==History==
[[File:0605.jpg|thumb|left|650 px|Fig. 1, Lieut. Birch, ''Plan of St. Augustine, Fla.'', 1819.]] [[File:0969.jpg|thumb|Fig. 2, [[Thomas Jefferson]], Plan of the grounds at [[Monticello]], 1806.]] 
The term grove referred to both natural and planted arrangements of trees, as indicated by [[Noah Webster]]’s definition of 1828. American gardeners such as [[Bernard M’Mahon]] (1806) realized the potential of indigenous vegetation and simply thinned existing trees to create so-called “natural” groves. Trees could also be planted where none existed to create “artificial” groves. Whether natural or artificial, groves of trees were an important element in the ornamental landscape, serving aesthetic and agricultural purposes. As [[Samuel Deane]] explained in the ''New-England Farmer'' (1790), groves could provide shade and windbreaks as well as syrup, firewood, and fruit. As a formal element, groves defined [[border]]s of gardens, created backdrops, and, as seen in the sketch of St. Augustine’s orange grove [Fig. 1], offered sites for collecting specific plants.
While generally composed of trees, groves sometimes included [[shrub]]s and flowers. These plants were also found in [[wood]]s, [[shrubberies]], and [[wilderness]]es, thus blurring the lines of distinctions between these features—several treatise writers and lexicographers defined groves, for example, as small [[wood]]s. The overlapping and indistinct uses of the terms “grove,” “[[wilderness]],” and “[[shrubbery]]” are exemplified by [[George Washington]]’s notations on the garden at [[Mount Vernon]]. In 1782, he wrote that he would immediately plant groups of “[[shrub]]s and ornamental trees,” and decide later which constituted “the grove and which the [[wilderness]],” implying that the grove would ultimately be the less thickly planted of the two. To add to the confusion, [[George Washington|Washington]] on another occasion referred to the arrangement of trees and [[shrub]]s just south of his house as both a grove and a [[shrubbery]]. Texts from the 19th century mentioned [[shrub]]s and flowers in groves less frequently, because these types of plants were increasingly associated with [[shrubberies]]. Thus, as time passed, the distinction between the terms became more clearly drawn.
 
[[File:0969.jpg|thumb|Fig. 2, [[Thomas Jefferson]], Plan of the grounds at [[Monticello]], 1806.]]
[[File:0018.jpg|thumb|Fig. 3, Pierre Pharoux, Plan of Sperenza, NY [detail], n.d. A “Public Grove” is situated on either side of the “Common Ground.”]]
The appellations “open” and “closed,” however, were not common in American discourse, despite [[Noah Webster|Noah Webster's]] inclusion of such distinctions in his definition. Although these adjectives were not employed to a significant degree, groves fitting these characteristics can be identified. [[Thomas Jefferson]], in his 1807 account of [[Monticello]], described his intention to trim the lower limbs of the trees in his grove, composed of a mixture of hardwoods and evergreens, “so as to give the appearance of open ground,” suggesting an “open” grove [Fig. 2]. [[Eliza Lucas Pinckney]], in 1742, evoked the sense of a “closed” grove when she delineated her collection of trees and flowers. Likewise, in 1776 [[George Washington]] suggested a similar type of grove for [[Mount Vernon]], which he described as an arrangement of flowering trees and evergreens underplanted with flowering [[shrub]]s.
[[George Washington|Washington]]’s account of this “closed” grove also provides a significant clue as to the arrangement of plants. In his 1776 letter to Lund Washington, he specified that the trees “be Planted without any order or regularity,” an aesthetic in keeping with the recommendations of [[Batty Langley|Langley]], whose treatises were owned by [[George Washington|Washington]]. The texts of [[Batty Langley|Langley]] and [[Philip Miller|Miller]] exemplify the gradual shift away from formal or rectilinear arrangements of trees toward more irregular or “[[natural style|natural]]” designs. 17th-century groves might be planted in [[Geometric_style|geometrical]], or otherwise such patterned figures as “the star, the direct Cross, St. Andrew’s Cross,” described by [[A.-J. Dézallier d’Argenville]] (1712). By contrast, [[Batty Langley|Langley]] insisted that groves be planted with “regular Irregularity; not planting them . . . with their Trees in straight Lines ranging every Way, but in a rural Manner, as if they had receiv’d their Situation from Nature itself.” In contrast to authors of earlier treatises, 19th-century American writers, including [[Samuel Deane]] (1790), [[Bernard M’Mahon]] (1806) and the anonymous author of the ''New England Farmer'' (1828), advocated regular arrangements. Few if any signs, however, indicate that Americans made “closed” groves in [[Geometric_style|geometrical]] figures, such as those described in James. Pierre Pharoux’s unexecuted plans for the new town Sperenza, New York[Fig. 3], and for Baron von Steuben’s estate in Mohawk Valley, New York [Fig. 4], are rare exceptions.
[[File:0730.jpg|thumb|Fig. 5, [[William Russell Birch]], “The Grove in Springland,” before 1805.]]

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