The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Langton House

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Langton House, J. B. Farquharson, Esq. - The house is in a bottom, with a meadow and the river Stour in front, and a gently elevated country beyond. The first impression on a stranger is surprise, that a new house should be placed in so tame and featureless a situation; its architecture is simple, and in the Roman style; we only object to the unarchitectural iron railings to the balcony, and some huge projecting flowers, carved in stone, the meaning of which is not obvious. Time, however, will consecrate them; but we question much whether this ever will take place with the festooned fender-like iron railings. The grounds are laid out by Mr. Page; but being little more than commenced, we can hardly give an opinion upon them, farther than commending the gravel walks, which are brimful, with the grass edgings not cut. Excellent hints for planting the shrubs might be taken from Bear Wood (IX. 679.). We would not, however, introduce many flowers, if any, in such shrubberies as those here forming, because they never can acquire sufficient nourishment from the soil, or room among the shrubs, to grow vigorously and look thriving. We would have the turf in all such shrubberies lose itself among the shrubs, which would at the same time greatly reduce the labour of the gardener, and yet improve the beauty of the scenery under his care. The kitchen-garden is well laid out, with a small but complete range of hot-houses and sheds; and a very neat and commodious gardener's house. The whole is kept in good order by Mr. Cooper, who, with Mr. Humphrey of Oxford, was one of the first members of the Clapton Nursery Book Society. There is here a fine specimen of Lucombe oak, and another of the Fulham variety of the same tree; the former is an erect rigid-growing tree, and the latter has graceful drooping branches. We may notice here an error which we have found in several other houses seen in our tour; viz., that the entrance porch is at one end, in consequence of which the whole of the lawn scenery will be seen from the approach; a result which, for reasons often before stated, is any thing rather than desirable. In our opinion, the house ought to have been placed on a platform at least 10 ft. higher than it is, and the approach should have been from behind. The largest and best field of Swedish turnips which we have seen since we left London is on this estate; they are on the raised drill system, under Mr. Meikle, a Scotch bailiff. Mr. Farquharson, we understand, farms several thousand acres, and is so enthusiastically fond of the pursuit, that he attends the markets himself. [Langton House is 1 mile south east of Blandford in Dorset]