The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section II. Beauties and Principles of the Art of Landscape Gardening

Beautiful curves in landscape gardening

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THE BEAUTIFUL in Landscape Gardening (Fig. 15) is produced by outlines whose curves are flowing and gradual, surfaces of softness, and growth of richness and luxuriance. In the shape of the ground, it is evinced by easy undulations melting gradually into each other. In the form of trees, by smooth stems, full, round, or symmetrical heads of foliage, and luxuriant branches often drooping to the ground,-which is chiefly attained by planting and grouping, to allow free development of form; and by selecting trees of suitable character, as the elm, the ash, and the like. In walks and roads, by easy flowing curves, following natural shapes of the surface, with no sharp angles or abrupt turns. In water, by the smooth lake with curved margin, embellished with flowing outlines of trees, and full masses of flowering shrubs-or in the easy winding curves of a brook. The keeping of such a scene should be of the most polished kind,-grass mown into a softness like velvet, gravel walks scrupulously firm, dry, and clean; and the most perfect order and neatness should reign throughout. Among the trees and shrubs should be conspicuous the finest foreign sorts, distinguished by beauty of form, foliage, and blossom; and rich groups of shrubs and flowering plants should be arranged in the more dressed portions near the house. And finally, considering the house itself as a feature in the scene, it should properly belong to one of the classical modes; and the Italian, Tuscan, or Venetian forms are preferable, because these have both a polished and a domestic air, and readily admit of the graceful accompaniments of vases, urns, and other harmonious accessories. Or, if we are to have a plainer dwelling, it should be simple and symmetrical in its character, and its veranda festooned with masses of the finest climbers.