Page:The Wild Garden William Robinson.djvu/27

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flowers in wild or half-wild spots near our houses and gardens, we may produce the most charming results ever seen in such places. To most people a I pretty plant in the wild state is more attractive than any garden denizen. It is free, and taking care of itself, it has had to contend with and has overcome weeds which, left to their own sweet will in a garden, would soon leave very small trace of the plants therein ; and, moreover, it is usually surrounded by some degree of graceful wild spray — the green above, and the moss and brambles and grass around. Many will say with Tennyson, in " Amphion," —

Better to me the meanest weed

That blows upon its mountain,

The vilest herb that runs to seed

Beside its native fountain —

but by the means presently to be explained, numbers of plants, neither "mean" nor "vile," but of the highest order of beauty and fragrance, and clothed with the sweetest associations, may be seen to greater perfection, wild as weeds, in the spaces now devoted to rank grass and weeds in our shrubberies, ornamental plantations, and by wood walks, than ever they were in our gardens. My reasons for advocating this system, as I do,