The Garden Guide

Book: An inquiry into the changes of taste in landscape gardening, 1806
Chapter: Part I. Historical Notices.

Garden scenery

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Garden Scenery. - Much of the controversy concerning modern gardening seems to have arisen from the want of precision in our language. Gardening is alike applied to the park, the lawn, the shrubbery, and the kitchen garden; and thus the scenery of one is blended with that of another, when there is as much difference between garden scenery, park scenery, and forest scenery, as between horticulture, agriculture, and uncultivated nature. The first is an artificial object, and has no other pretence to be natural, than what it derives from the growth of the plants which adorn it: their selection, their disposition, their culture, must all be the work of art; and instead of that invisible line, or hidden fence, which separates the mown turf from the lawn fed by cattle, it is more rational to shew that the two objects are separated, if the fence is not unsightly; otherwise, we must either suppose that cattle are admitted to crop the flowers and shrubs, or that flowers and shrubs are absurdly planted in a pasture exposed to cattle, or, which is more frequently the case, we must banish flowers entirely from the windows of a house, and suppose it to stand on a naked grass field.* By the avenues and symmetrical plantations of the last two centuries, the artificial garden was extended too far from the mansion; but, in the modern gardening, the natural lawn is brought too near. *[Fences are not objectionable when they mark a separation, and not a boundary of property. Thus a park-pale marks the precise limits of the park, and a hedge before a wood renders it liable to be mistaken for a wood belonging to some other person, and, therefore, acts as a boundary: but the hurdle, which makes a temporary division of a lawn, or a light open fence that divides the garden from the park, can only offend the fastidious critic, who objects to all fences, without knowing or assigning any reason.]