Early evidence of hedges in the American landscape may be found in books of instruction on the delineation or division of arable fields, a practice taken directly from European agricultural tradition. Hedges created by close planting and interweaving of [[shrub]]s to create a dense barrier were categorized in many horticultural and agricultural treatises as a type of [[fence]], rather than identified with other planting arrangements such as [[thicket]], [[grove]], and group. The discourse about the advantages of hedges over [[fence]]s was particularly rich in the American agricultural literature of the early nineteenth century. Proponents of the new "scientific agriculture," such as John Adams and Ezekiel Hersey Derby, reported their experiments with different plant varieties and techniques for forming hedges [Fig. 4]. <ref>For example, see Ezekiel Hersey Derby, "Cultivation and Management of the Buckthorn . . . for Live Hedges," ''Horticultural Register'' 2 (January 1, 1836): 27–29. For a discussion of scientific farming in the Boston area, see Charles Arthur Hammond, "'Where the Arts and the Virtues Unite': Country Life Near Boston, 1637–1864" (Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1982), chapters 2 and 3. [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/VVFZVIKT view on Zotero.]</ref>
The aesthetic treatment of garden hedges was discussed and debated throughout much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Authors and gardeners variously praised and dismissed both trimmed and untrimmed hedges, depending upon the prevailing taste and the particular situation of the hedge. <span id="Stiles_cite"></span>[[Ezra Stiles]] admired the spruce hedges at [[Springettsbury]], near Philadelphia, which were cut into beautiful figures in 1754 ([[#Stiles|view citation]]), and in 1762 <span id="Callender_cite"></span>[[Hannah Callender]] described a hedge [[labyrinth]] at [[Belmont (Philadelphia)|Belmont]], [[William Peters|Judge William Peters]]'s estate near Philadelphia ([[#Callender|view citation]]). <span id="Ware_cite"></span>In contrast, [[Isaac Ware]], writing in 1756, praised the "natural hedge . . . mimicking savage nature" ([[#Ware|view citation]]). In 1832, both [[H.A.S. Dearborn]] and [[Thomas Bridgeman]] commended trimmed and trained hedges while other writers, such as [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] and [[Jane Loudon]], allowed the merits of both formal and naturalistic styles. <span id="Loudon_cite"></span>In 1845 [[Jane Loudon|Loudon]] praised evergreen hedges "neatly cut, so as to form living [[wall]]s," while in the [[flower garden]] she proposed a less "stiff and formal" appearance that would "harmonize . . . with the flowers" ([[#Loudon|view citation]]). <span id="Downing_cite"></span>In the 1849 edition of his treatise, [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] noted that trimmed hedges were "elegant substitutes for stone or wooden [[fence]]s," while irregular or [[picturesque]] hedges were handsome additions to a landscape of the "[[natural style]]" ([[#DowningDowning_1849|view citation]]).
-- ''Elizabeth Kryer-Reid''
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