Scotland - The Gardens At Lawton
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Lawton is a well managed, orderly, fertile place. Two acres or more are given to lawn and garden; the old gardener is also the hostler, a common enough arrangement in that land, and a very capable gardener indeed. I was happy to note the kindness that existed between Miss Henderson and all the servants and laborers—a real deep consideration on her part and a willingness to be helpful on their part quite refreshing to note. One can eat a prodigious quantity of gooseberries without ill results, as I know by experience. There were many kinds and fine ones in the garden, and the old mother
SCOTTISH LADS AND LASSIES
and I took many a walk there, looking at the flowers and fruits, while she encouraged me to try the berries on each bush.
One evening Miss Henderson took me to drive to see a famous hedge of beech trees, belonging to some wealthy man whose name I have forgotten. The hedge was eighty feet high and smooth-trimmed on the edges as a double wall. They tell, though, that when a man inherits this hedge he does it with a sigh and a groan because of the expense of trimming it. In America one would dare cut it down for fuel, but it is not so in the old world, where they accept duties and obligations as an inheritance, cheerfully, doing the best they can with them and considering the rights of the public. All men would feel wronged if the hedge were to be destroyed.
We went to Perth to the sheep fair and to see sheep sold at auction in pens. Very rapidly the sales were made and some went to the butchers and others back to the farms to be fed again. We had luncheon in a pleasant little room overlooking the street where a crowd of farmers had gathered to talk over the events of the day and compare notes as farmers do—a sort of clearing-house of farmer intelligences. Then we. jogged home together, the sister and I, in a governess cart half full of parcels that we had bought. On the way we passed through old villages, one with a picturesque green or wide, grassy place between the houses and an ancient cross in its midst—a relic of Roman occupation. Some of the houses were unoccupied and going to decay; the population of the land was less than it was years ago. This no doubt is due to the occupation of our wide prairies and their ex-ports of grain, and the advent in Scotland of the American self-binder, which makes necessary less labor than formerly was in use.
One day there came down from the West High-lands, in full Highland costume, a young barrister brother, J. S. Henderson, a fine, interesting, intelligent type of man, who gave me much information concerning the half-wild Black-face sheep and Highland cattle of the west. That, he told me, was a difficult land of mist and fog and cold, so that only the hardiest animals can endure it.