The genus Populus elicited a variety of responses in the 18th century.
Throw out the gripes of Stephen Switzer, and that much respected Reverend, William Gilpin, as well as his confrère Thomas Hale, who regarded it as ‘not very picturesque’, because it presented too uniform a surface. Let us sing the praises of the common lime.
In my last I touched on Capability Brown’s lavish deployment of conker trees. Though he appears to have loved them for their luxuriant leaf and flower, these trees were, in the 18th century, never quite taken seriously – as his nephew, H.J.Pye reported ‘Lord Barrington used to say, that a conker in full flower gave him the idea of a giant’s nosegay’.