This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Contemplated improvements should be fully matured and studied before commencing active practical operations. Most of our rural places evince this want. It may safely be asserted that no permanent improvement will ever give satisfaction unless the whole arrangement is previously determined upon, even to the most minute details. But how often is it thought about? Let our expensive and unexpressive pleasure grounds (by courtesy so called) answer. Study the features of the locality and its connection with surrounding scenery, and follow Nature's promptings, which are always visible to the tasteful eye.
"But learn to rein Thy skill within the limit she allows; Great Nature scorns control; she will not bear One beauty foreign to the spot or soil She gives thee to adorn; 'tis thine alone To mend, not change her features. Does her hand Stretch forth a level lawn? ah, hope not thou To lift the mountain there. Do mountains frown Around? ah, wish not there the level lawn".
Let everything that can be done to facilitate spring operations be proceeded with; make roads and walks, and dig out and prepare the ground for trees. Where this cannot be done, mark out the direction of the former, and insert stakes into the intended positions of the latter, and write the name of the tree on the stake. This will be found a great assistance when the hurried season of planting arrives; and, above all things, prepare an ample heap of suitable compost to plant with, that your luxuriant anticipations may the sooner be realised. William Saunders.