fancy in our own home arrangements, to think out for ourselves some scheme to be developed at leisure, and to profit by all such help as is offered by triumphs of landscape-art or the example of Nature in her most favorable moments. It is far easier to fall into the mechanical than to rise to the imaginative style, and yet the latter, once attained, appeals so directly even to the uninstructed eye that it proves its right to a place among the fine arts. The same laws which govern composition of all kinds here are paramount and are equally imperative in literature, in painting and in landscape-effects. Simplicity, purpose, restraint, economy of means are the guiding principles of great art wherever it is to be found. If there is no meaning in what is done it soon grows wearisome. The commanding quality of the human mind is high imagination; this alone is not outworn by ephemeral fashions, and a great park which is born of such an inspiration will never cease to make appeal to our nobler faculties, and even a modest garden, if it expresses the best thought of its creator, will have a refining influence upon all who come under its spell. Hingham, Mass. M. C. R. 493 The Box-elder and the Russian Mulberry. N traveling over the western plains it is observed that these two rapid-growing shade-makers are of the highest value for forest-planting, if each is kept in its appropriate latitude. Throughout Kansas, and more particularly east of the ninety-ninth meridian, the Russian Mulberry must become one of the most useful trees that grow, and this utility decreases rapidly as we go northward. In the southern counties of South Dakota it is worthless; whereas in the cold uplands of North Dakota the Box-elder is one of the hardiest of trees, and succeeds all over South Dakota and the greater part of Nebraska, but in Kansas, even toward its northern boundary, the Box-elder does less well, and on its southern border it is worthless. The two trees have the two valuable qualities of rapid growth during youth and comparatively great shade endurance, and they are thus peculiarly fit for the important position of nurse-trees to species that demand more light. When planted with such species the Box-elder and Mulberry force them to grow tall and straight, with clean shafts. At the South Dakota Agricultural College the Box-elder has been used as the dominant species in all successful plats but one, which was composed of hardwoods exclusively. In a plat of Box-elder with plants standing four feet apart each way, with every fourth tree a Burr Oak, the conditions at the end of the third year from planting approached those of an old forest. The Box-elder (five years from seed) formed a complete shade, and the young Oaks were completely overtopped by them. At the end of the fifth year from planting the Oaks had begun reaching tip to the leaf-cover to get their share of light, the Box-elders now averaging fourteen feet high, the Oaks four feet. the tallest being eight feet two inches. It begins to look as if the lateral branches of the Box-elders that immediately surround the Oaks should be lopped; but the Oak has much shade endurance while young, and it may be able to overcome the Box-elder without assistance. In mixtures of Box-elder, White Elm and Green Ash at this station, with the Box-elder dominant, the Elm at the end of five years begins to overtop the Box-elder a little, but the Ash hardly averages as high by a foot. Compared with pure Ash, those in this plat are fully two feet taller, the increased height being caused by the Ash reaching up for light between the dense shading Box-elders. The Ash is a light-demanding tree, and so is the Elm. In a mixture of Box-elder, White Pine and White Birch, the Box-elder is not useful, as in five years it has so overtopped the Birch as to have suppressed and killed it. The White Pine was a failure. An attempt was made in one plat to alternate Populus Certinensis, a Russian Poplar, with Box-elder as dominant forms mixed with Elm and Ash. The Poplar failed; the Ash and Elm, not growing as rapidly nor as dense as the Box-elder, did not shade the ground, so that weeds and grass have sprung up and the mixture is a failure. This plat is valuable as illustrating the necessity of making the greatest proportion of the plat good dense shade making kinds. There is no other place in the west, so far as I know, where systematic attempts at mixed planting have been made, and hence no place is known where the Russian Mulberry has been used as a nurse-tree. In Brookings it forms a shrub that kills back badly every winter, but in Hutchinson, Kansas, specimens were seen which had grown from seed planted seventeeen years ago, and they are now ten inches in diameter three feetfrom the ground and forty feet high. The pure plats of this tree prove it a dense shade-maker. From this it is inferred that in Kansas it will prove quite as useful as a nurse-tree as the Box-elder has proved in South Dakota. Good specimens of it were found in all parts of Kansas, and throughout Nebraska south of the sand hills, and in irrigated land near Denver, Colorado. Washington. Charles A. Keffer. DECEMBER 12, 1894.] Garden and Forest.