The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xvi. Concerning Villas.

View of Kew pagoda

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The sketch [fig. 194] represents the opening made in a belt, in which the pagoda at Kew forms a striking object: but the sketch differs considerably from the original; the spectator, in the former, is supposed to be stationary; but, in the latter, whenever he changes his position, the pagoda is alternately hid by the four trees, which are supposed to be taken away in the sketch [fig. 195]; and every one must be sensible that the opening requires to be made thus free from impediment and encumbrance: the distance may then be decidedly separated from the foreground. These two sketches also serve to elucidate another remark: the offskip, or distant country, must either be seen over or under those objects which constitute the foreground; here advantage is taken of both: in the larger opening it is shewn over an intervening copse, or mass of brushwood; and in the other, it appears through the stems of tall trees, and under their branches. Such openings, if not too frequently repeated, or too artificially made, will improve the landscape, without destroying the continuity of wood and of walk within the same. But, in these sketches, another effect is hinted, by breaking the line of clipped fence, partly by a few thorns planted before it, and partly by suffering some bushes in the hedge to grow taller; this will render the walk more interesting than in its present state, where the same view into the same lawn becomes tiresome and monotonous; and where the house and the water is the axis round which we turn, we feel, in a manner, tethered to a certain point; and it would be a relief to have the attention drawn away to other objects more new, though not so beautiful. Having classed, under the same head of Small Places, or Villas, several subjects of very different magnitude and importance, one more may be added, to which not an acre belonged; and, therefore, it may serve to shew, that the quantity of acres attached does not make a place large or small; and, also, as yielding a striking example of the difference to be observed betwixt the scenery of a park and that of a garden, blending utility with ornament, and giving privacy to a situation most exposed to the public.