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The making of a good and spacious Lawn

The making of a good, and spacious lawn then is the very first practical consideration in a landscape garden for a country home. This provided, the gardener conceives what is the dominant and central feature in the place, and then throws the entire premises into subordination with this feature. In home grounds this central feature is the house. To scatter trees and bushes over the area defeats the fundamental purpose of the place - the purpose to make every part of the grounds lead up to the home and to accentuate its homelikeness.

Keep the center of the place open. Plant the borders. Avoid all disconnected, cheap, patchy, and curious effects. It is not enough that the bushes be planted in masses. They must be kept in masses by, letting them grow freely in a natural manner. The pruning-knife is the most inveterate enemy of shrubbery.

The use of flowers and bright foliage and striking forms of vegetation is not discouraged, but these things are never primary considerations in a good place. The structural elements of the place are designed first. The flanking and bordering masses are then planted. Finally, the flowers and accessories are put in, in just the same way that a house is painted after it is built. Flowers appear to best advantage when seen against a background of foliage, and they are then, also, an integral part of the picture.

The flower garden, as such, should be at the rear or side of a place, the same as all other strictly personal appurtenances are; but flowers and bright leaves may be freely scattered along the borders and near the foliage masses.

What kinds of shrubs and flowers shall be planted is a wholly secondary and largely personal consideration. Be sure that the main plantings are made up of hardy and vigorous species, and have lots of them. Then get the things liked best. Some like bull-thistles, lilacs, hollyhocks, burdocks, rhubarb, dogwoods, spireas, elders and such careless things. But others have better tastes. There is endless merit in the choice of species, but the point to emphasize is that the arrangement or disposition of the plants is far more important than the kinds.

It should be said that the appreciation of foliage effects in the landscape is a higher type of feeling than the desire for mere color. Flowers are transitory, but foliage and plant forms are abiding.