PUBLISHED BY KEN DUNN - DUNWAY ENTERPRISES
|Gardening is the practice of
growing plants for their attractive flowers or foliage, and vegetables
or fruits for consumption. Gardening is a human activity used to
produce edible foods and use plants to beautify their local
It's scale ranges: from fruit orchards, to long boulevards plantings with one or more different types of shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants, to residential yards including lawns and foundation plantings, to large or small containers grown inside or outside.
Gardening may often be very specific, with only one type of plant grown, or involve a large number of different plants in mixed plantings. It involves an active participation in the growing of plants and tends to be labor intensive, which differentiates it from farming or forestry.
A Guide to Gardening - Part 4
Odd and formal trees.
weeping tree at one side of the grounds and supported by a background.
It is but a corollary of this discussion to say that plants which are simply odd or grotesque or unusual should be used with the greatest caution, for they introduce extraneous and jarring effects. They are little in sympathy with a landscape garden. An artist would not care to paint an evergreen that is sheared into some grotesque shape.
It is only curious, and shows what a man with plenty of time and long pruning shears can accomplish. A weeping tree (particularly of a small-growing species) is usually seen to best advantage when it stands against a group or mass of foliage, as a promontory, adding zest and spirit to the border; it then has relation with the place.
This leads me to speak of the planting of the Lombardy poplar, which may be taken as a type of the formal tree, and as an illustration of what I mean to express. Its chief merits to the average planter are the quickness of its growth and the readiness with which it multiplies by sprouts.
But in the North it is likely to be a short-lived tree, it suffers from storms, and it has few really useful qualities. It may be used to some advantage in windbreaks for peach orchards and other short-lived plantations; but after a few years a screen of Lombardies begins to fail, and the habit of suckering from the root adds to its undesirable features.
For shade it has little merit, and for timber none. Persons like it because it is striking, and this, in an artistic sense, is its gravest fault. It is unlike anything else in our landscape, and does not fit into our scenery well.
A row of Lombardies along a roadside is like a row of exclamation points!
Subtropical bedding against a building. Caladiums, cannas, abutilons, permanent rhododendrons, and other large stuff, with tuberous begonias and balsams between.
But the Lombardy can often be used to good effect as one factor in a group of trees, where its spire-like shape, towering above the surrounding foliage, may lend a spirited charm to the landscape. It combines well in such groups if it stands in visual nearness to chimneys or other tall formal objects.
Then it gives a sort of architectural finish and spirit to a group; but the effect is generally lessened, if not altogether spoiled, in small places, if more than one Lombardy is in view. One or two specimens may often be used to give vigor to heavy plantations about low buildings, and the effect is generally best if they are seen beyond or at the rear of the building.
Another defect in common ornamental planting, which is well illustrated in the use of poplars, is the desire for plants merely because they grow rapidly.
A very rapid-growing tree nearly always produces cheap effects. This is well illustrated in the common planting of willows and poplars about summer places or lake shores.
Their effect is almost wholly one of thinness and temporariness. There is little that suggests strength or durability in willows and poplars, and for this reason they should usually be employed as minor or secondary features in ornamental or home grounds.
When quick results are desired, nothing is better to plant than these trees; but better trees, as maples, oaks, or elms, should be planted with them, and the poplars and willows should be removed as rapidly as the other species begin to afford protection. When the plantation finally assumes its permanent characters, a few of the remaining poplars and willows, judiciously left, may afford very excellent effects; but no one who has an artist's feeling would be content to construct the framework of his place of these rapid-growing and soft-wooded trees.
A spring expression worth securing. Catkins of the small poplar.
I have said that the legitimate use of poplars in ornamental grounds is in the production of minor or secondary effects. As a rule, they are less adapted to isolated planting as specimen trees than to using in composition,--that is, as parts of general groups of trees, where their characters serve to break the monotony of heavier forms and heavier foliage.
The poplars are gay trees, as a rule, especially those, like the aspens, that have a trembling foliage. Their leaves are bright and the tree-tops are thin. The common aspen or "popple," Populus tremuloides, of our woods, is a meritorious little tree for certain effects.
Its dangling catkins, light, dancing foliage, and silver-gray limbs, are always cheering, and its autumn color is one of the purest golden-yellows of our landscape. It is good to see a tree of it standing out in front of a group of maples or evergreens.
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