Gardening and Governing

Gardening marks, as clearly as any activity, the joining of nature and culture. The gardener makes nothing, but rather gathers what God has made and shapes it into new and pleasing forms. The well-designed garden shows nature more clearly and beautifully than nature can show itself. And this can be a model of politics: people left to their own devices can run riot, make themselves and their environment “ruin’d” and “disorder’d”; properly governed, though, they can flourish, they can become their best selves and make the most of their environment. . . .We need governors as we need gardeners; but not all forms of government are equally wise or equally beautiful.

From Alan Jacobs review of The Arcadian Friends: Inventing the English Landscape Garden