The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Comment on Dutch gardening

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155.This picture of an ancient, palace and garden, however magnificent in its time, is not presented as at all worthy of imitation in the present age; even if a proprietor had the requisite sum of money to spare. Considered relatively to nature and utility, the style of the ornaments is absurd, and even injurious to health; but considered historically, or relatively to the age which produced it, it is good enough; or rather it could not be otherwise. Italy, on the revival of arts and commerce, took the lead in architecture and gardening; and as her gardens abounded in statues and fountains, so did all those which sprung from them. A modern popular writer (Tour by a German Prince, &c., vol. iv. p. 178.) observes, that �a little age can only form little things.� A profusion of basins and fountains would never have been resorted to, by the natural taste or feeling of mankind, in a cold, moist country like Holland. In the progress of improvement, the career for a long period is that of imitation; but the time will at last come, when every people will think for themselves, and adopt modes of building and gardening suitable to the climate, and other physical circumstances of the country in which they live. A greater advance has been made towards this state of things in England, and, perhaps, in North America, than in any other countries of the world; for wherever there are really free civil institutions, they will be followed by freedom of taste in the arts.