The Garden Guide

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

The imitation of nature - mimesis - by the landscape gardener

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1479. In imitating nature the landscape-gardener must, however, beware of copying too exactly; he must remember that his object is not to present a facsimile of all nature, but to select the most beautiful natural objects, so as to produce the most pleasing combinations. Landscape-gardeners, especially on the Continent, are too apt to consider that the principal art in forming a garden in the natural style, is to render it as unlike as possible to a garden in the regular style; and hence we find Bacon, and other early writers on the natural style of laying out grounds, recommending the introduction of bushes of briars and brambles, and other exact imitations of nature in its roughest form.