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The Journal of the Horticultural Society of London, 1848, Vol. 3 (Classic Reprint)

The Journal of the Horticultural Society of London, 1848, Vol. 3 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Journal of the Horticultural Society of London, 1848, Vol. 3

Before the reign of Elizabeth it would not seem that the laying out of grounds, or even horticulture itself, in the strict sense of the word, had been made the subject of any treatise. That records of the opinions and habits of our ancestors on these matters exist in old MSS., although not reduced therein to any regular system, there is little reason to doubt; and, as regards horticulture, it would assuredly repay any person who may have the leisure if he should ascertain successfully what were the indigenous plants, and especially vegetables, of this country, tracing carefully the introduction of others into general use. Such information must exist in the British Museum and in other libraries in which the older MSS. are preserved. It would doubtless be a laborious work. Hundreds of pages must be searched with comparatively few though valuable results; yet the whole result would be as instructive as gratifying.

Failing this general inquiry, extending from the earliest period on which information can be brought to bear down to our own time, the first period in which information is yielded to us from printed works is in its own way full of interest. Every one has a pretty correct notion of a mansion of the Elizabethan era - its peculiarities as to external style and internal arrangement - and every one is equally aware that in the last few years a considerable revival of this architectural style has taken place. It was not unnatural, however, that they who have been roused into strong admiration of this style - and if it be admired at all the admiration felt is usually enthusiastic - should imagine the revival incomplete unless the mansion were surrounded by gardens and grounds precisely in the taste of the same date. It is not absolutely self-evident that this should be a necessary consequence of reviving the mansion any more than that the same consequence should obtain if we should erect a mansion of the Grecian, or Roman, or Saxon, or Gothic, or any other style. So far from it, such a principle must involve a great degree of inconvenience as well as absurdity.

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