In the application of the rules of Landscape Gardening to public and private grounds in this country, we have as yet but in few instances arrived to the highest degree of excellence. The subject is comparatively new with us, no general attention having been given to it, until within a few years past. Even now there are but few that seem to comprehend the subject, and its practical application. Although there are many that lay claim to considerable progress, and some who have given us fine examples of what may be done in this department of art, yet we think but few can excel who have not the genius to be close copyists of Nature. Whatever may be thought of the propriety of remarking freely upon the manner in which individuals arrange and work their private grounds, we think it is no breach of politeness or good breeding to notice, in a general way, any essential errors that may appear, as this may be of advantage to those who are preparing to do work of this kind upon their own grounds, and also, in some instances, may call the attention of those more directly interested to errors that may have escaped their observation, in time, so that a remedy may be applied. Especially may this reason hold good in works of a public character.

In the well-penned criticisms of the Horticulturist upon the work in the Central Park, we have a good example of what has been done to benefit that work, and to furnish valuable hints to others.

Public works are expected to be the best of their kind. In most instances the amount of money to be expended is larger than can usually be furnished by individuals, and in proportion as the influence of public works is necessarily greater than those of a more private character, so, when they are essentially defective in design or working, or not in good taste, they are fair objects for criticism. All works of this kind should be of such a character as will tend to elevate the standard of public taste wherever undertaken. Without claiming any special fitness to point out errors, or what is needed to the perfection of such grounds, I propose, in a brief and desultory way, to make some suggestions and to give some of the impressions made upon my own mind in a late visit to some of the cemeteries of New England.

My first visit was to the Old and New Cemeteries of the city of Hartford. They are both laid out with straight roads and walks running through them, with others crossing at right angles, marking the grounds into rectangular sections. In the old grounds the lots are graded very unequally. Many of them are fenced in with high iron and wooden fences, with very contracted spaces between them. We noticed many of the lots which were considerably raised above the natural land of the adjoining ground, and some that were entirely neglected and the grass uncut.

While there are many fine monuments and some grounds well improved, a large amount of money has been expended in monuments, stones, and fencing, which does not materially add to the character, interest, or beauty of the place. Being planted with trees and shrubs, there is in this respect some improvement upon the old style of country church yards; but in other respects they have many characteristics in common with them. What is called the New ground is very similar in character to the Old, with perhaps some improvement in planting and grading, and in the spaces between the lots, and in occasionally rounding off of corners where the roads meet or cross each other. The same prevailing general character is exhibited in both. A serious objection to both is, that they are located in the thickly inhabited portion of the city.

At Mount Auburn, near Boston, we found a cemetery constructed after the more modern ideas of what such grounds should be, and, if I am right, one of the first attempts in this country, on so large a scale, to apply the modern rules of Landscape Gardening to Rural Cemeteries. We have here what we should anticipate, a close adherence to curved lines. What else should we expect? A Bostonian is brought up and educated in crooked and curved streets; from early youth to manhood and old age he walks through these streets; their beautiful curves and intricate windings are so impressed upon his mind that all stiff and straight lines are at once discarded and thrown aside whenever he attempts any thing in the way of rural adorning. Does not this furnish us with a satisfactory reason for the beautiful lines we see about the fine residences in the vicinity of Boston? these being here the rule rather than the exception, as we find them elsewhere.

In this respect no fault can be found with the roads and walks at Mount Auburn. The general arrangement of these appear to be convenient, and furnish easy access to every part of the ground, and are mostly well-constructed and neatly kept.

Of the expensive and beautiful monuments, the costly tombs, granite inclosures of lots, its lovely dell, the tower, the chapel and its statuary, it is not necessary to speak. All who visit here can not but be struck with the profusion exhibited with which money has been invested to perfect these works of art. But with so much that is costly and beautiful, there are other features that are in contrast to this. The high iron fences and hedges walling in small lots, and these placed thickly together, with scarcely any space between them, soon become tiresome and repulsive to the visitor, and he feels that they do not properly belong here. The trees, many of them, are far from being good specimens of their kind, and too many large trees are permitted to grow upon the lots. ln looking down from the tower, it has the appearance of a thickly wooded forest. This is highly objectionable, as it prevents the free circulation of the air and the drying effect of the sun. We can not but think that an extensive thinning of trees and a judicious grouping of those suffered to remain, would greatly improve not only the appearance, but healthfulness of these grounds.

In grading, there seems to be no general rule followed, but each owner is permitted to create such a surface as pleases him, without regard to the natural surface of the ground. Where the grades conform nearly to this surface, they appear much less artificial and are more satisfactory. We well know the difficulty of inducing most persons to adopt curved surface lines rather than flat and level ones, of employing, if any, low inclosures for their lots, and of planting sparingly of large trees; yet we think that in works of this kind the rules should require a strict observance of uniform and appropriate practice in these respects.

These are among the more prominent imperfections, as it seemed to me, to be found at Mount Auburn, and I was gratified the next day, in visiting the Forest Hill Cemetery at Roxbury, to find in some of these particulars a decided improvement This cemetery exhibits more nearly the true idea of what belongs to a rural cemetery, and contains about the same quantity of land as that at Mount Auburn.

The style of trees and planting are better; the spaces between the lots, and the margins along the roads and walks, are more ample. The lots are much less walled in with high inclosures and hedges, giving it a more open and less crowded appearance at present, though we think even here, as the trees become larger, a much less number will be required than are now planted in some parts of the ground, to produce a satisfactory result. Although there is not here that prodigal display of costly monuments and other structures, which in their exuberance we feel to be almost oppressive at Mount Auburn, there are many well improved lots and fine monuments, and some that will compare favorably with those found there. We noticed one that particularly pleased us; a brown stone Gothic monu- ment upon a lot kept in the best manner, situated upon a point where several roads meet, with a high rock covered with the English Ivy as a back ground, that seemed as appropriate and in as good taste as any single one we have seen.

The lake and its islands, and its outlet, are pleasing features in this cemetery. The grass upon the lots and borders is kept closely cut, and a great quantity of flowers are planted along the well-kept borders of the walks. This last feature appears to have been carried to excess in some portions of the ground, making a too gaudy display for the purposes to which the place is appropriated. The study should be, in all adornments of such grounds, to produce variety, and only admit things that are simple, chaste, and appropriate, and in good keeping with the use to which the ground is dedicated. It has been well said, "The grave should be surrounded by every thing that might inspire tenderness and veneration for the dead, or that might win the living to virtue." The surface grading and arrangement of walks; the form and material of monuments and other structures; the planting of a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers; the keeping and working of the ground, should all be so directed that nothing shall appear that is offensive to good taste.

The frequent repetition of the same idea as an iron fence, the same style of monument, the continuous planting of the same kind of trees, shrubs, and flowers at equal distances along the walks, and the grading of lots in flat surfaces, soon cease to interest the visitor; and we expect, at no very distant time, to see those having these and like works in charge, working their grounds and grading them to correspond nearly with the natural surface of the ground, and planting them with good specimens of single trees of suitable kinds, or in groups, before offering their lots for sale; or of so controlling the improvements and working as to remedy the evils alluded to, and other objectionable practices that are now too frequently brought to the notice of those who visit them.

[We are much pleased to have our Attention called to this subject, especially by one so able as "Viator" to do it justice. The application of the rules of Landscape Art to Rural Cemeteries has not hitherto received the attention it deserves; and one reason would seem to be a prevalent idea that these rules are unsuited for any such application. This is a great mistake; for there is a peculiar propriety in their application to this purpose. This, we are glad to know, is beginning to be more generally understood, and the taste and knowledge of the landscape artist is now brought into requisition in adorning these " cities of the dead." The criticisms of "Viator" are in excellent taste. Having had our attention called to the subject, we propose to follow it up, unless "Viator" will consent to continue what he has so well begun. - ED].