The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 1: Principles of Landscape Gardening

Other writers who have treated of landscape-gardening

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1459. Other writers who have treated of landscape-gardening seem to be equally aware of its importance. Repton, in his Observations on Landscape-Gardening, enumerates congruity, utility, order, symmetry, scale, proportion, and appropriation, as principles in the art. G. Mason places the secret of landscape-gardening in the 'nice distinction between contrast and incongruity;' Mason, the poet, invokes 'simplicity,' probably intending that this beauty should distinguish the English from the Chinese style; simplicity is also the ruling principle of Lord Kaimes; Girardin includes every beauty under 'truth and nature,' and every rule 'under the unity of the whole, and the connection of the parts;' and Shenstone states 'landscape or picturesque gardening' to 'consist in pleasing the imagination,' by scenes of grandeur, beauty, and variety. Convenience merely has no share there, any farther than as it pleases the imagination. The principles of congruity, and of painting, are those of Price and Knight; and nature, utility, and taste, those of Marshall. From these different opinions, as well as from the general objects or end of landscape-gardening, there appear to be two principles which enter into its composition; those which regard it as a mixed art, or an art of design, and which are called the principles of relative beauty; and those which regard it as an imitative art, and are called the principles of natural or universal beauty. The ancient or geometric gardening is guided wholly by the former principles; and landscape-gardening, as an imitative art, wholly by the latter: but when landscape-gardening is considered as the art of forming a country residence, its arrangements are influenced by both principles. In conformity with these ideas, and with our plan of treating of both styles, we shall first consider its principles as an inventive or mixed, and secondly as an imitative art.