It is of no use to summon any one. "That grass must be cut to-day," or " the hay must be turned, or forked over, or got in, or whatever " - there is no appeal; harvest-claims take precedence, and the weeds nod their heads at each other, and say " Come along!" and life is to them a beautiful holiday.
By the time the last load of hay has been safely stowed away, these same weeds have to be coped with, for they have become a forest, and that still further postpones the time when the aesthetic side of your place can really have any consideration given to it. At last, when you do get round to it, it is too late to do anything, and one can only sit down and make plans ler season, which will again be buried out of sight, in the rush which is sure of a periodical return.
For this reason August is a month which I delight in, for then there is a moment's breathing-space before the fruit harvest and the terrible "second crop" are again upon the carpet. It is a good time for grading and sodding before the autumn rains. With care, and a ball of earth, some of the hardy shrubs can be moved; if it has been a dry summer, now is the chance to put in some evergreens and to remodel your beds of dwarfs. But no sooner do we get fairly to work, and the general effect begins to improve and ideas to take shape, than the marsh, which usually claims the whole late fall, and the months of March and April, puts in an appeal for drainage, and, presto! the men who were engaged in ornamental work are whisked away, and you can only see the tops of their heads above the edge of a pile of dirt, as they burrow their way along an unsightly ditch.
Then comes September with its pears and apples. Your own fruit is a fine thing to have in theory, beautiful to look forward to, something to be proud of, but it is a tremendous burden when it comes The gathering is an important labor, but taking care of it when it is gathered is vu-finitely worse. The pears, especiallyjnust be watched daily, turned and fleeted, and the refuse rejected, till their owner would be happier if he never saw a Bart-lett or a Jargonelle again. The early apples, welcome and useful as they are, demand the closest attention, and it is not until the last Russet is gathered, and barreled, and stowed away in the cellar for winter use, that the amateur farmer can have an easy mind.
Perhaps it would be wiser to choose between ornamental and useful management of a place to begin with, and content yourself with either a farm or a garden, as the case might be; but in this event, though one would probably have better results to show, he would miss much of the fun of the more helter-skelter methods of landscape-practice, as well as the profits of orderly market-gardening, which can never be very successful in the hands of amateurs. There is, however, a sense of profit in your own garden as an accessory, whatever statistics show, which is not to be foregone; and, as to the pleasure of getting trees and shrubs in their proper places, who that has read these chapters can doubt that they are a source of amusement and instruction alike, even to the most unpractical of their protectors?