The Garden Guide

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

History of garden design in Spain

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X. Of the Rise, Progress, and present State of Gardening in Spain 495. The love of gardens, or of rural life, it is alleged by Hirschfeld, is far from being general in Spain: not, however, from lightness of character or bad taste, but from a kind of supineness which cannot be better described than by calling it Spanish. This supineness is the more incomprehensible, as the country, though desert and uncultivated in many places, is yet full of natural charms in others; thus indicating, as it were, a field of exertion for the hand of man. In many provinces, Puente informs us, one may travel several leagues without seeing a tree; and, according to the same author, the environs of Madrid in his time presented neither pavilions nor country-houses; and it was not till towards the end of the eighteenth century that they began to repair the roads around the capital, and to border them with trees.