'In England the light presses from above. It is not the clear white light of warmer countries, but it is dominant; there is a glitter at midday on glabrous leaves and lustrous glimmering flowers which drain the life from the colour so that only under a leaden sky or at twilight can a planned effect achieve its fullest value... Take for example, the nebulous shape of a yew on the chalk downs, where it appears sporadically and grows to greater perfection than many evergreens. Against rolling light green grassland it has no connection, no vital link of similarity or even of contrast to weld it to the surrounds. The grass lifts up, the yew tree weighs it down; there is a lack of balance in colours and forms. See the same tree against the jagged whiteness of a chalk-pit, and the aesthetic effect is at once satisfactory.'
This is Christopher Tunnard, writing with an appealing old-fashioned self-confidence about the aesthetics of landscape in his book Gardens in the Modern Landscape (1938). He concludes with recommendations that 'the yew tree on a lawn is less powerful emotionally than one placed in relationship to buildings; from the grey stones of a churchyard it draws the necessary illumination to enhance its form.' Soon after writing this Tunnard left the English light behind to take up a post at Harvard, and then after the war he rather drifted away from landscape design, concentrating instead on urban planning.