söndag 9 oktober 2011

To garden or not to garden

The formal garden, with its insistence
on strong bounding lines, is, strictly
speaking, the only "garden" possible.
..... .—R. F. Blomfield

We've had our first frost with -2°C, but I haven't been out yet, to see what might have survived. The pictures are from yesterday, when the we woke to a cold morning, but no real frost.

The axiom on which landscape gardening rests is declared by Messrs. Blomfield and Thomas to be
Whatever Nature does is right; therefore let us go and copy her (p. 5).

The horticulturist and the gardener are indispensable, but they should work under control, and they stand in the same relation to the designer as the artist's colourman does to the painter, or, perhaps it would be fairer to say, as the builder and his workmen stand to the architect.

The remarks quoted below on Nature and the clipping shears are not from Josh Billings, but from The Formal Garden, of which the literary merit, we are told in the preface, belongs to Mr. Blomfield.

A clipped Yew tree is as much a part of Nature—that is, subject to natural laws—as a forest Oak; but the landscapist, by appealing to associations which surround the personification of Nature, holds up the clipped Yew tree to obloquy as something against Nature. So far as that goes, it is no more unnatural to clip a Yew tree than to cut Grass.

"An unerring perception told the Greeks that the beautiful must also be the true, and recalled them back into the way. As in conduct they insisted on an energy which was rational, so in art and in literature they required of beauty that it, too, should be before all things rational."—Professor Butcher, in Some Aspects of the Greek Genius.

As always on Saturdays I spent a good part of yesterday with Gutenberg. Today, after seeing my photos, I can't resist to show you what a garden might look like — if you're bank account is more substantial than mine, and you have a gardener with a cadre of workers.

The book "Garden Design and Architects' Gardens" is from 1892 and written by W. Robinson m. Under the title it says:

"Two reviews, illustrated, to show, by actual examples from British gardens, that clipping and aligning trees to make them 'harmonise' with architecture is barbarous, needless, and inartistic."

Exactly what I think, even if I don't think the person who said so, had my kind of neglected garden, in mind.

Old Place, Lindfield. Picturesque garden of old English house, admitting of charming variety in its vegetation
Broadlands, Hants
Clipped trees at the Little Trianon

6 kommentarer:

  1. Underbara bilder!
    Vi klarade oss från frosten, men till inkommande helg är den utlovad.

    Karin i bagerivärmen

  2. Karin,
    Det är roligt så länge det finns lite växtlighet kvar. Nu tror jag inte att frosten tog så mycket - har inte varit ute än - sä kanske finns det fortfarande lite ögonfröjd.
    som även hon
    bakat i dag -
    men bara en

  3. Trädgårdsmästare Blomfält och professor Slaktare må ha sina uppfattningar om hur en trädgård ska se ut - värre är, i mitt tycke - att det går så mycket mode i hur det ska se ut. Just nu är fastcementerade stenar på stora ytor a la mode här. Nästa ägare av hus och trädgård får sätta en bomb under för att göra om efter eget huvud. Eller vad som är modernt då. Tur att det finns lagom misskötta trädgårdar där det inte är så linjalrätt, allting.

  4. Lovely photos..I wouldn't darn photo ours at the moment ..it's in the midst of drastic rearrangements before Winter building new kayak racks which involved moving log piles and a bird pen..chaos :0)

  5. Olgakatt,
    Säg mig vad det inte går mode i. Mat, språk, inredning, namn - ja allt. Det är lite enerverande med denna likriktning. För att inte tala om hur trist det är med likadana människor i likadana trädgårdar som säger samma saker och grillar samma slags mat på identiska fester.
    Fast eftersom jag lever lite av ett eremitliv i min vilda trädgård så har jag inte ens märkt att jag borde att transporterat hit stenar och cement.

    Oh, I know only too well what you mean - that's why I stick to details!


  6. Charming photos! Did you get your camera fixed?