Page:The Wild Garden William Robinson.djvu/22

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the same arrangements and patterns scattered all over the country. I will not here enter into the question of the comparative advantages of the two systems ; it is enough to state that even on its votaries the system at present in fashion is beginningto pall. Some are looking back with regret to the old mixed-border gardens ; others are endeavouring to soften the harshness of the bedding system by the introduction of fine-leaved plants, but all are agreed that a great mistake has been made in destroying all our sweet old border flowers, from tall Lilies to dwarf Hepaticas, though very few persons indeed have any idea of the numbers of beautiful subjects in this way which we may gather from every northern and temperate clime.

What is to be done ? Every garden should have a mixed border, but except in the little cottage gardens before alluded to — "umbrageous man’s nests," as Mr. Carlyle calls them, gardens dependent on it solely are quite out of the question. It is also clear that, base and frightfully opposed to every law of nature’s own arrangement of living things as is the bedding system, it has yet some features which deserve to be retained on a small scale. My object is now to show how we may, without losing the better features of the mixed