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wood is thoroughly ripened, and hung up in a dry room, without any soil attaching to it, will be found ready, the next spring, to start in a new life of vigour and beauty.
One characteristic of our native plants we must mention, that if we miss in them something of the gorgeousness and lustre of more tropical flowers, we are more than compensated by the delicacy and variety of their perfume ; and just as our woods, vocal with the nightingale, the blackbird, and the thrush, can well spare the gaudy feathers of the macaw, so can we resign the oncidiums, the cactuses, and the ipomæas of the Tropics, for the delicious fragrance of our wild banks of violets, our lilies-of-the-valley, and our woodbine, or even for the passing whiff of a hawthorn bush, a clover or bean field, or a gorse-common.
With such hedgerow flowers within his reach, and in so favourable a climate, it is not to be wondered that the garden of the English cottager has been remarked among our national distinctions. These may be said to form the foreground of that peculiar English scenery, which is filled up by our hedge-rows and our parks. The ingenious authoress of · Leila in England' * makes the little newlanded girl exclaim for the want of 'fountain-trees' and 'green parrots. This is true to nature--but not less so the real enthu. siasm of Miss Sedgwick, on her first arriving in England, at the cottage-gardens of the Isle of Wight. Again and again she fixes upon them as the most pleasing and striking feature in a land where everything was new to her. Long may they so continue! It is a trait of which England may well be proud; for it speakswould we could trace it everywhere!—of peace, and of the leisure, and comfort, and contentedness of those who shall never cease from the land.'
We would even make gardens in general a test of national prosperity and happiness. As long as the British nobleman continues to take an interest in his avenues and hot-houses—his lady in her conservatories and parterres—the squire overlooks bis labourers' allotments - the squiresses and squirinas' betake themselves and their flowers to the neighbouring horticultural show—the citizen sets up his cucumber-frame in his back-yarı! his dame her lilacs and almond-trees in the front-court-the mechanic breeds his prize-competing auriculas—the cottager rears his sun-flowers and Sweet-Williams before his door-and even the collier sports his posy jacket'-as long, in a word, as this common interest pervades every class of society, so long shall we cling to the hope that our country is destined to outlive all ber difficulties and dangers. Not because, like the Peris, we fight
* This is a pleasing continuation of her · Leila, or the Island.' All Miss Tytler's books for children are worthy of being generally known.
with flowers, and build amaranth bowers, and bind our enemies in links of roses—but because all this implies mutual interest and intercourse of every rank, and dependence of one class upon another-because it promotes an interchange of kindnesses and favours--because it speaks of proprietors dwelling on their hereditary acres, and the poorest labourer having an interest in the soil--because it gives a local attachment, and healthy exercise and innocent recreation, and excites a love of the country and love of our own country, and a spirit of emulation, devoid of bitternessbecause it tells of wealth wisely spent, and competence widely diffused, of taste cultivated, and science practically applied-because, unlike Napoleon's great lie, it does bring 'peace to the cottage,' while it blesses the palace, and every virtuous home between those wide extremes-because it bespeaks the appreciation of what is natural and simple, and pure-teaches men to set the divine law of excellence above the low human standard of utility--and because, above all, in the most lovely and bountiful of God's works, it leads them up to Him that made them, not in a mere dumb, inactive admiration of His wonderful designs, but to bless Him that He has given them pleasures beyond their actual necessities-the means of a cheerful countenance, as well as of a strong heart.
Still more-because--if ours be not too rude a step to venture within such hallowed ground-it speaks of a Christian people employed in an occupation, which, above all others, is the parable that conveys the deepest truths to them—which daily reads them silent lessons, if their hearts would hear, of the vanity of earthly pomp, of the beauty of heavenly simplicity, and purity, and lowliness of mind, of contentment and unquestioning faith-which sets before them, in the thorns and thistles, a remembrance of their fallen state-in the cedar, and the olive, and the palm-tree, the promise of a better country-which hourly recalls to their mind the Agony and the Burial of Him who made a garden the scene of both, and who bade us mark and consider such things, how they bud, and • how they grow,' giving us in the vine a type of His Church, and in the fig-tree of His Coming.
Again, we would ask those who think that national amelioration is to be achieved by dose upon dose of Reform or Red-tapery, where should we now have been without our savings-banks, our allotment system, and our cottage gardens ? And lest we should be thought to have been led away from flowers to the more general subject, we will add that when we see a plot set apart for a rosebush, and a gilliflower, and a carnation, it is enough for us : if the jasmine and the honeysuckle embower the porch without, we may be sure that there is a potato and a cabbage and an onion for the pot within : if there be not plenty there, at least there is
no want; if not happiness, the nearest approach to it in this world
• Yes ! in the poor man's garden grow
Far more than herbs and flowers;
And joy for weary hours.' Gardening not only affords common ground for the high and low, but, like Christianity itself, it offers peculiar blessings and privileges to the poor man, which the very possession of wealth denies. •The Spitalfields weaver may derive more pleasure from his green box of smoked auriculas,' than the lordly possessors of Sion, or Chatsworth, or Stowe, or Alton, from their hundreds of decorated acres; because not only personal superintendence, but actual work is necessary for the true enjoyment of a garden. We must know our flowers, as well as buy them. Our grea..grandmothers, who--before they were great-grandmothers-Airted on the sunny terraces, or strolled along the arched and shaded alleys' of our old manor-houses,
had their own little garden, where they knew every flower, because they were few; and every name, because they were simple. Their rose-bushes and gilliflowers were dear to them, because themselves had pruned, and watered, and watched them-had marked from day to day their opening buds, and removed their fading blossoms—and had cherished each choicest specimen for the posy to be worn at the christening of the squire's heir, or on my lord's birth-day.'
In a like strain the wise and good author of Human Life' beautifully says
'I would not have my garden too extended; not because flowers are not the most delicious things, speaking to the sentiments as well as to the senses, but on account of the intrinsic and superior value of moderation. When interests are divided, they are not so strong. Three acres of flowers and a regiment of gardeners bring no more pleasure than a sufficiency. Besides which, in the smaller possession, there is more room for the mental pleasure to step in and refine all that which is sensual. We become acquainted, as it were, and even form friendships, with individual flowers. We bestow more care upon their bringing up and progress. They seem sensible of our favour, absolutely to enjoy it, and make pleasing returns by their beauty, health, and sweet
In this respect a hundred thousand roses, which we look at en masse, do not identify themselves in the same manner as even a very small border; and hence, if the cottager's mind is properly attuned, the little cottage-garden may give him more real delight than belongs to the owner of a thousand acres. All this is so entirely nature, that give me a garden well kept, however small, two or three spreading trees, and a mind at ease, and I defy the world.'
Nor do we find anything contravening this, in Cowley's wish that he might have a small house and large garden, few friends,
and many books. ' Doubtless he coveted neither the Bodleian nor Chatsworth, and intended his garden to be • large' only in comparison with his other possessions.
It is this limited expenditure and unlimited interest which a garden requires, combined with the innocence of the amusement, that renders it so great a blessing-—more even than to the cottager himself-to the country clergyman. We must leave to the novelist to sketch the happy party which every summer's evening finds busied on many an English vicarage-lawn, with their trowels and watering-pots, and all the paraphernalia of amateur gardeners; though we may ask the utilitarian, if he would deign to scan so simple a group, from the superintending vicar to the water-carrying schoolboy, where he would better find developed *the greatest happiness of the greatest number,' than among those very objects and that very occupation where utility is not only banished, but condemned.
We would have our clergy know that there is no readier way to a parishioner's heart--next to visiting his house, which, done in health and in sickness, is the keystone of our blessed parochial system-than to visit his garden, suggesting and superintending improvements, distributing seeds, and slips, and flowers, and lending or giving such gardening books as would be useful for his limited domain. And many a poor scholar, in some obscure curacy, out of the way of railroads and book-clubs,
• In life's stillest shade reclining,
A mirror in an answering mind,' has made the moral and intellectual wilderness in which he is cast bloom for him in his trees, and herbs, and flowers; and if unable, from the narrowness of his means and situation,
"To raise the terrace or to sink the grot,' has found his body refreshed and his spirits lightened, in growing the salad to give a relish to his simple meal, and the flower to bedeck his threadbare button-hole,-enabled by these recreations to bear up against those little every-day annoyances which, though bardly important enough to tax our faith or our philosophy, make up in an ill-regulated or unemployed mind the chief ills of life.
Pope, who professed that of all his works he was most proud of his garden, said also, with more nature and truth, that he pitied that man who had completed everything in his garden.' To pull down and destroy is quite as natural to man as to build up
and improve, and this love of alteration may help to account for the many changes of style in gardening that have taken place. The course of the seasons, the introduction of new flowers, the growth
VOL, LXX. NO. CXXXIX.
of trees, will always of themselves give the gardener enough to do; and if the flower-garden is perfect, and there is a nook of spare ground at hand, instead of extending his parterres, which cannot be kept too neat, he had better devote it to an arboretum for choice trees and shrubs; or take up with some one extensive class-as for a thornery or a pinery; or make it a wilderness-like mixture of all kinds. Such ground will not require mowing more than twice or thrice in the year, and will afford much pleasure, without much labour and expense. If there is a little damp nook or dell, with rock-work and water at command, let it by all means be made a fernery, for which Mr. Newman's book will supply plenty of materials.
But we are straying too far from our immediate subject of flower-gardens and flowers, and with a few more remarks upon the latter, we must bring this dissertation to a close : otherwise we should have something to say of the unique beauties of Redleaf, and the splendid Italian garden lately designed at Trentham by the genius of Mr. Barry; something more too of the gorgeous new importations which every day is now bringing, some for the first time, into blossom. We are even promised new varieties of orchideous plants from Mr. Rollisson's experiments in raising seedlings for the first time in this country.
To produce new seedling varieties of one's own, by hybridizing and other mysteries of the priests of Flora, is indeed the highest pleasure and the deepest esotericism of the art. The impreg. nating them is to venture within the very secrets of creation, and the naming them carries us back to one of the highest privileges of our first parents. The offspring becomes our own éprov; which, according to Aristotle, claims the highest degree of our love. We should feel that, in leaving them, we were leaving friends, and address them in the words of Eve,
Par. Losl, si. We cannot but admire the practice of the Church of Rome, which calls in the aid of floral decorations on her high festivals. If we did not feel convinced that it was the most bounden duty of the Church of England, at the present moment, to give no unnecessary offence by restorations in indifferent matters, we should be inclined to advocate, notwithstanding the denunciations of some of the early Fathers, some slight exception in the case of