The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 4: Private and Public Landscape Gardens

General principles for laying out villas

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1589. As general principles for laying out villas, and all kinds of country residences, it may be observed, that the natural and artificial character of the place should always be taken into consideration, as well as the wants and wishes of the proprietor. Generally, in laying out villas in the neighbourhood of a manufacturing town, the gardenesque style is preferred, as being more in accordance with the taste of the proprietor, while, in a romantic situation in the country, the proprietor generally prefers the picturesque style; though this taste in both cases is contrary to the ordinary principles of art, as the picturesque style would afford a greater contrast, and, consequently, a greater proof that art had been exercised near the town, while the gardenesque style would contrast most forcibly with the ordinary scenery of the country. To understand the difference between these styles, it must be observed that the picturesque style is characterised by that irregularity in forms, lines, and general composition which we see in natural landscape, while in the gardenesque style all the trees, shrubs, and plants, are planted and managed in such a way that each may arrive at its highest state of individual perfection, and display its beauties to as great advantage as if it were cultivated for that purpose alone, while, at the same time, the plants relatively to one another, and to the whole scene or place to which they belong, are placed regularly and systematically.