The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment XxvIII. Containing Extracts From The Report On Woburn Abbey.

Gardens set apart from dwellings by Lancelot Brown

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THE GARDEN. In the middle of the last century, almost every mansion in the kingdom had its garden, surrounded by walls, in the front of the house. To improve the landscape from the windows, Brown was obliged to remove those gardens; and not always being able to place them near the house, they were sometimes removed to a distance. This inconvenient part of his system has been most implicitly copied by his followers; although I observe that at Croome, and some other places where he found it practicable, he attached the kitchen-garden to the offices and stables, &c. behind the mansion, surrounding the whole with a shrubbery; and, indeed, such an arrangement is most natural and commodious. The intimate connexion between the kitchen and the garden for its produce, and between the stables and the garden for its manure, is so obvious, that every one must see the propriety of bringing them as nearly together as possible, consistent with the views from the house: yet we find in many large parks, that the fruit and vegetables are brought from the distance of a mile, with all the care and trouble of packing for much longer carriage; while the park is continually cut up by dung carts passing from the stables to the distant gardens. To these considerations may be added, that the kitchen-garden, even without hot-houses, is a different climate; there are many days in winter when a warm, dry, but secluded walk, under the shelter of an east or north wall, would be preferred to the most beautiful but exposed landscape; and in the spring, when "Reviving nature seems again to breathe, As loosen'd from the cold embrace of death," on the south border of a walled garden some early flowers and vegetables may cheer the sight, although every plant is elsewhere pinched with the north-east winds, peculiar to our climate, in the months of March and April, when "Winter, still ling'ring on the verge of spring, Retires reluctant, and, from time to time, Looks back, while at his keen and chilling breath Fair Flora sickens." STILLINGFLEET.