The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment VII. On Unity Of Character.

Harlestone Park genius locii

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The house was formerly approached and entered in the south front, which was encumbered by stables and farm-yards: the road came through the village, and there was a large pool in front [see fig. 166]: this pool has been changed to an apparent river, and the stables have been removed [see fig. 167], An ample garden has been placed behind the house; the centre of the south front has been taken down, and a bow added, with pilasters in the style of the house: the entrance is changed from the south to the north side, and some new rooms to the west have been added. Of the useful and modern appendages to this house, the drawing can give little idea: the more essential part of landscape gardening is apt to be overlooked in the general attention to the picturesque, which has often little affinity with the more important objects of comfort, convenience, and accommodation*. *[In speaking of Harlestone Park, I cannot omit mentioning a remarkable fact, connected with its improvement. This park abounded in large oaks, irregularly scattered over its uneven surface; but amongst them were everywhere intermixed many very tall elms, not all planted in avenues, but some in single rows, casting their long shadows over the lawn, oppressing the venerable oaks by their more lofty growth, and spreading shade and gloom over the surface of the park. I could not help observing, that the greatest improvement of which the place seemed capable, might be deemed too bold for me to advise, as it was no less than the removal of almost all the elms, to shew the oaks, and diffuse sunshine over the lawn. A few days after having delivered this opinion, on the 10th of November, 1810, a furious storm of wind tore up by the roots eighty-seven of the largest elms, and only one oak; producing exactly the effect of improvement which I had anticipated, but had not dared to recommend. This occurrence is recorded on a tablet inscribed-GENIO LOCI. [To the genius of the place, or [Genius locii].