This section is from the book "The American Garden vol. Xl" by L.H. Bailey.
IT IS a singular fact that the gardens which the poets oftenest praise are those in which no rule of landscape gardening and no method have been consciously employed. A rhapsody of one of our great parks would be an anomaly in literature, but a lyric of an old and tangled garden is the most natural and common of emotions; nor does it matter if the garden is small and cramped and poor, if only "... here and there some sprigs of mournful mint, Of nightshade or valerian, grace the wall," so long as the plants grow carelessly and naturally, it possesses charm. If this experience were analyzed we should find that the charm of these old gardens comes from the plants themselves rather than from mere arrangement, from the love of green things growing, so long as they grow as nature intended that they should. The moment we begin to shear and trim and "design," we turn the attention from plants to artifice; the garden thence loses its charm as a bit of nature. In the old gardens which we knew as children, there was a satisfying influence of which even the memory brings peace and contentment, but in the parks there is only the unsatisfied desire to see something more, the curiosity to seek for new wonders, and then the fatigue which comes from sight seeing. We long to escape the park and boulevard for some old granny's garden, where hollyhocks and pinks and jasmine grow and tangle as they will.
Here it does not matter if the family cat sleeps under the honeysuckles or if the spiders build their webs in the corners. The turf is free to walk upon and the flowers can be touched and picked. Birds build their nests in the lilac bushes. The dew waits long in the morning, a setting of pearls everywhere. All this is peace and purity. How the memory haunts us in these older days! How we long for that old garden which was "a mere growth of the years!"