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But, before he ventures to sow this plant, let him remember, that, where it is once established, it will hardly fail to spread through the adjoining fields, and can hardly ever afterwards be thoroughly rooted out.
I have often imagined, that this kind of fence might be greatly improved, both in beauty and strength, by planting a row of ivy plants beneath the first course of feal in building the dike, which would, in a short time, climb up the sides of the dike, and cover the whole with a close and beautiful network of woody fibres, covered with leaves of the most beautiful verdure, which would tend to preserve the dike from being eat away by frost *, and other vicissitudes of
* It is generally allowed, that all the phænomena produced by what we call frost, are entirely occasioned by a certain degree of cold; and that, of consequence, if we by any means exclude the cold, we effectually guard against the effects of frost. If this is the cafe, we would naturally expect, that those weather. And, when it arriyed at the top, it would there send out a number of strong woody branches, forming a fort of hedge, that would afford some shelter to the fields, and break the force of the wiud considerably; but, as I never yet had an opportunity of trying the experiment, I only here offer it as a probable conjecture. I have seen a garden wall, that had been built of stone and clay, ornamented and strengthened
things alone would preserve other objects from the effects of frost, that did most powerfully exclude the cold; yet, it is found by experience, that a very thin covering of straw, or other small and light vegetable twigs, carelessly strewed upon anything, prevents the effects of frost in a much more powerful manner than almost any kind of solid covering of much greater depth, even where it is so close all around as to exclude all access to the air. I leave this phænomenon to be accounted for by naturalists; and would only here remark, that, from repeated observations, 1 am pretty certain of the fact; from which I conclude, that the leaves of the ivy would powerfully preserve the wall from the effects of frost. ed in this way. I have had the experience of ivy growing very well upon a dry stonedike; and have likewise seen it growing up the walls, and covering whole cottages built of feal, which have, by this means, been preserved intire long after other naked walls of the same kind have fallen to decay. But, not having had plants of this kind at hand, I have not had an opportunity of trying it in the manner proposed; although, I think, there is the greatest reason to hope for success *,
* Since writing the above, I have met with Dr Hasslequist's voyages, who describes, in the highest terms of rapture, tht beautiful appearance of the garden-walls all around Smyrna entirely covered with ivy. He does not specify the materials of which these walls are composed, but, it is probable, they may be various. His observations, at least, sliow the practicability of what I have recommended. Ivy may be propagated by cuttings; but, it is probable, that they would require to be well rooted in gardenmould before they were planted out for good.
Of -white Thorn-Hedges.
The fences before mentioned may be employed upon particular occasions; but, in general, hedges must be considered as of much greater value, and therefore, with justice, demand a more particular mare of our attention and care.
Many plants have been successfully employed for hedging; but, among these, the common white thorn is justly esteemed the most valuable in this country, as it poflesses, in a more eminent degree than any other plant common with us, the requisite qualities of quickness of growth, strength, prickliness, durability, and beauty. It will, therefore, be proper to make some remarks upon the method of training this valuable plant, before I take notice of any 0ther.
Of the most eligible Method of planting these.
It may, in general, be remarked, that a hedge of thorns which has been planted in the face of a ditch, thrives better than when planted in any other way; and that, on the contrary, this plant almost never thrives so ill, as when put upon the top of a bank faced with stones. This last method, therefore, ought to be avoided as much as may be; and the first be practised in all cases where it can conveniently be done,
Of those who practise this method of planting a hedge, some plant only one row of thorns, while others prefer a double, and others even a triple row, placed at different heights in the face of the bank; putting the plants in each of these rows opposite to the interstices of the other rows. But, as either the double or triple rows are attended with