The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment VIII. On Blenden Hall, Kent.

Gardening pleasures

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The pleasures of a garden have, of late, been very much neglected. About the middle of the last century, the introduction of landscape operated to the exclusion of the old gardens of England, and all straight gravel walks. Glades of grass and clipped hedges were condemned as formal and old fashioned; not considering that where the style of the house preserved its ancient character, the gardens might, with propriety, partake of the same. After this, a taste, or almost a rage, for farming superseded the delights of a garden; in many cases, for the mercenary reason, that a sack of potatoes would sell for more than a basket of roses or lavender. It is with peculiar satisfaction that I have occasionally observed some few venerable gardens belonging to parsonage, or old manor-houses, where still may be traced the former grass walks, and box-edged borders, with thick and lofty hedges of holly, quickset, or other topiary plants, which, like the yew or ivy, seem to display a peculiar satisfaction in yielding a fence at once secure, and neat, and opaquely trim.