The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Abbotsford Garden

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Abbotsford; Sir Walter Scott, Bart. So much has been said of this celebrated place, that we shall pass it over with scarcely any remarks. Sir Walter Scott's taste was antiquarian rather than artistic, and he has produced such a building and gardens as might have been expected from his peculiar partialities, and his facilities for obtaining fragments of antiquity. The house is a curious piece of patchwork, but such as must have afforded great satisfaction to its gifted proprietor in forming it. We could not get access to the gardens, which, we were told, were planted with potatoes, nor to any part of the place that could be considered as ornamental scenery. The roads in this part of the country are excellent, and the scenery a fine combination of the beautiful picturesque, and agricultural cultivation. Some of the hills are conical, and ploughed over the very summits; others are crowned with wood, which, in some cases, stretches down their sides, in masses and hedge-row strips, till it reaches the margin of a river, or the verge of a meadow. There is every appearance of prosperity and comfort; but the bands of women seen hoeing turnips re minded us that all was not as it ought to be, and as we trust it will be in another generation; for we cannot think that, in a state of high civilisation, women will continue to be employed in field work. We arrived at Melrose in time to see the ruins of the abbey with good daylight, and we remained among them till it was quite dark. (To be continued.)