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

Landscape painting and gardening

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In giving these illustrations of beautiful and of picturesque scenes, we have not intended them to be understood in the light of exact models for imitation in Landscape Gardening-only as striking examples of expression in natural scenery. Although in nature many landscapes partake in a certain degree of both these kinds of expression, yet it is no doubt true that the effect is more satisfactory, where either the one or the other character predominates. The accomplished amateur should be able to seize at once upon the characteristics of these two species of beauty in all scenery. To assist the reader in this kind of discrimination, we shall keep these expressions constantly in view, and we hope we shall be able fully to illustrate the difference in the expression of even single trees, in this respect. A few strongly marked objects, either picturesque or simply beautiful, will often confer their character upon a whole landscape; as the destruction of a single group of bold rocks, covered with wood, may render a scene, once picturesque, completely insipid. The early writers on the modern style were content with trees allowed to grow in their natural forms, and with an easy assemblage of sylvan scenery in the pleasure-grounds, which resembled the usual woodland features of nature. The effect of this method will always be interesting, and an agreeable effect will always be the result of following the simplest hints derived from the free and luxuriant forms of nature. No residence in the country can fail to be pleasing, whose features are natural groups of forest trees, smooth lawn, and hard gravel walks.