The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment VIII. On Blenden Hall, Kent.

Blenden Hall, garden land

Previous - Next

I will here make some remarks on the occupation of land belonging to a villa. It is surprising how tenacious every gentleman is of grass land, and with what reluctance he increases his garden, or contracts his farm; as if land were only given to produce hay, or to fatten cattle. He forgets the difference in value betwixt an acre of pasture, and an acre of fruit-garden; or the quantity of surface required to grow a load of hay, or a load of currants, cauliflowers, or asparagus, with the prodigious difference in the value of each. For this reason, the gardens of a villa should be the principal object of attention; and at Blenden Hall, the ground betwixt the fruit trees in the orchard, which produces hay, small in quantity, and bad in quality, might be turned to more advantage by planting currant bushes, or sowing garden crops; which, even if sent to market, will yield five times the value of the feed for cattle. There is a clipped quickset-hedge, which forms the south boundary of the garden; this is as secure as a wall, and, therefore, worth preserving. I must also advise retaining the lofty wall to the west, as the greatest protection against the west winds: but a screen of trees, or, rather, filberts and fruit trees, should be planted, to hide the wall from the approach, and to secure a slip on the outside, and make both sides of this lofty wall productive. If more walls be required, they may be added as described on the map, so as to shelter each other from blights; for it is not necessary that the garden should be a square area within four walls. A fruit-garden may be so blended with flowers and vegetables as to be interesting in all seasons; and the delight of a garden, highly cultivated, and neatly kept, is amongst the purest pleasures which man can enjoy on earth.