The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: From London to Sheffield in the Spring of 1839

Landscape taste

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This exclusiveness of taste on the part of educated persons is not more justifiable than the exclusiveness of taste of those who are comparatively ignorant of the fine arts; such, for example, as that of common farmers and country labourers, who can see no beauty in fields that are not laid out in ridges and well cultivated, in hedges that are not straight and neatly clipped, or in trees that have not clean and straight stems and strictly symmetrical heads. Farther, with reference to the black Italian poplars, is not some general change in the face of the country preferable to having it for ever the same in appearance ? It is an undeniable fact, that the black Italian poplar will produce a greater bulk of timber in a given time on ordinary soils, than any other tree at present cultivated in this country. So long as there is a demand for timber, therefore, let us plant this tree, and let its utility compensate for its want of beauty; but if any one would rather be without utility for the sake of beauty, to this doctrine we have no objection; on the contrary, we are glad that there are such persons, because our leading principle is, that taste should be free, and it is only by this being the case, that we can see displayed that interesting variety of objects and scenery, which is to be found in this country, more frequently, perhaps, than in any other.