The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening and Landscape Architecture, edited by John Claudius Loudon (J.C.L )
Chapter: Introduction by J.C. Loudon

Loudon's Gardenesque Style of garden design

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As all arts are necessarily progressive, and, as the spread of Kent's and Repton's Schools was materially accelerated by the taste for landscape painting, pictures, and poetry, which prevailed, more or less, during the last century among the higher classes of society in this country, so the present prevailing taste for botany and horticulture, and the introduction, from other countries, of many new plants which thrive in the open air in our climate, have called for such a change in the manner of laying out and planting grounds as shall display these new plants to a greater advantage than hitherto. This change has given rise to a school which we call the Gardenesque; the characteristic feature of which, is the display of the beauty of trees, and other plants, individually. According to the practice of Kent and Repton, and, more especially, to that of all the followers of the Picturesque School, trees, shrubs, and flowers were indiscriminately mixed, and crowded together, in shrubberies or other plantations; and they were generally left to grow up and destroy one another, as they would have done in a natural forest; the weaker becoming stunted, or distorted, in such a manner as to give no idea of their natural forms and dimensions; though forming picturesque groups and masses highly pleasing to the admirers of natural landscape. According to the Gardenesque School, on the contrary, all the trees and shrubs planted are arranged in regard to their kinds and dimensions; and they are planted at first at, or, as they grow, thinned out to, such distances apart as may best display the natural form and habit of each: while, at the same time, in a general point of view, unity of expression and character are aimed at, and attained, as effectually as they were under any other school. In short, the aim of the Gardenesque is to add, to the acknowledged charms of the Repton School, all those which the sciences of gardening and botany, in their present advanced state, are capable of producing.