So while bed-bound with covid last week, I wallowed in some culture and read Jane Austen’s Emma, having heard from a reliable source that it eclipses the better known, and perhaps better loved, Pride and Prejudice.
Well into the story, Emma, along with a party of friends, visits Donwell, the house and garden of her neighbour, Mr Knightly.
Try as I might, I can’t figure out what could be disputable about the taste on display from an avenue of limes that terminates in a pillared gap through a low stone wall, overlooking a view. Is it the fact that it was a ‘fake’ entrance? Is it the fact that the avenue aligned with pillars in a stone wall, and was therefore simply too obvious – a gauche cliche?
Indeed, for at least the last couple of hundred years, such a scene would have been considered the height of good taste and charming restraint.
What do you reckon? Wherein lay Mr Knightly’s landscape faux pas?
And how well do you reckon your garden would survive the Jane Austen taste test?