The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xxxiv. Extracted From The Report Of Endsleigh, A Cottage On The Banks Of The Tamar, In Devonshire, By Permission Of His Grace The Duke Of Bedford. Situation And Character.

Comfort and convenience in landscape gardening

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COMFORTS AND APPENDAGES. If houses were built only to be looked at, or looked from, the best landscape painter might be the best landscape gardener; but, to render a place, in all seasons, comfortable, requires other considerations besides those of picturesque effect. It is during the winter, and in the shooting season, that a residence at Endsleigh will be most desirable; but the climate and south-western aspect of a mountainous district will expose it to the rains, winds, and fogs, which are the natural concomitants of all lofty and picturesque stations. In spring, it has become a fashion to desert the country, and in summer, every field is a garden; but, in autumn and winter, we experience the truth of a maxim which I have endeavoured to inculcate, and must again beg leave to repeat, that a garden is a work of ART, making proper use of the materials of NATURE. A well cultivated fruit-garden requires shelter to secure its produce in autumn; and this same shelter may be extended to the comfort of its inhabitants, during that season when a walk along a south wall, while the sun shines, though "ten times repeated," will please, more than the richest landscape in the most romantic country, when stripped of foliage and exposed to driving winds, and covered with its wintry garment of snow. For this reason, a garden becomes the chief appendage of comfort, and should never be at a distance; and, though it may be offensive, when enclosed in the usual way, with lofty scarlet walls, yet, if the walls were to be disposed in terraces, and rendered ornamental by piers, or arches, for each tree recessed, the garden at Endsleigh might be made no unsightly feature; but, from the relative situation of the cottage, the proposed conservatory and the plantations, it would be very little seen. The same intervening objects which tend to hide the walls from the view in the valley, will also tend to intercept the current of air, during the sweeping gusts of wind and fog from the south western mountains, at the same time that, from their declivity, the sun's rays will act with uninterrupted force.