The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 4: British Gardens (1100-1830)

Lord Kames as a garden designer

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609. Lord Kames's example in Scotland may be compared to that of Hamilton or Shenstone in England: it was not generally followed, because it was not generally understood. That the Elements of Criticism, though long since obsolete as such, tended much to purify the taste of the reading class in Scotland at that time, there can be no doubt. Every person also admired Blair Drummond; but as every country gentleman could not bestow sufficient time and attention to gardening to be able to lay out his own place, it became necessary to have recourse to artists; and, as it happened, those who were employed had acquired only that habit of mechanical imitation which copies the most obvious forms, without understanding the true merits of the original. In short, they were itinerant pupils of Brown, or professors in his school, who resided in Scotland; and thus it is, that after commencing in the best taste, Scotland continued for many years to patronise the very worst.