The Landscape Guide

Horace Walpole's essay On Modern Gardening: Thomas Whateley

Introduction Ancient gardens Roman gardens Renaissance gardens John Milton Sir William Temple William Kent Early 18th century gardens  Thomas Whately Landscape Gardens Lancelot 'Capability' Brown

Thomas Whately

The ingenious author of the Observations on modern gardening is, I think, too rigid when he condemns some deceptions, because they have often been used. If those deceptions as a feigned steeple of a distant church, or an unreal bridge to disguise the termination of water, were intended only to surprise they were indeed tricks that would not bear repetition; but being intended to improve the landscape, are no more to be condemned because common, than they would be if employed by a painter in the composition of a picture. Ought one man's garden to be deprived of a happy object, because that object has been employed by another? The more we exact novelty, the sooner our taste will be vitiated. Situations are everywhere so various, that there never can be a sameness, while the disposition of the ground is studied and followed and every incident of view turned to advantage.