« PreviousContinue »
THE TREES AND SHRUBS OF BRITAIN,
Native and Foreign, Hardy and Half-Hardy,
PICTORIALLY AND BOTANICALLY DELINEATED,
THEIR PROPAGATION, CULTURE, MANAGEMENT,
AND USES IN THE ARTS, IN USEFUL AND ORNAMENTAL PLANTATIONS, AND IN
PRECEDED BY A HISTORICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL OUTLINE
BY J. C. LOUDON, F.L. & H.S. &c.
AUTHOR OF THE ENCYCLOPEDIAS OF GARDENING AND OF AGRICULTURE,
IN EIGHT VOLUMES:
FOUR OF LETTERPRESS, ILLUSTRATED BY ABOVE 2500 ENGRAVINGS;
HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, AND SCIENCE; AND DESCRIPTIONS, FROM
HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
THE SECOND EDITION.
Bayswater, March 7. 1844.
WHEN the Arboretum Britannicum was first published it appeared in Numbers; and, as all the trees were drawn from nature, they were published as they could be obtained, blanks being left for those of which good specimens could not be found. These blanks were afterwards, in most cases, filled up; but sometimes it was discovered that different names had been given to the same plant, and consequently that there was only one tree to fill up the spaces that had been left for two names; while, in other cases, the same tree was found so different at different periods of its growth, as to render two or more plates of it desirable. These circumstances occasioned many inaccuracies in the plates, which were noticed in the errata; but shortly previous to Mr. Loudon's death he had all these faults corrected, preparatory to a new impression of the plates being printed off; and it is this corrected edition that is now offered to the public.
J. W. LOUDON.
THE main object which induced the author to undertake this Work was, the hope of diffusing more generally, among gentlemen of landed property, a taste for introducing a greater variety of trees and shrubs in their plantations and pleasure-grounds. He had observed, for a number of years, that, though many new and beautiful trees and shrubs were annually introduced from foreign countries into our botanic gardens and nurseries, yet the spread of these plants in the grounds of country residences was comparatively slow; and that not only the new sorts were neglected, but many of the fine old species and varieties, which had been in British nurseries for upwards of a century, were forgotten by planters, and had ceased to be propagated by commercial gardeners. In short, it appeared to the author, that the general taste of the country for trees and shrubs bore no just proportion to the taste which prevailed in it for fruits, culinary productions, and flowers. It also appeared to him, that, while the numerous horticultural societies now established in the British Islands had powerfully promoted the general taste for horticultural and floricultural productions, they had rather neglected arboriculture and landscapegardening.
Viewing trees and shrubs as, next to buildings, the most important ornaments which can be introduced into a country; and considering them, in this respect, greatly superior to herbaceous plants, from the little care that trees and shrubs require when once properly planted, and their magnitude, and permanent influence when grown up, on the general scenery of the country; the author felt desirous of pointing out the great importance of their more general distribution and culture. In order to impress this on the minds of proprietors and their families, and especially on the rising generation among them, he thought it best to adopt, as the main feature of his plan, the description and portraiture of such species and varieties of trees and shrubs as are actually in cultivation in the country, and as grow vigorously in it; referring to gardens or grounds within a limited distance of London, where these species or varieties may be seen in a living state, and to nurseries where they are propagated for sale, and stating the price for which they might be purchased in England, in France and Germany, and in North America. He has thought it advisable to give, not only botanical specimens, but portraits of the greater number of species of trees; in order, by a palpable representation of their forms and magnitudes, to make a stronger impression on the mind of the reader. These pictorial illustrations are of two kinds: first, portraits of trees of ten or twelve years' growth, taken from specimens growing in 1834, 1835, or 1836, within ten miles of London, and all drawn to the same scale of 1 in. to 4 ft. ; and, secondly, of full-grown trees, also all drawn to one scale, viz. 1 in. to 12 ft., and for the most part growing within the same distance of London.