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to an adequate pressure.” (Ibid.) Formerly, a great deal of care was required, in printing woodcuts, in “the adjustment of a number of small pieces of paper between the stretched parchment and blanket that covered the block, during the impression from the common hand-press, in order to give a greater force to the bearing upon shadows, while the lights were, of course, equally relieved from the presure;" but a mode is now discovered of lowering the lights by the wood-engraver; and the blocks are now introduced with the type, and printed from with the same facility, by the revolving cylinder of a printingmachine.
In the geometricaland architectural Style of Gardening, the box was extensively employed, both as a tree and as a shrub, throughout Europe, from the earliest times. As a tree, it formed, when clipped into shape, hedges, arcades, arbours, and, above all
, figures of men and animals. As a shrub, it was used to border beds and walks, and to execute numerous curious devices; such as letters, coats of arms, &c., on the ground; but of all the uses of the dwarf box, the most important, in the ancient style of gardening, was that of forming parterres of embroidery; it being the only evergreen shrub susceptible of forming the delicate lines which that style of parterre required, and of being kept within the narrow limits of these lines for a number of years. In those days, when the flowers used in ornamenting gardens were few, the great art of the gardener was to distinguish his parterres by beautiful and curious artificial forms of evergreen plants. These forms may be described generally as belonging to that style of ornament known as the taste of Louis Quatorze. Fig. 1216. is a small
portion of the ground plan of a parterre laid out in this manner; all the lines and dark parts of the figure being formed of box, in no part allowed to grow higher than 3 in. from the ground, and the finer lines being about 2 in. wide. The space between the lines, in the more common designs, was covered with sand all of one colour; but in the more choice parterres, different coloured sands, earths, shells, powdered glass or potsherds, and other articles, were used, so as to produce red, white, and black grounds, on which the green of the box appeared to advantage at all seasons. This variety of colours gave occasion to Lord Bacon's remark : “ As for the making of knots and figures with divers coloured earths, they be but toys: you may see as good sights many times in tarts.” The beauty of these parterres was most conspicuous, when they were seen as a whole from the windows of the house, or from a surrounding terrace-walk. Sometimes, however, they were placed on a sloping bank, to be seen from below; an instance of which may be found in the view of the Palazzo del N. H. Venier, on the Brenta, as given in Volkamer's Continuation der Nürembergischen Hesperidum, published in 1714, 4 portion of which is represented in perspective in fig. 1217. In a view of
« le Chasteau de Richelieu en Poictou,” given in Marot's Recueil des Plans, fc., des plusieurs de Chasteaux, Grottes, &c., published in 1661, of which onr fig. 1218. is a copy, a very rich parterre of embroidery may be observed in the fore-ground with a fountain in the centre; and, in the back-ground, a large semi circular space appears to be covered with the same description of ornament. It may also be observed, that there is not a single tree or shrub shown in a natural state within several hundred feet of the house, on every side. The embroidered style of parterre is still occasionally to be met with adjoin
ing very old residences in France and Italy, and even in a few places in England; and, as affording variety, it is at least as worthy of revival as the architectural style of the age in which it most extensively prevailed. The best designs in this style are to be found in the edition of Boyceau's Jardinage, &c., which was published in 1714, in folio. Topiary work, or the art of cutting the box and other trees into artificial forms, was carried to such an extent among the Romans, that both Pliny and Vitruvius use the word topiarius to express the art of the gardener ; a proof that, as far as ornament was concerned, the art of clipping was considered the highest accomplishment that could be possessed by a gardener, among the ancient Romans. This appears to have been equally the case in Europe in modern times ; gardeners, even so late as the time of the Commonwealth, being called by Commenius pleachers (See Janua Trilinguis, Oxford edit.) About the middle of the seventeenth century, the taste for verdant sculpture was at its height in England; and, about the beginning of the eighteenth, it afforded a subject of raillery for the wits of the day, soon afterwards beginning to decline. There are some humorous papers on the subject in the Guardian, and other contemporary works. The following lines will give a good idea of a topiary garden :
“ There likewise mote be seen on every side
G. WEST. In modern Gardening, the tree box forms one of our most valuable evergreen shrubs or low trees. It is more particularly eligible as an undergrowth in ornamental plantations; where, partially shaded by other trees, its leaves take a deeper green, and shine more conspicuously. Next to the holly, it has the most beautiful appearance in winter; more especially when the ground is covered with snow. The variegated sorts are admissible as objects of curiosity; but, as they are apt to lose their variegation when planted in the shade, and as, in the full light, their green is frequently of a sickly yellowish hue, we do not think that they can be recommended as ornamental. The myrtle-leaved forms a very handsome small bush on a lawn. The use of the dwarf box for edgings is familiar to every one.
The other Uses of the box, in former times, were various; but most of them are now almost forgotten. The bark and leaves are bitter, and have a disagreeable smell; and a decoction of them, when taken in a large dose, is said to be purgative; and, in a small dose, sudorific. An empyreumatic oil is extracted from them, which is said to cure the toothach and some other disorders. A tincture was made from them, which was once a celebrated specific in Germany for intermittent fevers; but, the secret having been purchased and made public by Joseph I., the medicine fell into disuse. Olivier de Serres (Théát. d'Agri.) recommends the branches and leaves of the box, as by far the best manure for the grape ; not only because it is very common in the south of France, but because there is no plant that by its decomposition affords a greater quantity of vegetable mould. The box is said to enter into the composition of various medicated oils for strengthening and increasing the growth of the hair; and Parkinson says that “the leaves and sawdust, boiled in lie, will change the hair to an auburn colour.” Box is sometimes substituted for holly in the churches at Christmas; and, in a note to Wordsworth's poems, we are informed that, “in several parts of the north of England, when a funeral takes place, a basinful of sprigs of box is placed at the door of the house from which the coffin is taken up; and each person who attends the funeral takes one of these sprigs, and throws it into the grave of the deceased.” (Words. Poems, vol.i. p. 163.) The box is the badge of the Highland clan MʻIntosh ; and the variegated kind, of the clan M.Pherson. (Baxt. Brit. Fl. Pl., ii. t. 142.) Pliny affirms that no animal will eat the seed of the box; and it is said that its leaves are particularly poisonous to camels. It is also asserted by many authors that box trees are never cropped by cattle; and that the Corsican honey is rendered poisonous from the bees feeding on the flowers of the box.
Propagation and Culture. The box is propagated by seeds, cuttings, and layers. It seeds freely where it is allowed to grow freely; but, where it is closely clipped in, the seeds are seldom permitted to ripen. When the seeds are to be sown, they should be gathered the moment the capsules appear ready to open, and sown immediately in light rich earth, consisting chiefly of vegetable mould, which is well drained, so that the water may never lie on the seeds.
Cuttings of from 4 in. to 6 in. in length should be put in, in autumn, in a sandy soil, and a shaded situation, and in a year they will be fit to transplant into nursery lines. Layers may be made either in the spring or autumn, and either of the young or old wood. The dwarf box used for edgings is propagated by being taken up, divided, and replanted. The roots of the box, being numerous and small, though by no means hair-like, like those of the Ericà. ceæ, retain the earth about them; so that plants of box always come up with a ball; and hence the tree may be transplanted at almost any season, provided, if in summer, that the weather be moist at the time. Box edgings are best planted early in spring, because the frost in winter is apt to destroy those leaves which have been cut in trimming the plants. Box edgings and hedges may be clipped at almost any season, except midwinter. Some gardeners prefer trimming box edgings in June, just when the plants have nearly completed their year's shoots ; because they will afterwards make shoots of i in or 1 in. in length, or, at all events, protrude a few leaves, and thus, in a week or two, will conceal all appearance of the use of the shears. When this practice is followed, it is necessary to go over the edgings or hedges in July, in order to cut neatly off with the knife any shoots that may have been protruded too far; taking care not to cut the leaves. The more common practice is to clip the box in autumn; but in that case, as many of the leaves are injured by the shears, their marks remain till the middle of the following May. The edging or hedge looks well for a fortnight at that season; but afterwards it has rather a neglected appearance, till the next trimming season, which is in the beginning of September. The superiority of the June clipping must be obvious, whether applied to edgings, hedges, or mural or sculpturesque ornaments. Box edgings, when kept low, if they are wanted to endure many years, require occasionally to be cut in almost to the ground; and this operation should only be performed on one side of the edging in one year, and not on the other side till the second year following. When treated in this way, both edgings and hedges will, on good loamy soil, last an extraordinary length of time; whereas, if they are continually clipped on the surface only, a network of shoots is formed there, which, by excluding the air from the stem within, occasions the decay of the weakest ; and the edging or hedge becomes naked below, and unsightly. Sometimes this evil may be remedied by cutting down; but, in general, the best mode is to replant. The form of the section of a box edging or hedge should always be that of a truncated triangle; the broadest end being that next to the ground. In the case of edgings to walks, or to flowerbeds, their breadth at the ground may be 3 in., the height 4in., and the breadth at top 2 in.; or half these dimensions may be adopted. In every case, both of edgings and hedges, the base ought always to be broader than the summit, in order that the rain may fall on the sides, and the light of the sun strike on them with more force. In clipping box trees into artificial forms, it is usual to enclose the tree in a slight frame of wirework of the form proposed : the wire should be copper, and painted green, for the sake of durability, and to render it inconspicuous. The same kind of skeleton wirework, or trellis-work, is put up for mural and architectural topiary work.
Insects and Diseases. The box is very rarely attacked by insects, and has very few diseases. There is a proliferous growth of leaves at the points of the shoots, which appears in some seasons, and is probably occasioned by the puncture of an insect, but of what species we are not aware. The fungus Puccinia Búxi Grev. (fig.1219.) is found occasionally on the leaves.
Statistics. The largest box trees in the neighbourhood of London are at Syon, where there are various trees from 13 it. to 16 ft. in height. There is also one at Kew, 15 ft. high. In the Oxford Botanic Garden, there are two old box trees, one of which, in 1835, was 21 ft. bigh the diameter of the trunk 74 in., and of the head 18 ft. The largest box hedge in England is at Petworth, where it is more than 12 ft. broad at the bottom, 15 ft. high, and 40 yards long: it is supposed to be upwar is of two centuries old. The oldest sculpturesque topiary works in England are in the garden at Leven's Grove, in Westmoreland, laid out in the time of James II. In Scotland, at West Plean, near Stirling, there is a box tree, 10 years planted, that is 6 ft. high. In France, in the Jardin des Plantes, a box tree, upwards of 100 years planted, has attained the height of 30 ft.
Commercial Statistics. Plants of the tree box, in the London nurseries, are from 6d. to 1s. 6d. each, according to the size of the variety : at Bollwyller plants of the species are 50 cents each; and of the varieties, from 1 franc to 1} francs each : at New York, plants, or the tree kind are 25 cents each ; and of its varieties, 37ļ cents. The dwarf box is sold, in English nurseries, at 6d. per yard; at New York, at 50 cents per yard.
1 2. B. BALEA'Rica Willd. The Balearic Box. Identification. Willd. Arb., 50., Sp. Pl. 4, p. 337. ; ?Lam Encyc., 1. p_505. Synonymes. B. s. var. gigantea N. Du Ham., 1. p. 82. ; Minorca Box;
Buis de Minorque, Buis de Mahon, Fr.; Balearischer Buchsbaum, Ger.
Anthers arrow-shaped, linear. (Willd. Sp. Pl., iv. p.
The leaves, when the plant is fully exposed to the air, are of a much paler green than those of the common box; but, when they are in the shade, they are of an intensely deep green. The wood is said to be of a brighter yellow than that of the common box. It is sent to England in large quantities from Constantinople, for the use of the wood
1221 engravers; but, being of a coarser grain, it is inferior to that of the B. sempervirens. It is propagated by cuttings, which, if placed in sandy soil under glass, or in heat, generally strike root in about two months after being taken off. Cuttings will also succeed, if treated like those of the common box. Statistics. The largest plant within 10 miles of London is at Kew, where it is 13 ft. high. At Walton on Thames, at Lady Tankerville's, it is 10 Rt. high. In Sussex, at Arundel Castle, it is 17 it. high. Price of plants, in the London nurseries, 1s. 6d. each ; at New York, where it requires protec. tion during winter, 371 cents.
App. i. Half-hardy Species of Búxus. B. chinensis Lk. is a native of China, introduced in 1802, and growing about 3 ft. high; and B. australis Cun, is a native of New Holland, growing about 6 ft. high. Both require protection during winter, but would probably succeed against a conservative wall.
A true species of Búxus, Mr. Royle observes, is common in the Himalayas, found chiefly in valleys, as at Mugra, Kamaon, &c. It grows to a considerable size and thickness, and the wood appears as compact and good as that of the common box.
App. I. Half-hardy Species belonging to the Order Euphorbiaceæ.
On looking over the genera belonging to this order in the Hortus Britannicus, several ligneous pecies will be observed indicated as requiring the green-house; but, as very few of them are of much beauty, we consider it unnecessary to go into many details respecting them.