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.
When such a man as Downing dies - a man whose life has been eminently useful and beautiful - the world desires to know more of him. Many who in his life-time neither knew Mr. Downing nor felt any interest in the pursuits to which he was devoted, now that he is dead, and especially that his death was so shocking and so sudden, manifest a great anxiety to learn more of his history and of his tastes and pursuits. Many who for years have been in intimate communion with him through his writings, have never, save in imagination, seen his home - the spot which of all others on earth was dear to him. We think, therefore, that at this time the following sketches will be very acceptable; not merely gratifying to that deep and melancholy interest awakened by Mr. Downing's sad fate, but instructive to all who are studying the improvement of grounds.
Mr. Downing's cottage was the first of his designs; and probably it was this that drew him and attached him to the study of architecture, and gave us those writings that have done so much to augment the beauty and comfort of country houses, and which he has left us as an invaluable legacy. This fact alone gives increased interest to the house, and will silence the voice of the critic in regard to any errors or imperfections that may be discovered.
The grounds are limited - only four acres in all, we believe, including the vineyard. By the exercise of Mr. Downing's taste and judgment in the arrangement of walks and grouping of trees, it appears much larger. There are many fine specimens of rare trees on the grounds, which will be referred to in the plan. The defect that strikes the eye now in passing over the grounds, is that the trees in many cases are too close; but this is a defect which is very natural, and can scarcely be avoided in limited grounds. The desire to possess as many new and rare trees as possible, induces one to plant year after year, even after the grounds are already filled.
See Frontispiece. Explanation. - The following Hat contains the Key to the letters on the Plan: , Library, II, Hall. P, Parlor. D, Dining-room. O, Office. S, Study. F, Flr tree. W, Warwick vase. R, Hermitage. A, Arbor. K, Rock-work. V, Borghete vase. G, Green-houae. Y, Yard to ditto. M, Gardener's house. B, Barn.
Key to the arrangement of the most remarkable specimen* of trees on the grounds.
1. Magnolia consplcua - a magnificent tree; said to be quite risible from the opposite side of the river, a mile distant, when in bloom.
2. Magnolia acuminata, or cucumber tree. 8. Deciduous Cypress.
4. Magnolia tripetala, (umbrella).
5. European Linden.
6. Virgilia lutes. A large and One specimen of a very rare tree.
7. Salisburla adianthifolla, (Maiden Hair tree.) A fine specimen.
9. English cork-barked Elm.
10. European Larch.
11. Balsam Flr. A lofty, elegant specimen.
14. White Horse-Chestnut.
15. Yellow do. 16. Cut-leaved Birch.
17. A fine broad specimen of a neglected native shrub, Dirca palustris, (leather wood).
18. Acer campester, (common English Maple.) Quite a scarce tree, of low stature, with rough corky bark. A handsome specimen.
23. Abies Smithiana. 24 Abies cephaionica. X. The Sundial.
In addition to these there are many interesting shrubs, plants, Ac, on the lawn, that we have not thought it necessary to take note of in such a general sketch as this is intended to be.
To an intimate friend of Mr. Downing we are indebted for the following article, whose pen, so beautifully said, has been "guided by love".