EVERGREENS are really more effective in Winter than in Summer, but they should not be used with only that thought in mind as they are most valuable in combination with their deciduous neighbours. The fault generally to be found is that they are overplanted or not planted in the right way. Large beds or masses are very good in a botanical garden for educational purposes, but they are hardly the thing for a gentleman's place, especially a small one. The use of so many varieties gives a museum-like, stuffy appearance to the grounds. Each one has some particular virtue or peculiarity of shape, growth or colour to recommend it, but one should be satisfied to pos-sess a few good specimens, which if planted well will be much more enlightening than a large and variegated collection. Simplicity is always dignified and in good taste; and the grounds should never be on a more elaborate scale than the house.
The planting of evergreen trees at Arlington has been mentioned in another chapter, but it was so effectively done that I cannot help referring to it again as an example of successful grouping and colouring. Several varieties of much the same form, but of different heights and shades of green, were combined in groups among the deciduous trees in such a way that the attractive qualities of each were brought out and accented. Evergreens were linked in an oft-broken chain, connecting one plantation with another; and gathered together lightly in groves to break the steepness of the hillside, so that the eye is relieved when it instinctively ascends to the top of the hill on which the mansion stands. There are no great contrasts, but the various trees are exceedingly well-blended, and that is the secret of planting evergreens, - to blend them well with the other trees. The planting at Arlington was done before the era of Japanese shrubs, and strange to say one does not miss them in the least.
It is difficult, almost impossible on a small place, to use strange forms and colors of evergreens without making them seem incongruous, and giving the grounds the appearance of a public park where it is necessary to follow a systematic arrangement. You should strive by every means to keep such an effect from your place, and the simplest way to do it is to use only a few varieties of trees and shrubs of good character and colour. In carrying out such an idea you will also be put to much less expense, for fancy trees are costly and very uncertain, having to be replaced frequently, and although your neighbours may vie with each other to plant as many different and expensive kinds as they can procure, your house will at least be set in an appropriate and dignified frame. There is no necessity for crowding your lawn with trees because they are rare or novel; they will surely spoil the general effect and they will not contribute much to your enjoyment or peace of mind, the two principal objects to be considered when arranging one's grounds.