The Garden Guide

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

Principles of composition for the landscape-gardener

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1478. The principles of composition to be studied by the landscape-gardener are, therefore, not exactly the same as those which govern the artist; and there are many objects which produce a fine effect in park scenery which do not look well in a picture. For example, few scenes have a more beautiful effect in pleasure-grounds than a velvet lawn presenting a surface of uniform smoothness and verdure, perhaps occasionally diversified by a few swelling knolls; yet how badly such a scene would look in a picture; in fact, it would be almost impossible to paint it. On the other hand, the rough banks of a river covered with 'tussocks of rushes, large stones, and stumps, the ground sometimes smooth, sometimes broken and abrupt, and seldom keeping, for a long space, the same level from the water,' though they may produce a fine effect in a picture, would be extremely unsuitable to the pleasure-grounds of a gentleman's residence.