The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section III. On Wood.

Geometric plantations in the country of the New World

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It has been remarked, that the geometric style would always be preferred in a new country, or in any country where the amount of land under cultivation is much less than that covered with natural woods and forests; as the inhabitants being surrounded by scenery abounding with natural beauty, would always incline to lay out their gardens and pleasure-grounds in regular forms, because the distinct exhibition of art would give more pleasure by contrast, than the elegant imitation of beautiful nature. That this is true as regards the mass of uncultivated minds, we do not deny. But at the same time we affirm that it evinces a meagre taste, and a lower state of the art, or a lower perception of beauty in the individual who employs the geometrical style in such cases. A person, whose place is surrounded by inimitably grand or sublime scenery, would undoubtedly fail to excite our admiration, by attempting a fac-simile imitation of such scenery on the small scale of a park or garden; but he is not, therefore, obliged to resort to right-lined plantations and regular grass plots, to produce something which shall be at once sufficiently different to attract notice, and so beautiful as to command admiration. All that it would be requisite for him to do in such a case, would be to employ rare and foreign ornamental trees; as for example, the horse-chestnut and the linden, in situations where the maple and the sycamore are the principal trees,-elegant flowering shrubs and beautiful creepers, instead of sumacs and hazels,-and to have his place kept in high and polished order, instead of the tangled wildness of general nature.