The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment XxvII. Gardens Of Ashridge.

Ashridge situation

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The situation of the new house, built over the cellars and foundation of the ancient monastery, has not much beauty of locality to boast; though commanding a very extensive view of park to the south, yet the surface is flat, and without water. Although the park abounds in fine woods and large trees, yet in the view from the windows the landscape is naked and uninteresting. Under such circumstances, we had only two modes of treating it; either to bear with the nakedness and flatness of the prospect, and enliven it by bringing the deer and cattle near the eye, or else to exclude the landscape altogether, by bringing plantations near the house; and I recommended both these expedients in the manner explained by the map. The boundary fence of the pleasure-ground having been completed before I visited the spot, I have not had sufficient influence to effect its removal; but I was permitted to suggest the plantation of about eight acres, which hides one half of the naked lawn, forming a rich mass of foliage near the eye. It was next to be considered how best to convert the interior of this mass to the purposes of beauty, convenience, and variety, with some degree of novelty in the plan.