END PAPER FOR "ELFIN RHYMES " (LONDON: GAY AND BIRD) BY CARTON MOORE PARK
the fairest prospects for the future. To great
natural gifts he adds the power of taking infinite
pains and an enthusiastic love of his craft. His gifts
are not of the kind which are at any man's beck
and call. He can only do what he must, but,
happily for him, what he feels he must do appeals
to all sorts and conditions of healthy-minded
people. Under these circumstances, opportunities
will surely be afforded him of displaying in many
and various ways his accomplished and distinguished
talent. C. H.
CONDITIONS OF MATERIAL.
BY EDWARD S. PRIOR.
We are unfortunate enough to be living in an
age which is at cross purposes with some of the
ordinary beauties of life. Houses and towns, for
example, have in times past been acknowledged
graces to the landscape. It has been as natural
to speak of a " fair" building and a " fair"
city as to call the sky " blue" ; but now
the ordinary epithets for our neighbours' build-
ings are "hideous" and "dreadful." A great
deal of this disgust at the builder has come from
the depravity of present-day building materials.
Commercial enterprise may have done much for
the well-being of the flesh, something, perhaps, for
the general pride of life, but for the lust of the eye
its one function seems to be that of providing
perpetual mortification. And especially does it
set its stamp of cheapness and nastiness on the
materials of garden-design.
But nastiness in a garden can never be accounted
cheap, and the garden craftsman has, therefore, to
view commercial wares with suspicion, avoiding as
poison to his art the show-devices of the horti-
cultural firms. Their rustic summer-houses and
bridges, their conservatories and pagodas, their
garden seats, their terra-cotta fountains, their
galvanised iron-work, their glazed edgings—these
must be stopped on the frontier of his garden-art,
must never come inside the garden wall; and even
the nurseryman's shrubs and the florist's flowers
must be inspected and show a clean bill of health
before admission is granted.
In a word, the present-day vulgarities of com-
mercial material are to be taken into account by
the garden-maker. The conditions of material
must bind him as strictly as those of principle and
practice, else the art of his laying-out will be
brought to nought. It is proposed here to briefly
run through the chief requirements of garden-
making, and to point out how simplicity and
common-sense can furnish them without the
materials of the commercial salesman. The treat-
ment of the subject in the limited space at my dis-
posal must necessarily be brief and superficial; but
the art of gardening is as long as other arts ; a