Saturday, 7 June 2008

"IMPROVEMENT" IS SOMETIMES NO IMPROVEMENT

Maybe it's all this talk of Jane Austen, but we here at Swift Campaign '08 are  officially cheesed off with our great leader. 


It is a truth universally communicated through the novels of Miss Austen that those who chop down mature trees and shrubs in pursuit of "improvement" are little short of being vandals. 


(Think of Henry Crawford's suggested improvements for the parsonage at Thornton Lacey in Mansfield Park (boo, hiss); or Rushworth's plan to fell the old avenue at Sotherton in the same novel to give the place "a modern dress"; or when in Sense & Sensibility John Dashwood agrees to get rid of the old walnut trees so his wife Fanny (double boo hiss) can put up a greenhouse, to be "exceedingly pretty".)


Last night I felt a little bit like Elinor Dashwood, as I watched "Capability" Swift removing a fine, gnarled, happy old rosemary from the herb garden at Berryfields. Deeply offended. 


Look I actually like Joe's mucking about on the allotment. I like his have-a-go attitude.
 

But when it comes to a beautiful old plant like that, I want there to be more sense of aesthetics, of husbandry for all the creatures living in that rosemary, of delight in the natural shape.


Let me leave you with this description of Donwell Abbey, the home of Mr Knightley:


Its ample gardens stretching down to meadows washed by a stream, of which the Abbey, with the old neglect of prospect, had scarcely a sight - and its abundance of timber in rows and avenues, which neither fashion nor extravagance had rooted up.

11 comments:

Breakaway Swift Loyalist Army said...

YOU TURNCOAT!
THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE DISLOYALTY ON YOUR PART!
Don't be surprised if you get knee capped for this

Joe Slow said...

in the intwests of wedgy design I'm wite behind Mr Swift on this one.

(ps. Vote Beardshaw for the main GW Geezer)

VP said...

Try this:

http://www.quizilla.com/quizzes/114849/which-jane-austen-character-are-you

I am indeed Elinor Dashwood

Lottie said...

Perhaps poor Joe didn't want to take out the Rosemary - perhaps he was told by the evil producers & directors to do it....

Lottie said...

ooer... I am Mr Darcy!

Arabella Sock said...

Hooray! I'm Eliza Bennett's sock!

emmat said...

i got "you are chatty, busy, friendly: you're Mr Collins!"

It went on to add, even more gratifyingly, that I could also be Miss Bates.

Stuff the stupid quiz. I am handsome, clever, rich and very interfering. I know who I am really.

VP said...

OOOOOH I've been given a geooooorgeous link!!!

The Garden Monkey said...

Mr Collins?

Is that Chris Collins?

Alex said...

I seem to be Jane Fairfax. Can that be right?

emmat said...

Chris Collins is chatty, busy and friendly for sure. I met him on Thursday night, and his lovely wife. We were at a party for the treeeeeeeeeeeees