The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 12 Some garden contrasts and a dream

Landscape gardening in India

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In place of the stately water-ways and avenues, the pergolas and gay parterres, the perfumed dusk of the Hindu pleasure-grounds, and the sunshine brilliance of the Mughal baghs, the incongruities of the Anglo-Indian landscape gardener reign supreme. It is easy enough to picture the change: the exposed private garden, a contradiction in its very terms; the public parks with their bare acres of unhappy-looking grass, their ugly bandstands, hideous iron railings, and forlorn European statues; their wide, objectless roads, scattered flower-beds, and solitary trees, and, worst of all in a hot country, their lack of fountains and running water. It is pleasanter to turn to some modern Indian garden, an attempt, perhaps, to reconcile these two opposing styles.