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

Taplow House

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Taplow House, Pascoe Grenfell, Esq. - The house is situated half-way down the same high bank on which is placed Taplow Court, Park Place, Cliefden, Hedsor, and a number of other fine places, commencing at Richmond, and extending, on the same side of the river, to near Reading, where the banks become level on both sides. The house is here, very properly, entered from behind; and the view from the principal rooms commands the Thames and Windsor Castle. The grounds are not very extensive; but the lawn slopes most beautifully, and it is judiciously varied by choice trees and shrubs, and beds of flowers, the latter of the rarest and most beautiful kinds, assiduously and successfully cultivated, and kept in the most exquisite order by the gardener, Mr. Springall, who has been in that capacity here for thirty years, and has planted nearly every tree, and laid out every bed. The first view of the lawn front of the house, bosomed as it is in verandas covered with creepers and in banks of flowers, as seen from a dark walk near the lodge, through which strangers are introduced, operates like enchantment. We never were more delighted with anything in a small place. The first wing of the house is only one story high, and contains a suite of rooms, including a library, shaded by a skeleton veranda. By this term we mean a veranda that, instead of a close roof, has merely the wall plate, and a slight rafter from the top of each prop. These members are entirely covered with vegetation in great luxuriance, and chiefly by the Virginian creeper. The railing of a balcony in front of the dining-room is similarly covered, as is the veranda over it. The central part of the basement of the house may be described as embosomed in rockwork and flowers in pots and vases. On one end of the house is a beurre d'Aremberg pear tree, 30 ft. high, covered with fruit. Turning round before the steps which descend from the drawing-room to the lawn, the latter is varied by beds of flowers which lose themselves among trees, shrubs, and glades in every direction, but so far below the eye, that, when looking at them, the distant scenery is not taken into the landscape.