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

Magdalen College Garden

Previous - Next

The walks belonging to Magdalen College are conducted through meadows on raised banks about 30 ft. broad, between ditches containing running water, about 10 ft. broad and 4 ft. deeper than the surface of the meadows. The walk along the centre of the raised bank is about 10 ft. wide, leaving 10 feet on each side to be varied by trees. Through the framework formed by the stems of these trees and the undergrowths, the meadows and country beyond are seen to great advantage; and, in advancing along, so admirably do the trees come in, that there is not a point, whichever way the eye turns, from which a perfect landscape might not be transferred to paper. This is saying as much for such a walk as can be said in a landscape point of view; the improvements which the gardener ought to make in it are, to substitute American and other choice trees and shrubs for the common sorts, and to introduce herbaceous plants, taking care that this is done in such a manner that one genus at least may prevail in one place, and not that a uniform mixture should be maintained throughout. This principle, we trust, Mr. Fairbairn will keep in view in his improvements in the college gardens, and more especially in his introduction of laurels, box, holly, yew, ivy, &c., as undergrowth, instead of elm suckers, and elders. We recommend him to study Bear Wood. (IX. 679.)