The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section VII. Treatment of Ground-Formation of Walks

Uvedale Price on treatment of ground

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Mr. Price has remarked, that "the ugliest ground is that which has neither the beauty of smoothness, verdure, and gentle undulation, nor the picturesqueness of bold and sudden breaks, and varied tints of soil: of such kind, is ground that has been disturbed and left in that unfinished state: as in a rough ploughed field run to sward."* Such ground it is often difficult to restore to a picturesque state, even when that was its previous expression. But it is not impossible to do so, for it must be remembered that it is not by forming the surface alone that nature renders it picturesque, but also by the accessories and accompaniments which she liberally bestows upon the surface when once formed. These are, vegetation, trees, rocks, etc., which, with the influence of time, will often render many a scene, that, stripped of its enriching drapery, would be positively harsh and ugly, extremely picturesque, or strikingly beautiful. Proofs of this will occur to every one who will contrast in his mind the appearance of a steep clayey river bank, or even pit, when bare, raw, and verdureless, and the same objects when nature or art has clothed them with a luxuriant and diversified garniture of trees, shrubs, and plants. In the former case, all was positively ugly and displeasing to the eye of taste; in the latter, all is picturesque and harmonious. (* Essay on the Picturesque, i. 193.)