consfield, the anniversary of whose death | the art of the topiarist, by which almost has become so strangely associated with every tree and shrub that would suffer the the primrose, probably knew as much shears was clipped into fantastic similiand as little about horticulture as the tude of men, birds, beasts, castles, and emperor of Morocco, but he was exceedingly sensitive to popular feeling, even in small matters, and gave indication in "Lothair" of what was coming. Corisande's garden (though it might have puzzled the author to define a "gilliflower ") was described with some minuteness on a Shakespearean model. People were captivated with the idea suggested; it reminded them of what gardens had been when they were children, and presently an inquiry began for long-neglected herbaceous plants. Mr. William Robinson became the energetic pioneer of the movement; his "Alpine Flowers for English Gardens," "Hardy Plants and How to Grow Them," "The Wild Garden," and other works, were written with admirable skill and taste, and showed complete practical knowledge. They met with so much success, and did so much to stimulate the revolt against "bedding-out that, just twenty years ago, he was encouraged to start a weekly journal, which continues, as it began, an effective advocacy of Perdita's flowers and their like, and a protest against the exclusive or general use of tender flowers. The true key note is struck in the motto selected by Mr. Robinson for his paper, the Garden:

This is an Art

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Which does mend Nature; changes it rather, but

The Art itself is Nature.

The reform has been general; long-forgotten favorites have been hunted up from such places as they had been suffered to linger in, and already English gardens are throwing off that distressing similarity to one another which threatened to make their old name of "pleasaunce" a term of bitter irony. One feature they must always have in common, though it is capable of being disposed in a thousand different ways, namely, green turf. Thanks to our benignant skies, the "moist, bird-haunted English lawn" is never likely to suffer permanently from any passing freak of fashion, and with liberal breadths of closely shaven grass no piece of ground can be other than beautiful; as Bacon truly observed, "Nothing is more pleasant to the eye, than green grass kept finely shorn."

There was one dominant feature in Elizabethan gardening which it were not well to see universally revived, and that is

other figures. The effect when this prac-
tice was as universal as bedding-out was
a dozen years ago must have been equally
monotonous. Nevertheless, such speci-
mens of this treatment as have survived
the lapse of centuries will, it is hoped, be
jealously guarded, for, apart from their
antiquarian interest, and the romantic as-
sociation with which they are invested,
they afford a grateful excitement to the
eye accustomed to tamer and more uni-
form arrangement. Not many such re-
main; indeed, Lord Stanhope remarks, in
his "History of England," that
throughout the whole of England there re-
mains, perhaps, scarcely more than one private
garden presenting in all its parts an entire and
true sample of the old designs; this is at the
fine old seat of Levens, near Kendal. There,
along a wide extent of terraced walks and
walls, eagles of holly, and, peacocks of yew
still find, with each returning summer, their
wings clipped and talons pared. There, a
stately remnant of the old promenoirs-such
as the Frenchmen taught our fathers, rather,
I would say, to build than to plant-along
with periwigs and swords, the ladies in hoops
which, in days of old, stalked the gentlemen
and furbelows, may still to this day be seen.

So great is the fascination of the garden at Levens, where flowers seem brighter and more luxuriant than in any nineteenthcentury borders, by contrast with the formal, sombre yews and the sad, grey walls of the old mansion-house, that it is strange that no attempt has already been made to revive the forgotten topiary art. Yet one shudders to think of the result should it ever become the fashion. Stripped of the glamour of eld, tortured shrubs and shorn trees are not objects in which the eye finds repose; the object should be to assist and control nature, not to deform or travesty her. Yet there is one feature in the Elizabethan garden which should find a place in the Victorian more commonly than it does namely, the close or pleached alley. It gives the seclusion which is of the essence of a garden, and how the artists of romance, from Boccaccio and Marguerite of Navarre onwards, love to loiter in these leafy corridors!

It is no easy task to lay out or alter a garden. People with taste have not served apprenticeship to the craft; they have a general idea of the effect desired, but they don't know the means required to produce

People with well-stored conservatories and stoves will think rightly of this garniture of winter beds, liable any day to be buried overhead in snow; but without in the least undervaluing the luxury of glass houses, one may be allowed to claim a special charm in the humble out-of-door flowers that re-appear year after year in the same place, only asking to be let alone. Some of these lowly plants are of extraordinary longevity; it is impossible to guess the age of some clumps of iris, sweet william, or scarlet lychnis, but there is no apparent reason why they should not outlive the oak, possessed as they are of perpetual power of renewing themselves.

it; on the other hand, gardeners who have festoons of yellow and crimson stars on
the skill and understand the materials leafless twigs, and the winter jasmine
rarely have had opportunities of cultivat- (Jasminum nudiflorum), a very Mark
ing taste. More than half the happy Tapley among herbs, that pour out in
effects come by chance. Moreover, the blossom at that season the virtue stored
newly awakened zeal for hardy plants is in them by summer suns.
sometimes disappointing in its results.
Spring flowers, most charming of all, are
too often arranged to give a dotty effect;
they blaze from the brown earth with no
friendly foliage to lend breadth to the ar-
rangement. In summer, the borders are
apt to look rank and weedy, the weaker
species struggling for existence with ro-
bust neighbors; and in autumn, unless it
is skilfully prepared for, they are apt to be
dull and flowerless. "Oh, I wish you had
seen the garden a month ago; it was in
beauty then, but the things have gone over
now!" That is precisely where the gar-
dener's art is wanted to assist nature, and
is quite capable of doing so with the
wealth of material at his disposal. Peren-
nial borders should never "go over," not
even in winter, when they are generally
given over to despair. There should
always be some part of the garden, no
matter what the season, where things are
at their best. Yet there is a family of
plants, too much neglected, the peculiar
property of which is to bridge the gulf
between the embers of October and the

first sparkles of February. This family is
the Hellebore, of which the Christmas
rose is a lovely and well-known member.
The first to flower is H. niger maximus,
which opens its great bells, of the color of
apple-blossom, in the first days of Novem-
ber, and thenceforward - blow high, blow
low, come sleet or snow or frost or rain
will maintain great wreaths of bloom till
well on in January. Then the other varie- |
ties of H. niger, of which there are at
least a dozen, take up the running and
keep things gay till the latter kinds H.
abchasicus, antiquorum, orientalis, and
others produce their pink, purple, or white
clusters. By this time we are well into
the months of snowdrop, crocus, winter
aconite, and hepatica, and the dead months
have slipped away. But on the Hellebore
need not be thrown all the work; there is
the fragrant coltsfoot (Tussilago fragrans)
blooming all the time, with a strong scent
exactly like heliotrope, and as hardy as its
plebeian relative of the roadsides; the
winter cherry (Physalis Alkekengi), with
the constitution of a burdock, hung with
quaint orange-bladders from Michaelmas
to Christmas; there are also certain
shrubs, such as the witch hazel (Hamame-
lis arborea and virginica), with strange

One cannot be ungrateful for the skill which, by an elaborate system of forcing, supplies us with spring and summer flowers in mid-winter, and makes London flower-shops as attractive at Yuletide as at Whitsuntide. Still, there is a good deal of sense in Biron's speech in "Love's Labor's Lost:

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Why should I joy in any abortive mirth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish for snow in May's new-fangled
But like of each thing that in season grows.

No doubt our enjoyment of spring and summer flowers would be keener if we were not accustomed to have lilies-of-thevalley at the new year and carnations at Candlemas.

People with knowledge of and liking for hardy plants are apt to give the herbaceous garden too much the character of a botanical collection. They have not the resolution to exclude species of inferior beauty; but, with the wealth of all the ends of the earth to choose from, resolute discretion is necessary if the garden is to be one worthy of the name.

If a contrast were sought to the formal style of gardening of the seventeenth century, so well exemplified in the beautiful pleasaunce at Levens above referred to, one more complete could not be found than in a garden of equal merit, though on a totally different plan, in Mr. George Wilson's grounds at Oakwood, near Weybridge. The owner and maker of this paradise may best be described as a decorative botanist; deeply versed in all plant

lore, yet, with a constant eye to what consists with beauty, he has enclosed several acres on the slope and crest of a hill, including a wood at the foot and a piece of water. Here he has assembled a vast collection of plants, carefully arranged, but with all trace of design studiously concealed. A lady lately visiting it expressed the effect in a single sentence: "I hardly know," she said, "what this place should be called; it is not a garden, it is a place where plants from all parts of the world grow wild."

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was Virgil's precept, and the pine he recCall this field of beauty what you will ommended for decking a garden was the -garden or wilderness and visit it at stone pine of the Mediterranean. How what season you may, you will be pene- vastly greater is the variety of conifers trated with its charm; whether in April, from which we may choose, from the when the hillside is flashing with rivulets lovely Picea nobilis of Colorado, to the and pools of pure hues from squills, wind- fantastic Salisburia, the Gingko of Japan, flowers, daffodils, gentians, sweet alisons; less like a fir than a huge maidenhair fern. or in early summer, when many kinds of It is only necessary to remember that fifty iris unfold their gorgeous petals round the years ago rhododendrons were hardly lake in floods of purple, blue, and gold; known, to realize how far we excel our or in autumn, when the troops of gold-grandfathers in wealth of material. rayed lilies rise ghostlike in the copse, It is provoking to see people at the pains and African tritomas hold flaming torches along the paths, Mr. Wilson has shown how royally English soil and climate will repay care and judgment with boundless wealth of blossom.

One great evil to be avoided in the design and contents of a garden is sameness. There is a phrase that constantly recurs in horticultural journals when some plant is being commended: "No garden should be without it." Unfortunately, gardeners are too often content to grow the same flowers as their neighbors; are, indeed, dissatisfied unless they have the same species. Some years ago it struck somebody that the single dahlia was a more beautiful flower than the varieties hitherto approved, upon which great pains and much skill had been expended to get them as like ribbon rosettes and as little like natural flowers as possible. No sooner was the idea acted on than single dahlias became the rage, and now it is the rarest thing to go into any garden without seeing these plants, really of none but indifferent merit, sprawling over the borders. They were pleasing as a novel feature, but nobody gets much enjoyment out of them now; they perish with the first frost, and any scent they possess is disagreeable.

We have a hundred species to choose from now for every one that eighteenthcentury nurserymen could supply. In China, Japan, the Himalayas, Siberia, Australasia, North and South America, in every mountain range and island of the sea, collectors have vied with each other

to cultivate and decorate their ground, yet often neglecting to bring out the special characteristics of their soil and climate. Zones of mean temperature run in these islands much more with degrees of longitude than of latitude. In Cornwall, Argyllshire, and Galway, shrubs and humbler plants flourish luxuriantly which would perish in a single winter in Oxfordshire or Surrey. Yet in the benign west one is just as apt to find the walls monopolized by plants adapted for the London climate as with the myrtles, lemon verbenas, Edwardsia, and other choice things that might both surprise and delight the visitor. Any one who has driven across the desolate upland lying between Clifden and Letterfrack, in Galway, will surely remember with pleasure the miles of hedges of crimson fuchsia with which Mr. Mitchell Henry has had the taste to array the highroad near his place, Kylemore. Of course it is right to give individual preference for certain flowers; there is no reason why, if the lord of the soil loves the roses above other flowers, he should think himself bound to sacrifice them to camellias, in order to show the mildness of his climate; camellias he should have where they flour. ish (as every one will agree who has seen the fairy-like display they make in the open air at East Lytchett, in Dorsetshire), because they will distinguish his garden from ninety-nine hundredths of others; but he should also take the full of his climatic

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advantage in behalf of his favorite flower. | tion of such hard heads as Aristotle's and Very few persons have ever seen the Pliny's, and has been repeated unhesitatsingle white Macartney rose (Rosa bracingly by countless writers on botany and teata), because, being somewhat tender, it will not reward culture in Midland or eastern districts; but there is rare beauty in its thick, ivory-like petals, clustered golden anthers, and glossy foliage. I well remember the impression it made on first seeing it on the wall of the boathouse at Port Eliot, in Cornwall- I rested not till I had procured it, though it was years before I found any nurseryman who kept it in stock; and it may be useful to record that it proves quite at home on the west coast of Scotland, where a dozen plants survived uninjured the rigors of the memorable winter of 1890-91.

But the westward influence is not enough for some roses, such as the Banksian, which is patient of a very low winter temperature, provided it gets a more liberal summer sun than can be had north of the Trent. Even in the south it is sometimes so ignorantly and harshly dealt with by the pruner's knife, that its owner looks in vain for the profuse drift of snowy or sulphur

hued blossom that rewards the laissezfaire treatment of this rose.

This advantage the denizens of old English gardens possess over recent importations, that names hallowed by time and endeared by association have been bestowed upon them; for, Juliet's opinion notwithstanding, there is much in a name, and the rose would not have been such a favorite with the poets if it had been christened turnip. A distinct sensation of freshness, as of early summer mornings, is produced by simply repeating some of the old, flower names, which Mr. Prior has arranged so handily in his " Popular Names of British Plants."* The memory of childhood spent in the country is fondly stirred by the familiar names eglantine, lad's-love, fair-maids-of-France, goldilocks, lady's-smock, herb-paris (also called herbtruelove), gold-of-pleasure, etc. Many of them have a distinct significance; Gerarde affirms that bachelor's-buttons (a double white ranunculus) was so called from the similitude of the buds "to the jagged cloathe buttons, antiently worne in this kingdom," while another authority attributes the name to "a habit of country fellows to carry them in their pockets to divine their success with their sweethearts." Then the celandine owes its name to the most irrational tradition ever conceived, yet one that received the sanc

* London: Frederick Norgate, 1879.

natural history. The name is from the Greek xɛλdwv, a swallow, "not," as Gerarde is at pains to warn his readers, "because it first springeth at the comeing in of the swallowes, or dieth when they go away, for, as we have saide, it may be founde all the yeare, but because some holde opinion, that with this herbe the dams restore sight to their young ones, when their eies be put out." The flower-de-luce, generally written fleur-de-lis, or lys, as if the last syllable had to do with a lily, is really fleur-de-Louis, and was the cognizance of royal France ever since it was chosen as his badge by Louis the Seventh, "qui chargea l'écu de France de fleurs-de-lis sans nombre.”

But of all flowers of the garden, none has had so many fanciful names bestowed upon it as the pansy, pensieri menuti, idle thoughts, as the Italians call it.

The Pansy next, which English maids
As if each thought that springs and fades
Call Heart's-ease - innocent translation.
Were but a source of jubilation.

The pretty name heart's-ease does not, indeed, belong by right to the pansy, but was applied to designate the wall-flower, from its real or supposed virtue as a cordial, and the pansy itself has at various times and in different counties been known as herb trinity (from its three colors), loveand-idle, kiss-me-ere-I-rise, jump-up-andkiss-me, three-faces-under-a-hood.

A place might surely be found oftener in the pleasure-ground for certain plants generally relegated to the herb garden, such as rue, lavender, and rosemary. Their beauty, certainly, is of a lowly order, but there hangs about them such a mist of popular lore that they bring to mind a time before these thorny days of social science, county councils, and school boards — a time to return to which, were the choice given us, it might be wise to hesitate, yet a time when our country was known among the nations as "Merrie England," when the poor were not so poor, and the rich were not so rich, and no one vexed his soul by asking if life was worth living. The rue, Shakespeare's herb of grace, was supposed to flourish stronger if stolen from a neighbor's garden. Lavender, though strangely enough omitted by Bacon from his list of sweetsmelling plants, is endeared to us by a thousand proofs of the esteem our forefathers had for it; such as Isaac Walton's

description of " an honest ale-house, where On the whole, Queen Rose commands we shall find a cleanly room, lavender in a wider allegiance than Queen Lily, in our the windows, and twenty ballads stuck own country at least, where she is not only against the wall, and my hostess, I may the flower assigned by heralds as the emtell you, is both cleanly and handsome and blem of England, but is associated with civil." Rosemary the bloody strife between the houses of York and Lancaster-the Wars of the Roses and the white rose is specially dear to Jacobites as being the badge of the ill-starred house of Stuart; while the lily was the chivalrous emblem of England's ancient rival — France.

Trim rosmarin that whilom crowned The daintiest garden of the proudest peeralso called guardrobe from its use as a preservative of clothes, may now be looked for in vain in the gardens of most peers, though it deserves a better fate, were it The perfection and profusion of what only in memory of gentle Sir Thomas More. "As for rosmarine," he wrote, "I bined with the desire for autumn blooms, are known as "hybrid perpetuals," comlett it run alle over my garden walls, not have prevailed to throw into the backonlie because my bees love it, but because 'tis the herb sacred to remembrance, and ground some lovely summer roses, such as still make paradise of cottage-gardens therefore to friendship; whence a sprig of in June. Of such may be named the old it hath a dumb language that maketh it double white (Rosa alba), the York and the chosen emblem at our funeral wakes Lancaster, streaked with red and white; and in our burial grounds." It may the Austrian copper, with single flowers sometimes still be seen so used, being of intense fiery orange, much rarer than laid upon coffins, especially in the northern the same species with sulphur-colored counties. But a more equivocal signifi- petals; and the celestial blush, of matchcance is also attributed to it, with which less shell-pink, in exquisite harmony with some may be inclined to connect its disits glaucous foliage. appearance from modern borders; it is alleged that it only flourishes where the mistress rules, or at least has a fair share in ruling, the household.

Since the days of chaste Lucrece, Their silent war of lilies and of roses,

Which Tarquin viewed in her fair face's field,
has gone on without intermission, though
far from silently. Every one admits that
lilies and roses excel all other flowers, but
the controversy as to which is entitled to
pre-eminence has never yet been, and
never will be, settled. It is best avoided
by having plenty of both, and truly no
garden is worth a visit that is not well
furnished with them. Alexander Mont-
gomery had made up his mind about it
when he penned the verse: -

I love the lily as the first of flowers
Whose stately stalk so straight up is and
stay [stiff],

In whom th' lave [the rest], ay lowly louts

and cowers

As bound so brave a beauty to obey. But another Scottish poet, Dunbar, had already, a hundred years before Montgomery, given equally emphatic verdict for the


Nor hold none other flower in sic dainty

As the fresh rose of color red and white,
For if thou dost, hurt is thine honesty,

Considering that so flower is no perfite,
So full of virtue, pleasaunce and delight,
So full of blissful angelic beauty,
Imperial birth, honor, and dignity.

Mr. Ellacombe, in his pleasant volume, "The Plant-lore and Garden-lore of Shake

speare," quotes a bit of rose-lore gravely told in the "Voiage and Travaile" of Sir John Mandeville :

to seyne, the Feld florisched; for als moche as a fayre mayden was blamed with wrong and sclaundered, for whiche cause sche was demed to the Dethe, and to be brent in that place, to the whiche she was ladd; and as the Fyre began to brent about hire, sche made hire preyers to oure Lord, that als wissely as sche was not gilty of that Synne, that He wolde helpe hire and make it to be knowen to alle men, of his mercyfulle grace. And when sche hadde thus seyd, sche entered into the Fuyr: and anon was the Fuyr quenched and oute; and the Brondes that weren brennynge becomen red Roseres, and the Brondes that weren not kyndled becomen white Roseres. And these weren the first Roseres and Roses,

At Betheleim is the Felde Floridus, that is

both white and rede, that evere ony man saughe.

Before passing from the rose, it may be permitted to allude to a term often used by Shakespeare but almost equally often misunderstood by his readers. The "canker" was the common name for the dogrose, and is so intended in such passages


So put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
And plant this thorn, this canker Bolingbroke.
Or again, in the "Sonnets:-

London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1884

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