The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xxvi. Extract From A Recent Report Of A Place Near The Capital.

Lord Kaimes on symmetry

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It has been justly observed by a late author on Taste (Lord Kaimes), "that symmetry on a small scale is displeasing; but, where the object is too large to be comprehended at once, symmetry assists the eye in developing its parts: and, therefore, to a very large palace, the richness of a symmetrical parterre is more consonant than a square area of lawn, too small to be fed by flocks and herds, and too large to be considered as a bowling-green. This, I hope, will be a sufficient excuse for my having advised, or, I should rather say, acceded to the disposing of the area, or garden, in front of this palace. But there is, also, another reason for it: the principal rooms being raised over a basement story, the interior of this area will be visible from thence; while the clipped fence, with which such a garden ought to be surrounded, will prevent the public from looking into this private garden, and will exclude even those who actually come into the fore-court, and drive up to the portico. The contrast betwixt the works of art and of nature will increase the interest of both; and the foreground may be viewed as a rich carpet spread under the eye, in perfect harmony with the vases, and obelisks, and other works of art, attached to the architectural grandeur of the entrance-front.