This section is from the book "What England Can Teach Us About Gardening", by Wilhelm Miller. Also available from Amazon: What England Can Teach Us About Gardening.
Only one degree less vulgar than a preponderance of abnormally coloured foliage is a preponderance of cut-leaved trees. Must everything be shredded for us from breakfast food to the trees on our lawn? Why does any one want a mountain ash with leaves like an oak, or a hawthorn with leaves like celery, or an elm with leaves like a nettle, or anything with curled or hooded leaves?
The legitimate way to get cut-leaved effects is to use trees that are normally fine-leaved, not the abnormal varieties of maple, alder, beech, oak, elm, and linden. Whenever we want trees for thin, open effects, let us use our own deciduous cypress, Kentucky coffee tree, black locust, or Hercules's club, or else the Japanese varnish tree. The light filters down beautifully through their pinnate leaves, and these trees live long.
We grossly overdo all trees with "tropical' or spectacular foliage, such as the large-leaved magnolia and the ginkgo. They are perfectly hardy and are not creations of man, but is that any reason why we should fill a peaceful scene with objects startlingly different from our environment? Our country, as a whole, excels England, as a whole, on variety, but too great variety on any one place is our national failing. I heard some Englishmen complain that the English landscape is monotonous. On the contrary, it is all the more home-like because a few tried and true kinds of trees appear everywhere. Some day our landscape, too, may look like the home of one big, happy family.
garden, flowers, plants, England, effects, foliage, gardening