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THE PREFACEto all well minded. Art hath her first originall out of experience, which therefore is called the Schoole-mistresse of fooles, because she teacheth infallibly, and plainely, as drawing her knowledge out of the course of Nature, (which neuer failes in the generall) by the senses, feelingly apprehending, and comparing (with the helpe of the minde) the workes of nature; and as in all other things naturall, so especially in Trees; for... more...

OUTLINE. 1. In my inaugural lecture, I stated that while holding this professorship I should direct you, in your practical exercises, chiefly to natural history and landscape. And having in the course of the past year laid the foundational elements of art sufficiently before you, I will invite you, now, to enter on real work with me; and accordingly I propose during this and the following term to give you what practical leading I can in... more...

INTRODUCTORY LETTER MY DEAR MR. FIELDS,—I did promise to write an Introduction to these charming papers but an Introduction,—what is it?—a sort of pilaster, put upon the face of a building for looks' sake, and usually flat,—very flat. Sometimes it may be called a caryatid, which is, as I understand it, a cruel device of architecture, representing a man or a woman, obliged to hold up upon his or her head or shoulders a... more...

PREFACE. The following pages apply only to those English writers on gardening who are deceased. That there have been portraits taken of some of those sixty-nine English writers, whose names first occur in the following pages, there can be no doubt; and those portraits may yet be with their surviving relatives or descendants. I am not so presumptuous as to apply to the following most slight memorials, some of which relate to very obscure... more...

COMPOSITION My chief reason for confining these four talks to the outdoor sketch is because I have been an outdoor painter since I was sixteen years of age; have never in my whole life painted what is known as a studio picture evolved from memory or from my inner consciousness, or from any one of my outdoor sketches. My pictures are begun and finished often at one sitting, never more than three sittings; and a white umbrella and a three-legged... more...


I THE WAYS OF THE WIND "Out of the veins of the world comes the blood of me;The heart that beats in my side is the heart of the sea;The hills have known me of old, and they do not forget;Long ago was I friends with the wind; I am friends with it yet."—Gerald Gould." Whenever a piece of the land is to be set apart for a garden, two mighty rulers must be consulted as to the boundaries. When this earth child is born and flower garnished for... more...

THE LAWN: HOW TO MAKE IT AND HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT   HE owner of the average small home seldom goes to the expense of employing the professional gardener to do the work of lawn-making. Sometimes he cannot afford to do so. Sometimes skilled labor is not obtainable. The consequence is, in the majority of cases, the lawn,—or what, by courtesy, is called by that name,—is a sort of evolution which is an improvement on the original... more...

Mulches also serve a most useful purpose in preventing the ground from packing and baking by the weight of snows and rains, and the cementing action of too much water in the surface soil. In the spring, the coarser parts of the mulch may be removed, and the finer parts spaded or hoed into the ground. [Illustration: Fig. 154: Covering plants in a barrel.] Tender bushes and small trees may be wrapped with straw, hay, burlaps, or pieces of matting... more...

A note to the internet reader: In the the print-on-paper edition, this chapter and the next one on vermicomposting are full of illustrations showing composting structures and accessories. These do not reproduce well on-line and are not included. Growing the majority of my family's food absorbs all of the energy I care to put into gardening. So my yard is neat but shaggy. Motivated by what I consider total rationality, my lawn is cut only when it... more...

MY OWN ACRE A lifelong habit of story-telling has much to do with the production of these pages. All the more does it move me because it has always included, as perhaps it does in most story-tellers, a keen preference for true stories, stories of actual occurrence. A flower-garden trying to be beautiful is a charming instance of something which a storyteller can otherwise only dream of. For such a garden is itself a story, one which actually... more...