No doubt, Mr. Editor, yon have often been interrogated, by your friends who were about making the " tour of Europe," with the question: " Which are the finest parks, pleasure-grounds, and pinetums, to visit?" The reply of course would be, Chatsworth, Woburn, Kew, 4c.

Elvaston Castle, to which I will call your attention, has been rarely viewed till within the past few years; it was a sealed book to all but its late owner and his workmen. It has, however, recently become one of the "sights," and is pnblic on a specified day of the week. It is the seat of the Earl of Harrington, near Derby, and is celebrated for its profusion of evergreen-trees and shrubs; it is also known for its symmetric and natural planting. If there existed a hardy evergreen, it was soon deposited within the domain of this enthusiastic modern planter.

When I first visited it, in 1831, to see my youthful friend, Mr. Barrow, who then entered as gardener, I noted the place only for its long, level avenues of lindens and chestnuts, that had stood the storms of the past century. Mr. Repton, the famous landscape-planter, was invited, by the grandfather of the late Earl, to improve the grounds, but considered them so tame and level that nothing could be done; he planted about half a dozen Cedars of Lebanon, which remain, and they were the only evergreen-trees of any character on the place, in 1830. So meagre was the character of the place for trees, that the late Mr. Loudon, in his full garden statistics about 1829-30, did not even notice it.

The house is of the plainest exterior, with all the appendages of the establishment in conjunction with it; and, strange to say, the parish chureh in juxtaposition, but so retired and secluded, that no intrusion from thence could be effected.

A plain sheet of water, and an ancient flower-garden, with hedges of yew and laurel, formed the picturesque of this now noted spot in the above year. How changed the scene! The cool, collected, ingenious talent of the gardener, backed by the Earl's wealth and will, with a determination to produce what he had so long desired, has resulted, in so short a period, in effects which no other person has yet achieved, even with nature in all its grandeur at his command. The whole has been produced so quietly and privately, that comparatively few had realized a solitary view, unless taken from the top of the church, as was done by yonr friend, the late Mr. Downing, or on a very few special occasions granted by his Lordship. The following feebly shows what a few years have accomplished. The whole feature of the place is decidedly Evergreen; so that the grand avenue of lindens gives way to rows of Deodar cedars, Douglas firs, and Austrian pines, till you approach within half a mile of the mansion, where there is an Inclosure by a ha-ha, or sunk fence, within which you enter by massive, gilded, iron gates. On the right, the column is covered with the golden ivy, and, on the left, the lodge is embedded with mantles of the green. So striking a contrast could not be over* looked.

You are now within the paddock, in a serpentine approach, planted on the right and left with variegated holly, backed with Cembra pine, whose sombre shade forms a striking contrast with the pale variegations of the holly. The next turning opens on beds of heather, beautifully in bloom, interspersed with boxwood, and screened from the mansion by towering specimens of Douglas fir and Cedars of Lebanon, whose tops are grafted with Deodars; the dark green of the former contrasting with the soft green of the latter, you could not resist the impression' of the trees being covered with silken mantlets.

Another turning places the winter garden on the left, and brings you up in front of the mansion, from which you have a full view of the winter garden and mount of pleasure, that has no equal in Victoria's dominions, or perhaps any other country. By a covered yew walk, you enter the garden, and figure to your mind's eye an old, bushy yew that had been growing for centuries before its removal to its present site twenty years ago, forming now a beautiful, artificially-clipped arbor, fifteen feet square and twenty feet high, perfect every inch, not a branch or twig out of place (except a morsel of a new variety, or sport scrupulously reserved for multiplication), surmounted by two peacocks formed on the top of each other, and over them two rings, all made with the shears; and perhaps the whole cost as much as some of the fine architectural churches of our city.

Elvaston Castle A Leaf From My Note Book 120081

The Irish Yew stands in regimental phalanx, about eight feet high, grafted with the Golden Yew, formed into crowns, and shining in the sun with dazzling splendor. The Swedish and Irish Junipers make boundaries of various tints of green, and are worked up into masses, creating variegations of foliage, habit, and shape, by contrast of color, and the disposition of plants. The prevailing characters produced a parterre with.colors so contrasted as to rivet the eye; this was readily accomplished by every imaginable shade, even surpassing any floral arrangement.

For example, take a half circle or crescent, and plant the disk with dark, upright, sombre Yew or Juniper, and the concave with variegated plants such as Periwinkle, Thyme, and Santolina; you will have at once a winter bouquet. I give yon. the outline, and leave yon and your readers to form the picture. The gilding of the statuary - to me, questionable taste - the elaborate work of the baskets surrounding some cherished novelty, the feathered declivity of the embankments, the terraces, and the slopes, the plains and the mounts, circular and square, oval and angular, all exhibit an artistic skill fascinating in the extreme. " What is this surrounded with such beautiful wicker-work?" "Libocedrus chiliensis; a great acquisition; it looks like a Silver Arbor-vitsea." "Oh yes, you may call it Thuja Chiliensis" "There is another exquisite plant!" "That is Biota aurea." "Ah 1 very like a Thuja, too." "Yes, Thuja aurea." "That peculiar shaped Tine is that?" "A Douglas Fir." "Ah! you have been using the knife on it." " Yes, and on many others, freely. I exploded the idea that Evergreens will not bear pruning.