The Garden Guide

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

White Lodge, Richmond Park, Lord Sidmouth 2

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There were two modes of treating this subject, according to the modern system of landscape gardening. The first was, to enclose the whole area granted, by a belt of trees and shrubs; this would have excluded all view into the park, and reduced the situation to that of any villa on Clapham Common. The other mode was that which I found actually begun, viz. to surround the whole with an open or invisible fence, to unite, in appearance, the ground of the park with that of the enclosure, bringing to the same level the surface where it was irregular. This would have completely destroyed every advantage of privacy, of convenience, or of use, in the acquisition from this new grant. I was, therefore, driven to suggest a third expedient, which, in these Fragments, has, or will be, frequently mentioned, viz. to adopt a decided artificial character for the garden; boldly reverting to the ancient formal style, which, by some, will be condemned as departing from the imitation of nature: and, by such treatment, is now secured to these premises an ample portion of ground for fruit and vegetables of every kind; yet, these are so enveloped, in screens of shrubbery and garden-flowers, as to be nowhere visible, or offensive. At the same time, by preserving the inequalities in the ground, which were about to be levelled, the walk is made to take advantage of views into the park; and, thus, neither beauty nor utility is banished by the enclosure.