The Garden- man made artifice?
The Garden- man made artifice?

‘Let us, then, begin by defining what a garden is, and what it ought to be. It is a piece of ground fenced off from cattle, and appropriated to the use and pleasure of man: it is or ought to be, cultivated and enriched by art, with such products as are not natural to this country, and consequently, it must be artificial in its treatment, and may, without impropriety, be so in its appearance; yet, there is so much of littleness in art, when compared with nature, that they cannot be well blended; it were, therefore, to be wished, that the exterior of a garden should be made to assimilate with park scenery, of the landscape of nature; the interior may then be laid out with all the variety, contrast, and even whim, that can produce pleasing objects to the eye.’

Humphry Repton- ‘Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening’, 1803

Hmmm. what do you think? Repton’s advice about blending the edges of a garden with it’s surrounding landscape has become a tenet of garden design, but what about his words on making the garden itself a clearly ‘man made’ feature? Is the phrase ‘natural garden’ a contradiction in terms?

Old School Gardener

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