The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section III. On Wood.

Plan of an American mansion

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Figure 25 is the plan of an American mansion residence of considerable extent, only part of the farm lands, l, being here delineated. In this residence, as there is no extensive view worth preserving beyond the bounds of the estate, the pleasure grounds are surrounded by an irregular and picturesque belt of wood. A fine natural stream or rivulet, which ran through the estate, has been formed into a handsome pond, or small lake, f, which adds much to the interest of the grounds. The approach road breaks off from the highway at the entrance lodge, a, and proceeds in easy curves to the mansion, b; and the groups of trees on the side of this approach nearest the house, are so arranged that the visitor scarcely obtains more than a glimpse of the latter, until he arrives at the most favorable position for a first impression. From the windows of the mansion, at either end, the eye ranges over groups of flowers and shrubs; while, on the entrance front, the trees are arranged so as to heighten the natural expression originally existing there. On the other front, the broad mass of light reflected from the green turf at h, is balanced by the dark shadows of the picturesque plantations which surround the lake, and skirt the whole boundary. At i, a light, inconspicuous wire fence separates that portion of the ground, g, ornamented with flowering shrubs and kept mown by the scythe, from the remainder, of a park-like character, which is kept short by the cropping of animals. At c, are shown the stables, carriage house, etc., which, though near the approach road, are concealed by foliage, though easily accessible by a short curved road, returning from the house, so as not to present any road leading in the same direction, to detract from the dignity of the approach in going to it. A prospect tower, or rustic pavilion, on a little eminence overlooking the whole estate, is shown at j. The small arabesque beds near the house are filled with masses of choice flowering shrubs and plants; the kitchen garden is shown at d, and the orchard at e.