There are two quite different sorts of garden lovers-those who raise flowers, and those who look for the landscape effect. I shall be scolded for saying so, but the first often make their gardens into museums; very interesting, no doubt, but not so pleasant to live with as the half-wild bit of ground-lawn, trees and shrubbery, without a pane of glass in evidence-where there are just enough flowers, hardy perennials perhaps, to give a touch of colour in their season, but in the main a sense of green repose. I think the garden which the Lord planted eastward in Eden was like that; a pleasance, where He could walk in the cool of the evening with Adam, and Adam had no need to run away, every minute, to look for slugs.
Ruskin, though he wrote about botany, and tried to be his own Linnæus, and though he loved well enough to see flowers (especially wild ones) on his table and outside his window, yet in his practical gardening was quite the landscapist. He liked making paths and contriving pretty nooks, building steps and bridges, laying out beds, woodcutting and so forth; but I never remember him potting and grafting and layering and budding; and as to the rarity of any plants in his garden, I believe he took far more pleasure in the wood-anemone-Silvia, he called it-than in anything buyable from the nurseryman's catalogue.
The Brantwood gardens as they now are, enlarged and tended by a mistress who loves and understands flowers, and glorified by their charming position on the shore of a mountain lake, are as near the perfect blend of detailed interest and picturesque beauty as anything can be in this northern climate. But they are not Ruskin's gardens. When the first glass-house went up, he used to apologise for it to his visitors; it was to please Mrs. Severn; it was to grow a few grapes for his friends; he did not believe in hot-houses: and he would take you up the steps he had contrived at the back of the house and point out the tiny wild growths in their crannies, as he led the way to his own private plot.
Sir Edwin Arnold, in a pleasant essay on Japanese rock-gardens, quoting Ruskin on the beauty of stones, wonders whether he would not have sympathised in these quaint tastes of the Far East. Ruskin had little to say in praise of Japanese art as he knew it, because they could not draw pretty figures, and he had no admiration for dwarfs or monsters; but one cannot help thinking that if he had seen Japan, and if it is all that travellers tell us, he might have written some enthusiastic passages on a people who love stones for their own sake and tub themselves daily. To him, his rock gardens were a joy for ever; and in his working years he set an example of Lake-district landscape-gardening which still, for all I know, remains unfollowed, and is worth a few paragraphs of record. You can see little of it now. During that last decade, when he wandered about his small domain like the ghost of his former self, no one could carry on his work. The paths he made and tended gradually became overgrown, the rocky watercourses were choked with stones, his private plot filled with weeds, for he could no longer dig in it; and now you can only trace what it has been in the little solitude left sacred to memory.
THE WATERFALL AT BRANTWOOD DOOR. By L. J. Hilliard , 1885
It was in the heart of the wood, approached by the steps and winding path-not gravelled, but true woodland track. About as large as a cottager's kitchen-garden, it was fenced on two sides with a wooden paling, and an old stone wall, mossy and ivied, kept off the trees and their undergrowth on the higher side, up the hill. The trees, when he came, were the coppice of the country, oak and hazel, periodically cut down to the stubs, and used for turning bobbins and