Studio: international art — 5.1895

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The Garden and its Art

" THE EXD OF THE TERRACE, ABBEV-LEIX BY G. S. ELGOOD

was genuine. In ordinary galleries you find people For English tastes, the most charming book is

strolling round, more or less listlessly, captivated undoubtedly The Formal Garden in England, by

now and again by some subject or its treatment. Mr. Reginald Blomfield, who contributed a most

There, every picture was eagerly scanned and com- delightful essay to the catalogue of Mr. Elgood's

mented upon; scarce one failed to provoke an pictures. This volume, illustrated by Inigo

exclamation of delight. Criticism was set aside Thomas, supplies a logical and irresistible argu-

for unreserved appreciation. Indeed, had Mr. ment in favour of "the architectural treatment of

Elgood been a most indifferent limner, instead of a gardens—the extension of the principles of design

very accomplished and graceful artist, it would which govern the house to the grounds which

have been easy to have forgiven him many short- surround it." Did but space permit, it would be

comings in return for the delightful visions of pertinent to recapitulate Mr. Blomfield's ingenious

beautiful places he had brought together for the defence. He shows you that it is not more un-

delectation of weary city folk. natural to clip a yew-tree than to cut grass; that

It is a sign of the times that many books treat- a straight walk is not more artificial than the zig-

ing of the more formal style of gardening have zag which delights a landscape gardener. For the

appeared of late. Even an American volume, by curved lines which the latter would have you believe

Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaen, Art Out of Doors, are true imitations of Nature, are not logically based

has much to say in its defence. True that, speak- upon her, for in Nature there are no " lines at all."

ing for her fellow-countrymen, she owns that " our The pages of The Studio are beset by too many

Teutonic blood predisposes us to a more spon- phases of Art pleading for recognition, to permit

taneous and general love for Nature than for Art, one to discuss fully the "Art " (as opposed to the

and thus to a preference for naturalistic rather science) of gardening. It is not a question of

than architectonic ideas in gardening; " yet she horticulture at all, but how the " garden" (which

goes on to explain that the two styles are not implies a walled enclosure) should be arranged

rigidly separated, but must needs often overlap, and for the growing therein of flowers and shrubs,

offers, as chief excuse for a formal manipulation of Nor in pleading for a formal garden is it necessary

Nature's material, the dominance of other formal to plead for the Italian, the French, the Dutch, or

elements in the given locality. In other words, indeed any particular style. I remember coming

where houses are, gardens should be more or less at sunset upon a little row of almshouses on the

designed in accordance with them. side of a hill, where the clipped box-edges, and
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