The Garden Guide

Book: Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795
Chapter: Chapter 7: Concerning approaches, with some remarks on the affinity betwixt painting and gardening

Picturesque scenery

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Insensible, and tasteless, indeed, must that mind be, which cannot admire such scenes as these, whether in reality, in poetry, or in painting: they are precious relics, which deserve the utmost care and preservation;-pictures worthy the study of the connoisseur; but not tea-boards for common use. They are objects to be visited with admiration, and protected amidst all their wild and native charms; but they are situations ill adapted to the residence of man. The quarry long neglected, may supply a home for swallows and martens; the mouldering abbey, for ravens and jackdaws; the ruined castle, for bats and owls; and the antiquated cot, whose chimney is choked up with ivy, may perhaps yield a residence for squalid misery and want.-But is affluence to be denied a suitable habitation, because -"Harsh and cold the builder's work appears, Till soften'd down by long revolving years; Till time and weather have conjointly spread Their mould'ring hues and mosses o'er its head"? or because, in some wild and romantic scenery, the appearance of art would offend the eye of taste, are we to banish all convenience from close-mown grass, or firm gravel-walks, and to bear with weeds, and briers, and docks, and thistles, in compliment to the slovenly mountain nymphs, who exclaim with this author:- "Break their fell scythes, that would these beauties shave, And sink their iron rollers in the wave"? And again, in the bitterness of prejudice against all that is neat and cleanly,- "Curse on the shrubbery's insipid scenes Of tawdry fringe, encircling vapid greens! "