The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 2: The Influence of Climates on Gardens

Garden design in Europe

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967. How, and with what propriety, the Eastern style came afterwards to be adopted in Greece, Italy, France, and finally in England, is our next enquiry. The principle or instinct of imitation would be the first cause why the more distant nations, whether colonies from the East or returning travellers or conquerors, adopted this style. This is so obvious as to require no comment beyond what will be furnished by individual enquiry into our earliest tastes, habits, and predilections in dress, amusements, furniture, and other matters of common life. The next principle is that of use or fitness, which would vary in application, proportionably to the distance, and to the different circumstances, of the imitating country. Thus, it would not exactly apply in Greece or Italy, where the climate was more temperate, active exercise more congenial, and the habits of the wealthy, for a long time at least, comparatively frugal. Add to this, that verdant landscapes, shade, breezes, rills, waterfalls, and lakes, with their accompaniments of odours, murmurs, singing-birds, reflections of objects, were more liberally distributed over the face of general nature. The more active character of man in such countries would, in time, also appropriate to their use, from this natural abundance, a greater variety of fruits and legumes.