The Garden Landscape Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Barcelona garden design

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509. Gardens of Barcelona. The environs of Barcelona are embellished with many country-houses and pleasure-gardens called torres: these are regularly laid out, and, as usual, adorned with sculpture and fountains. The commercial intercourse of the inhabitants of Barcelona with France and Italy enables them to procure scarce ornamental plants and flowers with facility and despatch. The garden of the Marquis of Llupia, called the Labyrinth, three miles distant from Barcelona, of Don Antonio Gironella, merchant, and that of the Capuchin friars of Sarria, scarcely a league distant from the city, are greatly superior to any of the others. The first of these comprises the greater part of an estate a mile in circumference; and it has, besides an extensive labyrinth formed by hedges of clipped box, another portion of ground exclusively appropriated to the cultivation of flowers and ornamental shrubs; delightfully interspersed with cascades and other waterworks, and the most exquisite marble statues of Italian workmanship. There is on the same estate a fine wood, with a fruit and culinary garden. The garden of Gironella is still more famous than the Labyrinth. It is laid out with great taste; and has, among other curiosities, a labyrinth formed by streams of water; the water works are in greater variety, and any person is allowed to visit them. The garden of the Capuchins of Sarria forms a complete landscape of the most sombre character, being chiefly composed of cypresses and other dark-foliaged trees: it contains many water works, and some clay figures executed by the monks themselves. The whole forms a retreat well calculated to awaken religious feelings, and has convenient walks for the fathers, during the sultry heat of midsummer, impervious to the rays of the sun. Within the, city of Barcelona there are many pleasure-gardens; the best belongs to the captain- general; it is situated on the walk of the esplanade, and is always open to the public. (Gard. Mag., vol. iv. p. 76.)