Puslapio vaizdai

I asked the station-master how all this had been done, and how it was to be kept in order. He said that a close survey of the ground and existing plants was made last fall. During the winter, maps and planting lists were worked up, and in the spring, a lawn-planting foreman came on the ground with half a dozen men, and with the help of the map, and one or two visits of the landscape architect, they accomplished the result.

As to keeping it in order, the work is easily done by men who are sent from the company's office, at stated times, to mow grass, and to weed and prune. All the station-master is asked to do is to watch that everything is kept in apple-pie shape, and if weeds and grass show signs of getting ahead, to telegraph for help.


the turner's art. Harmony and variety are specially sought in the design of this plot. Remarkable specimens of weeping sophora stand in one or two spots, and seem especially adapted to the surroundings of a church.

Remarkable and valuable weeping trees are the elms on either side of the gate. They have been planted later than many other trees visible in the picture, and are of the campestris species, Camperdown variety. Evidently British from their name, they bear little resemblance to our American elms. Slow of growth and compact of form, at no time are they lofty and spreading. They belong evidently to the rounded type of foliage contour. The rich, dark green leaves droop and fold over each other in a regular manner, in many cases quite systematic. You will notice in the picture, however, that these particular specimens have taken a fancy to lean toward each other in a manner that even trees will sometimes assume. Pruning secures for this tree a perfect form, until it attains considerable age. In short, it may be ranked well up on our short roll of really good weeping trees. The weeping sophora, of which there are two, is possibly more elegant in appearance, with drooping garlands of neat, acacia-like foliage. It is not, however, as hardy, either summer or winter, as the Camperdown elm. I need hardly rehearse the excellence of the weeping sophora, having already treated of it elsewhere. Furthermore, I want to call your attention again to the broad, round-headed yellowwood (Virgilia lutea, or, according to best authorities, Cladrastis tinctoria). It is the most cheerful tree on the grounds, and, moreover, though rare, an American plant from the banks of the Tennessee. The foli age is not dense and does not clothe the interior branching of the tree, which, in a way, lays open to view a peculiar development of trunk and limbs. About their rounded contour is stretched tightly wrinkled swathings of smooth, light-colored bark. Such trees as stand near the church are Small and graceful, the leaves are light rightly dignified and statuesque. For the green, more or less like those of an acacia same reason, they generally stand singly or or sophora, and the flowers white and in in small groups of three. The larger ones, form drooping, like those of the wistaria. like the American elm in the center, or the The pyramidal oak, too, forms one of the gingko (Salisburia adiantifolia) to the right, best trees for a church-lawn. Its upright have a more or less erect character. On lines are bold and picturesque as relieved the other hand, the yellow-wood (Virgilia against the more horizontal ones of the lutea), to the left of the last, has a broad church. The tree is, moreover, massive head and curving outline of trunk and and, for an oak, very rapid in growing. branches, suggestive of the high finish of

CHURCH-YARDS and cemeteries were once essentially identical. All this, however, is rapidly changing. For sanitary and other good reasons, the cemetery is now separated from the church; but, unfortunately, with the growth of modern cemeteries is associated curtailment of church-yards. This is greatly to be deplored. Would it not be wiser to even moderate, if necessary, the ornamentation of the interior, and secure trees and grass and flowers? A few may be impressed with holy awe by sculptured nave and glowing window, but the whole world that passes by is benefited by trees and flowers. My object, therefore, is to see if I cannot help to increase the love and knowledge of lawn-planting as applied to the grounds of buildings for worship. In the belief that it is a reasonable and beautiful object, I will endeavor to point out how certain trees not only harmonize with such surroundings, but also how they possess special and practical value in the positions they occupy. The accompanying illustration shows what can be effected in a country church-yard.

In seeking to gather about the church,

[graphic][merged small]

trees that accord with the place, the lawnplanter, by employing the Virgilia lutea, has been most successful. The color shades off effectively, through the varying hues of gingko, weeping elm, pyramidal oak, and stately American elm, to the deepest, noblest tone of all produced by the grand Nordmann's fir, near the right-hand corner of the church. Here a dark, noble mass, with rich silvery tints, rears itself into a symmetrical, perfect feature, which impresses the eye much as the ear is affected by some deep, solemn strain from the old organ within the church. This fir, indeed, serves, with its companion evergreens, to give the place its special character. By good luck, hills and trees to the north and west have so protected this spot that evergreens of somewhat tender nature stand the winter well. Thus, we have the Irish yew, rich and dark and erect as a sentinel, as well as its parent Taxus baccata, also dark, if not altogether statuesque. Other evergreens bear, of course, their due relation to this harmony of color and form. Graceful, grotesque, weeping spruces, golden and fern-like Japanese cypresses, columnar weeping silver firs,


and fountain-like weeping hemlocks, alike contribute each its separate mark on the broad effect of the whole. It is a symphony of trees as impressive in many ways as the swelling chords of the church organ. Nor does the velvet turf, extending in broad, unbroken spaces, fail to perfect the general appearance of the scene. All statuesque dwarf evergreens, as well as more lofty trees, occupy the space immediately about the church walk, or fence, leaving wide openings between. The fence, carrying out the same idea, is low, with but two rails, and as inconspicuous as possible. Care is taken also not to overload the lawn even with choice, low-growing, somber evergreens, as represented by most of the yews, spruces, and firs. Just as the effect of the graver elms, oaks, and maples is lightened by the tints of the yellow-wood and gingko, so the evergreens pass here and there into bright golden forms, and again into low deciduous trees, which are not, in any sense, shrubs. Thus the glowing leaves of certain Japanese maples are used as single specimens, and especially the low-grafted form of the Kilmarnock weeping willow. This

* This station was built by Mr. J. C. Cady, at Demorest, New Jersey. The landscape is ideal. VOL. XXII.-32.

tree is very symmetrical and even graceful, if properly pruned; but, as usually known in its high-grafted form, its stem early decays. In the sketch accompanying the church illustration is shown the low-grafted form, which is free from bark-cracking and disease on account of the protection the branches afford the stem. The effect of the employment of this weeping plant in this church-yard is specially happy, for it hardly represents a real shrub, which is, as may be seen, scarcely admitted, and yet it breaks, with its irregular, graceful lines, any possible monotony among the statuesque dwarf evergreens. Of course, the ivy on the wall and the crimson autumnal tints of the Japan creeper (Ampelopsis Veitchii) are here in their full glory. Alto

nominally in honor of the dead, but often merely for the sake of fashionable display.

Plants, however, have long been employed, entirely independent of what the fashion might be, and in their use, therefore, lies the really heart-felt offering to the memory of the departed. More than twenty years ago, one or two cemeteries, notably Spring Grove, Cincinnati, and Laurel Hill, Philadelphia, attempted a reform which aimed at doing away with fenced and hedged burial plots. Hartford laid out a cemetery on a similar plan, and a portion of Woodlawn Cemetery, New York, has a park-like character, unblemished by fences or even tombstones. Cincinnati has certainly been the pioneer in this move



gether, there is an organic completeness in the selection of the various plants that proves the lawn-planter to have had a genuine sympathy for his work, as well as abundant practical knowledge.


THE excessive and tasteless use of stonework in our cemeteries has been unnaturally fostered by love of display and by the fact that cut stone is more permanent and needs less care than shrubs and flowers, which are not only difficult to select to-day, but liable to perish to-morrow. Hence grew up this vulgar fashion of using stone inordinately,

Low-grafted Kilmarnock Weeping Willow. (Salix caprea pendula.)

ment, and to Mr. Strauch, superintendent of Spring Grove Cemetery, of that city, belongs the credit of most persistently and systematically following out what may really be called a new principle.

In Woodlawn Cemetery, New York, may be seen a fair example of what is generally considered a good park-like cemetery. Shrubs and trees are planted about in irregular fashion upon a lawn. The lots are clustered here and there in groups, and their boundaries are designated by small stones or stakes hidden in the grass, the graves themselves being made in an inconspicuous manner. With the exception of creeping vines, not a tree, shrub, or flower is planted unless by permission of the authorities.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

Flowers are allowed on the graves, but no plants bearing flowers may be set out except under these restrictions. Everything is under the control of a central authority, which is supposed to know exactly how to produce the finest landscape effect possible under the circumstances. That such effects are actually accomplished may be fairly questioned by competent judges; but that is not the fault of the system.

Many people, however, possess cemetery lots where stones exist, and they must make the best of things as they are. They may not wish to destroy existing evergreen hedges entirely, in which case they can leave a plant in each corner and on either side of the gate, otherwise they will find it advisable to follow the plan here presented as regards its general system. This system consists chiefly in open stretches of perfect greensward throughout the entire lot, except on the extreme edges and at the head and foot of the graves. No formal hedge is necessary, but a border of foliage, to break and modify the stiffness of the necessarily inartistic fence. This work can only be accomplished properly by dwarf evergreens, the forms of which are statuesque and dignified, as comports with the spirit of the place. I refer to such plants as the Swiss stone pine, the con

ical and Gregory spruces, and the many agreeable dwarf varieties of retinosporas. These plants have the supreme advantage of the most lovely variety and contrast of color, when properly arranged, and have at the same time the ability to retain their dwarf forms for a score of years with a minimum of pruning. Variety of color is too little considered in most landscapegardening of a permanent character, and the unfitting mature size of many plants in confined positions is equally disregarded.

This lot, it will be seen, has a weeping beech by the monument, and three or four slow-growing plants-roses and variegatedleaved Japanese maples-by the grave itself. This is designed to secure a peculiar grace for this special spot, which may be enhanced by allowing a vine or two, ivy or Japan creeper, to twine about the base of gravestone or monument. All plants used in the center of the lot should be pruned and managed with the greatest care, or they will become, in spite of their dwarfness, too luxuriant in growth for the place they occupy. Above all things, the vines should not be allowed to cover all the surface of the stones and monuments. Any seeming neglect and disorder must detract greatly from the proper dignity of the spot.

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, below the junc-| tion with the Ohio, has, on one side or the other, about 1800 miles of levee, representing in first cost and present actual value twenty million dollars. The protection thus afforded, however, is far from perfect, and agricultural operations are conducted under very serious annual peril of loss of crops by the casualty of overflow. How far this fact, or the magnitude of the interests involved, or the collateral advantages likely to accrue, or all together, authorize the expectation of Government intervention between this wayward river and the dwellers upon its banks, are questions which will not be discussed in this paper, which will merely have to do with the popular and unscientific aspects of the problem-the origin, progress, and present condition of the levee system and, as far as yet developed, the measures pro

posed for perfecting the reclamation of the country.

The Mississippi River, although preëminent among the rivers of the earth for its length, and distinguished by the imperial extent, fertility, and population of the valley which it drains, has exceedingly inconvenient peculiarities. Besides its habit of annually rising too high, it is very crooked and restless, continually changing its channel, constantly caving off its banks on one side and piling up sand-bars on the other. Sometimes it will in a very few years cut in half a mile or more, absorb the old levee, and render the construction of a new one an absolute and urgent necessity. While the river is high there is little caving, but as it falls, and particularly when it approximates low-water mark, the bank tumbles in all along the affected portion of each afflicted

« AnkstesnisTęsti »