The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section VII. Treatment of Ground-Formation of Walks

Improvement of flat surface grounds

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A perfect flat, or level surface, is often the most difficult to improve of any description of ground. In some cases, as in the example of a very large park, with an immense building, a level surface may be in excellent keeping, giving an air of grandeur to the whole scene: for both the simplicity and the wide extent of a level plain in such a situation, would be highly expressive of grandeur when united to a fine pile of building. But ordinarily, a flat surface is extremely dull and uninteresting. One unbroken plain of green is spread before the eye, varied by none of those changing lights and shadows that belong to a finely undulating lawn. It is true that this affects the mind differently in certain situations, as a broad plain is a delightful contrast and source of repose in a mountainous country. But we here speak of the greater part of the surface of the United States, where country seats are located, and where it will be found that a diversified surface is greatly to be preferred to a dead level.